Categories > Books > Harry Potter > Luna's Hubby

The Breaking of the Wards

by Meteoricshipyards 5 reviews

Luna's mother takes steps to keep Harry. More people learn who he is. Dumbledore tries to find Harry.

Category: Harry Potter - Rating: PG - Genres: Action/Adventure, Humor - Characters: Harry, Luna - Published: 2006-07-14 - Updated: 2006-07-14 - 7533 words - Complete

Disclaimer:I am not, nor have I ever been a member of ... opps, wrong disclaimer. I'm not J.K. Rowling. The world of Harry Potter is hers and hers alone (along with the various corporate entities that have bought a piece of the action). No money is being made by this, although I hope some laughter and enjoyment results from it.

Many thanks to Moine Green for beta-ing. Because of her, the punctuation is better, and you aren't subjected to what in retrospect was a dumb joke.

Chapter 3 The Breaking of the Wards

Selene floo-ed home the next day at lunchtime.

"Oh, Harry!" she gasped. He and Luna had just come in. They had been playing by the stream, and were very muddy. "Quickly, get those socks and shoes off. Get upstairs and get to the bathroom. You too, young lady. Get out of those muddy things and clean up before lunch."

She followed Harry upstairs, and got him out of his muddy clothes, and wiped him down with a wet wash cloth while he stood in his underwear. She ran a comb through his hair, realized the futility, and was about to send him to the bedroom to get changed when Luna came in, also in her underwear.

"Luna Lovegood! You knock before you enter a bathroom with a closed door. Harry, to the bedroom. You have to get in some clean clothes."

She resolved to speak to them tonight about privacy. She tossed Harry clothes, and they were soon floo-ing to Diagon Alley. She cursed the idiots on both sides who kept the bank from being connected to the Floo network.

She had borrowed a cap from the Muggle Clothes locker (used by the Aurors), and had warned Harry to keep his head down. She might as well have told the wall. Once he was through the alley behind the Leaky Cauldron, and into Diagon Alley, he was all eyes, all over the place. Selene couldn't really scold him right there - telling someone to be inconspicuous was a sure way of drawing attention to oneself. She just moved quickly, and wouldn't let him slow them down. It might have looked like she was being mean to him, but she didn't know what else to do.

They got to Gringotts without incident. Once again, Harry was looking all over the place, staring at the goblins, and the large room. She went to a goblin who had no one else waiting, and asked to see someone about the conditions of a will. The goblin looked at her and asked to know whose will. She told him she didn't want to speak about it in a public place. He led them down a hall to a small office. Several minutes later another goblin came in.

"I am Hornswaggle. I am a very busy goblin. What is this about?"

"I would like to find out some information from the will of James and Lily Potter."

The goblin looked surprised for a moment, and then seemed to grow angry. "And what gives you the right to this information?"

"My name is Selene Lovegood, and this is Harry Potter." She removed his hat. She showed him the scar. She pressed on, knowing that they could get thrown out at any moment unless she convinced him. "Several days ago, Harry Potter ran away from his guardians who were abusing him. I have been caring for him, and have decided to try to gain the legal right to raise him. However, in order to do that, I must speak to the boy's aunt and uncle, so again, I would like to get that information from James and Lily's will."

"You're not trying to gain control of the Potter's money?"

"I have no knowledge of any Potter money, nor do I desire to access it. I want to protect Harry from abuse, and give him a family. That's all."

"So, you realize that if you adopt him, and he changes his name, he may lose any right to his parent's estate."

"What about my parents?" Harry piped up.

"If this witch takes you, you may not get anything your parents left you. Is that what you want?"

Until Luna rescued him, he didn't know anything about his parents. Selene had found some pictures of them; she had been at school with Lily and James. Suddenly, an idea of "parents" who treated him like Petunia and Vernon treated Dudley was replaced with images of two real people that Harry would have given anything to know.

"What did my parents leave me? If it's mine you shouldn't keep it."

"You're not allowed to have it until you are seventeen. But if this witch raises you, you might not get anything."

Harry looked at Selene with a hurt look.

"Harry, I don't know exactly what he's talking about. But it sounds like the choice is to go back to the Dursleys and get your parent's gift to you when you are seventeen, or you can stay with us. I'm sorry, sweetheart, I didn't make the rules."

Harry thought for a moment. He thought of all the gifts Dudley got on his birthdays and at Christmas. He always seemed so happy to get the gifts. But then Harry thought about after the holiday -- how almost all of the presents were broken within a day or so.

He smiled. "Aunt Selene, I want to stay with you, Uncle Larry, and be Luna's husband."

Selene reddened. She still hadn't gotten the kids to stop that.

"That's the answer, Hornswaggle. We'd rather be a family. So if it's possible, could you please give me the information?"

The goblin nodded. He left the room for a few minutes. When he came back he had a folder. He sat behind the desk, and looked it over. He seemed to look at the same pages several times. He produced a small bell from somewhere and ran it. A goblin opened the door almost immediately.

"Get Hackle," Hornswaggle said. The other goblin disappeared.

"Is there a problem, Mr. Hornswaggle?"

"Yes there is, Mrs. Lovegood. It appears that this will was not executed as specified, and I want to know why."

A goblin in a pin striped suit came in. He glanced at Selene and Harry, and turned to Hornswaggle. "Need a legal document set up? You picked wisely. There's no better law firm than Badger and Hackle."

Hornswaggle answered, "I have one already. Why wasn't this executed per our customer's instructions?" He held up a paper for the lawyer to see.

Selene had never seen a goblin pale before. On reflection she had to say the color didn't suit them. The two goblins switched to Gobbledegook and yelled at each other. The lawyer goblin left and Hornswaggle turned back to Selene.

"The will includes a set of instructions for who is to take care of Mr. Potter. First would be his godfather Sirius Black. Then his godmother Alice Longbottom. If they are unable to fulfill the request then those two and three other people, friends of James and Lily, were to find a Wizarding family to raise him. All five were charged with keeping an eye on how Harry was raised. It seems that at the time that this should have been done the head of the Wizengamot overrode the will and placed Harry with his Muggle relatives with the belief that he would be safe there. The Goblins are under no obligation to obey the Wizengamot. It seems that Hackle gave in to pressure. I, however will not."

"So, with permission of the four remaining friends listed I can gain legal guardianship of Harry?"

"No. There is only one person left on the list. Peter Petigrew, Alice Longbottom, and Candice Bones are incapable of executing their office. Only Remus Lupin is left."

"Candice? Oh, Candi McCarthy, she married Edgar Bones. And Remus, yes. He should have been in Ravenclaw. I sometimes wonder if he had been. . . . But anyway, do you know how I can contact him?"

"I will contact him, and arrange a meeting here at his earliest convenience. I will be in contact."

"Thank you, Mr. Hornswaggle."

"You are welcome, Mrs. Lovegood."

They hurried back the length of Diagon Alley, and Selene thought they made it without attracting undue attention.

- - -

After all that, she was late getting back to work. She apologized to her boss, and promised to work late.

- - -

Warned by his wife, Larry fed the children. Afterwards, as Luna and Harry started working on the dishes, he helped with a little magic. He wasn't very good at household spells, though, and broke a glass. It was fixed with a Reparo spell, and he left the children to it. After they got ready for bed, he read to them from Gulliver's Travels, the version written by Lamuel Gulliver himself; not the Muggle version that Swift wrote after Gulliver had too much to drink once in a pub. Then it was time for bed.

He had been struggling with the Centaur racing story all day. Part of the problem was the lack of information -- he had one comment that Fudge bet heavily on Centaur races. He also knew, from the Centaur family that lived in the woods nearby that no Centaur would engage in such an act. Obviously, the only conclusion was that the Centaur racers were forced, and such a thing would be highly illegal. Logic ran out about that point, though, and the gaps he had to fill in were huge. Making assumptions on some of them -- like who, what, where, when -- seemed to lead to more questions, not answers.

He put aside the story on the races, and looked over his files. He picked out a Harry Potter sighting, and chuckled. Oh, yes, he remembered reading this one when it arrived at the Quibbler office. He quickly re-wrote it, Quibbler style, adding the human interest aspects, and put it in the "complete" stack. They would run it for one of the issues while he was away. He smiled, thinking that there would be an increase of vacations and day trips to Stonehenge. He made a note to talk to the Ministry officials in charge of the ancient artifact in a few months about the increased popularity of the attraction. He almost always got several articles out of a Harry Potter sighting. He smiled, and looked across the hall. He was a good boy; a bit quiet and he seemed to be eager to please. Well, his daughter could have picked a lot worse for a husband. Wait -- they weren't really married. He had to get that idea out of his head. He'd get it eventually. He fumbled with the lock on the liquor cabinet again, gave up, and went back to the Centaur story.

It was dark when Selene came home. She took two bottles of butterbeer from the ice box, and flopped on the love seat in Larry's office, giving him one of the bottles.

"Hard day, dear?"

"Yes. Seems there was a special request from the Wizengamot to develop a spell as quick as possible. They're supposed to be intelligent. Don't they realize that you just can't create a spell by describing it's goals? These things take time! And I refuse to do vivisection on mail owls!"

"Why would they want you to do that?"

"They want to develop a spell that is similar to the mail owl's magical ability. But I can't tell you any more. And you can't print any of this."

"Yes, dear." Once upon a time he was controlled by the rules in place for Aurors. Now, being a newspaper man, he and Selene had come to a different agreement. He had agreed to never pursue or report on anything she told him he couldn't. They had agreed that their ability to confide in each other took precedence over his job, and even the public's right to know. He knew if she couldn't vent to him, the marriage would probably collapse under her frustrations. Well, he could live with the restrictions.

"Did you have any luck with it at all?"

"I got the Point Me spell to aim east. I think that was something. But the team gave up on that pretty fast. Oh, well. I'll probably be working more on it on Thursday. How were the kids?"

"Fine. Harry's so neat it's almost frightening. Oh, yes, I tried to help them with the dishes, but broke a glass. I fixed it, of course, but decided they were better at cleaning up then I am. You'll have to give me a refresher on household charms."

"Maybe I should teach the kids. That would make the cleanup faster. I'm going to bed. Don't stay up much later, you have to go early tomorrow."

"Yes dear." He turned back to his article. He had given up trying to deduce the answers to the articles questions, and was now promising more investigation. It would have to do. Selene opened the door to Luna's room. She saw the kids sleeping and took a quick breath at what she saw. Luna and Harry lay sleeping on their beds, that was all right. They really had no place else to put him. She couldn't see putting him on a couch for any length of time. Larry, however.... But that was a different story. But they had conjured a bed and re-arranged the room to fit them both in. They were both asleep. She had no fears of two seven year olds getting into that kind of trouble.

One of the charms available to the spell-crafters of the ministry was an enhanced magical sense. They used it to "see" how their actions affected the spells they were forging. It slowly died away after casting, and hadn't dispersed totally . She saw magic in the room, faint lines that looked familiar, and some not familiar at all. She re-cast it to make sure she was seeing things correctly. The Never-Melt (TM) Candles glowed red and white with their fire and light magic even though they weren't lit. The animated nature scene on the wall glowed gray-red, green, and tawny with the illusion spell that made the plants and animals move in it. Similar colors were leaking out of the pages of Luna's books. Harry's bed glowed numerous colors with the residue of the conjuration that created it. All this was normal.

Luna's aura glowed with that light-yellow that indicated scrying, the mage-sight spell itself, and other knowledge based magics. It was the same color, but brighter, than what was in her own aura. It also indicated the Sight. She herself had never had a prophecy, but their aunt taught divination at Hogwarts. Yes, there was grey-red in her aura too, another indication of the Sight--the ability to see through illusions.

Harry's aura, though. That was something! There was that light brown that indicated animal-spells - an animagus? Creamy-blue splotches usually classified in the communication/empathy areas of magic were also visible. She wasn't sure what that could be. Perhaps a language talent? 'Barty Crouch knows about 200 languages,' she thought, 'perhaps Harry would be a polyglot.' The over all brightness showed him to be a powerful wizard. This was just his own aura, however. He was surrounded by other magic.

All around him glowed a purple field mixed with rusty-red. Protection and healing magic? No, the color was off for healing. It was some sort of blood magic. Blood magic used for protection? She had never heard of that. Nor could she understand the strand of it that stretched away through the wall. She looked at her wand and cast a quick Point Me. 'Hmmm,' she thought, 'west-north-west? Wales?' Then she realized she had used her modified version of the spell and her wand was pointing east. That would make the destination somewhere in the general direction of London. Harry had eventually confided in her that he lived in Surrey, but refused to give his address for fear of being sent home. She stopped asking because it made him upset.

Around his scar there was a dark shadow -- almost an anti-glow. It was the remains of the killing curse. She looked closer. There were faint black lines leading away from the scar. She counted, six. Six? Six lingering connections from the killing curse? This would bear more research.

She took a deep breath. She had been ignoring it, concentrating on the children's aura. But she couldn't avoid it any longer. What she thought she saw -- what she was afraid of finding -- was the braided creamy-blue lines of magic that joined their hands.

Muggles promised, gave their word, vowed, made oaths, and swore to the heavens above. It was just words, though. That was one of the underlying problems with Muggle/Wizard relationships. There were no consequences for them to go back on their words, because their words had no power.

Witches and wizards used words to shape the world. It was though words and motion that magic was forced to create a physical representation of Harry's bed. It was with words and will that the Wizarding world played with the forces of nature.

Unbreakable oaths, life debts, magically binding contracts -- all these were manifestations of the same effect of will upon the world's magic that made all spells viable.

A marriage vow was to a wizard and witch another spell. Like the other types of magical contracts, it could be broken, but the consequences were unpleasant. As she looked with sorrow at the magically visible manifestation of their vow, she hoped that they would avoid the problems that so many very young trothed couples encountered.

She didn't know how it happened. She thought it could have been spontaneous, but it was unlikely. Tears started running down her face as she looked at them. Children, playing adult games, were going to be left with adult consequences. She knew too many stories about young troths going bad. Infidelity, divorce -- these would be bad for Luna and Harry; but how do children know if their childhood friend will still be the person they want to spend the rest of their life with once they grow up? She hoped with all her heart that Harry would grow into a man that Luna could live with; and that Luna would do the same for Harry.

She looked towards the lighted office -- their marriage wasn't perfect, but no ones was. A hundred years or so ago a writer talking about the addition of "incompatibility" to the reason Americans got divorced said that if that were an acceptable reason then every marriage would be up for divorce, for men and women were incompatible. She had to admit that Larry wasn't the man she married. Only part of it could be blamed on that spell that hit him. Part of it she had to accept the blame for. Love is truly blind -- or at least passionate love -- and perhaps if she had seen his faults back then, they might not have been married. Of course, those faults didn't negate the mature love that had grown between them.

She looked at her children. Well, nothing to be done now, except to teach them to love each other. She would have to decide if she should tell Larry. There were pros and cons to doing that. She kissed them goodnight. Harry opened his eyes when she did. "Go back to sleep, darling. All is well."

- - -

Remus Lupin converted the couch to a bed in his small flat near Boston. It was a lonely life, but one he was used to. Things were actually not going too bad. He had a job where they were accepting of his days off requests. He had overheard some rumors about him having Aids. He smiled; he had a much more dangerous communicable disease. He had a friend from childhood who helped him out on full moon nights. John Collin was now a priest. Remus thought it amazing that he was so accepting of the fact that not only werewolves existed, but that Remus was one. Remus counted his blessings. Father John locked him in a very secure basement room of the old church. But he did more than that. He gave Remus emotional support and wouldn't allow any disparaging remarks about Remus to be uttered in his presence. Remus wondered if the grocer that he worked for was so easy with the days off because of Father John. If so, it was one more thing for which he was grateful.

He was tired. Not from his job -- there had been no shipments to unload today. No, he was tired because in two nights it would be the full moon. He had the next three days off. The next two days he would be more and more irritable, and lose his almost legendary patience. The day after, he would be in pain. After Father John brought him back to his flat, he would cast a warming charm on the bathtub, and soak for hours. He smiled. Sometimes it was good to be a wizard.

He was startled by a tap at the window. He opened it up to admit an owl carrying a parchment with a Gringotts seal.

"Hang on, I don't get many owls. Sorry, I have no owl treats, but would some crackers do? And here's some water. Will you be waiting for an answer? Yes, I see you are. Give me a moment to read this."

He really was cut off from the Wizarding world. It was necessary. They made it necessary. No matter what they said, as soon as it was known that he was a werewolf, he would be fired. And they wondered why werewolves turned dark.

The letter didn't say much. They wanted to see him in relationship to a mistake that Gringotts had made, and could he meet with them at his earliest convenience? He wrote back that he would be at Gringotts at nine the next morning. No reason to put it off. And the earlier he went, the more manageable his emotions.

- - -

Selene was up at her usual time, as was Harry. Unlike the days she had to go to the office, she kept her nightgown on, and put on a bathrobe. She greeted Harry happily. Harry looked at her, concern on his face.

"It's not Saturday, is it?"

"No, dear. I don't work on Wednesdays. Uncle Larry goes in to work today. And I spend the day with you and Luna."

"That sounds fun. What are we going to do?"

"Well, one thing that isn't so fun. We have to do laundry. But before that we have to have breakfast. Would you like to help me?"

Harry nodded and got right to work. He stopped at one point, and watched in fascination as the whisk beat the eggs without anyone moving it.

"Magic is neat. When can I do magic?"

"Would you like to try this?" He nodded, and she showed him how to do the cooking charm using his wand. He caught on after just a few tries; she was impressed.

"If there was any doubt before, Harry, this eliminates it. You are a wizard. And a pretty smart one, considering how quickly you picked that up. Harry -- one thing. Children aren't supposed to do magic. So don't tell anyone about this, please. We could both get in trouble." He agreed, still beaming at the praise. Selene knew that the rules were rather laxly enforced when it came to teaching children household charms. But if the Ministry wanted to get you, it was still technically against the law. Harry was setting the table, Larry was coming down the stairs dressed in business robes, and Luna was brushing her teeth when the owl came. Selene quickly got the breakfast on the table and took the Gringotts letter.

She glanced at the clock, and saw they had over an hour to get ready. She penned a quick reply saying that she, Harry, and Luna would be there.

They ate a quick breakfast, and she sent the kids to get ready, while she went to do the same. She had a good feeling about the meeting coming up.

- - -

Remus was at Gringotts well before the time of his appointment. Being more than punctual was a trait of which he was proud. He could even attribute at least one job to being first to apply. The other thing about being early was that sometimes you could get unpleasant events out of the way sooner, so as to brood about them the rest of day. Actually, he wasn't that bad; he was lonely, not melancholy. But if there was bad news, he wanted to know it as soon as possible. He recalled a song from around the time he was in school: Be always too soon be never too late/ at the time all bets must be laid -/ Gordan Lightfoot. He hadn't thought of that song in years. Damn, there he was remembering how long ago things happened. He hated thinking about the amount of time he had been out of school and all his dreams that had come to nothing. He wasn't that old, but sometimes he felt it.

He sat in the lobby, people watching. From the attitude of most of the people, there wasn't anything to worry about. One or two customers looked upset or worried; a couple (pure bloods, he was sure) acted arrogant; and one young mother with two kids just looked harried. She held the hand of her boy, who held the hand of his sister. While the mother was trying to walk the children would move away to the extent of their reach, then suddenly move back like they were on a spring. The children would collide, and laugh, and started doing it again, until the mother spoke sharply. They settled down,
and she talked to a goblin.

There was another dream that ran aground, having a family of his own.

A goblin came up to him and asked Remus to follow him. As they went down a hall, he saw the family ahead of him following another goblin. They were led into a room. When the goblin he was following reached the door he opened it and directed Remus in. His curiosity meter was definitely in the dead cat range. He found himself in a small office with a goblin, the blond woman, and two children. The little girl was saying, "But afterwards, can we see the dragons, pleeeaaassse!" The boy chimed in on the drawn out "please."

"That's enough. Both of you. Be quiet, now!" She looked up, and said, "Hello, Remus."

He stared at her, and then it hit him, "Selene Olivander! How are you? Do you know what this is all about? Are these yours? Uh, I'll be quiet now."

Selene laughed, and said, "Remus Lupin, let me introduce you to Mr. Hornswaggle. I'm Selene Lovegood, now, by the way. I had cause to ask Mr. Hornswaggle a question the other day, and he discovered a mistake had been made. You're here to help fix the mistake, I hope."

Remus realized that he was still no closer to finding out what he was doing here than when he came in. He turned to the goblin. "What sort of mistake was made?"

"It seems that the instructions in the will of James and Lily Potter weren't carried out."

He heart sank. He was going to profit from their deaths. He sighed. Had he known he would have stayed away.

The goblin continued, "You were listed as one of the people who was supposed to look out for the welfare of their child. In the event that his godfather or godmother weren't able to look after him, you, and several other people, were requested to come to a consensus on a home for Harry James Potter."

"WHAT! Who else? Who decided? And who decided to cut me out?"

"Remus, please calm down, you're frightening the children."

Remus suddenly stopped his rant. Why were children here? He looked at them closely for the first time. The girl looked at lot like her mother. The boy, though. . . . He was squinting at him, but looked afraid. Remus looked closer.

"Harry?" He looked at Selene. She nodded. Remus grabbed Harry for a hug, but the boy yelled, and jumped away. He was hiding -- Remus couldn't think of any other word -- behind Selene. She took the boy in her arms, and the girl rubbed his arm, and gave Remus a dirty look.

The goblin listed the deceased or incapasitated members of the list.

"Remus, Harry was being abused at Lily's sister's home. He has scars on his back, and as you just saw, he's afraid that people are going to hurt him when they move at him quickly. He's been doing better since he came to us earlier this week, but I'd really like to make it legal so no one can take him away. That's why I had Gringotts contact you. You can give this adoption your stamp of approval."

Remus looked at her and sat down heavily. "How did this happen."

"The Wizengamot decided to override the will and put Harry with his relatives. A few days ago, little miss mischief here -- have you met my daughter, Luna? -- decided to go get a husband. The details are still a bit hazy how she was able to find him, but it seems that when offered a chance to leave his relatives, he jumped at it. Since then, they've been inseparable. When I found the scars there was no way I was going to let this kid go back there. Besides, we've fallen in love with him."

Harry had calmed down, and slid off Selene's lap. He sat in a chair away from Remus, though.

"Mr. Lupin, I take it you have not been monitoring the welfare of Mr. Potter?" the goblin asked.

"No. Dumbledore never told anyone where he was. I only met Lily's sister once, and I never knew her husband's name. I was unable to find them."

The goblin made some notes and said, "Very well. Time is money. It is your decision where to place Mr. Potter. Please inform us once you have decided. Thank you." The door opened by itself, and Remus and Selene looked at it, a little startled by their sudden dismissal.

"Really, Mummy, it's magic."

- - -

Fifteen minutes after being shown out of the office, Selene, Remus, Harry, and Luna were in a Muggle restaurant having coffee or milk, depending on age.

"So, what can I do to convince you to let me have him."

"Let me talk to him."

"You want us to leave?"

"No, that won't be necessary. Harry, I'm a friend of your dad's. We went to school together. I'm sorry I startled you before. Let's start again. How do you do?" He held out his hand. Harry looked at it a moment and shook it. He wasn't squinting any more. Selene had given him his glasses back, explaining it was part of the disguise. She didn't want people to know who he was, or where he was staying. She had recounted her discovery that Malfoy and company appeared to be looking for him.

"Your aunt and uncle weren't very nice to you, were they?"

At first reluctantly, then faster and faster, he told about Dudley's bullying, how he let no one be his friend, how he was beaten, how he was bad so he never got any presents at Christmas, the chores, the clothes, the names. Selene rubbed his back, while Luna held his hand.

Harry appeared to be making himself upset. Remus handed him his glass of milk to distract him.

"So, how's married life treating you?" He asked, hoping to get a laugh or at least a smile. He didn't expect the sudden change in his attitude.

"It's great! I get lots to eat, we play games and read books, there's a snake who's going to be a mummy who lives in the back yard. We do the dishes /together/! It's great being Luna's husband!"

It wasn't exactly the answer he was expecting.

"Luna, do you like having Harry living with you? You get along alright?"

She gave him a look that questioned his sanity. "Where else would my husband live? And of course we get along. We're married."

Selene put her face in her hand. "We haven't quite got that settled yet. To be honest there have been a lot of other things that were more important than convincing them that they can't get married until they're 17."

"Last question, Harry, do you want to stay with Luna and her family? At least until you've grown up enough to get a job and get your own place? This is an important decision, Harry."

Harry didn't hesitate. "Yes. I want to stay. I never want to go back to Aunt Petunia and Uncle Vernon's house. I want to stay with Luna, and Aunt Selene, and Uncle Larry."

"Very well, Harry. You have my blessing. Selene, I'll go tell the goblins. Do you want to come?"

"Better just send me the paperwork. I should get these two back before they become too restless."

"Alright. One more thing, can I come and visit?"

"Of course, Remus. Any time. We really didn't have any time to catch up with each other. The house is called the Meadow on the Floo network."

"I'm not on the network. But I can get to a public access fireplace. I'll come and visit you."

"Don't come after Friday, though. We'll be on vacation for two weeks. We have an international portkey scheduled to go midmorning Saturday."

They spoke briefly about the upcoming trip, until they could no longer ignore the antics of the two children. They went back to the Leaky Cauldron, and went their separate ways.

- - -

Mad-Eye Moody was at the Little Whinging police station looking over the interviews with the neighbors. Nothing! How could an eight year old just vanish without a trace? Actually, he knew. But Dumbledore claimed that the boy was still alive. He had given Vernon and Petunia Dursley Veritaserum, and while he knew they hadn't committed murder, they were guilty of abuse. They now had a social service worker assigned to them. Their excessive pandering to their son -- who now had numerous accusations of bullying leveled against him, as his victims felt more secure coming forward while the police were around -- and their treatment of their nephew led a judge to decide they were close to being unfit parents. They would receive counseling or they would lose their son. From the report from the counselor they had a lot of issues to work through.

He finished the reports and decided to take one more look around the neighborhood. Maybe he missed something. He didn't think so, but it doesn't hurt to triple check.

- - -

Many books have been written about magic. How it works, why it works, why it doesn't work for Muggles, why there's an Occulus Reparo spell and a generalized Reparo spell, why complex magic never seems to work exactly as you expect, and so on. The relationship between magic and intent is, well not explained, but expounded upon (or more correctly -- obfuscated) in some very large tomes. It would be impossible to go into it in any depth here, but the short and sweet answer is that the more complex and powerful the spell, the more likely it is to not do what you want, especially if what you want isn't what you said. In other words, if what you said wasn't what you meant, then the chances of getting what you want are vanishingly small. The best reference for this is Murphy's Magical Laws and is found in most well stocked magical libraries. Usually misfiled.

The application of this bears directly on the events related here, because the wards around Privet drive were set up with a certain intention, and were complex and powerful. Dumbledore set up the wards as an extension of the protection given Harry by his mother. They were supposed to keep him safe. Whether they would have protected him from Death Eaters is a moot question, since they never found him and didn't get a chance to test the wards. What is well known to the police, Harry's adult friends, and a couple of Hogwarts employees -- but not the Headmaster -- is that they didn't protect Harry at all from the pain inflicted by his relatives.

Dumbledore tried to tie the wards into the idea of home and family and would say that as long as Harry had a home with the Dursleys the wards would protect him. What he never said to anyone, considering it of no importance, was that it took two tries to set the wards up. That may be because it was an extremely difficult and complex spell. Or it could be that the idea of /home and family/, when talking about Harry and that family, wasn't a concrete enough idea to anchor a cantrip, let alone a powerful ward. In the end, what Dumbledore built the wards on was the legal definition of /home/. Not that he knew, since that wasn't his original intention.

- - -

With a stroke of his pen Remus changed that definition.

- - -

Moody had just detected the remains of magic in the back yard. It was subtle and faint, and he wasn't surprised he had missed it the first time he was there. He was running possible forensic spells through his head when the wards fell. Efficacy aside, they were strong. Every window in the Dursley house, and every window facing the Dursley house for half a block around was blown in. Mad-Eye was thrown to the ground. He picked himself up and Apparated to Hogwarts.

- - -

Despite her desire to get the kids home, Selene had one more stop to make. She took the kids half way down Diagon Alley, and into a little shop. Harry looked around in awe at the shelf upon shelf of boxes.

"Good afternoon, Selene. To what do I owe this delightful visit?"

"Uncle Ollie! Uncle Ollie!" The little girl ran over to the old man and grabbed him in a hug.

"Luna, my dear! What a delightful surprise. And who is this young man?"

Before Selene could answer, Luna blurted out, "This is Harry Lovegood, my husband!"

While Selene rolled her eyes the old man held out his hand to Harry.

"Hello, young man. I am Oliver Olivander, Mrs. Lovegood's uncle. As her husband, you do know that it is your job to take care of her? I expect you to do your job."

Harry nodded, slightly frightened by this man. He looked him in the eyes, and saw that they were the same color as Luna's. "Be a good husband, and we'll always be friends, Mr. Potter." Selene gasped. Olivander chuckled.

Luna said, in her determined manner, "His name is Lovegood!"

"This seems like it would be an interesting story. Would you like to share it with me?"

"Not now. Why don't you come to dinner some day after we get back from vacation, two weeks from Saturday. I promise I'll tell you all about it. But meanwhile, I'd like to get them wands."

"You realize that they can't do magic?"

"Theoretically, school children can't do magic outside of school. They're not schoolchildren, yet." Selene answered with a smile.

"And also theoretically, they're too young to control magic, wand or not. It won't do any good."

"Harry cast a household charm this morning. He likes helping out around the house, and with very strict supervision," she looked at the two children, giving them the You Had Better Not Try My Patience look that parents are taught in parenting classes, "I would like to teach them. I've never felt that there was some magic age that all children had to be before learning magic. Harry's obviously ready. And Luna may be too."

"Very well, but if you get caught, keep my name out of it." The sting that might have come with his words was negated by his smile.

He put up a "Closed" sign on the door, and set to work on finding the children wands. After several attempts, Harry gave a cry, and sat down, holding his chest.

"What happened, Harry?" Selene asked, as she rushed to him.

"The purple line went away," Luna said.

"What purple line, sweatheart?"

"The purple magic line that went that way," she pointed vaguely south west.

"You could see the line? Can you see the other colors around Harry?" Luna nodded. "And the black lines?"

"They're still there."

Olivander had no theories to give her, and Harry seemed fine after a minute, so they went back to testing wands.

- - -

Albus Dumbledore, Headmaster, etc, sat at the head table in the Great Hall of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, and took a bite of a lemon tart with which he intended to finish his lunch. With him was Professor Severus Snape. He would be here a few more days. He had potions brewing that were dependent on the lunar cycle. But once the moon was full, Severus would be gone too.

Hagrid was on the grounds, of course. But he didn't come in too often for meals. He could look after himself. Just a few more days and the castle would be empty of everyone but him, the elves and the ghosts, and there was no reason to worry about the elves and the ghosts. They were fine without him. And that's what they would be. Come Monday he would be on the beach in Malta with Olympe Maxime and Igor Karkaroff. They would continue the 600+ year old tradition of the headmasters getting together after the term complaining about the governors, the teachers, and the students, and getting drunk.

As he bit into the tart, alarms started ringing. He looked up, fear evident on his face.

"What is that racket, Albus?" asked the potions instructor.

"It's the blood wards I set up around Harry. Either his aunt and cousin have just died, or . . . ."

"Or what?"

"Or Harry Potter did."

He raced to his office. Or rather, he moved as quickly as a 150 year old man could move up several flights of stairs after eating a large lunch. He entered the office, tailed by Snape. Various silvery pieces were scattered all over the floor, desk, and shelves.

"What happened?"

"Feedback! When the wards collapsed, all the detectors I had attuned to them had a massive amount of magic flow through them. That one recorded any attempt to Apparate to the house. That one detected any portkey activity. That one used to indicate the appearance of house elves there...."

"Did house elves ever actually go to his house? Was he that spoiled?"

"No, he lived in a completely Muggle way. No, it was in case some Death Eater sent a house elf to Harry, it would warn me. Of course, it was a very delicate device, and spent more than half it's time out of commission. If I were a suspicious person, I'd say the Hogwarts elves weren't very careful when dusting around it.

"But none of that matters! We have to find out what happened!"

"Why? While it's a shame if any wizard child is killed, why is Harry Potter so important? He's just a child of a particularly annoying set of parents."

"You never forgave Lily for getting higher Potions grades than you, did you, Severus. Yes, it's sad when any child dies. But you were there! You heard the prophecy! Harry's supposed to defeat the Dark Lord!"

"And he did. His job is done, and he doesn't matter a kneazle's whisker anymore."

"But he didn't defeat him! You know that your dark mark hasn't gone away! He's still out there, somewhere, plotting, planning, waiting! Like a snake in the grass, looking for an ankle to bite! Harry hadn't finished his job. Now what are we going to do!"

"Albus, get a grip! You know as well as I that prophecies are tricky things. Was Potter the only brat born at the end of July whose parents had defied the Dark Lord three times? Are you sure the prophesy didn't just apply to what happened at Godric's Hollow? You. Have. To. Get. A. Hold. Of. Yourself!"

"You're right. I need to. We don't have all the facts. It may just be the Muggles who are dead."

At that point, Mad-Eye Moody entered the room.

"Albus! I'm just back from the Dursleys. The wards have fallen."

Snape answered sarcastically, "Thank you for that bit of old news."

"Were the Dursleys alright?" Dumbledore asked.

"There was some minor damage to the house, but they sounded alright when I left."

Dumbledore put his face in his hands, and said a very un-headmaster-like word.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

The law firm of Badger and Hackle ("Any lawyer can help you if you're innocent. It takes a great lawyer to help you when you're guilty.") was stolen without permission from Minnesota Public Radio's Morning Show.
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