AN: This is a full reworking of my first posted story, Fighting Back the Muggle Way. Fans of that story will see some themes, ideas, and even lifted paragraphs from that story in this one. But as a whole it's a totally different story. After that plot hole filled story I went back to the Outline stage and started over. I wrote six chapters, over 80k words, and I hated it. So I scrapped it and went back to the outline stage again.
This time I started with two bullet points. One was "Harry Potter gets out of school his fifth year and tries to get his shit together". The last bullet point was "Harry Steel, having won the war, decides to start Steel Security and Insurance in New York full time with the ICW's backing and support." Then I filled in all the bullet points I needed to get there and nothing more. I had to start with a tougher Harry. Someone who was already getting his shit together before things get even more complicated. I had to make Tonks his adopted big sister before the story really gets going.
I also had streamline the story where I could. I bounce back and forth between good guys and bad guys so you get both sides. I cut out a lot of the talking bit and just filled in what needed to be said to keep the story going. Also the story keeps going when we're not watching. That means plot happens off screen and the characters will bring it up as they go. Also people had to die. Unlike my first attempt there is going to be a lot of character death in this story. The UK magical world is about to get a lot smaller. I try not to kill off too many good guys unless it's necessary for the plot.
If you're a fan of FBtMW and you end up not liking this story you can always go back and reread that one. I am leaving it up and have zero plans to take it down. I'm not ashamed of it. For a first time story I got pretty far before it failed. There are ideas and lines of dialogue I love in that story. Some of which I took for this story.
If you have any questions feel free to leave them in the reviews or PM me. I will try to answer them as best I can.
VERY IMPORTANT TIME SHIFT INFORMATION: This story takes place in a shifted up timeline. It's the same universe, everything up to book five took place the same way, but everything takes place 20 year later then they did in the books. That means Harry was born in 2000. He got his scar in 2001. He started Hogwarts in 2011. He ended his fifth year in 2016 (something I got wrong in FBtMW). His parents were 90's kids not 70's kids. Dates and times matter in this story. Each time I move to a new scene the date and the time, if it matters, will be marked to show the passage of time.
June 3, 2016 - June 20, 2016
Harry Potter was having a better summer than he expected after the year he had at school. It didn't start out that great. He came home from his fifth year at Hogwarts down a godfather, and knowing he was marked for death thanks to his bat brained divination teacher. But after the first few days things got unexpectedly better. Starting when he got to his aunt's house. Surprisingly, the Order's warnings paid off. The added threat that there was a fully trained wizard within yelling distance killed the last little bit of balls his uncle had. He was left alone for the most part. He was still required to do all of the chores around the house but he was being fed more.
The first two nights back home he had terrible nightmares. He relieved that night in the ministry over and over again. He saw his godfather fall through the vale more times then he could count. It was like he was locked in a loop of pain and guilt. But on the third night something inside of him snapped. He watched his godfather fall through the veil for what felt like the millionth time and then his brain just stopped the memory from playing again and his common sense kicked in. It was not his fault.
It was Dumbledore's fault for not paying attention to him and leaving him on his own to begin with. It was Snape's fault for not teaching him to close off his mind. If anything he made it worse. It was also Snape's fault for not helping them when they came to him that afternoon. They tried to go to an adult and what did they get? Nothing! No it was left to a group of school children to go stop the death eaters.
It was also not his fault his godfather died, it was Sirius's own damn fault! Taunting that crazy bitch like that in a fight. What was he thinking? He was out of practice, out matched, and instead of keeping his head down and fighting for his life he was taunting her. He died because he was cocky. Too cocky in a fight to the death. This was not the school yard. It was life and death, and Sirius fucked up. Sirius died because he was barely an adult when he got out of school and went to Azkaban and when he got out of prison he was still an immature 20 year old. As harsh as it was to say, his godfather was dead because he couldn't grow the fuck up.
If anything was Harry's fault it was that his friends got hurt. That was on him. It was on his head that he knowingly took a group of school children into a fight with Death Eaters. But they all volunteered. They knew they were walking into a fight with adult dark wizards. And if he was honest with himself he was proud of his friends more then he felt guilty for bringing them along. A bunch of school kids, taught by him and Hermione, outmatched Tom's best fighters. His inner circle Death Eaters. And they had surprise on their side against school children.
It was that thought that made Harry smirk. If that was the best he had then the dark lord was fucked. With a bit more training his friends could handle the lot of them. The key was not stunning them. Every time they stunned a Death Eater their dark friends got them back up and they went right back into the fight. He needed something better. Something more permanent. Something easy to cast. Something that took almost no power to cast, but took a Death eater out of the fight, hopefully permanently.
It's wasn't a game anymore. It was a war, and in war, you kill or you get killed. And he was tired of seeing his friends and family members getting hurt and killed. And for what? They arrested those death eaters and a week from now they would be right back out on the street raping and killing again. The Death Eaters were a pack of wild dogs. Created by a system that allowed Purebloods to do as they wished with zero repercussions. Well the next time he faced off with a pack of Death Eaters there were going to be repercussions for those masked fucks. He was done playing around. If he was going to be forced to fight this war, then he was going to fight it, and fight it to the death.
Harry sat up in bed and flipped on his small desk light. He opened his school trunk and dug out his school books. He started with first year charms book and wrote down ever simple spell he could use in a fight. By morning he had a good list of easy to cast spells that could maim or better yet kill someone. The idea being you couldn't just undo the damage done to a downed Death Eater.
Spells like the cutting curse, the blasting hex, and the bone breaking hex aimed at the right part of a death eater's body was just as effective as the killing curse and when he was brought before the wizengamot for murder, because let's face it he was going to be arrested the second he killed a few of these shit heads, he could tell the truth. He was defending himself with school yard hexes. Even under truth potion he could list off the spells and none of them were more advanced than fifth year.
But more than that he knew the key to winning was not getting hit. To do that he needed to be fitter than he was. From that day on he started a strict regimen of stretching to get limber and push ups, sit ups, and squats for strength in the morning. Using his cousins computer he looked up a bunch of crossfit workouts that he could do in the backyard. When he was finish with his chores outside he would head into the basement where Dudley's boxing equipment sat collecting dust. He followed the instruction on YouTube and spent an hour every day doing curls, bench presses, deadlifts, and squat lifts. He finished his weight session with pull up until his arms felt like they were going to fall off. At night, right before bed he practiced the wand movements for each spell with a twig he found or he practiced dodging and rolls in the backyard. Every night he fell into bed feeling like he was going to die and the next morning he woke up feeling 200% better than the day before.
Because of his magic, improved diet, and workout routine he made huge leaps and bounds in a short time. In a week he gained ten pounds of muscle and two inches of height putting him at 5'7" and 125lbs. It was a big improvement from what he looked and felt like before he started. He also felt more alert and ready for a fight. He carried his wand rubber banded to his left bicep under his t-shirt sleeve and he practiced drawing it a few dozen times a day. By the end of his second week he was up to 5'8" and 130lbs. He also added running to his daily workouts.
Every morning he would come out of the house at sunrise. He would have a small chat with the guard out front, and depending on the guard he would run up and down the block or if the guard was Tonks they would both run to the park and use the running track. On those days they would stop off at the convenience store in town and pick up a few dozen protein bars, beef jerky, and protein shakes to hold him over until her turn in the rotation came back around every three days. On those runs and shopping trips he took time to talk to Tonks. He found himself looking forward to these trips.
Tonks was becoming the big sister he didn't know he needed. They talked about everything from spells, and his idea for protecting himself in the next fight, to life and hobbies or lack of hobbies in Harry's case, and a better name for Tonks then Tonks which felt oddly too formal. They ended up settling on Dora. Harry gave her his vault key and a letter for the goblins and she took out enough gold and pound notes to keep him in protein shakes and tracksuits which were all he wore now until the end of the summer.
Tuesday June 21, 2016
On Tuesday of his third week of summer he came out of the house and Dora ditched her invisibility cloak into her small backpack with a smile. She was dressed in yoga pants, sports bra, track jacket, and running shoes.
"Watcher Dora." Harry said with a smile.
"Watcher Harry. I got you a few more pairs of track pants and some bigger t-shirts. You're pushing the limits of a men's size small at this point kid. I also got you this." She said handing him a silver smart phone in a rubber case attached to an arm band and a set of earbuds.
"Nice." Harry said looking at the smartphone.
"It's a Mage Plus Pro like mine. It's powered by ambient magic so as long as you keep it on you most of the day it should always be charged. I signed you up for a two year contract. It costs only a galleon a month that comes right out of your vault but you have unlimited internet access so you don't have to use your cousins computer as well as unlimited talk and text." Dora said.
"I can't believe something like this exists." Harry said putting the phone in his jacket pocket.
"Over here in the UK it's technically illegal. I had to get that from America where it's 2016 and not 1916. I hate it here. I'm telling you Harry. One day I'm going to pack my shit and move to the states. As the world moves forward at the speed of light the Magical UK moves at the pace of shit rolling down a small hill." She said making them both laugh as they started running.
"Dora, when I'm done fighting this war I'm running as far away from here as I can get." Harry said.
"Really? And what if Hermione gets a job teaching at the castle?" Dora asked.
"What does that matter?" Harry asked trying to play it cool.
"Please Harry, don't lie. You'll hurt yourself tripping over your tongue. You and I both know you love that girl." Dora said easily keeping pace with him.
"Even if I did, and I'm not admitting to anything! Ron would kill me." Harry said.
"Really? Is he dating Hermione?" Dora asked.
"No, but he's had his eye on her since first year." Harry said.
"And he's never asked her out?" Dora asked.
"Nope. In fact he spends most of his time picking fights with her." Harry said.
"Right. Harry, as your self appointed big sister allow me to explain something to you. Hermione is what we like to call a late bloomer in the looks department. She's cute as hell now but in the next few years she is going to go from cute to hot. The second that happens every boy in school is going to be all over her. You have a very small window to work with right now. You need to lock that girl down now. At the moment you're a better catch then she is. In a few years she's going to be one of the hottest girls in school and you're dumb ass is going to be sitting there one day asking how your tomboy of a best friend became a hottie. Trust me Harry, I didn't always have my powers. I was a late bloomer too." Dora said.
"Right. But what about Ron?" Harry asked.
"What about him? He's a moron that will only drag you down in the end. He's going to end up knocking up some poor dumb pureblood or halfblood girl. At that point Molly will make him marry the girl and work for his father at the ministry. He'll end up just like his father. Married to some harpy of a fat woman and having ten kids he can't afford to raise in a house held together with spit and duct tape." Dora said.
"Juses Dora. Tell me how you really feel about the Weasels." Harry said looking shocked.
"Hey don't give me that look. Molly is a living terror. Ask the five adult children that have all run as far away from her as fast as they could. She's so against Pureblood Privilege but she sends her kids to Hogwarts at the pureblood price. She shops in the alley with her house ring to pay half price for everything. And her husband is the head of the department responsible for keeping Muggle tech out of the magical world. I'm telling you Harry, one day your friend is going to turn on you because you can live out in the real world and he can't walk down the street without getting hit by a car. It happens to every muggleborn and muggle raised kid that goes to Hogwarts." She said.
"How can you be so sure?" Harry said.
"It happened to me Harry. I was best friends with Rebecca Greengrass, Daphne's older sister. As we got closer to graduating and she spent a bit of time at my house over the summer and it shocked the hell out of her. She started distancing herself from me after that. When we got back to school for our seventh year she stole my boyfriend and fucked with my entry to the Auror academy. We ended up in an honor duel where I wiped the floor with her. He will turn his back on you Harry. They always do. Once they really get a good look at the real world they freak out and run back to the life they know. It's like the Amish. They let them out to see the world and when they see how big and advanced it is they always go back and they cut ties with you." Dora said sounding sad.
"Yeah but we've been through too much to just turn on each other." Harry said waving her off.
"Has he always had your back?" She asked.
"No. There was a point back a year ago when I was entered into the triwizard and he turned his back on me…" Harry trailed off.
"It's the same with Jobs in the magical world. You think any of your muggle born friends are going to get jobs in the magical UK? Where? Ministry jobs go to Pureblood family members. The stores in the alley and Hogsmeade are fully staffed. Outside those stores there are only a few places left and they have people. The truth is Hogwarts graduates between 40 and 60 students a year. Half of them are Muggleborn. There are only about 20 magical job openings a year in the UK. Half of those kids ain't getting jobs Harry. Can you guess which half is getting fucked?" Dora said.
"My mind is blown right now. Why the fuck don't we know this?" Harry asked.
"Because it's up to magical family members to explain it. Besides, you can't go scaring off the Muggleborns from the school. How are they going to pay three times the tuition and fees so that the Weasleys can send all their kids to school?" Dora said in a sarcastic tone.
"Fuck me the UK magical world is messed up." Harry said.
"No shit. It's why if this war get bad like the last one, I'm out." She said.
"What do you mean if? It's going to get fucking bad Dora. The dark lords back, he has most of his death eaters and the purebloods in charge of the ministry are content to let them kill all the Muggle borns they want." Harry said.
"True. We're just waiting for the shit to hit the fan but as bad as it is, it's not as bad as the first war. There's just not that many wizards alive anymore. Think about it this way, how many orphan school mates do you know?" She asked.
"A lot. Including me there are about twenty I can name just in Gryffindor." Harry said.
"Right, well back during the last war every one of those orphans had two parents that fought and died in the war. It happened on both sides. The Death Eaters killed more people but they took losses too. I'd say the war has the potential to be half as bad as the last one. Then again we had a minister during the first war that let the Aurors do what needed to be done to fight those fuckers. Now we're ordered to fight killing curses with school yard jinxes. I'm glad we talked about the lethality of OWL level spells. I've spread that information around to the troops. They've all been practicing spell placement. As you said a blasting curse to the head kills just as well as an AK." Dora said as they slowed to a jog.
"I've been practicing my dodging more. It helps keep you on your toes." Harry said trying out a boxing warm up of air punching like the YouTube video said.
"Dodging is good but if you're outnumbered and ambushed dodging won't do shit." Dora said stretching out her legs on a nearby bench.
"Well, I know I'm going to be stuck fighting this war. I just hope everyone makes it out alive." Harry said as they walked to the corner store.
"You and me both kid. You and me both." Dora said.
Later after Harry was finished with his chores and before he started his afternoon work out he sent Hedwig off with a note to Hermione with his phone number. So far the little phone had been a lifesaver. He spent most of the day listening to the playlists Dora downloaded on his phone. He didn't know much about music, and growing up with the Dersules didn't help much. His uncle only listened to conservative talk radio, his cousin listened to techno and dubstep, and his aunt only listened to Celine Dion and the like. So far he heard about twenty songs he loved and at least three times that number that were good. He kept going back to AC/DC. He loved the driving beats and raw screaming vocals. When he hit the weights he cranked up the volume and let the music drive his workout. By the time he took a shower and dropped into bed at ten his phone rang.
"Hello?" Harry asked.
"Harry, it's me Hermione." She said with a smile.
"Hey Hermione, it's good to hear your voice. How has your summer been going?" Harry asked.
"Good. I've done all my homework and I've been practicing my wand movements. How about you. It's cool that you got a phone." She said excitedly which made him smile. Only Hermione could be this excited about homework.
"Good. I've been working out a lot, eating more, and practicing my dodging and spell work as well. Dora has been a big help. She runs with me every three days and she bought me better clothes and this phone." Harry said.
"You and Dora have gotten close over the last two weeks?" Hermione asked in a hard to read tone. He wasn't sure but he thought it sounded like jealousy. Maybe Dora was right. He needed to step up now while he still had the chance.
"Yeah. She's like the big sister I never knew I needed. She really took me under her wing so to speak." Harry said seeing how she reacted.
"Good! That's really good Harry!" She said a little too happy.
"Yeah. She told me something today and I think she's right. She said I needed to ask you out now before you get too hot and all the boys in school start asking you out. And she's right. Every year we go off on summer break, three months pass, and the next time I see you you're twice as beautiful as you were at the start of summer. I figure this has to be my last chance to ask you out before you're too hot for a poor ugly bloke like me. So what do you say, you willing to lower your standards and date me?" Harry asked feeling confident thanks to his talks with his big sister.
"I don't know what to say Harry. I… yes. I would like that very much." She said with a giddy smile that he could feel over the phone.
"Awesome! I can't believe you said yes." Harry said.
"I can't believe you asked. I've been waiting for five years. It's about damn time Potter." Hermione said laughing.
"I was trying to be all noble and not get in Ron's way but I gave the boy all these years trying to let him be happy. It's about time I tried to be happy. He's too dumb to ask. I'm not." Harry said.
"Harry, you think I like Ron? I can't stand him. If you two weren't friends I'd never talk to that fool." She said.
"Yeah. Well Dora explained a few things to me about muggleborns and purebloods and what happens to friendships. That's something else I have to tell you. And your not going to like it." Harry said.
"Like what?" She asked.
Harry and Hermione spent the next hour talking about the things Dora told him. The more he talked the more he could hear his best friend's heart break as her rose colored glasses cracked more and more. By the time he was done he could hear the tears in her voice and it made him wish he could hold her.
"I can't believe, after seven years of studying magic, I'm not going to be able to use my magic when we graduate in two years." Hermione said softly.
"Well maybe, but I doubt you're not going to find a job. You're Hermione Granger, knower of all things magical, slayer of old books, and goddess of the arcane. I bet you'll have ten job offers waiting for you when we graduate. You saw the DoM. You think they care about blood purity? They hire the best of the best and Mione, that's you. There's also teaching. Everyone of the teachers at Hogwarts is old. How many more years of teaching do you think Mcgonagall is going to do before she retires? Ten? Flitwick's dueling championships were won before the second World War. I'm also hoping something bad happens to Snape during this war. That's three teaching spots. All of which I bet you could take the Mastery exams for all three subjects tomorrow. You have nothing to worry about. I on the other hand, need to start thinking about what I want to do if I make it out the other side of this war." Harry said.
"I don't like that kind of talk Harry. You're going to make it out of the war. You are the most powerful mage in decades. And you know how to fight. Besides. There can't be more than 200 death eaters. There are that many Aurors. I think we'll be fine. Now onto more important conversation. When can we set up a date?" Hermione asked.
"Well, like every year I'm stuck here. And if Ron finds out I asked you out I know I'm not going to the Borrow this year. Maybe I can talk Dora into sneaking me out one night. Maybe we can have dinner somewhere nice? If not you might have to come here. You think you can swing that?" Harry asked.
"I could always pack a picnic basket and come over for lunch." Hermione said coyly.
"I like the sound of that. Let me talk to Dora and see if she can spring me. If not any chance to see you would be great." Harry said without a thought. He was just telling the truth. He missed her.
"Okay, I have to give my mum's phone back. I'll talk to you tomorrow?" She asked.
"Yeah. This is my personal magical cell phone. Call me any time. I miss you." Harry said.
"I miss you too." She said hanging up.
Harry smiled and set his phone on his desk as he laid back in bed. Not too far away in Southampton Hermione knocked on her parent's door softly and her mum called her in. She found her parents in bed. Her dad was asleep but her mum was sitting up in bed reading a book. Hermione walked over to her Mum and handed her iPhone back to her.
"You talked a long time tonight." Her mum asked with a knowing smile. Emma Granger was a carbon copy of her daughter with long brown hair, soft brown eyes, and a caring smile.
"Yeah. Harry told me a bunch of stuff he found out about the wizarding world. Some of it was hard to hear. He also asked me out." Hermione said trying to slip that last one by her mum.
"He asked you out?" Emma asked excitedly.
"Yes. Oh Mum I've been waiting for this day for years." Hermione said wanting to jump up and down. Her mum pulled her into a big hug.
"I'm so happy for you. What are you going to do on your date? Do you need me to drive you?" Emma asked.
"He's going to see if he can get a friend to drive him over to our town. If not, can I go over there and have lunch with him?" Hermione asked.
"Whatever you need sweetie. Do you know where he lives?" Emma asked.
"Can you two do this tomorrow? Some of us are trying to sleep." Dan Granger said half asleep.
"Sorry Daddy." Hermione said.
"Dan, our little girl got herself a date." Emma said.
"That's nice. Make sure you bring the boy over to the house so I can clean my shotgun in front of him." Dan said.
"Daddy!" Hermione said.
"What? It's a right of passage in this family. Ask your mum what her father did to me when I came over to the house to pick her up for our first date. But do it tomorrow." Dan said rolling over and trying to get back to sleep.
"It's true. Daddy loved to scare off my boyfriends." Emma said.
"Grandpa? I can't believe it." Hermione said looking shocked.
"We'll talk in the morning. Your father need his beauty rest." Emma said.
"Damn right I do! These good looks don't come without a price." Dan said setting both Granger women off.
Wednesday June 22, 2016.
Harry went about his routine Wednesday. The only change was an hour long chat with Hermione over the phone. Her mum got her a prepaid phone to use for a few days until they could order a Magic cell phone like Harry had. Harry loved every minute of his hour long talk with his best friend and when he hung up he ended the call with 'love you'. He didn't even think about it, the words just came out. When he thought about it after the call he just shrugged. He did love her. He went to sleep that night with a big smile on his face.
Thursday June 23, 2016
Things got weird Thursday when he got the mail after his morning run. There was a small package for him. Well not technically him. The package was addressed to Hairy Porter and there was no return address. The package was in a small padded manila envelope. He tucked the envelope into his jacket pocket and handed over the mail to his aunt. She took the letters with barely a second glance in his direction. Harry ran up to his room and opened the the envelope. He found a folded up note and a small matchbox sized black box. He opened the note and things became much clearer as he read.
Dear Lord Potter,
You are not safe. You are being manipulated by Dumbledore. The house is bugged. Take the box to the basement, set it on the floor, and place your thumb on the top to expand it. You will find more instructions inside.
Head Goblin Ragnok, Gringotts bank.
Harry read the short note three times to make sure it said what it said. At first he wanted to laugh it off. This was a joke. It had to be a joke right? Then the doubts started to slip in. His mind went over all of his experiences in the wizarding world and he came to three conclusions. One, goblins don't joke. Two, he didn't trust the old man or any of the wishy washy explanations for all the shit the old man put him through over the years. And three, if those two things were true then it meant the whole note was true. Harry grabbed the box, the note, and the envelope and walked downstairs into the basement as calm as he could. He set the box on the floor and pressed his thumb to the top. He felt a small prick and the box glowed before it expanded into a black trunk. He popped the latches and opened the trunk.
Inside was and expanded trunk that was mostly empty aside from a few things at the top tray attached to the lid of the trunk and a letter taped to the inside lid of the box. Harry grabbed the letter and opened it. Inside the envelope he found two letters. One addressed to him and one addressed to Dora. He opened his letter and again found a short and to the point note.
Dear Lord Potter,
With the death of Sirius Black his will was read. In it he named you the sole beneficiary, and he granted you the title of Lord Black. We sent you an owl regarding the documents you needed to fill out. We got a reply from Albus Dumbledore stating that he is your magical guardian and that we were to fold the title of Lord Black into the Potter estate and not bother you anymore. This raised a lot of red flags. You are 15 years old, you have taken your OWLs, and even if you did have a magical guardian we would still need to have you sign the paperwork in blood to have it be legal and binding. We started looking into this matter and we found dozens of inconsistencies with your accounts. The headmaster has taken hundreds of thousands of galleons from your accounts over the years.
We sent investigators out to look for you and we located you at your current residence. We did a scan of the wards and found listening wards up around the house and weak blood wards that could fall at any minute and offer very little real protection. We also detected ward alarms set by known dark wizards. The Death Eaters know where you live. They are waiting for the blood wards to come down. Our best estimate is that the house will be attacked the minute the wards come down.
We need to see you ASAP. We only have until the end of the month to have you sign the documents for the Black Will. If you do not, then the title and substantial holdings of the Black Household go to the next in line. Draco Malfoy. We have spotted your guard detail and we know Miss Tonks has the morning shift on Friday. Inside this trunk you will find a set of ward stones, a wand signature box, three doses of compilation potion, a localized ward disruptor, owl treat, dog collar, and the keys to a black BMW M3 parked across the street from the park.
As soon as you are done reading this letter turn on the disruptor. That will allow you to talk freely. Tonight, dose the muggles with the potion and tell them to pack their bags. Send them away. As soon as you sign the paperwork the wards on that house will come down. To protect the house place the four ward stones around the house today. Pack everything you have in this trunk. It will expand and shrink with your thumb print. Tomorrow morning fed your owl the treat, it will turn her into a small dog for the next few days. It's a harmless treat sold by the Weasley twins. Then take your dog for a walk and get Miss Tonks to follow you to the park. Hand her the letter with her name on it as well as this one. She will know what to do from there. If any of these plans fail call my office on this number. Good luck Lord Potter.
Head Goblin Ragnok, Gringotts bank.
Again, Harry had to read the letter three times to get his brain working. He was being spied on. He was being robbed. And the Death Eaters knew where he lived. Harry grabbed the small pager looking device off the tray and read the small post it note attached. He turned on the device and clipped it to his waist band. As soon as he turned it on he could feel the air around him change. He grabbed the ward stones which looked like small river rocks and put them in his pocket. He shrank the trunk and put it in his pocket along with all the letters.
Harry went about his day like he normally did. In fact, if you were watching him, you wouldn't even notice anything out of the ordinary. He even waited to drop the ward stones around the house until he cut the grass. That evening he made dinner as usually and added a small vial of clear potion to each of his relatives drinking glasses before he added their drink of choice. When he sat down to dinner he watched as they took a sip from their glasses and their eyes glazed over.
"Raise your hand." Harry said and they did.
"Finish off your drink. Then finish off your meal like normal. After dinner I want you to each pack a bag and all of your easy to carry valuables and money. Tomorrow, when I leave the house I want you to pack the car and head to aunt Marge's house. Uncle you are to phone your work and inform them you had a family emergency. Take your time getting to aunt Marge's house. I want you to stay there over the weekend. Think of this as a vacation. Nod your heads if you understand my instructions." Harry said in a clam tone. They all nodded before going back to their dinner.
After dinner Harry did the dishes as his family packed. When he got to his room he expanded the trunk and packed all of his new clothes as well as his personal belongings into the the new trunk. He left all of his school things in his school trunk. Hedwig watched him pack confused. Harry saw the look and smiled. He grabbed the treat, collar, and leash out of the trunk and sat on the bed.
"Hey girl. This is going to sound crazy but I need you to eat this treat. It's going to turn you into a dog for a few days. Shits about to hit the fan and I suspect it's going to be hard to stay inconspicuous with a beautiful white owl on my shoulder." Harry said in a calm tone of voice, to which Hedwig looked at him like he had two heads.
"I know it's going to be weird. But it has to be done." Harry said holding out the treat.
Hedwig hopped out of her cage and stood on the desk. She ate the treat and nothing happened. Then she started shaking. She started to shake violently. She let out a squawk and it turned into a dog whine as her form shifted into a white Jack russell terrier with black ears and a black tail. She looked confused for a few seconds before she stood up, stretched out, and shook herself out. She took a few minutes to look at her new body. She seemed transfixed by her wagging tail and her soft expressive mouth. She let out a small bark that scared her which made Harry laugh.
"Try to keep it down girl. We're undercover. You look so cute." Harry said picking her up and petting her. Hedwig loved every second of it.
Harry cleaned her cage out and added it to the trunk. He took out the wand box and the car key and set them on his desk. He talked to Hermione on the phone. He didn't tell her what was going on but he did say he was going to try to stop by her place in the next few days. That night Harry slept fitfully. He didn't know if it was nerves, or the thought that the Headmaster was using him, or Hedwig twitching and kicking in her sleep on his chest.
Friday June 24, 2016
Harry was up before the sun that morning. He dressed in one of his nicer black Adidas tracksuits, over a black t-shirt, and his white trainers. He packed the protein bars and shakes he had left over in his black drawstring gym bag along with the letters, the wand box, and the car keys. He shared a package of beef jerky with Hedwig as he put the collar and leash on her. At seven he grabbed his bag, the black match box, his money bag with his vault key, and walked out the front door. He waited a second and Dora dropped her cloak. She was in her black yoga outfit and track jacket. She eyed the dog as Hedwig peed on the front bush.
"Hedwig?" Dora asked pointing to the dog.
"Yeah. The twins sent me owl treats." Harry said as they stretched.
"Funny. How is she taking it?" Dora asked.
"Better than I thought she would. I think she likes being covered by soft fur." Harry said leading them to the park at a nice jog so Hedwig could keep up with her small legs.
"You talk to Hermione?" Dora asked with a smile.
"Yeah. I asked her out." Harry said looking distracted.
"You okay kid?" She asked.
"Yeah. Look Dora, you trust me right?" Harry asked.
"I do little bro. What's going on?" She asked stopping him.
"I need you to look at these letters." Harry said pulling the three letters out of his bag as they took a seat on the park bench.
Dora took the letters with confusion and paged through them. As she read her eyes kept getting bigger and bigger. By the time she got to the letter addressed to her she was pale white and her mouth was hanging open. She took a minute and closed her eyes as she sat back on the bench. Harry held his new dog and scratched her head. Dora nodded her head as if coming to a decision before she opened her eyes and looked at Harry. He saw a confident look in his big sisters face.
"You got the wand box?" She asked.
"Right here." Harry said taking it out. Dora opened the box and tossed her wand inside.
"Add your wand and hand me the car keys." She said confidently.
"Sure sis. Also, thanks for sticking by me." Harry said putting his wand into the box and handing her the black key fob.
"What the fuck else am I going to do? You're a good kid Harry and I promised at the beginning of the summer that I was going to look after you. Now close that up, tuck it back in your bag, and lets go." She said standing up.
Dora's eyes scanned around the park and she spotted the new BMW parked on the corner. They jogged over to the car and she opened the door with the key fob. They got in and she started the car with a grin.
"I always wanted one of these." Dora said putting the car in gear and pulling out of the spot violently as the twin turbo straight six roared to life as she fed it gas.
"If we get out the other end of this I'll buy you two of them." Harry said.
"You won't have to. The letter said you're the new head of House Black. Let me back into the family and we'll call it even. With a house name I can shop in the alley for half price." Dora said.
"The old man is going to be pissed at you for this." Harry said.
"So fucking what. Let him blow it out his old ass. He's luck I don't turn his ass in to my boss for his little turkey club." Dora said with a smirk.
"Oh trust me. If he's been fucking with my family name and money then I'm going to the papers. He'll be lucky to still be headmaster after I'm done with him. I'm sick of being everyone's doormat. That shit ends right now." Harry said.
"That's the spirit kid." Dora said jumping onto the M4 heading for London.
"Where are we going?" Harry asked.
"A muggle bank in downtown London. It must be a Gringotts branch they use for dealing with muggles." Dora said pulling out her phone.
"Who you calling?" Harry asked as they ran into the start of the morning commuter traffic.
"My Mum. She's a lawyer that deals in both worlds. You're going to need her for this. She's the best at what she does and she hates the headmaster as it is." Dora said putting the phone to her ear.
"Hello Mum? No I'm fine for now. Can you meet me at a bank in downtown London? No I'm not in trouble, but Harry Potter is. Yes. No I'm not joking. The headmaster has been stealing from him for years and the goblins found out. It's a big mess. The goblins are on his side of this but I figured it would be good to have a lawyer on hand. I'll text you the address. Thanks mum." Dora said hanging up. She shot off a quick text and looked back at Harry.
"She'll be there. Probably faster then we will. My folks live in the city." Dora said with a smile.
"That's cool." Harry said petting Hedwig in his lap.
"You nervous?" She asked.
"Yeah. I don't know what the goblins are going to tell me." Harry said.
"Why don't you pair your phone with the radio's bluetooth? Play something to get us through this traffic." Dora said with a smile as she patted him on the shoulder.
Harry followed the directions on the stereo and soon AC/DC's Highway to Hell was blaring out of the speakers.
"I bit on the nose don't you think?" Dora asked.
"True. What about this?" Harry asked playing Lynyrd Skynyrd Free Bird.
"We really need to talk about your on the nose DJ skills. No don't change it. Let it ride. It will get us through the traffic faster." Dora said singing along to the song until she saw he wasn't.
"What, you don't know the wards?" Dora asked.
"I'm nervous." Harry said.
"So? What's singing have to do with being nervous? Now sing boy. Sing like your life depends on it." She said making him smile and join in.
"There you go. You got your air guitar ready for the big solo?" She asked.
"I do. And Dora, thanks for everything." He said hugging her.
"Any time kid. Now don't fuck up the air guitar solo. It's a rookie mistake." Dora said.
For the next hour they sang and rocked out all the way to the city. Harry's smile didn't fall once and Dora felt proud. Like she just leveled up in big sibling. She took the new stat points and put them all into protection. She was going to see this through to the end. She was committed. She looked at Harry and she felt zero regrets.