Hi eveyone! Because ya'll were so patient for the last chapter I tried to do this one extra quick, hope you enjoy and please do review!
Freedom from Lycanthropy!
Equality or Equity? They have neither!
I am here today with Lord Harry Potter and Lord Sirius Black who are to reveal some serious plans that they have for the coming year and the wizengamot as well as personal views they hold and what they wish to do.
The Editor: Lord Potter, if you could begin with a brief outline of your agenda.
Lord Potter: Harry, please. I believe that equality is stipulation for all, those with lycanthropy deserve to be treated with respect and understanding. My Godfather and I have several idea's on how to offer them assistance, one of those ways being through the wizengamot. Our agenda is a simple one; every person, creature or being deserves respect and we wish to give it to them. We're merely starting with people with lycanthropy because its an issue that's personal and close to our hearts.
The Editor: I think that is an admirable effort, what do you hope to bring to them?
Lord Potter: We aim to provide support to the people who are afflicted with it, most find it extraordinarily difficult to stay in a job for more than 6 months and as soon as the employers find out it's a 95% chance that they're forced to leave. I want to bring more awareness to those without lycanthropy, to see how their actions affect the living of those with it.
The Editor: And am I to understand that you have found ways to positively effect were- I apologise people with lycanthropy while they are in their wolf form?
Lord Potter: That is correct, you see my uncle Remus Lupin is a person with this condition. He was attacked when he was only five years old and found it increasingly difficult to function in a world that is so against him for something that was not his fault. It was his story that first got me thinking of alternate ways of helping them. He revealed that when he found less reason to fear himself his wolf side wasn't as violent, my dad and Sirius were two people who accepted him as well as his condition and still allowed him to feel valued and therefore the full moons were not as painful.
The Editor: It must have been very difficult for him during the twelve years you were wrongfully imprisoned, Sirius.
Lord Black: He admits it was less than pleasant, for a number of reasons. However we are moving away from the topic, Harry and I both feel that a lot more can be done in order for the witches and wizards who suffer. That is why we have decided to start up this organisation.
The Editor: Yes you mentioned you had several idea's, is this one of them?
Lord Potter: Absolutely. We came up with the idea that we would open up one of the Potter and Black properties to lycanthropes and allow them to build a community. Remus has agreed to remain with them and we of course will do everything to make their stay more comfortable; in this way they can work and have shelter and be relieved of the stress of a) being caught and b) having to fear biting people. The key here is to ensure that they are comfortable and confident within themselves, Remus has managed to get in touch with several acquaintances who are eager to find work and a home. The organisation will finance them until the farm is up and running itself, our estate manager is confident that it can fully self-sufficient within a few months.
The Editor: Your estate manager?
Lord Potter: Griphook from Gringotts, he and his colleagues have been excellent at ensuring the conditions of the farm and the surrounding area's are in good conditions. I trust him implicitly.
The Editor: Oh excellent, I do like the Goblins. They're rather fantastic creatures, extremely loyal and honest although prone to having a few Nargles hovering around them. Anyway, I myself know a few wizards and witches with lycanthropy and I found it awful how far they had to travel for work and how quickly they were run out of areas. Tell me, how will you ensure there are no violent tendencies towards the others? Afterall these will be strangers thrown together, theoretically anything could happen.
Lord Potter: We will of course be providing everyone with wolfsbane, this has the advantage of 'humanising' the wolf side as some call it. Naturally some disputes may occur but we also have a people who have actually volunteered to be carers. Family members have come forward to express their wish to stay with them or near them and while we are still working out safety issues we are listening to some about the measures we can take. We also have it from several sources that being an animagus helps a lot, the animals recognise each other as nonthreats and we have high hope that we can also use this understanding in our research. Also, and somewhat to our surprise we actually have had several people ask if they can contribute which will help make it more comfortable and homely.
The Editor: Incredible, and how long have you been researching this kind of thing? Finding out ways to make it easier?
Lord Potter: If you don't mind I will deviate to Sirius for this?
The Editor: Very well, Sirius – your comment please.
Lord Black: I have personally been looking into this since I was a teenager myself; James Potter and I used to spend hours in the library trying to find ways of helping Remus, our friend found it very tiring and a very difficult and painful process. Remember this was before Wolfsbane potion and he used to come back covered in bitemarks and bruises from where he had hurt himself- it's a horrible thing to see. However, over these past few weeks I have taken to explaining to Harry a little about the Wizengamot and his role within it. Giving him the chance to see the difference he can make and how he needs to put together idea's instead of simply storming in in a typical Gryffindor fashion. And I thought Harry needed a summer project that he was passionate about.
The Editor: I think its excellent, too few of our society receive the help they should be entitled to.
Lord Potter: Exactly; and while there are naturally so many beings that we should have equality for, one step at a time and this cause is particularly close to our hearts.
The Editor: Do you think you'll meet with a lot of opposition? With specific concerns about violence and those adverse to introducing people with lycanthropy into the open, it could make a lot of people uncomfortable?
Lord Potter: I believe we will have those few witches and wizards who will struggle to accept those that are different, especially when they have had one view pushed on them their entire lives. It is a difficult mind set to get out of, but as we say we are still completing research, making sure the world is safe and that people are happy. That is my goal, not to make those who have always had privilege comfortable, those who have never had to worry about oppression or inequality will be comfortable because it shows where they failed to help others.
The Editor: An excellent point, Harry and I thank you both for joining me today, I eagerly look forward to the work you're completing and as usual dear readers/listeners if you would like any information send your Owls to The Quibbler!
The interview went out on the wireless at eight am on the 11th of July, it was also in that day's copy of the Quibbler. Within hours they had to reissue the piece as floods of owls bombarded the Lovegood's home with new subscribers. Xeno was ecstatic apparently, with the subscribers and those that commented on the positives; the Lovegood's had returned home the night before. Deciding to floo from Potter Manor after dinner and their assurance to be at Neville's/Harry's birthday, Luna had been happy to leave apparently at peace with whatever had pushed her here in the first place. She didn't expand on her feeling and none of them inquired knowing that she felt it necessary she would come to them of her own accord. They'd gone over the interview questions several times altogether, knowing it was vital to express it in the best possible way. The idea of opening the farms up had been Harrys brainstorm and with a quick letter to Griphook they received affirmation that such an exercise could go forward, it had only taken an hour for the Goblin to respond.
"The way that people have responded is incredible, we weren't expecting such a huge wave of responses. Its not like the last interview I gave." Harry had exclaimed to Daphne that evening over floo. They'd had a standing floo date every third day since the first one and both were slightly embarrassed about how much they looked forward to the calls.
"You're introducing a completely new idea, Harry. Even those with it or support those think its too much of a stretch besides any hint of goodness towards them gets shut down by all the attacks that does happen! I'd be surprised if there wasn't such a high-level reaction. Are they mostly good or bad?"
"Bad, Xeno reckons about 60-65% with most of them being from people who seem to be just confused and scared as to what we're thinking, according to a couple of people we're trying to raise an army!" Harry said glumly.
"Hmm, General Potter. I could get used to it." Daphne said with a wink and was gratified to see her boyfriend's smile break through. "Seriously though don't worry about it, people are coming up with theories everyday, so you're going to be a bit more popular-"
"Unpopular, more like."
"Okay then unpopular for a bit, the point is that people are talking about it, that's whats important."
"You're right, as usual. Plus we've actually had a few lycanthropes ask us more about the organisations and if its for anyone. Those are coming straight to Remus though."
"How did they manage that?"
"Well the Lovegood house is set up with restrictive wards anyway, stops any harmful substances from coming through and destroys them. There are ones directed straight to the Quibbler which Clunky, their house-elf sorts out himself into different piles of importance; I'm not really sure how it works. We obviously are completely unplottable but after reading through the first 10 questions about the organisation Xeno asked if he could simply redirect them to here. Anything to do with organisation, werewolves, help etc comes this way, we also are protected against harmful things too."
"Interesting, we don't even have wards that advanced but I'm glad people are being serious about it. The organisation is an amazing idea!"
"It was just a spur on the moment that we realised could actually work…You really think its gonna be good?"
"I think it'll be fantastic, Harry." Daphne said enthusiastically catching onto the slight insecurity on his face. "It's a great concept and it could help so many people. How is the written side of things coming along?"
"Sirius is confident that we've reached a final draft, we've sent letters to Bones, Marchbanks, Longbottom, Ogden, Abbot and Dodge and they are all willing to support and discuss possible new laws and basically stand up with us. We're going to bring it to the August meeting."
"Ah after the birthday?"
"And the Unspeakables want to visit soon after it too. We figured this way it'll help us get our ducks in a row?"
"Get things more organised."
"Ohhh, well that sounds like a plan then. And how are you doing? Not trying to take the weight of the world on your shoulders again, are you?"
"No!...Sirius won't let me."
"I'm okay, really. You know, there's the stuff that I can deal with and I have no chores to do for once; I'm okay Daph, really okay."
A satisfied grin grew and she nodded.
"Good, its about time you have a proper holiday."
They were both quiet for a moment.
"I miss you." He admitted quietly and watched as beautiful, bright smile broke over his girlfriend's face and all at once he felt an overwhelming urge to hold her.
"I miss you too, its been odd not to see you every day, what time are you arriving on Saturday?"
"Around 3, I can't wait to see you and Sirius says he wants to be able to chat with you all before the other guests arrive."
"This is the first time since we've been throwing this thing that I actually am looking forward to the garden party."
"I've only ever been allowed to prepare the food, Dursleys always sent me out for the afternoon when they hosted. It'll nice to be able to eat."
"Hmm, and Remus and Sirius know that there are no pranks allowed, right? Dad was very firm on that."
"They've promised to behave themselves, and if not Theo will keep an eye on them."
"How's he doing? His father hasn't required his presence yet?"
"Nope, though 'Lord Black' has written a very strongly wordy letter just in case. Obviously with Madam Bones conducting raids left, right and centre as well as the interviews with Pureblood lords, he's probably figured that the safest thing is to stay away from Theo. He knows that Theo knows of his allegiance to Riddle and since most people know he's a friend and staying with us hopefully he has decided to stay away."
"We can only hope and pray, how does Theo feel about it?"
"I think he's just happy that the man isn't causing trouble. Maybe a part of him is mourning the loss of the father figure but he and Remus are pretty close and Lady Longbottom is also sending a post script in Neville's letters so he's feeling cared for. He'll be okay, he's a survivor."
"Good, well then I should let you get back to it, I don't want your nosy guardian bursting in here and demanding why I'm taking up so much of his godsons valuable pranking time." She teased.
"Don't remind me, I think we're going to take a hike around the property this afternoon actually. Apparently my Dad knew every inch and there's an old treehouse about a mile away which they spent many nights in together."
"Sounds wonderful, have a brilliant time and see you in a few days."
"See you then, gorgeous."
A few moments later he was staring at the soft, golden flames as they died down and once more felt a small twinge in his chest, shaking his head in disbelief of how much his life had changed in such a small time he headed back to the parlour where the others had congregated to play a game of Go Fish while they waited.
"You cheated!" Remus exclaimed hotly.
"I did not!" Sirius responded indignantly.
"Yes you did! I know you cheated!"
"How do you know?"
"Because I taught you everything you know!"
"So walk?" Harry interrupted as he strode up to them. One thing he and Theo had learnt over the last few days that although the arguments -that sprang up between the older men almost hourly- were hilarious, they could also last forever. Therefore they had decided to simply interrupt before they both got too carried away.
"An excellent plan, Coodly has prepared sandwiches so all we need is to put shoes on!" Sirius said, springing to his feet and throwing his cards down.
Within 10 minutes the four were out in nature; with shorts, t-shirts and rucksacks full of food and water they looked casual and relaxed. They'd even left their wands back in the manor, deciding that there was no need and they simply wanted to enjoy the day. The June sunshine was hot on their backs, not a cloud in the sky and the breeze barely lifted the leaves from the trees.
"So Theo, have you got any plans career wise?" Remus asked after Theo had excitedly pointed in the direction of an undistinguishable looking tree and telling them the type, size and properties of it as well as which potions it could be used in.
"Definitely something to do with potion making, I love the idea of going into research and developing ideas for different potions but my father…well you can imagine how much he loved that idea. But it is still something I would be interested in, hugely actually."
"It definitely sounds like you, only a little socialising needed. Can stay focussed for hours, forces you to use that big brain of yours." Harry said, nodding at his friend somehow being encouraging and teasing at the same time.
"Exactly, I know it doesn't make that much money unless you have a breakthrough but it's the kind of thing that I would love to do given the choice."
Harry saw his guardians exchange a glance and with that single look he knew his Godfather and Uncle planned to help his friend get whatever he wanted.
"Theo, I think that's an excellent idea, you should always do something that you are excited about. Do you know if its medical or if you want to try and do one specific thing? Or simply improve the potions that are around already?"
"The second one, I want to try and change them slightly to make things more effective. Like Wolfsbane for example, its still painful to transform, if we could find a way to make it easier for the transition and allow witches and wizards to keep their minds then it could be a better experience, make them more comfortable, less afraid etc. Plus, with wolfsbane you have to take it everyday for a week leading up to your transformation, what if you forget one day or its slightly the wrong time or simply don't have the money for it every day. Its dangerous and I want to make it easier for people to take."
The discussion of Theo's most likely career choice took them up to the treehouse. It was wrapped around the trunk and branches of an enormous oak about 10 metres high, a fraying rope ladder led up to the large deck that looked like it had seen better days. It looked like a traditional treehouse from what Harry knew of them, a four-sided building that had the thicker branches incorporated into the design so it looked like a tree had simply grown through the middle of it. The roof was a deep red and there was a makeshift door slap bang in the middle of the wall with the ladder in front of it.
"Your great grandfather built that with his brother for your grandfather and his cousin, apparently it was for their 8th birthday. Your great grandmother was furious when she found it, it being so far away from the house and with very little safety measures put in place for two rambunctious boys. They immediately put up their own set of wards and runes – you can just about see them in the bark if you look closely- it was things like if they said a safe word then it would tripper the wards and the parents would know there had been an accident, but apart from that they said it was essential the boys know safety and security and a few mistakes would have to be made. They did put a permanent softening charm on the ground though, it wouldn't stop you from breaking a bone, but it would slow the fall, make it less hard."
"We had some great times in that thing, it was where your Dad told us he was going to propose to your Mum." Remus said softly.
"Of course we already knew that, he went from normal levels of adrenaline and excitement to practically bouncing off the walls. Even your Mum knew he was going to propose before he did. The only time he looked more excited is when he told us about you."
They were both quiet, thinking of the past and what might have been.
"Maybe we can come back here later, I don't think I want to go up just yet. If that's okay with you all?" Harry asked, trying to make it a little easier for his favourite adults.
Remus smiled at him gently and nodded. "I think that's a fine idea, shall we head down to the lake?"
They trooped along playing I spy and 20 Questions and even Name that Tune. The lake was one of the best views in the grounds; it lay about 7 miles away from the manor, about half a mile in length in a rough kidney shape. They'd been down only once before when Sirius had dragged them out for a 'sunrise hike' as he so enthusiastically put it at 4am, one of the lesser times he'd been functional before 10. It took them two hours with plenty of snack stops where Theo would get distracted by a piece of fauna and insist on taking a sample home and Remus and Harry getting into wrestling matches with Sirius insisting that they were all children and he couldn't take them anywhere. They reached the lake by 5 o'clock and all of them immediately flopped down between the lakes edge and the grassy slopes that slightly shielded it from view.
"Phew I don't remember it taking that long to walk last time!" Sirius said as he breathed deeply, lying flat on his back.
"That's because last time you weren't weighed down and you had boundless energy for some ungodly reason." Harry said from his place next to his Godfather.
"Ah true, I suppose you're both fine though? Hm yeah the miracle of youth, don't know how lucky you are."
"Well he did have to out run a madman, need to keep his exercising up for that." Theo said as he leaned back on his forearms and raised his face to the sun. Most of his previous summers were spent indoors studying either for school or being the Nott Lord, this was finally feeling like a holiday.
"True, I suppose that could influence one's decision to stay fit."
"Plus, all that running after Daphne he had to do this year." Remus injected with a mischievous gleam in his eyes.
"I did not run after her." Harry said indignantly.
"No she just had to wait for you to realise she was girl." Theo said with a chuckle.
"I knew she was a girl I just well you know."
"No we don't. Do tell Prongslet." Sirius said, joining in with the teasing.
"Well you know she was the first one who stood by me. I wasn't going to ruin that by assuming things that weren't there."
"That's actually a very sensible decision, certainly not one Padfoot would have made." Remus said after a pause.
"Hey I make sensible decisions! I'm free aren't I!"
"That's true, by the way how is the lovely Miss Greengrass?"
"She'd doing well thanks. Her mum is apparently driving her a bit crazy with all the planning but she's enjoying being at home."
"Are we all ready for the garden party?" Sirius asked looking at Remus who rolled his eyes.
"Yes Padfoot, all our robes are ready and you got refitted by Pipky this morning remember? Theo, are your robes alright?"
"Yes thanks, I've asked Pipky to change them a little make them less…"
"Funeral worthy?" Sirius said helpfully.
"Exactly, they're a bit lighter and Pipky says if I wear it with the new shirt it'll be perfect."
"Gasp! Taking fashion advice from an elf whatever would your father say!" Remus said, hand over his heart.
"Hmmmm…don't know, don't care!"
"Now that's the spirit we like! Cheers!" As he brought out four bottles of beer.
Another hour was spent, chatting about various subjects that had them giggling like mad. At one point Sirius decided they'd been far to peaceful and had wrestled his godson for a good ten minutes, ultimately taking charge until Harry stuck his foot out, tipping them into the lake while Remus and Theo cheered from the bank through stitches of laughter. They made it home, sweaty, laughing and all very happy with how the day had turned out. Each went to their rooms to shower before racing downstairs for another evening of movies and popcorn, since Theo had arrived, they hadn't moved up to the rooms. Though the pureblood thought it strange especially after seeing the dens and pillow forts; after his first night where he'd fallen asleep on the sofa he had realised why the others enjoyed it so much. Despite Sirius' snoring and Remus occasional mutter, having each other near was a new level of comfort.
They were also quick responders when Harry would have a nightmare.
The first time it happened Theo had gradually come to, hearing his friend whimper in his sleep.
"No not Daph…Siri…Don't go!...Come back! Moony…do something…Neville! Fight!" It had carried along in that vein for a few minutes before abruptly becoming louder and his movements got more erratic and violent. At this point Sirius had woken up and immediately hurried to his Godson's side, taking hold of his shoulders and trying to speak over the younger man's voice.
"Harry…Prongslet, its okay. I'm here…Remus is here…its okay…we're all okay…we got through it…Come on, son…it's over…we're here."
Nothing had been getting through, Remus had woken up as Harry had let out a particularly loud moan as he tried to fight off of Sirius' hold. He and Theo had both rushed to the other sofa, Remus rested his hand on his nephews forehead and caught Sirius' eye and went to speak before realising Theo was watching his friend with a slightly panicked expression.
"Theo would you mind going to the kitchen to make some hot chocolate for us all? Don't worry we'll make sure he'd okay."
With a relieved smile at his ex-professor, the younger man went to the kitchen to prepare the drinks the muggle way praying that all would be well soon.
As soon as he had left, Remus turned his attention back to his best friend's son.
"No…not them…please…NO…Padfoot! NO PLEASE NO COME BACK! MOONY PLEASE! I'M SORRY…please…just…come back."
"Harry wake up, Prongslet. Come on, please wake up." Sirius said practically begging as he held his Godsons arms down as Harry thrashed against his grip, his grey eyes sparkling with concern as he prayed for the younger man to come around.
"Save them! I can! Please! DAPH!" With a final yell the green eyes burst into view and his whole body stiffened as he gulped huge lungful's of air. His hands now gripping his guardians as he stared up at him, fear and panic still swirling in the emerald gaze.
"It's okay! We're here, calm down. You're alright, Prongslet. It's okay, you're here, we're alright" Sirius kept up the mantra as he waited for the initial reaction to pass. Slowly Harry came back into himself, he recognised where he was and he practically soaked in the comfort and knowledge of his guardian's words. A brief amount of embarrassment started to follow but Remus and Sirius had both squeezed him into a hug and he greedily returned it, the embarrassment fading as he breathed. They parted reluctantly and he sat up against the arm, rubbing an arm over his arms, a minute late and Theo came in with four steaming mugs on a tray and a packet of Oreo's, custard creams and shortbread.
"Plenty of sugar." He said firmly as he set it down.
"A most excellent idea." Sirius said just as firmly as he practically shoved a mug into Harry's hands and also grabbed his wand to restart the fire.
They were quiet as they let the chocolate do its work, the warmth seeping through them all.
"We were back in the graveyard." Harry said quietly, swirling the drink around slowly. The others were silent, allowing him to gather his thoughts and not force the memories of the nightmare through. "Riddle was taunting me, you were all tied up against the stones…I couldn't move…he was hurting you all…one by one…I couldn't do anything." He took a hasty gulp and pulled away with a hiss as he burnt his tongue. "What's gonna happen this year?" He asked softly and with such a desperate gleam in his eye that Sirius couldn't help wrapping him in another hug.
"We'll get through it, we are getting through it. We take it one day at time."
"Yeah, we need to get through the garden party first, then your birthday second, next it the wizengamot and then Unspeakables and stuff. We just think of one thing at a time." Theo continued from his blanket nest.
"You remember that we are all okay, that we're all here and we're all alive." Finished Remus as he handed over the biscuits, practically shoving them towards Harry who took several shortbread and munched them down eagerly as he nodded to their statements.
"You're all here." He repeated, his heart rate finally returning to normal.
Another few minutes went by while they each drained their mugs and enjoyed the last few crumbs that lingered on their tastebuds. Eventually they tidied up and settled back down and Harry's last memory was a heavy weight settling by his feet as the large black dog rested his head on his legs protectively.