Harry was happier than he'd ever been. He had friends, and for the first time, he had a family… of sorts.
Now if he could just get rid of the creepy headmaster that was stalking him. He wondered who Dumbledore thought he was fooling… no one could hide in day-glow orange robes.
What Dumbledore hoped to learn from watching his flying lessons, Harry did not know.
Snape had been quiet the past few days and Harry was beginning to get worried. He finally felt the headmaster's eyes leave him and he turned around, sure enough, the glo-bug was floating back to the castle. Oddly enough, Harry suddenly felt even more worried.
Snape was in a foul mood as he contemplated how he was going to get out of his current predicament. He heard a noise behind him and turned around. “Headmaster, what can I do for you?”
“How are your plans going for our… little project?”
“They are in progress. Unless you want investigation, this cannot be done quickly or sloppily.”
“Yes, yes, of course.” Dumbledore stroked his beard. “It is just that his very existence irks me, and I know you feel the same about Sirius Black.”
Snape turned back to his potions. “Indeed.”
“So tell me, what is the plan?”
“It is best that you not know. It would be good for you to have plausible deniability.”
“Good plan!” Dumbledore beamed. “I knew there was a reason I kept you around.”
“That is good to know.” Snape replied wryly.
A large black owl landed at the kitchen table of number twelve Grimmauld Place. Sirius looked at Remus. “One, two, three, not me.”
Remus sighed and reached for the letter the bird carried. “You are such a child.”
Sirius just stuck out his tongue as he waved at the evil looking owl. “Away, foul demon!”
The bird took off, but before it left through the window, it swooped down over Sirius’ head and left a fair share of droppings.
Remus started laughing at the hounded look on Sirius' face. He broke the wax seal and began to read the letter.
Sirius had just finished banishing the all droppings when he noticed the worried look on his friend’s face. “What is it?”
“It is from Severus. He says that the headmaster has commanded him to kill you. Severus has no way to stop it without blowing his cover. He says you need to get out of town.”
“I need to get out? Why not him?”
“Would you want to leave Harry defenseless in that school?”
Suddenly they heard a knock. Sirius and Remus went to the front of the house and opened the door. “What are you doing here?” Sirius exclaimed. The last visitor he had expected was Lucius Malfoy.
“Have you received Severus' letter?”
“Yes, I guess he wrote to you as well?” Remus asked.
“Yes, he asked me to share with you something he could not include in a letter.”
“Well, I guess you should come in then.” Sirius said, grudgingly.
He led them to the front parlor and called out for tea. He knew that Kreacher would get the message. Sure enough, a tea set appeared a few moments later. “Tea?” He offered his guest.
“Yes, black.” Lucius said as he sat down.
“So now that the niceties are out of the way, what do you want?” Sirius asked.
“Harry is the last Heir.” Lucius replied.
Sirius was perplexed, “Of course he is the last Potter heir. Everyone knows that.”
“No, you don't understand. The HEIR.”
The emphasis Lucius used gave Remus an uneasy feeling.
“Tell me what I'm thinking is wrong.” Remus demanded.
Serious looked between the two with dawning horror. Despite his reputation as a prankster, he wasn't stupid. “Kreacher!”
The elf appeared with a small pop. “Yes, master?”
“Pack for an extended trip for Remus, Harry, and I… actually, just pack all personal possessions and anything you think is useful.”
“Yes, master.” Kreacher disappeared with another pop.
Lucius raised an eyebrow. “I see you understand.”
“Unfortunately.” Sirius replied. “How did you find this out? I have never heard of anything like this in the Potter lineage.”
“Our family name used to be Bonavere, we were the most loyal family to the Emperor. The oaths my family took back then overpower any made thereafter by the family.
“Since there hasn’t been anyone strong enough to claim the throne for hundreds of years, we have been able to make oaths and treaties independently, but eleven years ago…” Lucius rolled up his sleeve to show the two marauders unblemished skin.
“Once a strong enough heir was born, it canceled every other conflicting oath I ever made. I haven't told anyone, but also severed my marriage vows. All Malfoys must be free to serve the Emperor in any capacity that he wishes. I cannot be married unless he gives permission.”
Sirius and Remus stared at the blonde’s unblemished arm. “You served the Dark Lord once, how do we know that you won't go running back to him if he returns, oath or no oath?” Remus asked.
“In the end, he was nothing like the man I chose to follow in the beginning. I can’t prove anything, but I suspect Dumbledore had a hand in the Dark Lord’s mental deterioration.” Lucius answered.
“That being said, if he returns, I will try to see if the damage can be reversed even if I do not go back into his service. If he has been cursed…well, no one deserves to live like that.” Lucius added. “The Emperor would come first, of course.”
“How has Dumbledore managed to hide how evil he is from everyone?” Sirius mused.
“There is a Muggle saying–‘The greatest trick the devil ever pulled was convincing the world he doesn't exist.’” Remus quoted.
“We need to make plans.” Sirius said
“And I should go.” Lucius said as he stood up.
“Why?” Remus asked.
“What I don't know, I can't tell. Take him far away and don't come back until he can defeat Dumbledore and claim the throne.”
“What about Voldemort? Do you really think he is still out there?” Remus asked.
Lucius thought for a second. “I think he exists somewhere, but if he comes back, and is in his right mind, he won't defy the Emperor. One of the things he fought for was for the return of pureblood culture and superiority. The Emperor is the ultimate symbol of our past, more so than the founders and Merlin combined.
“If anything, I think he will side with Harry…If not, I'll personally ensure that he is taken out to ensure Harry's safety.”
“This is surreal.” Sirius muttered. He looked at Lucius. “Before you go, do you want us to come up with some way of getting him to okay your marriage? I'm sure we can find a way to do it without letting him know.”
“No, I have an heir. It is enough. I don't want him to make any decisions regarding my family until he knows exactly what he wants us to do.” Lucius replied. “Besides, the marriage was arranged, it was not a love match. I am not particularly attracted to the opposite sex. I did my duty but that was the most I managed.”
“Ah.” Sirius answered.
“I'll take my leave.” Lucius said as he rose from the chair he'd been sitting in. “I wish you the best of luck. Please do your best to return my Liege in good condition.”
“Ah, and there is the Malfoy we know and love.” Sirius joked. “You were being so nice, I almost checked you for polyjuice.”
After Lucius left, Sirius got out the maps showing where all of the Black properties were located. “So where should we go?”
“Somewhere your family has never been. The first places Dumbledore will check are the Black and Potter properties.”
Sirius frowned at the map front of them. “True. Where do you suggest, then?”
“Well, I’ve always wanted to visit Asia. Not only do they have some of the best magic schools in the world, I hear that they have been doing some very experimental work with curing lycanthropy.” Remus answered.
“Well, then, Asia here we come!” Then Sirius thought for a second, “No, we’d stick out like sore thumbs, and another thing the Headmaster will do is check the registrations of all the Magical schools.”
Sirius suddenly spotted something on the map he had forgotten, “Remus, tell me, how much would you miss muggle technology?”
“I wouldn’t really. I never got into any of that stuff. Why do you ask?”
“Well, there is one advantage of coming from an old family—property in places that not everyone can go.” Sirius told Remus what he was thinking and Remus nodded.
“That would be perfect. But how are we going to get Harry?” Remus asked. “If we walk in and withdraw him, Dumbledore will find out right away and try to stop us.”
Sirius sighed. “As much as I hate to say it, I think we need to ask Snape for help.”
“He would have to be careful so he doesn't compromise his position.” Remus added.
Sirius laughed. “Oh, if anyone can do it, he can.”
The great hall- Hogwarts
Harry was sitting at breakfast when he saw his godfather's owl gliding towards him. Once the bird landed, Harry took the letter and shooed the owl away after giving it a small piece of bacon.
On the outside envelope it simply said: “The reading of a good tale is best done alone.”
Harry quickly stuffed the letter in his pocket and looked around. No one seemed to have noticed. Harry let out a sigh of relief.
Finally, when breakfast is almost over, he excused himself from the table saying he wanted to use the bathroom before class.
Once in the bathroom he locked himself in a stall. Harry opened the letter and was surprised by how little was written. “Touch your wand to the paper and say ‘I solemnly swear I am up to no good.’”
Harry did as requested and the letter changed into something with more length.
“The kitchen is getting a bit too hot. I think we need to pack it all in and take a vacation. Did you know that wizards can travel by bat? That would be the best form of transportation, we think. You'll have to wait for one to find you, however, they are very picky creatures.
Just be aware that they can find you at any time. You will probably need the spell listed below.
All my love,
Harry let out a sigh of relief. He didn't mind schoolwork and he was making some new friends… but as long as Dumbledore was around, Harry never would feel safe.
Today, his first class was herbology. Harry would see if he could fake being sick so he could have time to go back to his dorm to pack.
Harry had finished packing and the shrinking spell his godfather had included the letter had worked. As of right now, everything he owned was in his left hand pocket.
He made it back in time for the rest of his classes, but he was hopelessly distracted. Finally, it was his last class of the day—DADA, and he was counting the minutes until was over.
“Mr. Potter.” Professor Quirrell said.
Harry jerked upright from where he had been lost in thought. “Yes, sir?”
“Class is over, as you can see. You are the last one here, is there something you need?”
Harry was so shocked he forgot the time that he didn't notice the lack of stuttering in the professor's voice.
“No, sir. I was just lost in thought.” Harry hurriedly packed his things and rushed down the aisle towards the door.
A second later, he accidently stepped on his robe and began to fall on his face. Quirrell was nearby, and on instinct, Harry reached out to try and stop his fall.
It only took a second to get back on his feet, but that second was long enough. Harry looked up to thank his teacher, but was horrified to see flames start to burn his professor alive.
Harry screamed and ran as fast as he could to the potions classroom. Luckily, Snape didn't have a class. “Help! I killed him! I killed him!”
Severus grabbed the panicking boy by the arms, “Who? Dumbledore? Good riddance.”
“No, Professor Quirrell. I touched his arm and he just burst into flames! I have no idea what happened.” Harry explained.
“Interesting.” Severus said as he led Harry to his office. “Tell me, do you have everything packed?”
“Yeah, it is in my pocket.”
“Good, I guess this is as good a time as any. Don't worry about Quirrell, I'll get that taken care of.” Severus gave Harry a small package and ugly paperweight of a poodle. “Now repeat after me...godmutt.””
“What? What's going on?” Harry asked, confused.
“Just do it. Snape snapped.
“Okay, okay… godmutt…ack!”
Severus looked at the space where Harry had used to be in. “Good luck. You'll need it.” He whispered.
Now… just what had Harry done to Quirrell?
Harry landed in his godfather's living room with the thump. He looked around in shock and silently cursed Severus Snape.
“Harry! Thank goodness you are here. I wasn't sure Snape would be able to get you out.” Sirius exclaimed as he came into the room.
“What did he do?” Harry asked
“He gave you something called a portkey. It instantly transports you from one place to another. Didn’t he explain it to you before he gave it to you?”
“No, but we were kind of in a rush.” Harry looked at his godfather with a very serious expression on his face. “I have to confess, I may be wanted for murder.”
“You killed someone?” Remus asked as he entered the room.
“Not on purpose, Professor Quirrell just happen to burst into flames when I touched him.”
Sirius put his arm around Harry. “Whatever happened, I seriously doubt it was murder. There must be something else in play. Let's wait until this evening; I'm sure once Severus figures out what happened, he will let us know. But right after dinner we will need to leave.
“Sirius, I know Dumbledore is a creep, but is it necessary for us to leave like this?”
Sirius looked at Remus. They had thought long and hard about just what they were going to tell Harry, but they hadn’t come to any easy conclusions.
“Dumbledore wants something you inherited and he's willing to do anything to get it, including killing me and whoever else stands in his way.” Sirius replied.
“Well, why don't we just give it to him? I've never really cared about things.” Harry replied.
“I'm afraid it isn't something you can give away. Please don't ask what, we can't tell you yet and we don't want to lie to you.” Remus answered
Harry look at them. “I'll let you have until I'm sixteen, that's all I'm willing to give in the game of ‘you're too young to know’, deal?”
The marauders had to laugh. “Deal.” Sirius replied.
“Good. Now, what’s for dinner?”
By the time Severus got to the defense classroom, a crowd had gathered. Severus pushed through until he reached Dumbledore who was examining the body. “What happened?” He asked.
Dumbledore pointed to where Quirrell’s turban had fallen off. “Someone was able to put him out before he burned entirely, but when that fell off, we found out what happened—he was possessed by Voldemort. The magic must have unbalanced and destroyed him. His body just couldn't handle it.”
“You mean that we have had a Dark Lord teaching Defense Against the Dark Arts and no one noticed?” Severus questioned. “I'd known that there was something not quite right about the man, but I never thought this.”
“No one did. This just proves that he is much more resourceful than we thought.” Dumbledore answered.
“A frightening thought.” Severus replied. “If you don't need me, I need to check on a potion I am in the middle of.”
“Of course, of course… no need to stay. The Auror’s have been called and they will take care of the body.”
Severus left the room and as soon as he got back to his office he locked the door and leaned against it. After a moment he began laughing hysterically. Harry was the boy who lived… again.
They had just sat down to dinner when an owl came winging in through the window. Sirius caught it and took the message attached to its foot.
“It's from Severus. He says that no one knows Harry had anything to do with Quirrell’s death. It turns out that he was possessed by Voldemort and they think that due to the strain the possession took on his body, his magic unbalanced and turned into internal combustion.” Sirius looked to Harry. “See, it wasn't you, you just happened to be there when his body overloaded.”
Sirius didn't voice Severus' supposition that Harry had caused the imbalance. Harry had enough to worry about.
“Well, it is a good thing we're leaving soon. Schools that hire undead Dark Lords can’t be good ones.” Harry said seriously.
Sirius had to laugh. “Good point. Hey, what's in the package you brought with you?”
“You know, I didn’t get to ask. He just plopped it in my arms before he sent me here.” Harry got up and retrieved the medium-sized box and opened it.
Serious and Remus gaped. “Where did he get that?” Remus asked.
Harry pulled out a roll of shimmering fabric. “What is it?”
“It’s your father's invisibility cloak.” Sirius answered.
Under the cloak, Harry found a note. “Crazy headmasters shouldn't keep things that don’t belong to them.” Harry read. “Invisibility cloak, huh? That sounds useful.”
“It was.” Sirius answered. “The pranks we pulled off because we had that were legendary.”
“Sounds like school was a lot more fun for you guys than it was for me. I'll miss my friends, though.” Hairy sighed
“We won't be gone forever.” Remus said. “Also, Hufflepuff’s are loyal, they will still be there when we come back. We just need to be elsewhere until you can protect yourself.”
“Why? Why not find a way to take out Dumbledore now? He's the bad guy, isn't he?” Harry asked.
“You know that, and we know that, but no one else will believe it. Most people say the name Dumbledore the same way they same Merlin.” Remus answered.
“The only other person alive with that kind of clout is you, and right now you don't have a magical know-how to take him on. This isn't a burden we would place on you willingly… but right now we have an ex-convict, a spy, and a werewolf—none of us will do the trick.” Sirius didn’t mention Lucius Malfoy; it would probably be years before Harry met him.
“So where are we going? Harry asked.
“That was a hard decision, we had to think of somewhere that none of us had ever had a connection to. My first instinct was to suggest someplace really far away like Asia but then we realized we would stand out over there.” Remus said.
“Then we thought about the fact that you would need a good school…” Sirius continued.
“Oh, no, really, you shouldn't have.” Harry replied dryly.
“Ha, funny.” Sirius answered. “But we realized that Dumbledore would check the registrations of all the known magical schools. That meant we had to think outside the box. In the end, we decided to go to the last place Dumbledore would expect—Avalon.”
“Avalon?” Harry asked.
“Avalon is one of the oldest entirely magical communities on earth. It is an island located between England and Ireland. It is unplottable and invisible to muggles.” Remus explained. “It is also where Merlin lived when he was alive.”
“And why won't Dumbledore look there?” Harry asked.
“Well, first, he will assume that we will take you as far away as we can and lie low… possibly living like muggles.” Sirius answered. “Also, Avalon is only open to a few magical bloodlines and Dumbledore just doesn't make the cut. He avoids the place like the plague to make sure no one finds out.”
“And we do? Make the cut, that is?” Harry asked.
“You and I do.” Sirius answered. “Remus will be coming along as our guest.”
“Sounds like a real warm and fuzzy place.” Harry said sarcastically.
“Don't judge them too harshly. Most who live there have never stepped off the island. The muggle world would seem like an alien planet. But most importantly, you'll get the best magical education possible there.” Sirius explained.
“I thought Hogwarts was supposed to be the best.” Harry mused.
“It would be, but having muggleborns there slows things down.” Sirius held up a hand before Harry could speak. “Not that there is anything wrong with muggleborns, it is just that they come into the magical world with no knowledge about it at all and a have to learn from scratch all the things the other kids have been learning since they were born.”
“Like me.” Harry said.
“Yes, but that shouldn't have ever happened. I will admit that you will have to work twice as hard on Avalon, but Remus and I will tutor you. The island is small, so you'll still be able to live at home while you go to school.”
“This just gets better and better.” Harry mumbled.
“Cheer up.” Sirius said. “Our second choice was Durmstrang.”
Yeah...late I am...by just about forever. I'm sorry, but in consolation, Chapter 14 will be with the beta by the end of the week.