AN: Sorry about the late update. I was away for the weekend visiting family, and so couldn't write. BTW, as of yesterday, April 20th, I now have a new baby cousin! Yay!

When Harry first woke up, his first thought was that it was dark. He blinked his eyes once, and sat up groggily, reaching out blindly for his glasses.

The room he was in was about twice the size of the spare one he slept in at the Dursleys. Everything was dark green, and there was a faint smell of dust, as though it had been unused for years and someone suddenly decided to give it a makeover. The bed was a huge four poster, and Harry felt like he was wallowing in the blankets. There was one window along the opposite wall, but the curtains were so dark it was hard to see any light.

Harry stood up slowly and peeked out. Oh, it was just very early. He could see the first rays of sunlight over the tops of neighboring houses. He stepped away from the window and yanked the curtain open. The little bit of light from the sunrise wasn't much, but it meant that he wouldn't trip over something.

Harry looked around. Someone had placed a spare set of clothes on the end of his bed—a shirt and jeans, both a little too large for him. He reckoned they must have belonged to Aries or Rigel. He slipped them on, and left his old clothes on the bed in their place, slipping the Gringotts key into his new ones.

The door opened with a tiny squeak. Harry tiptoed out, closed it behind him, and crept down the hallway. He didn't remember much from last night after the shock from his parents' wills had practically knocked him out, but he remembered the Prewetts taking him somewhere, and saying he could stay the night.

Sure enough, when he finally made it to the bottom stair, he saw one of the Prewetts speaking into the fireplace. There was quiet movement in one of the nearby rooms, but Harry was much more interested in why Gideon had his face in a ball of green flame. Was this a different kind of Floo?

"We're going over in about an hour." Gideon was saying. There was a short pause, as if someone else was speaking. "Me, Fab, and Regulus.—Yes, he's coming too. Weren't you listening, love?—I said we want someone from Law Enforcement there to make sure we don't lose our tempers and do anything too rash.—Alright. That's fine. Can you bring Susan? The kid should probably hang around someone his own age. The twins will drive him batty eventually.—Sure, thanks."

Gideon crawled out of the fireplace, and the fire shut itself off. He brushed soot off of his knees. "Morning, Mr. Potter."

"You can call me Harry." Harry offered. "What were you doing?"

"Floo-calling Amelia Bones. She's head of the DMLE—that's Department of Magical Law Enforcement. We're going to be talking to your relatives and Ms. Anthony today, and she's coming with. She'll be over in about five minutes with her niece."

"Susan?"

"That's her. She's an orphan, like you—her parents were killed in the war. Anyway, she's starting Hogwarts too, and we figured you might want to meet a kid besides the twins. They are a bit older than you."

Harry smiled. "Thanks. What are you going to do the Dursleys?"

"I'm not sure. Depends. Hungry? Kitchen's that way."

~§~

Fabian and Mr. Black were sitting at the kitchen table when they walked in. It was a small room, especially compared to the rest of the house, but there was plenty of space with just the four of them. Fabian had his feet propped up on the table, and was lazily reading the paper. Mr. Black was hunched over, sipping a cup of tea.

"Toast?" Gideon asked.

Harry shrugged. "Ok."

"Kreacher!" Mr. Black called out, after a sharp prod from Gideon. There was a loud pop, and something appeared crouching next to Mr. Black. It was about three feet tall, with spindly limbs and a large head with immense, bat-like ears. It was wearing a dark green pillow case.

Harry jumped in surprise.

"Harry, this is Kreacher." Gideon explained. "He's Regulus' house elf. He's a bit like a…well, I guess you could call him a servant. Kreacher, this is Harry Potter. Be nice."

Kreacher was still crouching near Mr. Black's knees. "Kreacher not do what ugly redhead tell him, ugly redhead not Kreacher's master, Kreacher doesn't have to—"

"Kreacher." Mr. Black intoned drowsily.

Kreacher shut up.

"He's a bit crabby, but don't mind him." Gideon continued as if he hadn't been interrupted. "Most are quite nice."

"Kreacher, please get Mr. Potter some toast." Mr. Black asked the elf. Kreacher huffed, then scurried over to the cabinets.

"You can call me Harry." Harry offered again. "I'm ok with it."

Fabian peered over his paper and nodded at him with narrow, drowsy eyes. Mr. Black didn't move.

"Amelia said she'll bring Susan over in about…" Gideon looked at his watch. "Any minute now. You two ready?"

Fabian folded the paper and yawned into the crook of his arm. Mr. Black grunted.

"Will I come with?" Harry asked excitedly.

"Sorry, kid." Fabian answered. "Afraid your relatives will be upset enough as it is. You mind staying here with the boys and Susan?"

Harry shrugged, a little dissapointed. "Dunno. Haven't met her yet."

"You can now." A voice said behind him. Harry turned; a woman whom he guessed was Amelia Bones was standing there, an arm wrapped around a short, yawning girl with red pigtails. "I'm Madame Bones, Mr. Potter. Honor to meet you."

Harry offered his hand, which she shook. Susan looked up at him and blinked blearily.

"Susan Bones." She said quietly. "Honor to meet you, Mr. Potter."

"You can call me Harry." He said. "Will you be staying here all day?"

Susan nodded. "Most of it. I come over often. Are the boys still sleeping?"

Harry nodded.

She grinned widely. "Wanna wake them up?"

~§~

Ms. Anthony looked at the clock hanging on her kitchen wall. Almost seven am. She peered through the window to look at the Dursleys house. The louts hadn't woken up yet. She scowled.

The Dursleys had returned late last night, looking very tired and cranky. Ms. Anthony had wanted to go over immediately and grill them about Harry, as she hadn't seen him accompany them into the house.

She'd gone over to her mother's for a day, and returned home to a note on her door saying there'd been a family emergency, and the Dursleys were taking Harry for a few days. Oh, they'd better have fed him, for their sakes.

The worst part was, yesterday had been Harry's eleventh birthday. She had been planning to take him to the zoo again, as he always loved it there, and then they'd go and have dinner out. But he'd been stuck with the Dursleys instead. They probably hadn't even realized it was his birthday.

She shook her head, and made up her mind. A child's wellbeing was at stake here. No matter the time; she'd wake them up to make sure Harry was alright.

Ms. Anthony slipped on her shoes and marched across the street. She banged on the door of #4, and waited just a moment before doing it again.

"Just a minute!" Petunia's shrill voice cut through the still morning like a knife. The door opened. "Oh. It's you."

"Petunia." Ms. Anthony pursed her lips, trying very hard not to snap at the woman. "Where is Harry? I noticed he wasn't with you last night."

The shrew-like woman sniffed. "Some friends of his parents stopped by. About time too, if you ask me. He's off with them, on a shopping trip."

Ms. Anthony raised an eyebrow, the urge to slap the awful woman growing stronger. "Friends of his parents? Do you know this?"

"Oh yes. That man's quite hard to forget. Now, if you'll excuse me—"

"You're not going anywhere, Petunia, until you answer me. Do you know where Harry is?"

Petunia paused. She knew she'd regret it if she didn't answer yes, but she didn't have much choice.

"I assure you, Ava, he's perfectly fine."

~§~

"Well, that went over well." Fabian noted as Susan led Harry back upstairs, presumably to find someone creative way of waking the older teens up. Fabian had suspected that Harry had wanted to watch them do something unscrupulous and undoubtedly illegal to his Muggle relatives—which was why they had Amelia coming too, so they didn't do anything of the sort.

Amelia watched as the boy was led upstairs. When she had first heard about his abusive relatives, she had been terrified to find out what the poor boy would be like. She was pleasantly shocked to see he was a little small and scrawny, but otherwise completely normal, if seeming a bit shy.

Amelia turned to Gideon. "Is his situation really as bad as you said?"

All three men nodded.

"Kreacher, he went upstairs." Regulus said as the elf went to throw Harry's slightly burnt toast in the garbage. "Don't waste. And for Merlin's sake, Kreacher, butter it for the boy. I know you don't like visitors, but please show him some respect. And please send up his potions, as well." He turned to Amelia. "He saw his parents' wills yesterday, and Sirius was his godfather. I'm taking over guardianship."

Amelia shrugged. "Fine. I can have the paperwork delivered to you tomorrow. You realize that Dumbledore's going to claim guardianship, though?"

Regulus gave a small grimace. "Of course. However, even he can't go against the Potters' wills. The people won't allow it, no matter how much they worship him. It simply wouldn't be something the leader of the light would do."

"You do realize you're Regulus Black? Lord of House Black, and ex-death eater?"

"House Black is Grey Neutral, and there was no evidence of my supposed allegiance to the dark lord. Besides, if anyone causes a problem I can contact the Malfoys. Lucius is always willing to do favors, because he's absolutely terrified I'll dissolve his marriage with Narcissa. What those two see in each other, I have no idea."

"That's why they married each other, not you." Fabian said cheekily. Regulus lazily flicked his wand up, sending a small stinging hex towards the Prewett.

"You said you took him to St. Mungo's for inoculations and block removals? What was the healer's verdict?" Amelia asked, ignoring Fabian's antics.

The Prewetts froze.

"Damn it." Fabian said. "We may have, ah, forgotten the blocks."

Regulus rolled his eyes. "Of course you did. Half the reason you went there."

"We had good reason!" Fabian argued. "Besides, he's going back in two weeks. We can get it done then."

"What reason? Never mind. I don't want to know. When did you get the dog?" Amelia asked, peering into the shadows under the table. A slow wag answered her.

"Ah…Yes." Regulus answered slowly. "An ugly stray I found on the street last night." He winced as the dog turned to slobber all over his shoes.

"I see. I don't suppose you have anything to do with Sirius Black's sudden disappearance, either? Scrimgeour was not happy when I said I wasn't coming in today. You're lucky they somehow think he's disappeared to Sweden, or there'd be inquiries and Dementors everywhere."

The dog barked, and wagged its tail harder.

"I can only imagine how he escaped." Regulus said dryly, causing Fabian to snort. Amelia raised an eyebrow.

"We'll talk about this later. I have the portkeys you asked for. Surrey, you said?"

"Mmhm." Gideon said. "Little Winging. Thanks, love."

"I'm not your love." She replied icily. "Come on, let's get going. They'll be less Muggles about this early."

~§~

There was a slight popping sound on Privet Drive. Four people appeared suddenly out of thin air, clutching a thin stick, which was quickly dropped.

Regulus looked around and sniffed. "Muggles." He said disdainfully. "Even their houses are plain and unimaginative."

His three companions glanced at him, frowning.

"Mr. Black, I ask that you keep your opinions to yourself until we are out of this place." Amelia said disapprovingly. She had argued long and hard with Gideon about allowing Regulus to come—even after reforming the House of Black, the man still didn't care for Muggles. If Potter's relatives truly despised magic as much as the Prewetts had reported, having a Black there might not lead to the calmest and most civilized of discussions.

She led the way to #4. It looked exactly like all the other houses nearby, if not even neater and more boring. Amelia paused, hearing the sound of arguing inside.

"Come on then, let's knock." Gideon said impatiently. "Might as well get it over with. Probably fighting over breakfast."

Amelia stepped up and rapped sharply on the door. The three men lined up behind her. Regulus straitened his features into a deep scowl, and made sure that his wand was within easy reach through his robes.

The door was yanked open with a bang. A tall, stick-thin woman was standing there in a nightgown and slippers, eyes burning in frustration. A short woman with large glasses and long, brown hair was standing a ways behind her, looking just as angry.

"Yes?" The first woman said, barely glancing at them. Then her neck seemed to snap as she twisted to get a second look. "You!"

"Ma'am." Amelia said calmly. "I am Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement." Oh, she really hoped that was the Anthony woman behind Dursley—the obliviators would not be happy to have to come down here to deal with one woman because of her screw up.

"Go away!" Dursley shrieked. "You're not welcome here!" She tried to slam the door shut, but the shorter woman sprang forward with surprising speed and grabbed it.

"I'm sorry, did I hear you say magical law enforcement?"

"Yes Ma'am, you did. Are you Ava Anthony?" Amelia asked.

"Yes. How do you mean, magical? Petunia?"

Dursley turned white.

"Get in here!" She hissed. "People might see you!"

She threw the open door into Anthony, and stormed into the house. Amelia entered behind her, the men following the witch.

"I promise this will make more sense in a moment." Amelia promised Anthony.

Anthony huffed as she closed the door. "Nothing ever makes sense with these people."

~§~

Anthony led the way into a quaint living room, where she brushed past Dursley and threw herself on chair. Amelia's lips twitched as she fought a grin at the Muggle's non-ladylike manner. She could almost hear Black growling as he entered the room with the rest and stood silently, stiff as a board.

"Mrs. Dursley, I request that your husband be here." Amelia said firmly. Dursley looked terrified for a moment, then darted out of the room like a frightened rabbit.

"Ms. Anthony." Amelia said calmly. "As I said, I am Amelia Bones, head of Magical Law Enforcement. I am here to talk with the Dursleys concerning their nephew, Harry Potter. Mr. Potter also requested that we discuss the world of magic with you, and allow you to visit him."

Anthony sat upright. "Harry? You've seen him? He's alright?"

"Yes. The Prewetts and Mr. Black," here Amelia gestured behind her, "met him yesterday. He is currently at Black's house, enjoying time with his cousins."

"What does—" The Muggle's eyes widened. "Oh my god. Are you saying Harry—the things he can do—that's magic?"

In answer, Amelia flicked out her wand and conjured a teapot, which poured hot liquid into a glass sitting on the table. "That is correct, Ms. Anthony. Mr. Potter is a wizard. His parents, Lily and James Potter, were the bravest witch and wizard I have yet to meet. If their son follows in their footsteps, I have no doubt he will be quite powerful."

"Oh god." Anthony blinked, and pushed her glasses farther up her nose. "All right. I suppose you're here about the Dursleys' behavior?"

"Yes. Mr. Potter's godfather is Mr. Black's brother. Harry gave quite a detailed report about both the Dursleys and you, and Black requested I attend this visit."

"Harry mentioned that no one ever remembered the Dursleys being so horrible to him." Gideon said. "Is that true?"

Anthony nodded. "Yeah. I called child care about fifty times before giving up."

Amelia rubbed her temples. "Someone probably used a memory charm. I'll wager it's the same person who placed him here."

Dursley reentered the room, leading a huge, enormously fat man in a dark blue bathrobe. Vernon Dursley grew bright red upon seeing the wizards.

"What are you doing here?" He blustered, his face turning a shade of puce. "This is my house!"

"And this is an ongoing investigation." Amelia answered fiercely. "Answer my questions and show respect, or you may well find yourselves arrested. By wizards."

Both Dursleys turned white.

Amelia smiled. "Good. Now, I am Madam Amelia Bones, Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement. Behind me are Lords Gideon and Fabian Prewett, and Lord Regulus Black. We are here to discuss your nephew, Mr. Harry Potter."

The Dursleys looked terrified. "What-what do you mean?" Vernon asked, shaking in fright.

Black stepped forward. Amelia frowned at that, given the man's distaste for Muggles, but let him pass. It wouldn't hurt for him to intimidate these two, and Anthony didn't seem the type to be easily cowed by a few harsh words.

"Mr. Potter is under my guardianship." Regulus hissed coldly. "My brother's godson met me yesterday on his shopping trip, and just imagine my surprise when the savior of the wizarding world told me that he had been abused and neglected by his own relatives his entire childhood. I warn you right now, Dursley, as much as your nephew says you hate magic, there are plenty of wizards who hate Muggles just as much, and all it would take is one word for them to hear you've caused so much pain to the boy who took down the dark lord. You will treat me and my fellow lords with the proper respect, or I might just turn you into cockroaches."

Vernon swallowed. "What do you want?"

"Remain silent. You will have nothing more to do with your nephew. You will not leave the country. You will answer all questions asked by Madam Bones and any Aurors regarding your nephew's situation."

Amelia stepped in. "Ms. Anthony. Do you have any immediate questions about our world? The Prewetts said Harry was anxious to see you. He read his parents' wills last night, and is quite shocked. He'll need someone he can trust."

Anthony blinked. "Ah—he's safe?"

"Yes."

"What'll happen to the Dursleys? You said it's an ongoing case?"

"I will send my Aurors—they're like police—to make a formal investigation for Mr. Potter."

"Now wait just a minute!" Vernon interrupted. "You can't do that!"

Black narrowed his eyes, making the Dursleys shrink back. The Prewetts stepped up to either side of him, looking very displeased. Amelia admitted to herself, a little unwillingly, that the three of them made a very intimidating trio.

"Why not?" Gideon asked dangerously.

"He said we'd be safe from you lot!" Vernon said loudly. "That we wouldn't have to deal with you freaks except when we brought the boy to that blasted school!"

"Who said that?" Amelia asked suspiciously. Gideon and Fabian bristled visibly at the freak comment—she was sure Black was restraining himself from hexing the blasted Muggles.

"The headmaster." Petunia whimpered from behind her husband. "Dumbledore. He said Potter had to stay here, because of the—the wards."

Fabian snorted. "What wards?"

Black swore, and raised his wand. Petunia shrieked, but he only held it up and started muttering an unfamiliar charm. He turned to Amelia. "There's a faint blood ward designed to keep out anyone with a dark mark—I didn't even notice it, I'd imagine it's based more on intent to harm the boy. There's a strong one to keep out werewolves, a faint wizard repelling charm—which obviously didn't work—and a very strong tracking charm."

"What are those?" Anthony asked. "And who put them there? The only other person who's ever done anything to Harry is Arabella Fig, who lives right down the road, and she's normal as can be except for her cats."

The twins turned at the name.

"Arabella Fig?" Gideon said in surprise. "She was in the Order. A squib. Dumbledore must have put her here to keep an eye on Harry."

"A squib?" Anthony asked, confused.

Petunia shrieked. "But she was his babysitter! She never did anything for the boy!"

Amelia sighed. "Right, I'll give the Aurors her name as well. To answer your question, miss, a squib is someone without magic who is born into a family of wizards. They're quite rare, and usually migrate to the Muggle world."

"What exactly is a Muggle? You keep calling us that."

"A Muggle is a person without magic."

"And those charms you mentioned?"

"As Lord Black said, one was too keep out any wizard with intentions to harm Harry. Another was designed to keep werewolves away." Amelia didn't tell her how odd it was that there were no other dark creature wards. "Another is a wizard-repelling charm designed to keep fellow wizards out—obviously it hadn't been reapplied in a while, as we arrived here with no difficulties. The last one was a tracking charm, either to know where Mr. Potter was at all times, or just to know when he left the house."

Anthony was looking slightly shell-shocked. Amelia idly wondered whether or not she should conjure some brandy for the poor woman.

"Why Harry? I take it this situation isn't normal in your world if it caught the attention of law enforcement?"

"Harry Potter is a hero in our world." Amelia answered carefully. There was no need to startle the Muggle woman more than possible. "Several years ago, there was a very dark wizard who terrified everyone so badly that to this day they still call him 'You-Know-Who'. His actual name—or what he called himself, at least—was Voldemort. He went to kill the Potters one night—no one knows why—and although he managed to kill both James and Lily, something about Harry made the spell backfire, destroying You-Know-Who's body."

Anthony blinked. Then she blinked again. "Baby Harry defeated a dark wizard?"

"No one knows how. Some suspect that he is extremely powerful. Others say it was something his parents did. Others think it was simply foolish of You-Know-Who to attack an innocent baby."

Anthony shook her head as if trying to clear it. "All right. If Harry's so famous, why did he never know about any of this before?"

The Dursleys cowered as the wizards glared at them.

"He should have." Black seethed. "Harry is heir to a Most Ancient and Noble House. He should have grown up amongst his own kind, learning our ways, and being properly raised. Due to his fame and heritage, the boy is extremely powerful both politically and financially, and knows nothing about any of it."

Amelia cleared her throat as Anthony raised an eyebrow at Black's haughty tone. "The Potters' wills were unfortunately sealed. Harry was able to access them yesterday, due to his being the last living Potter. It was specifically stated that he never even meet the Dursleys."

"What?" Vernon barked from his corner. "You mean we never had to take in the boy?"

Gideon flicked his wand up, casting a silencing charm over the two Muggles.

"The entire story is long and complicated, and unfortunately we do not have all of the pieces." Amelia told Anthony gravely. "However, Harry is an integral part of our world, and so I will warn you of this: wizards are extremely prejudiced when it comes to Muggles and magic. Lord Black is one of the better examples—he dislikes your kind, but tolerates you. There are many others who would treat you as animals, and others as interesting pets. Very few would understand the fact that you are people in your own right."

Anthony glanced at Black. He said nothing, but the glare was returned.

"There are two parts to wizard government—the Ministry of Magic and the Wizengamot. The Wizengamot is made up mostly of old magical families, who mostly make up laws and gives trials. The ministry follows through on enforcing or fine-tuning those laws. Both the Lords Prewett and Lord Black are on two of the highest seats on the Wizengamot—I am regent for the seat of Bones, and sit as a department head as well. Harry has his own seat, which he inherited from his father."

Anthony wet her lips. "Harry's a wizard. And a lord."

"He's also very rich." Fabian supplied helpfully.

"I—I don't know what to say. I suppose no one came to check on him because of the wards?"

"I'd imagine it had more to do with the squib living here, but the wards certainly would have helped when he was younger. The current opinion is that there is also a mail ward around him, redirecting all of his mail to someone else. Those are highly illegal but also very hard to accomplish."

"Who could have done it?" Anthony asked suspiciously.

"Unfortunately, the person we suspect is doing it is not only leader of the Wizengamot and headmaster of our school, he is also Su—leader of the International Confederation of Wizards. He has been in power for many years, took down the previous dark lord by himself, is widely believed to be the leader of the light, and has hundreds of allies everywhere. No matter what he does, the majority of the people will simply believe he can do no wrong. Due to the prejudices and corruption of our world, he will likely never be bothered by legalities."

"But—how—is Harry safe, at least?" Anthony was beyond shocked now.

"For now. He will go to Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry with my own niece, the Prewetts' nephews, and Black's nephews, all of whom are around Harry's age. He has already met and befriended them, and so will at least know a few people when he goes there."

Anthony's eyebrows popped up again. "Harry made friends?"

"Yes. Last we saw them, Susan was plotting with him to wake up the others. I believe she covered them in peanut butter last time. It will be interesting to see what happened when we get back."

Anthony shifted and crossed her legs. "What can I do? Will I still be able to see Harry?"

Black stiffened as Amelia glanced at him. "You will come with us." He answered tensely. "You can stay with Harry until school starts. You will mind your manners, or I will reconsider the invitation."

"Harry has a lot to learn about our world, and his place in it." Gideon said, elbowing his friend. "You're welcome to learn with him. As the Muggle who raised Harry Potter, you're going to gain a reputation—and quick. We're probably going to have to stage a press release to make sure the truth of the matter gets out."

"We've been working on making a case against Dumbledore for years." Fabian added. "What with leaving Harry with the Dursleys, he's added a ton of fuel to his own fire. We'd appreciate any help you could give us relating to Harry's previous situation, involving any strange incidents, from his accidental magic to visiting wizards and Mrs. Fig."

"You shouldn't have much more to do with the official case against the Dursleys." Amelia put in her own two Knuts. "But we'll need to keep in touch until I can be certain."

"All right." Anthony said resignedly. "How soon can I see Harry?"

The three wizards glanced at Amelia, who pulled out the second portkey.

"This is a portkey." She explained to the Muggle. "We touch it, one of us gives the password, and it sends us back to Black's house."

"Harry's there now?" Anthony asked. "Who's with him?"

"Two of the Prewetts' nephews, Black's adopted sons, and my own niece." Amelia assured her. "Will you come?"

Anthony stood and walked over, staring at the paperweight portkey with a certain amount of apprehension and doubt. "All right. Just touch it?"

The five of them grabbed it. Amelia was sure she wasn't the only one who was considering hexing the Dursleys before they left—but she was also the one who was there to make sure that didn't happen.

Black said stiffly, "The Blacks live at #12 Grimmauld Place." Amelia recognized the familiar tug behind her stomach, and the portkey whisked them away.

~§~

They landed inside the entrance room. Anthony had fallen to her knees the second they landed and was gasping for air, clutching her stomach. Amelia pitied her—she remembered very clearly the first time she had used a portkey. She probably should have warned the woman.

There were screams of laughter coming from upstairs. Gideon and Fabian raced up the steps [either to cause more trouble, or see what was going on], while Black disappeared into the kitchen. Amelia didn't know what he was doing, but she figured she should stay and help the Muggle.

She helped Anthony to her feet. "This is Grimmauld Place, in London—Lord Black's home."

The Muggle looked around, disbelief on her face. "Black lives here?" She asked dubiously. "I was expecting a castle, the way he was acting."

Amelia laughed. Black often acted high and pompous, though he had admittedly gotten much better over the years. He always got worse around Muggles or people he didn't like, though. She highly suspected that spending the month with a cynic Muggle would be good for him.

"No." She told Anthony. "The only castle we have is Hogwarts."

"Hogwarts?" Anthony raised her eyebrows at Amelia at the name.

"Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry." The witch supplied. "It's in Scotland. Every witch and wizard in Great Britain and Ireland goes there, and has for the past thousand years."

Anthony gave a low whistle as the sounds of laughter grew above them. "A thousand years. Wow. You know, when you first knocked on the door and announced yourselves as magical law enforcement, I thought you were as loony as the Dursleys. Now, though, I'm not quite sure what to think. It's so much to take in." She threw Amelia a glance. "Do you go through this often?"

Amelia shook her head. "For any Muggle-born students—magical students from non-magic families—the professors will introduce them. The Ministry only gets involved in cases like Harry's—abuse—or in breaks of the Statute of Secrecy."

"The what of secrecy?"

"The Statute of Secrecy. It was drawn up in 1689, and enacted in 1692. It was made to hide us from the witch hunts. Basically, Muggles are only allowed to know about magic in very certain and specific situations. You'd be amazed at how different our people are after being separated for three hundred years. Anyway, that's actually what most of the crimes I deal with are."

"How do you handle people who saw magic?"

Amelia frowned. She wasn't sure if Anthony would like the answer. "Ah—we send in a team of specially trained people who remove their memories of the incident."

"What?!" Anthony almost shrieked. "You remove their memories?!"

"They're completely fine afterwards." Amelia assured her. "Besides, they'd normally consider themselves mad anyway. This way, they don't get themselves hurt or locked up. It's really not that big a thing. And they usually replace the memories with something nice and normal—a shopping trip, or a car accident, or the like."

Anthony still looked upset, but at the sound of feet thumping down the staircase, she quieted down.

"Ms. Anthony!"

A joyful voice shouted from the stairs as Harry bounced down them, Susan and Fred in tow. Anthony smiled widely as Harry leapt into her arms.

"Ms. Anthony! Did they tell you? I'm a wizard and I don't have to go to the Dursleys anymore an' I'm gonna go to school for it and I finally found out about my parents and—"

"Harry!" Susan laughed, thumping him on the shoulder playfully. "Breathe!"

Fred grinned at the two younger kids. "Excited, Harry?"

Anthony laughed. "I know, Harry, they told me. Why don't you introduce me to your friends?"

"Ok." Harry nodded happily. "This is Susan Bones and Fred Weasley." He looked at them for verification. "George, Fred's brother, is upstairs with Aries and Rigel Black."

Amelia excused herself to the kitchen, leaving the children to meet the Muggle. Black was pacing in front of the table, a dark scowl on his face.

~§~

"I don't like it." Black said as she entered. Amelia wasn't sure if he was speaking to her, himself, or no one in particular. She didn't answer, instead simply crossed her arms and waited.

"There is a Muggle in the House of Black." He said disgustingly. "Only Sirius would sink this low."

There was a low growl from under the table.

"To make it even worse, a Most Ancient and Noble heir was kidnapped and raised by those—those horrendous—oh, I should have turned them into cockroaches like I promised!"

"And then I would've had to arrest you." Amelia said calmly.

"Bah. I'll have to redo the Fidelius soon, if we keep this up."

"You'll have to do it anyway if you give the boy a welcoming party." She pointed out.

He glared at her. "Why do you have to be so damn logical? I'm ranting."

"So I noticed."

"And I like to do it in peace."

"Funny, that's not what the Prewetts said."

He turned away from her. "I don't like Muggles."

"I know. It's to be expected. Your parents hated them, though. At least you tolerate them. It's a start."

"Hmph."

Amelia had to use all of her political know-how to not laugh at the pouting man. Oh, if only people knew how the intimidating Lord Black was in private…

"Who are you inviting to this welcoming party?" She asked. It was a good idea, but they'd have to do it quickly, before school started.

"I though just about every one of the higher families with children his age. A few others with close connections to the Potters and Blacks. Speaking of, the boy needs proper clothing. Kreacher will get his school supplies later this week, but he wouldn't know proper clothing to save his life. I don't suppose…?"

"I don't have time to get him a whole new wardrobe." Amelia answered shortly. "I can't believe you asked that."

"It's either you, Narcissa, or Lady Greengrass. I don't feel comfortable trusting anyone else with the boy."

"What about Andromeda?"

Black froze. "Andromeda."

"Yeah. She has a daughter in Hogwarts, doesn't she? Supposedly she already applied for Auror training. I remember her application clearly—she's apparently a metamorphmagus."

He looked thoughtful. "It's been a while since I spoke to her. But yes…she could do it."

Amelia nodded in approval. "I'll leave that to you. I'll finish up with Anthony, and then I really have to go, or Scrimgeour really will have my hide."