Hey friends and fans! Kairomaru is bringing you another chapter of Harry Potter and the Artificer Legacy! As the Magical World flails from the destruction of the Statute of Secrecy, time continues to move on. Harry is going to visit a place that Sirius has good memories of, and a place that a new future could be built from. Meanwhile, the Non-Magical World has to slowly come to grips with the reality of Magic and the British Government may just need to talk to a skilled Artificer about containment of a certain Magical criminal and the security of important places as well.
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Chapter 65 – Security, Change, and Home
-Potter Lands ~ Stinchcombe-
Harry stared at the wide expanse of acreage before him. Fields of grass, woodlands, a few streams flowed through the large property, and more than a few magical plants could be seen, if one knew what to look for. The only sign of human habitation was a charred area that had been the end of the Potter Family's ancestral home at the hands of vengeful Death Eaters. Barely any ruined stone was left of the old foundation, all of it melted and scorched black.
"It's been a long time…" Sirius had a small grimace on his face at the state of the place that he'd lived at during a large portion of his Hogwarts years, after running away from his own family. There were many fond memories on this property, but the home that he'd had them in was long gone now.
"There's a lot of space here." Harry mused as he looked over the land. Already ideas were forming in his mind.
Sirius nodded in agreement to his godson's statement. "There is…" He looked over at Harry. "Are you really going to rebuild?"
"Not just rebuild, Sirius…" Harry looked at his godfather with a bright grin. "I'm going to build it back even better!"
Stinchcombe was the ancestral home of the Potter Family, all the way back to their founder Linfred of Stinchcombe, an eccentric Herbologist and Potioneer that lived back in the Twelfth Century. The affable man had helped his Muggle neighbors cure pox and ague with his medicinal tonics. Not one of them ever suspected that the remedies they were given were Magical. Linfred had been dubbed 'The Potterer' by his Muggle neighbors for always pottering around in his garden with his plants. That had been corrupted into the family gaining the surname Potter by the time that Linfred had children of his own. It had been his advancements in Potions that had led to many common potions of today, like Pepper-Up and Skele-gro. By selling these to his fellow Witches and Wizards, Linfred had been able to leave behind quite the small fortune to each of his seven children.
'We're not gone just yet.' Harry thought to himself with a small smile. He could already picture what he wanted to build here. 'The house here… The smithy over there… A nice greenhouse or two wouldn't hurt either… Maybe a pool?' He recalled the skimpy bikinis his lovers had worn for him one summer. 'Definitely need a pool.' He nodded to himself firmly.
"You're planning something, huh?" Sirius chuckled at Harry's face. "Care to share?"
"Just a plan I've been working on for the last year or so." Harry replied vaguely.
Sirius raised an eyebrow at Harry. "Oh? If it's taken this long for my prodigious godson, then it must be truly impressive!" He joked with a chortle.
"Just another idea for an Artifact." Harry shrugged like it was no big deal. "I'll need to make some rather large preparations first though."
"Harry… Are you planning to make an Artifact House?!" Sirius looked at Harry like he was crazy.
"It's an interesting project, right?" Harry smiled at his godfather mischievously.
"You wouldn't be Harry if you didn't get up to crazy things, I suppose." Sirius shook his head in amusement. "But how can you continuously work on such a large Artifact? I doubt that your little stasis anvil is going to cut it here."
"There are ways, Sirius…there are ways." Harry was already looking around the charred area where the home had used to sit and was taking mental measurements. "All it takes is some proper preparation and the workspace will be ready for Artifice like no one has ever seen before." The wild grin on Harry's face reminded Sirius, once again, that despite looking so much like James, Harry was very different from his father and even his mother.
"Grrrrnnnhhh!" Ragnok Gringott hissed at the Daily Prophet, seeing Harry Potter's name on the front page. The boy had somehow duped them from the Sword of Gryffindor. When it had vanished, he'd gone on the warpath, trying to hunt down the thief among his kind. But only after finding no evidence despite looking for a full year, did he realize that he'd been played for a fool. "One day…damned Wizards." He burned the paper in his hands and tossed it aside with a snarl. Already the Goblin King was plotting…it had been far too long since the last rebellion. The Wizards had grown complacent, but now the Statute of Secrecy had fallen down around them. "Perhaps it's time? We'll let them squirm for a while longer as we prepare."
The Goblins would make their own plans for their future in this new world where Magical and Non-Magical once more intermingled. They'd been forced to heel even before the Statute of Secrecy…and even further when the Statute had gone into effect. But with the Wizards no longer in control as they liked to pretend, no one would suspect the Goblins and what they could bring to bear.
-International Confederation of Wizards Headquarters-
Albus Dumbledore sighed as he sat in his office of Supreme Mugwump. It had been so frantic and, in truth, disastrous since Voldemort had shattered the Statute of Secrecy. The ICW was practically at war with itself as various members argued about what to do. Several of the more stubborn and foolish insisted on covering everything up, seemingly unaware of how impossible that was. There would be no going back to how it had been before after what had been done.
Dumbledore hadn't even had time to return to Hogwarts in the last few days following the collapse of the Statute. Communicating with Minerva through the Floo and relaying what he could to her as she assumed temporary control of Hogwarts was all that he had time for between the meetings (arguing and shouting matches) of the ICW.
"If only we could've stopped him that night." Albus took off his half-moon glasses and rubbed the bridge of his nose. Thoughts about what they could've done differently plagued the old Wizard's mind. Even in his sleep he got no respite, his various mistakes haunting his dreams. A Dreamless Sleep Draught had become a nightly thing to take before bed in the last few days for him.
-Wood End Cottage ~ Two Days Later-
"Huh…" Harry stared at the envelope that had arrived by a regal-looking horned owl. Said owl was still standing on the breakfast table staring at him imperiously. "You don't see that seal every day…" The seal in question being that of the Queen herself.
"No kidding…" Penny had wide eyes as she looked at the sealed envelope.
"You should probably open it quickly, Harry." Fleur urged him. A letter from the Queen of England was probably time-sensitive normally, and even more so with the recent attack by Voldemort.
Tonks, Sirius, and Marlie watched as Harry opened the envelope and removed the letter. His eyes scanned over it, reading each line of the correspondence carefully. After what appeared to be a second reading, Tonks couldn't contain her curiosity any longer.
"So, what's it say, Harry?" Tonks questioned, her hair and eyes both switching to a purple color.
"I'm being asked to meet the Queen and several members of the government to talk about Voldemort and security?" Harry informed his family, looking up from the letter with a face of shock and confusion.
Everyone clamored a bit at the news, the room getting loud for a moment before the regal-looking owl screeched loudly. "PREEEEKK!" The sharp sound made the family flinch, but it did calm the conversation sufficiently.
"We'll have to get fitted for proper formal wear if we're going to meet the Queen." Sirius had years of 'noble' upbringing forced into his head while growing up, so his first thought was rather on the nose.
"Why do they want to talk to me about security though?" Harry looked perplexed by the request. "I'm an Artificer, not a Warder."
"Aren't you planning to build us a home that's basically impenetrable to all forms of attack or invasion?" Fleur raised one of her delicate eyebrows at him.
"Yeah, an Artifact home…" Harry stretched out the important word. "Unless the Queen wants me to…I don't know…rebuild Buckingham Palace beam by beam and brick by brick from the foundation upwards, there's not much that I can do for them."
"Well, you won't know what kind of security they want to talk to you about until you meet them." Tonks shrugged at the lack of information. "Maybe they're more concerned about being able to keep Voldemort secure until they decide to deal with him?"
"Nym is right, Harry," Fleur smiled at him. "It could be that they merely want your expertise in Artifice in hopes of keeping things from getting worse."
"That sounds a bit more likely." Marlie agreed with Fleur. "Even if they do want you to work on their security, you just have to explain why Artifice isn't the option they're looking for." The Healer gave Harry an encouraging smile.
"I suppose that's all I really can do." Harry agreed after a moment to consider it. "I kind of doubt that I can just refuse this letter."
"Prek." The regal horned-owl's sharp noise seemed to indicate its agreement to that statement.
"I'll be with you every step of the way, Harry, you can count on that." Sirius reached across the table to pat his godson on the shoulder with a warm smile.
Harry smiled back, always glad to have Sirius with him. "Thanks, Sirius."
"Now, you should probably reply to that letter and then we'll need to go get proper attire. It's not every day that you meet a Monarch." Sirius chuckled to lighten the mood a bit.
"Do we have to do formal wear?" Harry wasn't grumbling…really, he wasn't. "I'm not a fan of getting all dressed up though."
"You certainly can't meet the Queen in your smithy attire!" Penny looked at her love like he was nuts.
"Scree!" A barn owl swooped in through the window and landed on the table near Sirius, the Daily Prophet attached to it. Sirius quickly paid the owl and removed the paper. The barn owl took a bit of sausage that Marlie offered it and was flying back out the window a moment later.
"Huh? Apparently, the Ministry is being pressured to turn over all relevant information on Lord Voldemort and Tom Marvolo Riddle." Sirius read off the front page. He ignored the 'outrage' that the article claimed the Muggles demanding anything of Witches and Wizards was; he'd had decades of practice doing that.
"That sounds like they want it for their own news piece." Penny quickly put the pieces together. "So far, all that the Non-Magical government has said about the one responsible is that they had him in custody."
"Kind of bold for them to force the issue of his real name to be revealed through the Prophet like this." Tonks grinned at the stripping away of the mystique surrounding 'Lord Voldemort' to any sympathizers that were still out there.
"It can only be a good thing." Fleur snorted at the idea of the people remaining terrified of a fake name.
-Death Eater Safe House-
"LIES! FILTHY! DISGUSTING! LIES!" Bellatrix raged, shredding the Daily Prophet with her bare hands, forgoing her wand in her fury. "HOW DARE THEY?!" She would go to the Prophet and burn it down herself! They couldn't spew such lies about her Lord, calling him a Half-Blood! She'd make them all suffer!
The majority of the Death Eaters agreed with her, though they were noticeably quieter…a small bit of doubt creeping into their minds. No one had really questioned Lord Voldemort's claims of his bloodline and being a direct descendant of Salazar Slytherin. But neither had they ever tried to look into his claims either after seeing what he was capable of and his use of Parseltongue.
"Calm down, Bellatrix!" Rookwood spoke up loudly over the half-mad woman's ranting and screaming. "Until we find the Dark Lord, we shouldn't give ourselves away. What will you do if Dumbledore finds us because you went off on a rampage and set fire to the Prophet?"
"They must pay for their lies!" Bellatrix hissed out at Rookwood.
"They will, once we know where our Lord is so that we can retrieve him." The former Unspeakable told her in a calm, but firm, tone. Rookwood was the acting 'brains' of the Inner Circle right now. He couldn't be called the 'Leader' in any capacity though, lest he earn the ire of the rest of them for trying to take the Dark Lord's place.
"Where is Severus?!" Bellatrix turned away from Rookwood with an angry sniff. "Surely that old fool, Dumbledore, has been informed of where our Lord is being kept? Why hasn't he reported it to us?!" The once beautiful Witch demanded angrily. Azkaban hadn't done her looks nor her sanity any favors over the years.
"Severus can only contact us by owl. This place isn't hooked up to the Floo network." Rookwood reminded her. "His last owl stated that Dumbledore hadn't returned to the castle for the last few days after the fall of the Statute of Secrecy."
Despite the Death Eater's hatred of Dumbledore, they'd all grown up in a time where Dumbledore was the most powerful, influential, and well-connected Wizard in Magical Britain and the ICW. They could barely consider a Magical Britain where Albus Dumbledore wasn't informed of everything. Through Severus Snape, the Death Eaters knew much of what Dumbledore knew. Now, without the old Wizard sharing information with Snape, the Death Eaters found themselves floundering in their lack of intel. Without the Dark Lord, none of them would've ever risen up to attack their own homeland. The lack of one of their greatest enemies was now stymying their destructive actions.
The fact that Albus Dumbledore still didn't actually know where Voldemort was being detained was never a thought that crossed their minds.
-Buckingham Palace ~ Three Days Later-
"This is annoying." Harry muttered under his breath as he fidgeted slightly in his tailored dress robes. Much like his ones from the Yule Ball, they were styled to resemble a Muggle suit a bit more than traditional dress robes.
"I figured that you'd be thrilled to meet the Queen, Harry." Sirius whispered to him with a grin.
"Sure, but I'm not the best at formal things…" Harry reminded his godfather. Give him his smithy and dirty work clothes and Harry was fine, happy even. Stick him in formal attire and put him in a situation requiring etiquette and formalized decorum and he was out of his depth.
The two Wizards had been walked through the palace under heavy escort after a thorough search of their persons, both physical and magical. Harry and Sirius had been scanned over by two witches, muggleborn most likely, in the direct employ of the Queen. As expected, nothing was being left to chance, not after Voldemort's attack.
Seeing Queen Elizabeth II was a surreal experience for Harry. Being raised in the Non-Magical world, he'd grown up knowing about the Queen, the Royal Family, and the history of Britain. Meeting her in person though, it was different than he expected. Elizabeth II was a nice woman, giving off the feel of a grandmother, of which she was, of course, and Harry would've felt perfectly relaxed in her presence normally, he was sure.
Unfortunately, this meeting was not in any way normal. The two witches stood behind the Queen with a large security detail all around the room. Should Sirius or Harry make any move deemed hostile…well, the chances of them making it out of the room were very slim, to say the least.
Thankfully, the talk was peaceful enough. Queen Elizabeth wanted to know more of the truth of the Magical side of things, no longer feeling that she could trust what Cornelius Fudge had relayed to her Prime Minister. With Sirius there, they'd given as much history to the Queen (and the scribe in the room, along with the audio recorder that was recording their conversation onto tapes) as possible, starting from Sirius's time in Hogwarts when Death Eaters had actively been an issue, all the way up to the attack by Voldemort and his conjured demon.
When it came to the issue of security, it had been in relation to Voldemort and protecting several key government locations as well as facilities from Magical intrusion or coercion. Harry had been more than happy to talk about further securing the facility currently holding Voldemort. But he did mention that he would need Penny's help with it. They may not yet be able to set up a singular massive Anti-Magic Area. But they could easily make multiple smaller ones for the time being, leaving no spot for Magic to be used anywhere near where Voldemort was being held.
Walking the Queen through the steps of Artifice had taken a little time, but after Harry's explanation, she was understanding of why he couldn't use his Artifice to protect the locations that they spoke about. Having to literally rebuild them by hand, and only Harry's hands, was not only unfeasible, it would take a ridiculous amount of time. So, Harry and Sirius had brought up the option of Warding to the Queen. The two witches of her security detail confirmed what Harry and Sirius spoke of in terms of wards, and would help locate an accomplished Warding Master to help set up protection for the locations that most needed it.
Harry had, of course, subtly suggested Penelope Clearwater for Warding matters. Sirius's light chuckles told Harry that his teenage subtly hadn't been very subtle. But it was an undeniable fact that Penny's Anti-Magic Area was probably the greatest ward in defense against magic that had ever been created. If she had enough time to further research it, and develop a larger version over time, then what the Queen and government desired (spaces where magic force and coercion could not be exerted) would be a possibility.
The meeting ended a short time later. Sirius and Harry had been walked back out under the same heavy security escort again. Once they'd left the premises, Sirius had side-along apparated with Harry back to Wood End Cottage.
-Detention Facility ~ Voldemort's Cell-
"POTTER!" Voldemort raged, trying to throw himself at the bars of the Anti-Magic cage upon seeing Harry. His red eyes glared hatefully at the Artificer from between the bars. The rifles of the four guards all being raised and trained on the Dark Lord reminded him of his lack of Horcruxes, though he obviously didn't share that with anyone.
"Hello, Tom." Harry greeted the deranged man by his birth name. That naturally got him a snarl in return. "Just here to recharge your cage and strengthen this cell and the facility around it against magic." He explained like he was performing some routine task that was done on a set schedule. "Don't want you going anywhere until your punishment has been carried out."
"Punishment." Voldemort hissed at him. "Lord Voldemort will not be punished by the likes of you!"
"Oh, not me." Harry shook his head before pointing his thumb over his shoulder. "Them. The Non-Magicals that you attacked like the madman you are."
"How dare!" Voldemort didn't get to finish though.
"The prisoner will be silent or his compliance shall be forced." The soldier in the back right corner spoke firmly, his rifle clearly pointed at Voldemort's head.
Harry placed his wand on the bottom edge of the Anti-Magic cage and filled it with as much mana as the Runestones could hold. Now that they were full again, they should last at least two weeks, maybe a day or two longer, before needing to be recharged again. In silence Harry worked, attaching a wire of pure Zeclatite to the Anti-Magic Cage, before rolling out a spool of the stuff straight out of the door. The secured door locked shut with a loud sound behind him, but Harry just continued his work.
"Morning, Penny." Harry smiled at his girlfriend who was setting up a larger Anti-Magic Area around the room that Voldemort was kept in. This was her latest, stable, size of the Anti-Magic Area that she was using.
"Good morning, Harry." Penny returned the greeting with a grin.
The two were working in tandem to be able to further secure Voldemort in multiple layers of restrictions. The first layer obviously being the Mana Bane chains that were still wrapped around Voldemort himself. The second being the now recharged Anti-Magic Cage. The third layer was the Anti-Magic Area that Penny was setting up now. The wire that Harry had attached to the cage was going to be set up to a remote point in the security office so that they didn't have to enter so deeply into the facility to recharge it. In fact, the witches that were in the employ of the Queen could come here to recharge it easily themselves, which would eliminate the need for Harry or anyone else not directly affiliated with the government to come to the facility.
Harry had already constructed the device the Zeclatite wire would be attached to so that mana could be transferred into the Anti-Magic Area and recharge the cage. A second wire to the Runestones of the Anti-Magic Area itself would be added as well, to make charging both arrays easy. Once the three layers were finished, Harry and Penny would oversee the hiding of the wire and the stones by the maintenance crew. The Runestones and the wire would be covered by steel and made to look like a normal part of the facility. The government wasn't taking any chances that the fanatics known as the Death Eaters wouldn't try and breach the facility if they learned about it.
-Potter Lands ~ The Next Day-
The rhythmic sound of stone being moved was heard as Harry worked. The slabs of granite he was using to form the perimeter of his work area would all need to be carved and etched with the proper Runic Sequences for his plan to work. He'd been out here since shortly after breakfast setting things up. The crack of Apparation caught his attention and Harry smiled as he saw Tonks coming to see him.
"Afternoon, love." Harry greeted her as he stopped what he was doing.
"Wotcher, Harrikins." Tonks teased him with a small smile. "The paper." She handed him a copy of 'The Times' and Harry looked over the front page as he took it.
"Huh, that took a bit longer than I thought." Harry mentioned as he read over the front page article. "Well, 'The One Responsible' is a decent title at least." Harry commented on the large article that was all about Tom Marvolo Riddle, the self-named 'Lord Voldemort' and the sole cause of the attack on Britain. It included everything that the government had been able to get on the history of Tom Riddle. His age, childhood, when he'd disappeared from the Wizarding World's eye for years, how he'd come back and started his 'terrorist organization' the Death Eaters, all the way up until his defeat, capture, and detainment. "I can tell they're doing their best to ensure that everyone that reads this knows that Voldemort acted on his own and is a complete psychopath. Multiple mentions of how he violated the laws that 'good' and 'normal' witches and wizards live by."
"They're definitely trying to ease the tensions before anything bad happens." Tonks agreed with a nod. The Auror was honestly surprised that nothing bad had already happened, or at least nothing bad in Britain. There were unconfirmed reports from other parts of the world about tensions boiling over here and there. "For once I think we can actually thank the Wizengamot and the average witch and wizard for being so slow to act or decide on things. The old 'wait and see' attitude is probably better than whatever they would have tried to say or do if they talked to the Non-Magical government as a whole."
"Probably." Harry couldn't argue that the Wizengamot wouldn't make the situation worse if they got to speak to the Non-Magical government. The group was chocked full of Purebloods that probably didn't know or understand just how much the 'Muggles' had developed in the last century alone. "They've set a date for Voldemort to be tried for his crimes…" Harry mentioned after seeing the date near the end of the article.
"You and Penny might be called upon to secure the location if they don't just do the whole trial in that cell that they're keeping him in." Tonks mused as Harry set the paper aside.
"I can only hope that they just do it in the cell." Harry sighed as he sat down on one of the pieces of granite. "I'm a little busy right now." He patted the large stone beside him, inviting Tonks to sit.
Tonks sat next to Harry with a smile. "Is our home coming along well?" She asked as they leaned against each other.
"Still setting up the perimeter." Harry chuckled as he looked over the stones he'd already set up. "Once that's done, I'll have to make the stasis array so that I can build the whole structure by myself and make it an Artifact."
"What Grade?" Tonks laughed as she looked at the almost completed perimeter of stones.
"Greater at least, but I might try for High Grade this time around." Harry wrapped his arm around her waist. "Keeping our family safe is the most important thing in the world to me."
"Love you too, Harry." Tonks turned her head and captured his lips in a loving kiss. One that Harry was only too eager to return.
"I could probably take a quick break…" Harry mentioned, summoning a bottle of water to his hand from a small table set up a bit further away. He twisted the cap off and gulped down the cold water. "It's been surprisingly warm the last few days."
"It has, but I haven't been able to enjoy it at all." Tonks grumbled at not having a proper day off since this mess had started. She had half-days at best, but at least that was something.
Harry grinned and pulled her a little closer with the hand holding her waist. "Well…you're off work right now… I'm here… You're here… We're all alone…"
"Down, Harry." Tonks playfully swatted his chest with her left hand.
"Says the woman that's currently making her tits bigger…" Harry pointed out the increase in Tonks's bust size. "I do believe that my Nym is in the mood." He snarked playfully, kissing her cheek.
"Oh no… You caught me." Tonks captured his lips again with a smirk. "After all of this shit, I need some time to relax~"
"I can help with that." Harry promised as he watched Tonks pull off her t-shirt, her large tits bouncing free since the Metamorphmagus hadn't bothered with a bra.
"You better, Harrikins!" Tonks straddled him and buried his face into her massive mammaries. She knew what her lover liked! "Mmm~ Ah, fuck yes." She moaned lowly as Harry's experienced lips and tongue took her left nipple into his mouth and sucked on it. Her other large tit skillfully being teased and toyed with by one hand while her ass was groped by the other. "I think your break is going to last a long, long time, Harry." She ran her fingers through his black hair to encourage him to suck on her breast more.
"I think I can live with that." Harry pulled back to speak before resuming his actions on her tits. He also thrust his hips up, letting Tonks feel his hardness as it pressed against her.
Tonks eagerly ground against Harry with a pleased moan. "That's exactly what I want, Harry." She moved her hips in time with his, creating more wonderful friction.
It would surprise no one that Harry's 'break' lasted until both he and Tonks were thoroughly satisfied.
Even though that meant that no further work got done that day.
Voldemort is now triple secured in his cell! The Death Eaters are flailing impotently without the Dark Lord or Dumbledore around. Snape is basically useless without Dumbledore to feed him information after all. But the threat of the old Wizard is currently enough to stay the leaderless Death Eaters' hands. How long will that last before one of them (Bellatrix) flies off the handle?
The Goblins are also plotting beneath Gringotts! They don't like Wizards normally, and now with things greatly changing, Ragnok seems to think it's time for another Rebellion! That might cause some issues in the future.
Harry's little project that he's been working out for the past year has been revealed!
An Artifact House! A home for the future Potter Family where they'll be safe for generations and generations to come!
Quite the 'wedding gift' Harry has prepared even way before the wedding! Kek! The girls certainly appreciate the thought and care that their Harry shows them and their future family.
Tonks and Harry both got some 'stress relief' too! *wiggles eyebrows* I'm sure that Fleur and Penny might pout about that and want their own! Harry is a lucky young man! But damn…he sure isn't going to get much work done for a while…lol.
Harry met the Queen! They discussed Voldemort's history as well as Harry and Sirius know it. Then they talked security. Harry isn't a Warder though, he's an Artificer, unless you've got A LOT of time on your hands…he's not the guy to help you with securing buildings against all potential Magical threats.
As for why I didn't use dialogue for that meeting?
Because I wouldn't dare to try and put words in the late Queen Elizabeth II's mouth. Not only is her passing still fairly recent, but as an American, I barely know what the Queen was like, having only seen her on TV and such a handful of times. It just didn't seem right to try and do so, you know?
What happens next in the wake of the fall of the Statute of Secrecy?
Keep reading to find out!
Current Mana Levels
Harry – 32,406
Tonks – 26,254
Penelope – 20,772
Fleur – 21,598
Until I get your reviews, later!