Chapter 3 Time Jump

-00-00-00-

The requested Child Wizarding Services witch had finally showed up. She was more than a little upset. Not about working on a holiday, that came with the job. Arabella Brightwater didn't mind that - it was for the good of the children after all.

Amelia had asked her to bring Harry Potter's file. She did.

It was utterly and completely empty.

Of course, she had had to hire a curse-breaker to find that out. Three times she had flooed to Bones Manor. Three times she had come without the requested file, and couldn't remember why she forgot it.

Goblins didn't celebrate Christmas, well, other than rejoicing in all of the gold going hither and yon which made them money. They were happy to provide a goblin curse-breaker. At holiday rates.

There were no records that anyone had ever visited Harry Potter in his home, no notes available on his potions to prevent childhood disease. No address or guardians listed. Not anywhere.

Shooing everyone out of the informal living room that was off the kitchen was going to be impossible, so she had the elves move Harry's train, dog, snacks, and grandfather into a small sitting room on the second floor. One who had windows as some downstairs were still under repair.

"Mr. Potter, I would like to talk to you, if that's alright." Mrs. Brightwater said after introducing herself. Her pen was recording just what she and anyone would say. No embellishments.

The questions to begin had been easy, light, getting the child used to talking. And then she asked about who had kidnapped him. Who had placed him in a position to be starved, abused. Who were they?

"I only heard one name, ma'am. But I heard it alot." Harry admitted. The man who had delivered him to be tortured. The man that Harry would likely never forgive.

The man who abandoned him on a doorstep with people who hated him. Hated Magic.

"No, it can't be! He wouldn't do that!" The stalwart witch was crying. For Harry, for herself, for her world. If the leader of the Light could do this, then were any of them really safe?

The great wizard left the boy with abusive muggles! Muggles that Harry Potter now feared. He didn't even like them as a group, didn't trust them as not one of them helped him. No teacher, no neighbor, no police officer - no one had fed him regularly, clothed him properly, gave him love. Stopped the pain.

Mrs. Brightwater's entire worldview was crumbling. The boy named Albus Dumbledore as the wizard that had delivered him into such an abusive environment. And the healer's report just confirmed the boy's story.

Acturus was crowing! Not aloud of course. No one could deduce his glee from his stern mien. This was glorious! Then, it sank in that his blood kin had been hurt. He was late - just like Sirius! Well, it wasn't as if he hadn't been trying to rescue both boys. He just hadn't known how badly Harry needed rescuing.

No, the abuse was inexcusable. Amelia had better take care of the muggles who had hurt his now grandson before he found and practiced some of the dark magic from his early days on them.

Dumbledore! Guilty of so much. Arcturus finally had something real that he could use to bring the man down. In Arcturus' wildest dreams he did not imagine this. The truth was so much worse than what Lord Black had originally thought. But for his plans, this was powerful. So much better! He had Supreme Mugwump now. Oh, revenge! Or, would it be better to wait? Undercut here and there? Kill the reputation before killing the man.

And above all, getting rid of everything rotten about the man had done to the wizarding world since the turn of the century.

Acturus had been a Slytherin when that meant clever, cunning, and quick to was going to raise Harry to be just the same. The wizard had left Harry with muggles, likely hoping to give the lad a rosy view of the powerless, useless creatures. Instead, he created a child who knew how dangerous muggles were. Feared them.. Never wanted to be around their kind again.

And in that moment, a plan was born. Acturus would make none of the mistakes of the half-blood Dark Lord that some of his own children and grandchildren had followed. That maniac killed without conscious, but his platform had been the pureblood cause. Death to the muggleborns.

Arcturus remembered a time when he was a child that muggles hated and feared magic. Would cast out witches and wizards from their midst. And the pureblood families would house them. Not in their own homes, of course, but on the estates. They were expected to work from a young age, and work they did. As servants of all sorts, learning to use their magic. Killing muggleborns - it was an offense to Magic herself.

Lord Black would make none of the mistakes that the so-called Leader of the Light had made. Albus had tried to make the wizarding world copy the muggle one. Getting wizards to celebrate the muggle holidays, calling Samhain and Beltane dark. Arcturus had seen truly dark rituals. These holidays were not dark. Dumbledore encouraged his people to ignore the noble titles, and ignore polite manners. Most of the nobles detested the policy of trying to treat everyone the same. The only wizards that went along with it were blinded by the Leader of the Light and his true cause.

Ablus Dumbledore wanted to rule magical Britain, and make everyone conform to his ideals. His morals. His ways.

Arcturus, Lord Black would lead a different path. He would include the muggleborn. It hurt, he would admit it. But they had no titles, no wealth to speak of. Let them be shopkeeps while the Lords of their world sat in leisure. Let the muggleborns serve as the late night duties, the cleanup staff, the lowest and dirtiest jobs. Why keep out those with magic? Encourage them to stay in the wizarding world.

But the cost of inclusion would be conformity to a new order. Bowing to their betters, curtseying and giving way to the Lords of the old families. Most old purebloods had a small village or at least several small homes where local vassals lived. Let them be repopulated again.

Dumbledore did much to pretend to like muggleborns, but took their higher-than-a-pureblood's tuition, promised them the sky, and did nothing to help them after they were done at Hogwarts. It was needed for the budget after all.

Albus had never done anything about the laws to get them hired in the ministry. Or argued for the changing of the hiring practices in shops. Had done nothing to reduce the taxes that they paid as shop owners or renters.

New muggleborns came in, the ones of age mostly left the wizarding world. Back to the muggles who hated them.

Acturus' idea would cost gold. A lot of it at first. But the investment would pay off. The people would stay in their world, reducing the risk of the Statute of Secrecy. Their wages would be spent in shops, rather than the drain of muggle money coming in in exchange for gold, and never going the other way around.

Lord Black would rule the Wizengamot. It was past time that the leader of the light retired. And Arcturus wouldn't have to bribe anyone or lie or anything!

Long live the new Leader of the Light. Arcturus' name would be on everything as Regent until Harry was old enough to take over. But it would be 'Harry said this, Harry thought that.' For years. Oh yes.

Dumbledore had lost before the game had really started.

He just needed to make sure that his custody of Harry Potter was solid before Dumbledore could even think to try to get the boy back.

Arcturus was about to begin the Muggleborn Coalition.

-00-00-00-

Acturus, Lord Black, had been worried about obtaining legal custody of his new heir. However, his solicitors had come through. Before Harry's new glasses and clothes were ready, he had the official paperwork. Signed by no less than five department heads and the Minister of Magic, himself!

As soon as that chore was done, the real work began. Gathering allies, showing people the benefits of his plan, and getting things started.

It helped that Dumbledore was no longer in the ministry. He had even been charged and gone to trial! Found innocent of course. The man could have been caught in the act, and still be voted innocent. Too many people owed him, or were owned by him.

It would take time. And diligent work. But his plan would prevail, and nothing would stop him from being at the top.

Lord Black beamed at his grandson.

Now, they needed a new home. None of the Black properties would do for the new Leader of the Light after all.

-00-00-00-Time Skip

"Mother, I don't want to go to the reception! There's going to be dancing! And you know that Pansy will chase after me until I dance with her, and then she'll..."

The tirade was stopped with a glare. Draco gulped.

Narcissa Malfoy bit off what she had been about to say. 'Why can't you be more like your cousin Hadrian.' She had hated being compared to her sisters growing up, and hated it still. She wouldn't do that to her son.

"Draco, it's expected to be polite."

Arcturus Black had gone from semi-retirement to nearly leading the country in the last few years. He had been accepted as part of the Bones and Abbott family, and was always invited to the girls birthdays, yule, and all other significant family events. He treated the girls as his own grandchildren.

His new coalition, sometimes called the Muggleborn Coalition, wasn't led by muggleborns. Nor did it expect those of upper echelons to socialize with them. It did however, expect the nobles to treat anyone with magic with a certain amount of respect.

In other words, you didn't kill the people who healed your animals, cut your hair, washed your clothes, or served you in restaurants.

Lord Malfoy had been upset by the changes, but had conformed. There was too much gold involved not to. And while he detested his wife, he loved her gold. Her income from the Black estates had swelled the Malfoy coffers for years. He would do nothing to stop that river flowing his way.

Lucius remembered when Lord Black first claimed custody of Hadrian Potter-Black. Three beautiful, wonderful days of Albus Dumbledore throwing an epic tantrum about Arcturus Black kidnapping Harry Potter! People had been in arms about it. Solicitors for several important families made a fortune trying to get the boy in their own custody.

Until the truth started to trickle out, how it was Black that rescued a kidnapped Harry Potter. How Black was his closest living magical relative, and should have had the boy the whole time. That the crime of Harry Potter being kidnapped and missing hadn't been reported by Dumbledore! Ever! It was even reported that Dumbledore colluded with the kidnappers, though Dumbledore denied everything. 'Not enough evidence to convict.' Hah!

Lucius didn't know, but Narcissa did that Amelia made sure that the muggle authorities arrested Vernon and Petunia Dursley quietly. She wanted them to face justice, and not of vigilante type. The people directly responsible for Harry's abuse were sent to prison, but that never made the paper.

Dumbledore went on trial, as he had claimed guardianship in the Wizengamot, and never told anyone anything else. The healer's report sealed Dumbledore's fate. But the man had shed very realistic tears and claimed he didn't know, and thought it best for the boy to be raised with his closest blood family even if they were muggles, to be raised to be humble, not have the fame and wealth that was his right. To be raised without magic.

That fact, admitted to in public, secretly appalled most of the Wizengamot. Even those who still blamed him for the death of the Dark Lord felt that no magical child should be put with muggles!

The last five years had been eventful.

Acturus would show up now and then in the society pages. Always next to him was his adoptive grandson and heir Harry Potter-Black. The books about Harry Potter hadn't stopped, nor had the merchandise, but Acturus now knew exactly where the gold was going for these things. And how many people were employed because of these things.

The Potter coffers were now growing instead of slowly shrinking.

All of the investments for the muggleborn side of things had shown earlier returns than expected. The Black vaults were also swelling nicely.

Narcissa knew that too as her 'allowance' from House Black was quite a tidy sum. Well improved from when she was first married.

In the background, the Australian born Ares Black and his girlfriend Persephone Lystander would sometimes be pictured. Narcissa thought that Ares definitely looked like a Black, but with his decidedly foreign accent, it was a good thing that he was pursuing a foreign witch as no one of any breeding would marry a non-Brit, who was also the son of a squib, no matter who his sponsor was.

One had to think of the children of such a partnership, after all.

Lucius' scowl could be seen well before he actually entered the floo room. He stopped suddenly, and shook his head.

"You should have worn the dark green dress. This robe makes your skin sallow." The blond man said, enjoying the pain he caused the woman.

"Lucius, you look very handsome." Narcissa tried to hide the hurt. One day her husband would give up his mistress, and notice what he had here. True love. She truly cared for him, but he had wanted her sister Andromeda, not her.

Family was everything to her, and she would have loved to have had a quidditch team worth of children. The blood curse by Artemenon Weasley would prevent that ever happening. Sometimes a Malfoy family was lucky enough to get an heir and a daughter, but with what happened to Lucius' parents, she would likely be a squib, and sent away. It wasn't something to talk about or dwell on.

Draco saw his chance, but knew he had to be cunning about it. "Father, Sable was favoring his hind foot. Shouldn't I stay here, and help the animal healer when he comes. He is my Abraxan after all."

Lucius let out a very pureblood snort.

"Nice try, son. Now, let me look at you. You're growing so much. Please remember this. That James Potter attracted much in the way of negative attention, and trouble, and you will one day be the Black Heir if our Hadrian decides to follow in his birth father's path. Am I clear young man?"

"Yes Father. Be respectful of Lord and Heir Black. Play nice. Don't be mean to Pansy." Draco recited this with a resigned tone, but his parents ignored it.

"Why did Pansy's parents decide to change alliances?" Draco demanded. The last few months had been a nightmare for him. Especially when Pansy told him that her Harry Potter doll was now sporting blond hair, and was renamed Draco, and her doll Pansy and the newly renamed doll were living in Potter Manor and they had two girls named Tiffany and Iris. His response that those weren't star or planet names had only made it worse.

"Gold, darling. Those in the Alliance are becoming richer. Outsiders, not so much." Narcissa explained darkly. How could she explain that the Dark Lord had promised riches and power and delivered torture and death? Many pureblood houses on both sides of the clash had been ended. Their lines dead. Gold forever lost in the bowels of Gringotts, waiting for the right heir to claim said treasure.

Looking at her only son, she shivered. If something happened to him before he had a child and after Lucius died, the Malfoy fortune, as it was, would be lost forever.

Hadrian Potter-Black was good for the economy. And it didn't hurt Arcturus' and his cause that he publicly declared that muggles were dangerous and to be avoided.

The Malfoys were of course going to side with family. That they had been informed privately that Tom Mavolo Riddle had a muggle father had been treated with raised eyebrows. No one in polite society would admit that, even if it were true. But the kick to the head was the anagram of the name. Lucius had sworn, and fled the room. Returning, he offered Arcturus Black a small journal that reeked of Dark Magic.

The next day, a new vault had been opened for Draco at Gringotts. And all of Draco's tuition had been prepaid at Hogwarts. Lucius had also noticed Lord Black meeting with a small team of curse-breakers in Gringotts.

Lucius shook his head from his musings, and went with his wife to the floo. He didn't have to like the changes. He definitely hid his extracurricular activities from his family. And he no longer targeted muggleborn, just in case it got back to Lord Black. He shook his head again. Into the lion's den.

"Potter Manor!"

-00-00-00-

Harry Potter watched the snow fall from a darkened small side room. He turned to see who was there when the door opened, light and music spilling in.

"Harry! Are you alright?" Ares demanded.

Harry let out a small sigh. He knew he shouldn't be jealous of his uncle getting married. It was normal. Ares and Persephone had dated for years it seemed like. Hannah and Susan thought it was so romantic. But they didn't understand!

Harry had gotten a new family with Ares and Grandpa Black for about a year before Ares and Persephone met on vacation in Australia. And then he started spending lots of time with her for awhile. Then the couple included him in things, but Harry still sometimes felt like an outsider. And now this! He didn't like this change. And Harry would be going to Hogwarts soon, and everything was different! He didn't like it at all. But what could he say?

"I'm sorry, Padfoot. I hope that you and Persephone will be very happy." Harry said, relying on his etiquette lessons.

"None of that, Hadrian. Please, come and sit with me for a moment. I saw you dancing earlier. Andromeda was very impressed."

Harry smiled in answer and sat next to the animagus. Maybe it was that, the loss of his wizarding familiar that he felt the most. He had seen less and less of the dog over time. Then he had been lied to! Told that the dog died! But Harry knew he still felt the bond. Then he saw Ares turn into Prince.

Betrayed!

And it was all due to this woman! This witch! Harry had had Ares/Prince in one form or another for five years, and now because of this person, he had lost something precious.

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you earlier that I was the Grim. I just wanted to protect you. As Padfoot, it was easy. We still have a lot of enemies."

"I know. You said."

"Harry, it's very important. Please."

"I forgive you, Ares, really. I just don't understand how I can still feel bonded to you. It's real. Even if I have to pretend that my familiar died." 'The one I called the wrong name. No wonder Grandfather laughed at me. The Black Prince. Ha, ha.

The man scratched at his newly clean-shaven face. It was still itchy, but his bride had insisted.

"I'll try to explain a little. You know that I am your sworn godfather, right?"

Harry looked to the doors and raised his hands. The music stopped abruptly. No sound was getting through.

"We're bound in a special way. People can share different kinds of bonds. Like tonight, the ritual that bound Persephone and I. Not everyone does that. We're in a marriage bond. I feel her so happy right now. And I am bound to you. It's a bond of family. An important one. I can feel you when you are sad, and that's why I'm here. You're not losing me, Prongslet. Never again."

The handsome man pulled the child into a short embrace, and continued his reassurance.

"Persephone and I will only be gone a week, and then we'll work on being a real family." Ares pulled the boy into a warm hug this time, holding him tight..

The hug was everything that Harry needed, when the door opened again. Urg, the woman was here!

"There you are! Harry, it's time for our dance, and I couldn't find you anywhere!"

The blonde-haired buxom witch looked like she would be as brainless as she was beautiful. But she was actually very clever, and was an arithmancer of the highest order. She had tried getting closer to Harry by tutoring him in maths, preparatory to school. Harry was good at it, too.

"Really?" Harry asked, looking at Ares for confirmation.

Harry Potter didn't know he was supposed to hate dancing as much as his cousin Draco. He loved it! And he looked forward to being taller, and able to do some of the moves that Ares did.

The new family of three held hands, Harry in the middle. It would take time for them to work it all out, but they would be stronger for it.

Harry being invited to EuroDisney that was part two of the honeymoon didn't hurt either.

Persephone laughed as Harry twirled her around the large ballroom of Potter Manor. The guests invited were the elite of the wizarding world. The only one without an invitation was Albus Dumbledore. The elderly wizard had lost his position as Chief Wizard when he went on trial for child abuse against Harry. An invitation had been offered as long as an oath was sworn that Dumbledore would leave Harry alone. The elderly wizard had shown such an unnatural interest in the boy that Acturus worried about him being interested in him more personally. The man refused to give said oath, so he was not allowed to attend. To the relief of everyone in the family.

Harry had spent years working to contain the magical power that had been unleashed on Christmas, no Yule, five years before. Somehow, going through the powerful wards at Azkaban had removed some sort of power block on him.

He was a mage. He could see magic.

Blood wards protecting him had attached to Potter Manor, where they had been living the last five years. It was only now, this Yule, that they had invited anyone there besides close family.

Harry laughed at the bad joke that Persphone had just said. No, everything was going to be alright. Yes, he lost the perception that he had a familiar, but he was going to gain something from this. An aunt who wasn't nearly as formal as Narcissa, and who embraced fun as much as Dora did.

Harry turned and spun the glowing bride again. Her swirling dress caught against her stomach. He knew it was death to suggest to a witch that she looked like she was gaining weight, but really, she had since summer and their swimming together. But he would keep his mouth shut.

And he looked up to see her smiling at him, a real smile.

Maybe everything was going to be alright.

-00-00-00-

A wraith lurked in the wilds of Albania. Slowly losing strength over the last decade, the entity possessed small animals from time to time, but mostly just sat in a dank, dark cave and waited.

The appearance of a Muggle Studies teacher was the last thing that was expected. Why would such a mild-mannered wizard of mediocre power decide to teach Defense? Well, if anyone was going to get that position, it should be him. Or rather them.

-00-00-00-

Harry clutched the letter in his hand. Finally, it was here! His Hogwarts letter was here! He ran into the study. Persephone was in the nursery, but was called in, Ares was in a comfortable armchair discussing the latest werewolf legislation with Grandfather Black.

"Oh, do stop the bouncing, boy, and tell us what has you so wound up?" Acturus demanded, in a false gruff voice, pretending not to see the letter in the child's hand.

"It appears that I have been accepted into yet another magical school. This is one that I did not apply to, however."

Ares turned a snooty snort into a controlled cough. "And pray tell, what school has solicited your attendance."

Harry held up the seal.

Grandfather Black pretended to contemplate. "Well, Lucius has done some good there. Gotten rid of Binns, and is trying to get a better defense, and a different divination teacher before the start of term. I suppose, if you wish to attend there, you may try. For a time."

The unspoken threat of 'as long as Dumbledore minds his manners' hung in the air.

Harry took this as a dismissal, and left the room with barely acceptable haste.

"Sometimes I wish I had stayed his familiar." Ares mused.

"And risk someone like Snape recognizing you? Well, Sirius Black is dead and mourned by few. You are alive, and your wife has given you a beautiful daughter."

Ares smiled at that. No one knew how this miracle had happened. Supposedly, Ares was infertile due to Azkaban. He explained it as a curse gone wrong in younger days fighting Voldemort. Persephone had wanted children. Hadn't they been careful, just in case, when they were dating? Well, mostly.

"Are you worried about Dumbledore?" Ares asked. His trust in the man was broken after the first week or so in Azkaban, when it was clear that no trial was pending for Walburga Black's little boy.

"Always."

-00-00-00-

The wards of Potter Manor were ancient, and extended around the great house in an invisible barrier. It kept out pests of all sorts, including unwanted guests. Well, most of the time.

There was a very tall man, no, far too tall to be a normal wizard, sitting in the stands of the quidditch pitch, watching a very happy boy ride flat out on his broom who was trying to catch a practice snitch.

The minute the golden winged globe was caught, the man began clapping.

"Oi! Well done, Harry! Well done!"

Now what Hadrian should have done was call an elf for help. Strangers didn't just pop onto their property willy nilly, but he didn't. Neither did he use his emergency portkey to return home, within the safe and strong wards. No. Instead, the curious boy went flying near the man sitting there. Landing, he walked over to the wizard.

"Good morrow, sir. I'm Hadrian Black, as you obviously know. May I know your name?"

The large man frowned deep into his beard with that.

"Nay, you're Harry Potter, and you're going to make a thumpin' good wizard, once you're trained up a bit. I'm Rubeus Hagrid, but you can call me Hagrid, everybody does. It's time to go get your school things. I've got your key and everything."

Heir Black started to tell the man that he had already been shopping for everything but his wand. Ollivander wouldn't let him have it early, even though it had zoomed to him on entering his shop. Harry wanted the wand.

Heir Black also knew that this man was nice, and safe. He would protect Hadrian from evil wizards. And Harry had nothing to worry about at all.

Harry shook his head. He was having trouble thinking straight. Oh yes, the man was offering his name, so being polite, Harry offered his hand for shaking.

The large man took Harry's in his and gave it a couple of polite pumps. Then he said "To Gringotts".

"Wait!" Harry started, but it was too late. He felt the pull of the portkey, and was taken to the side entrance of the marble bank.

The heir of House Black and House Potter landed with extreme grace and annoyance.

The sudden portkey and landing had shaken his stupor, but only a little.

"Wait! You didn't ask, I didn't tell my family where I was going, and I'm not dressed properly for being in public!" The young wizard complained, being dragged to the nearest door.

Harry was wearing black pants and black dragonhide boots. Norweigen Ridgeback. His quidditch robes were clearly dirty - he had tumbled more than once on the pitch. Sighing, he cast a quick, wandless cleaning spell as the gigantic man never stopped or slowed down.

Harry was fighting the compulsion to stay with Hagrid with everything he had.

"Now, we have to be careful of goblins, Harry. Dead clever goblins, but you don't want to go upsetting them." Hagrid warned, pulling Harry into a normal service line.

The man completely ignored Hadrian trying to point out a different desk for people like him, and kept giving him basic bits of information as though he had never entered a wizarding bank before.

"Now money is quite simple..." Hagrid droned on. Harry ignored that but he did try waving at the Black account manager. Unfortunately, said goblin was weighing fist sized rubies, and seemed to be oblivious to anything but the blood-red stones.

Finally it was their turn. "I'm here to pick up the you-know-what in vault you-know-which. I'm also here to allow young Harry here access to his vault for his tuition and school things."

"Does young Harry have his key?" The teller peered down.

"Snapfist! I'm not here of my own free will! Please contact my grandfather!" Harry tried to say in Goblin, but nothing came out.

"I have it here, somewhere. Handing Harry various pocket things to hold such as live mice, a mince pie, last week's Daily Prophet, some unicorn mane hair, some unicorn tail hair and 10 sickles, he finally found the right pocket, and handed over the key.

"How did you have the Potter vault key? No one could find it!" Harry tried again. No sound. "Please help me."

There was a brief flash of light, and the slightly dazed goblin nodded, and handed it back.

This wasn't good! Harry recognized magic, and something powerful just happened. The goblin waved man and child to a track nearby, and promised to send for a driver.

Griphook!

"You!" Harry spat. "I heard that you had been beheaded for betrayal."

The goblin either didn't hear him, or ignored him. Either way, Harry was hustled into the cart, and started the fast trip down.

At least he was finally going to get to see the Potter vault.

-00-00-00-

"I thought that we were going shopping today?" Persephone asked. She didn't look forward to the floo, apparition, port-key or any other transportation. But needs must. Maybe she could walk to Diagon from here. It couldn't be that far from Wales, could it? Or maybe hire mounts for the beautiful old carriage in one of the barns?

"That was the plan, my lovely. Harry must be going out of his mind to have bonded with a wand, and not be able to get it."

Ares had to take off his family ring that connected him to Harry because of the distress. It was painful. For him and his grandfather.

"And there's that muggleborn serviced new shop that has all of those lovely short robes…"

She rolled her eyes and him, but before she could say more, Acturus joined them at table looking concerned.

"Are you sure he said quidditch pitch? I found his broom in the stands, which is odd. He never forgets to put it up. But no signs of him. And no signs of accident, except for some minor pitch damage. He truly wasn't there. And he's been in distress." Lord Black actually was showing his concern.

Ares' eyes clouded. "The wards haven't pinged all day."

"The wards don't cover the pitch. Easier back in the day when the village would come out to watch." Acturus explained.

Persephone felt like hitting both of them. She called for an elf. Jexter was the first there.

"Please tell Harry that he's late for lunch."

Jexter pulled his ears. "Master Harry not be being here, Mistress. Jexter not knowing where Master Harry is being."

"WHAT!" Both Ares and Acturus exclaimed.

"Take us to the pitch, now!"

Acturus had his wand out, and casting for detection spells.

"Very faint. Portkey, had to be less than 3 hours ago, but more than an hour. He could be anywhere." Persephone said. Arcane symbols of light. "The portkey trace shows the ending point in London. I can give you the exact address in a short while, but I need time."

Acturus was furious. Was the boy dead that he hadn't used his emergency portkey? What was happening to him? He concentrated on his ring. Distressed, but not really a different level since bonding with but not getting his wand.

Persephone started murmuring again, numbers and symbols once again lighting up in front of them.

She suddenly stopped, and then turned and started walking up to the house.

"Love, what are you doing?"

"It's lunch time, my husband. I need to feed your daughter after all." Persephone said, eyes a little vacant, smile more than a little off.

"Persephone Black, we have a problem. We need your expert help!" Acturus demanded.

The lady stopped for a moment, withdrew her wand, started to return and then turned to go back to the house.

"Sorry, sir, but really all is well. Everything is just fine."

Everything was not fine.

-00-00-00-

A/N If you are enjoying the story, please let me know. The story is actually complete, but I am trying to put a bit of polish on it.