Keynote: For those of you that bitch about the goblins trying to get back at wizards, the wizards and the goblins have gone to war in the past, the goblins do not really give a shit about wizards and in my AU are irked about what they went through in the most recent war. They will push as far as they are allowed to push, Harry isn't all that business savvy, he's only eighteen.
To the people complaining about my updates, coming up with new ideas, or redoing old ones, please check my profile notes :D
Thank you, Nauze!
Chapter 2 - Goblins and Muggles
A few weeks after the war:
They would not let him into the bank.
Harry was nearly blinded by the flashes going off in his face as he turned to walk down the steps of Gringotts. Was it embarrassing to be turned away at the counter, his vaults not taken from but otherwise inaccessible? Yes.
Was he surprised? No, he had imperioed a goblin after all, and successfully robbed their bank, and to top it all off, he had stolen their dragon and had created a rather large skylight in the ceiling. But still, he had done it to save the Wizarding World, a point that goblins did not at all seem swayed by. What was it to them if the wizards killed themselves? If everyone else was dead, all the money would go to them anyway.
As Teddy Lupin's godfather, Harry had argued that he was due something, Tonks had had her own job after all, and had received for his trouble only two galleons and eight knuts.
So in a sense, Harry Potter, Chosen One and Hero of the Wizarding World, had lost his inheritance, the entire Potter and Black fortune, gone, poof.
Wouldn't Ron be pleased, Harry thought bitterly as he marched into Diagon Alley. The two galleons had been the remainder of Nymphadora's last paycheck, the eight knuts was what remained of Remus's vault. Even the deeds of his properties, which had been stored in the Bank were unavailable to him. Not that the house in Godric's Hollow was fit to live in, and Grimmauld Place was not a place Harry had ever wanted to return to. But Potter Manor had been a bit of a loss, not that Harry had even known it existed in the first place up until today.
Harry was fuming as he weaved his way through people, ignoring anyone who tried to talk to him. Actively elbowing a few people who were just a little too persistent.
He reached the apothecary relatively unhindered.
"Potter," a depressingly familiar voice drawled.
Harry looked up from the shelves to see Draco Malfoy and Theodore Nott. Neither looked up, yet another none-revelation as both their fathers had been sent to prison. Of course, Azkaban wasn't as bad as it used to be. No one trusted Dementors anymore and the government or -that is to say, Minister Kingsley Shacklebolt had sent a team to chase them to the Bermuda Triangle.
"I heard you're poor, Potter," Theodore sneered at Harry.
Harry couldn't help the grin that stole over his face, because of course, the goblins had gossiped, of course this day would get more difficult.
"You think being poor is amusing?" Draco said snidely, but with not nearly the same amount of scorn he used with him while they were attending Hogwarts.
Harry shook his head, "Just amused at the speed of rumours, is all. The news beat me to the door." He turned back to his search through shelves again. The shelves were all tall and backless so from the view of the counter, the shopkeeper could see almost everything, assisted by the angled mirrors on the ceiling.
Andromeda and Ted Tonks had a great library on healing potions. Harry wanted to brew some for Teddy, who was an incredibly healthy child, but Harry wanted to be prepared for when that didn't hold true.
He may have spent too long with the Witching Motherly Annual.
"Are you laughing at us?" Theodore threatened.
Harry looked up to meet the other wizard's gaze, surprised, "Why on Earth would I be laughing at you?"
"We lost the war and our fathers got sent to prison."
"I am aware of that, but forgive me if I fail to see the hilarity in separating families."
"Are you having a go at me?"
Harry rolled his eyes at the other young man, "Grow up, Nott. I never wanted to fight in the war, I am certainly not going to pick a fight in Diagon Alley." He found the needed mushroom spores and arugula pickled in horklump juice.
"That's a lie," Draco snapped. "You were always eager to pick fights."
Harry didn't bother responding as he mentally tallied up what he had left to buy and what he had left to spend. He thought he would just have enough.
"Are you even listening to me?" Draco demanded as Harry placed his items on the counter.
With one eye on the clerk and the other the two Slytherins, Harry asked, "How's your mum?"
Draco seemed floored by this question, "Why do you care?"
"Because she saved my life and whatever the differences are between our families, she, at least, is a good person at heart," he answered.
Draco stiffened but answered Harry's cordial tone civilly, "She is well, all things considered. I think she is too angry at my father to admit to missing him."
Harry handed over what was left of his finances to the clerk and grabbed his bag of ingredients. "Do you think he will get out early?"
Draco shrugged, "The government is in tatters, Potter, hard to know what will come of it."
Harry nodded, "Best of luck then, to the both of you."
"Best of luck?" Theodore seethed, "You and your little army ruined us!"
Harry met Theodore's angry brown eyes with his own tired emerald ones, "We were all a bunch of snot-nosed kids, Nott, our parents and our parents' parents were the ones to screw us over. I am starting to believe we didn't have as many choices about our futures as we were all led to believe."
"What the hell is that even supposed to mean!?" Theodore roared, there was a wildness about his anger, his eyes more animal than human.
A man at the end of his rope.
But Harry was beyond done being anyone's whipping boy.
"It means I don't give a damn whose side you're on so long as you leave my friends and family alone!" Harry snapped back. Spinning on his heel Harry stepped out of the apothecary and disapparated as soon as he passed the threshold.
Harry had made it his mission to keep the house clean, while Andromeda seemed to make it her mission to destroy the place. Sometimes he wondered if she just wanted to see how far he would go. But nothing and no one could be as bad as Uncle Vernon and Dudley in that regard.
However, when Harry got back to the Tonks' little home in their little muggle town, he could only wish for a Dudley scale disaster over the sight he beheld; flashing red and blue lights strobing the little blue house.
Harry felt his heart drop and ran to the house, pushing by the police officers who tried to stop him. He was yelling before he thought to form the words. "Teddy! Mrs Tonks!? Teddy!?"
He heard crying.
At least he knew Teddy was alive.
"Teddy!" Harry breathed, having just enough semblance of mind not to draw his wand in front of the muggles. As he entered the kitchen, where, Andromeda, dead-eyed and hollowed expression, was clutching a crying Teddy as strangers tried to interrogate the widow.
Harry grabbed the officer that was almost breathing in Andromeda's face and yanked him away, sending him stumbling back several steps.
He pulled and pointed a stun gun on Harry, "Who the bloody hell are you!?"
What was it with people shouting at me today?
Harry slid his bag of potion ingredients under the kitchen table -still serving as a changing table and snatched Teddy away from Andromeda before the witch could protest. Her arms fell limply to her sides and she watched Harry check over Teddy. Teddy stopped crying when Harry started swaying in place. It was a feat not to start hexing everyone, including Andromeda who was sinking into his shadow.
He knew she was hurting, but she could have at least tried to calm Teddy down. Of course, Harry didn't yet understand why the police were here. Actually, he didn't know much about the muggle police at all, Merlin knows they had never been around for him.
In the relative quiet, aside from the squawk of police radios, Harry spoke, "I am the baby's -who you have thoroughly terrified, by the way, godfather. Now tell me what the bloody hell you are doing in my home, harassing the lady of the house?"
The officer in question was shorter than Harry, had broad shoulders and had a pale complexion, had the good grace to look abashed. "I'm sorry, sir, the neighbours heard loud banging and a baby crying, we were called in. Ms.-"
"Mrs. Tonks," Harry corrected.
"Er- yes, Mrs. Tonks, has not been able to answer any of our questions."
"Any of your questions about what?" Harry asked.
A female officer with red hair spoke up then, "Our questions about why it looks like a tornado went off on the second floor?"
Harry closed his eyes, for the love of…
He took in a steadying breath, helped by Teddy's fresh baby smell. He shot a glance at Andromeda who still looked vacant. He wasn't sure she had blinked since he had arrived. Turning back to the officers, he said, "We all handle grief in our own ways."
"Grief?" the female asked, the outrage clear in her voice, "A new mother should have nothing to grieve about."
Harry shot another glance at Andromeda, but she made no visible reaction to the officers' words. "Mrs. Tonks is Teddy Lupin's grandmother. Her husband, Mr. Tonks and her daughter, Nymphadora Lupin as well as her son-in-law, Remus Lupin, died in a horrific accident not two months ago. I would say there is plenty to grieve."
The two officers in the kitchen and the three in the outer living room looked stunned. The officer Harry had almost thrown into a wall said, "I suppose that answers why a godfather such as yourself is…"
"Excuse me?" Harry asked, insulted that anyone would question his right to be here. Especially the police who had done nothing for him. Not when Vernon broke his arm nor when Dudley's gang would chase him through the streets intent on beating him.
The female officer had no problem meeting his gaze, "You're no more than a child yourself."
Harry wanted to see he had just fought in a war, died, come back to life, then ended the Dark Lord for a final time after -eight? nine? deaths.
But admitting to murder and war wasn't likely to get him anywhere so instead he smiled, and the woman flinched at the expression, "Teddy is my godson, Mrs. Tonks and I are all he has and he is all we have. My age is quite irrelevant to that."
She scowled at him, "What was your name?"
"Mr. Potter," Harry said, rubbing Teddy's back, and turning so the lights from the cop-cars weren't behind him.
"Mr. Potter, if you wouldn't mind answering just a few more questions, we will get out of your hair," the senior officer said.
"We can't just leave!" the female officer spluttered.
"Yeah," Harry said, the adrenaline crash finally hitting him as he realized that Andromeda and Teddy were indeed safe. The police wouldn't have arrived in time if they had been attacked. He wanted to sit down or collapse on the floor -he wasn't picky, either would do at this point. He hadn't been getting much sleep lately. "You can," he continued, "In fact, if you like, the door is right there. Also, I would like reimbursement for damages caused, because it looks like someone broke through a window or two." They must have opened the door after coming in through the window. He would need to have to ward this place properly.
"I cannot leave here in good conscience thinking that," she pointed to Andromeda, "-shell of a woman is fit to look after a child."
Harry was about to speak when Andromeda finally snapped to life, with an abruptness that surprised even Harry.
"Get out of my home," she commanded.
The female officer opened her mouth to protest.
Andromeda shrieked, "Get out of my house!"
For a moment, all Harry could see was Bellatrix Lestrange. And at that moment, a part of him nearly drew his wand and took her out.
But it was only a moment, and it passed in the next.
Teddy started wailing at the top of his lungs.
The first officer said to Harry, "We would like to follow up at a later date, Mr. Potter."
Before Harry could respond, the man was scurrying out of the house, and the rest of the officers who had already fled.
"So much for a conscience," Harry muttered, as he rocked back and forth on his feet.
Glancing at Andromeda, he realized her wand was out, hidden in the folds of her skirts. Harry honestly didn't want to know what spell she had cast to cause such blind fear in the officers.
This thought was quickly forgotten when he lightly patted the baby's back, resulting immediately in Teddy burping up half a bottle of formula and baby throw-up all over the both of them.
Andromeda -for her part after chasing off the law enforcement- had slid down to the floor, her back against the cabinets. She put her head on her knees but did not cry, she didn't move at all really, except to breathe.
Teddy had just calmed enough for Harry to switch shoulders and attempt to clean up the mess on the both of them when there was a loud crash of something falling on the second floor. Which caused a startled cry from Teddy, interrupted only when the baby boy threw up on Harry's other shoulder.
Harry sighed, he never could catch a break.
Harry made it up to the second floor in about four hours. Having read that babies could get burned by too hot tap water, he'd made do with a lukewarm handle towel on the changing table. After getting Teddy fed, burped, and to bed in his crib, Harry had to take care of Andromeda who got caught in her dress, a dress that had more hooks and hidden zippers than seemed practical to him. When he finally got her into the shower and had a breather to change out his own clothes, Andromeda was back out of the shower, wrapped in Ted's robe.
Her hair was a menace. Judging by the confused-upset look on her face that resembled Teddy's expression when he was deciding not to cry or not; he realized that Andromeda was more likely to hack off her hair than take care of it, he went in search of a comb. Harry directed her towards the couch and it took over an hour to brush through her dark curls.
By the time he was done, the damp snarls had turned into soft curls. It was so long that it hung to her waist. He really hoped she wouldn't cut it. Harry made up the sofa with a fresh spare sheet pillow and a throw blanket he had found in the closet. He was never sure if she ever slept completely, but she laid down obediently and closed her eyes, her breathing even out not long after.
Which finally gave him time to investigate what the hell had happened to call the police here as Andromeda hadn't been up for an explanation. He was barely able to get to the second floor, debris littered the steps. A tornado aftermath was sort of an understatement for the state of the upstairs rooms. The walls had been stripped, the furniture exploded, and the light fixtures had been torn to the ground. It looked like an attic that had been used as a dumpster.
Harry summoned the photographs, careful to focus on paper images, not the broken frames they inhabited. He was able to rescue about thirty photos and three photo albums. As for the rest, well, transfiguration had never been Harry's strongest subject. Charms and DADA, even Potions, he was more suited to. He would need help to clean this up.
He went back downstairs, putting the photos in the empty cabinet above the fridge. He found a spare piece of parchment in a drawl and wrote a letter to Professor McGonagall. It was only after finishing the letter that he realized that he had no owl to send it by.
Hedwig was dead.
Pain lanced Harry's heart. His familiar's death was one among many, but Hedwig had been his first friend and she had always been there for him even when they were far from the magic of Hogwarts.
Teddy woke then with a cry that wasn't sad or angry, just 'hey I'm awake, feed me'.
Harry went to him, able to ignore the fact that he was running from his pain, from memories that flitted through his mind like shrapnel-
Harry cut off his own thoughts as put his full focus into caring for the baby demanding his presence.
With a freshly changed diaper, Teddy was quite content in Harry's arms as he held the bottle for him.
He knew people said babies were hard, and he didn't disagree, he certainly had the circles under his eyes to prove it, but tending to Teddy was the simplest thing in his world. Natural, no doubts, no regrets, just being there, and being needed. If it wasn't for everything else, Harry might even have been bold enough to say he was happier than he ever had been.
Even so, by the time he made it back out to the living room, he was utterly exhausted. Andromeda was awake and in a simple black muggle dress. Harry didn't have time to sit down before she reached for her grandson. He passed the baby to her and fought not to flinch as Andromeda lifted her wand at him.
He almost broke the plastic bottle in his hand as he allowed her to wave her wand at him, divesting him of his shirt, shoes, and socks. Getting her message, he sighed as he slipped onto her place on the couch. She sat on the floor by his shoulder as he stretched out on the couch. Thanks to another swoosh from Andromeda's wand, the sheet and blanket cocooning around him as he gave into the comfort of the cushions. With Andromeda and Teddy, right there beside him, he slipped into a dreamless sleep.
The worries of the day, the fears from his past, the uncertain future, all of it he could set aside as the sleepless nights caught up to him.
Teddy and Andromeda were beside him, they were safe.
That was more than enough.
Harry woke at noon, the house was quiet, sunlight streamed in through the windows, they were further north than Surry so the heat wasn't as bad.
It was too quiet. Harry bolted off the sofa and ran for the kitchen.
Andromeda had Teddy cradled to her chest, she had propped open the back door with a chair and she was watching white clouds drift in the blue sky.
Harry let out a sigh of relief, shaking off his panic, and with not the slightest bit of lingering drowsiness, he went to the fridge to make something for them to eat.
Only there was nothing in the fridge, save for a bag of rice in the pantry, which reminded Harry to grab his potions supplies from under the table.
Rice it was then, his gut twisting when he realized that maybe buying more food would have been better than buying ingredients for potions they didn't necessarily need.
As Harry cooked, Andromeda watched the world pass by.
Harry ate his plate of spiced rice first. He stood and rubbed Andromeda's upper arm but she didn't acknowledge him.
"Come on, Mrs. Tonks, you can't starve yourself, Teddy needs you," Harry told her softly.
She moved, reluctantly, passing the baby to Harry. They had managed a rhythm in the last few weeks, primarily nonverbal; they kept each other alive, granted Harry did most of the work, but without an extra pair of hands, he would not have been able to care for Teddy on his own. Besides, however disjointed their rhythm might seem to outsiders, Teddy did not wake when he was passed between his grandmother and his godfather.
When she had finished eating, Harry said without preamble, "We need money. The goblins locked down my accounts, as well as Lupin's."
Andromeda said nothing.
"Mrs. Tonks, I don't have any money, I don't know how to take care of Teddy and you without money to pay the bills and for food."
Andromeda stood in a graceful movement. Grabbing the to-go baby bag that he hadn't from off the table. Pulling it over her shoulder, she went to the front door- Harry swiftly stood, and drew his wand, flicking it at the back door, shutting and locking it. With Teddy still bundled in his arms, he slipped on his shoes and Andromeda stopped in her path outside to take the sleeping baby from him so he could slip on a shirt.
With keys dangling from her fingers, he was left to follow her out into the summer sunlight.
"Where are we going?" Harry asked as he watched her put the near-comatose Teddy into a nice normal baby seat.
Harry sighed, as he got into the passenger seat as Andromeda started the engines. He wasn't too put out though, with the window rolled down it was hard not to enjoy the beautiful day as a warm wind blew on his face. It was also pleasant to be out of the house, he had been there for a month and apart from his trip to the supermarket and Diagon Alley had been his only two excursions. He wondered how everyone was doing.
He had yet to formally break up with Ginny, but as she had been off around the world, trying out for different Quidditch teams, unless he had been travelling with her they wouldn't have seen much of each other anyway.
He also maybe hadn't told anyone where he was and Hedwig was the only owl who had ever been able to find him without an address.
Hermione had gone to Australia to find her parents, which would have been the easy part, but if anyone could bring back their memories, it was Hermione.
Ron never would have written, except for his birthday. and no one else seemed to have tried.
Andromeda pulled the little car in behind a small rundown building. Still not saying a word, she got out of the car to take out Teddy's car seat -amazingly enough, he was still sleeping.
She handed the carrier to him before leading them into a garage, whose outside was beaten up and spray painted yet whose insides were sleek and shiny. There was a cheery sign above the reception desk that read, 'Welcome to the Black Market!'
"Um?" Harry asked.
Andromeda grabbed a clipboard from a stand and sat down to fill it out half the boxes before passing it to Harry, taking Teddy back with her.
Harry realized quickly what they were doing and filled out his personal information and faked the answers he didn't know. For instance, Harry knew when he had been born but not where.
A bubble gum popping, brown-haired boy who was only a few years younger than Harry, had him stand in front of a camera. Twenty minutes later, Andromeda was paying the kid, and Harry had a muggle birth certificate, a driver's license, and a passport. Spelling muggles was illegal, apparently using a duplicating charm on passport, not so much
After that, Harry didn't question if Andromeda Tonks nee Black knew what she was doing.
Their next stop was a bank, where Andromeda made quick work adding Harry as a signer to the Tonks bank account. When Harry saw the balance, he relaxed. Did he feel guilty about spending other people's money, of course, but then, he wasn't spending money on himself per se, he was spending money on his family.
And Teddy would never be made to feel like a burden, Harry Potter swore that to the galaxy. Teddy Lupin would always be welcomed in his own home and he would never question that he was wanted and loved.
AN: We added 3k to the story already! To those that have read this story already, welcome back and thank you for re-reviewing, it means the world! New reviewers, thank you so much! All your feedback and thoughts are much appreciated.