Chapter 23 – Expansions and conclusions

The goblin nation had quickly started investing in the Mage Isles, after that meeting. Harry and Ragnok had been in their talks for a few hours, too. There was much to be discussed, and many old grievances of the goblin nation were brought up, with the express purposes of ensuring that they would not come up again. Harry had a few things to add to that, considering they were different cultures. They'd both need to make concessions.

Harry's perspective and goal had still impressed the other monarch, and he understood why he'd heard rumours of a safe harbour for magical creatures, even before that meeting. In fact, it had been the reason why he'd decided to take the meeting himself. He'd heard about magical beings migrating, and he'd heard the grumbles from pureblood wizards, the world over, as magical creatures disappeared and ruined businesses that relied on potions ingredients that these creatures represented.

He'd obviously not minded finding out why that had been happening and had grinned at realising that the young monarch already had a lot of profit potential. Being in a position to bargain with the Lord Mage, would only benefit his people.

Harry had his own requirements, too. The goblin needed to understand why Harry wasn't selling parts of his lands off, and Ragnok had reluctantly agreed that it was probably a good idea. He did request for Harry to raise a new island that they could claim as goblin-occupied territory. Occupied, as in they'd claimed it, from Lord Mage, but without war and bloodshed.

That way, at least in writing, and in the eyes of any visitors that came to the Isles, it could be said that the goblins had sovereign rights on their own land. It was for the security of his own people. Lord Mage could simply imply that he allowed them to claim it, saying that he was allowing it only as long as they remained peaceful. Ragnok assured him that he would not forget that it was occupied only in name, though. He even insisted on a written agreement, that only he and Harry would know about, but which he could present should he ever need the leverage when his own people started pushing for more access considering they were a war-like people.

Harry had gone about building their island, next. It was beyond the Dragon Isle, for added security. Theirs, and his. When Ragnok had seen it, and the stronghold Harry had made of it, he'd smiled. Harry surely didn't do things by half.

The first thing they did, after that, was a tour of Gringotts. Ragnok, having been informed of the reason for the need while still under the oath that protected Harry, had insisted on going along with the Lord Mage's future apprentice and Alastor Moody. There was a contingent of carts, all connected together, with Ragnok, his cousin, Harry Potter and Alastor Moody in the front, and five more with many goblin guards in the rear.

"What's down that way?" Harry asked, as he monitored the connection he was following, and seeing it starting to turn.

"Let's see." Ragnok said, as he changed their route and they veered off. "I believe we have some of our older vaults down this way. Some of the Sacred Twenty-Eight were some of our first clients, and they got priority placement, if they paid for it, of course."

"Interesting." Harry said.

Moody was not surprised. No doubt Voldemort had requested that whoever he'd given this horcrux to, to put it in their most secure vault. If he ever fell, he'd need one of his followers to have easy access. An old pureblood family made sense.

Harry continued to monitor the link, and before long, they started getting close. He could tell, because the connection started changing direction, more quickly. "I think I'd like to see some more detail in these caverns if you don't mind Lord Ragnok?" Harry requested.

Ragnok, not being an idiot, realised that they must be close. "Of course." he said, smiling a sharp-toothed smile at the young man, and slowing their cart down to stop. He'd not had opportunity to tour the bowels of Gringotts in quite a few years, and he had used that as an excuse to accompany them. Of course, that had sent the goblins into a frenzy of cleaning and ensuring everything was in tip-top shape, for when their king inspected the caverns.

They disembarked the cart, and waited for the royal guards to do the same and form up, while Harry made a subtle gesture in the direction he was being led. Ragnok didn't nod, or anything, as he started marching in the same direction, while his cousin, more used to running this side of the Goblin nation's primary business, started talking about the age of the cavern, some techniques that had been used to excavate during that period, and some general information about the dragon they came upon. Apparently, the dragon in question had been ostracised from his reserve by bigger dragons, and they'd purchased the right of ownership, rather than have the creature killed for parts.

Harry made a note to address that issue at a later date and continued to follow. It didn't take long for him to come to a standstill.

"Do you know who's vault this one is?" Harry asked, as he looked at one particular vault.

"Well, as I'm sure you know Mister Potter, we take the security of our vaults very seriously." Ragnok's cousin said. He was a sharp one, and had realised that more was going on, here. He had no doubt that there was something that the young man wanted in this particular vault. "I can't tell you who vault number 711 belongs to." he said.

Harry frowned at that, even as he released an invisible interface plate and had it position itself. He'd be able to teleport in, if he ever found a way to bypass the goblin wards that he'd felt all over the place. If he ended up needing it.

"It is part of the treaties, that we must protect this information." Ragnok said, nodding. He was considering how he'd handle this. He knew who this vault belonged to. All goblins knew, because their own magic was in use in protecting and identifying the vaults. There was one possibility, though as a goblin he felt dirty just thinking about it. "Tell me, Mister Potter. Is it true that you are the sole designated heir to Sirius Black?"

"As far as I know." Harry said, shrugging. He didn't know where that had come from. "Are you telling me that this vault is the Black family vault?" he asked. He knew it wasn't. He'd seen the Black Vault. Sirius had taken him, when he found out that there were some old books about ancient magic being kept in the Black vault.

"It is not." the king's cousin said, as he considered why that question had been asked. He saw the look on Ragnok's face, and decided to step in, so that his cousin didn't do something unsavoury. "This vault can be claimed by House Black, though." he said, feeling dirty himself. Goblins didn't like getting involved with disputes on ownership, because fighting over ownership was not something they cared about. Getting involved was making more work for themselves. Well, that, and the fact that if a line died out, and nobody claimed the vault, they'd be able to take it for themselves. By giving this information out, they were basically giving up potential ownership.

'It's probably extended family, or someone connected directly to the Black family.' Gryff said, in Harry's head.

Harry considered that, as he went through everything he knew about the Black family, and who'd married whom. 'Either Malfoy, or Lestrange.' Harry replied. 'Considering Malfoy isn't a Sacred Twenty-Eight…'

"It's the Lestrange vault." Harry said, aloud. "Why would Sirius be able to claim it? Aren't the Lestranges still alive?"

Ragnok's eyebrows rose at that. How had the boy figured it out so easily? He'd know there was something special about the boy, obviously, but that had been lightning quick. He looked at Moody and saw a grin appear on his face. Apparently the old auror was used to this sort of quick thinking from the boy.

"Legally declared dead." Moody said. "Life-sentences to Azkaban is actually a death-sentence."

"Oh." Harry said, not having know that. "So… Can I claim the vault?" he asked.

"I'm afraid not." Ragnok said. His mind was still trying to connect the dots, in how the boy had figured it out, but he'd need to consider that later. Maybe the boy really was a prodigy, as his investigators had informed him. Shortly after the meeting on the Mage Isles, Ragnok had sent a few of his people on an information-gathering mission. They'd had a lot of interesting information come to light.

Apparently, the boy had been adopted by Madam Poppy Pomphrey, who'd started teaching him her craft. According to the grapevine, Harry had been involved with quite a few new techniques that were considered beyond next-generation, when it came to medical spells and research. His efforts had already been saving lives, for the last two years, through the use of a new petrification and de-petrification spell, which the boy and his adopted mother had presented during a medical conference a few years back.

Rumours also had it he had been involved with helping the Veela with controlling their allure, which was impossible before. Some Veela had stronger magical gifts, and the stronger their magic, the more powerful the allure and the more difficult it is to control. The shocking part there, was that the Veela in question seemed to gain the power to control their allure, themselves. There was no item, nor runes, nor rituals. It was like the boy had developed a way to simply grant them powers.

Then there was the fact that Harry Potter had apparently impressed a well-respected and world-renowned Runes Mistress with his own applications of runes at the age of twelve. This was confirmed recently by one of their own runes-masters, when they started inspecting some of the magics of Lord Mage's fortress, which Moody had given them access to, for a surprise they were arranging for the Lord Mage.

The last bit of information Ragnok had, he'd found out directly from the boy during their first meeting. Apparently, he'd been taking steps to becoming the first true Elemental Mage in hundreds of years, not that he'd admitted that that had been his goal, and used the knowledge he'd gained during his work towards that, to create a new magical form of flight magic, which used not only directed magic, but a form of memory, to impart runes with functions that he could cast in a single application of magic. Harry had not told him how this feat was achieved, but Ragnok was not a fool. This was obviously an application of his claim, which was apparently so revolutionary that he could simply will it, to allow others to use the magic on command.

This all had run through his mind, as he considered how he could help the boy get access to the vault. He had a choice to make.

Ragnok looked at his cousin, seeing shock there, too, before he nodded slowly back at Ragnok, apparently knowing where this was going.

"What we could do however, since Sirius Black could claim the vault and you are his designated heir, is to inspect its contents." Ragnok said, then. "It's not commonly done, but with permission from Sirius Black, you would be able to, and considering your status, you'd have at least the right to look but not actually extract anything, before we can get the paperwork done."

Harry considered the goblin monarch, as he thought about it. He knew that this was irregular, considering there were a few grumbles and grunts from the goblin guard, when their king started giving information to him, with no profit being visible to them. He'd done quite a bit of research into goblin culture, so he knew that there was more going on here.

"I tell you what." Harry said. "Considering you graciously offered me this information, I will consider owing you a favour in the future, in recompense. We do not need to push the boundaries of propriety, just now."

"Open-ended?" Moody asked, frowning. He didn't know what the plan was, but he knew Harry, and he suspected that he had a bigger plan, which would likely be a benefit to both parties.

"I'm thinking fair exchange, judged by magic itself." Harry said, as he held a hand out to the goblin king.

Ragnok had known the boy was quick and had decided to bet on that mind of his. His grin, as he took the hand and shook it in agreement, was one of victory. He'd made the right choice. Both he and the other goblins showed shock, when a feeling of magic's presence was felt, and both Harry and Ragnok glowed for a moment. The shock there, being that it seemed the boy was honest about keeping his promise, and he'd had no issue with invoking the ancient magics to prove the veracity and intent of his words.

"I thank you for your honour in dealing with us fairly and honestly and will take your favour in recompense for the goblin nation's service." Ragnok said formally. Then, "I should have known that you would be an intelligent and honourable young man, for the Lord Mage to take you in as a student." he added, just for the benefit of the goblin guard. No doubt this little exchange would be all around the goblin nation, before the day was out.

"Well, I don't know that being honest and fair should be considered honourable." Harry said flippantly. "I consider that how things should be. Honour is gained when the giving party gets nothing in return, or expects nothing in return for what he is doing. In that regard, I think you are the honourable one, Lord Ragnok. You didn't know that I would offer something in return, yet you gave me information that I find most useful. It was your honourable behaviour that led me to making the offer."

The goblin guard's eyes widened, as they considered that. This must be why their king had offered something in the first place. It was a show of faith. It had been a long time since there was trust between humans and goblins. It seemed that their king had known to take a chance and had gained favour with someone that didn't see them as the cave dwelling monsters that most saw them as which, in itself, was already a valuable result from the interaction.

"Only you think that way, Harry." Moody said, chuckling as he saw more of Harry's plan, there. "But I think I agree. Goblins don't normally do that. Lord Ragnok must see the same thing in you, that the Lord Mage does." If Harry gained support from the Goblins, besides just the king, and he's directly connected to the Lord Mage, there would be less chance of issues on the Mage Isles, when goblins started interacting more openly with the people there.

"I do." Ragnok said, nodding. He looked around then and straightened up, deciding to play one more card. "Should we continue the tour, or have you seen enough, Mister Potter?" he asked, grinning at the boy.

"I think I've seen enough." Harry said, instantly. He saw what the king was doing.

The goblins knew what that meant, as well. This hadn't been a tour, at all. This had been an errand that had yielded results that both parties found satisfactory. Some of them grinned, as they led the way back to the carts. The boy was connected to someone that their king obviously respected. A profitable day, indeed.

Getting Sirius up-to-date on things was not a long process. The only request he had, was to be let in on whatever Harry had been up to. Since Harry had already intended for him and Remus to move to the Mage Isles at some point, he had no issue doing that.

When Sirius was told about the Mage Isles, he'd not waited five seconds to start packing. Remus wasn't far behind.

Going to Gringotts, and claiming the vault was done right before Harry would take them to the Isles, and Sirius was so damn excited that he had taken Harry directly down to the vault, telling him to go nuts, while he scooped a bunch of gold into a bag. He had no doubt that he'd want to spend some money soon. It had taken Harry a moment to disable a few traps, but that had taken him all of a minute.

Harry had then made a bee-line to the horcrux. As Gryff had suspected, it was another founder artifact. Helga Hufflepuff's cup. He'd stuck the cup directly through his interface, sending it to Gryff, who was already waiting by the wizard killer armour. The armour had taken the cup and put it away, instantly.

Taking Sirius and Remus to the Mage Isles had been a quick move through a teleportation portal. They stopped first at the forbiddance, because everybody needed to, and Harry explained its use and how it was intended to help people feel secure and keep the Mage Isles a secret. Remus had not objected to it, because it would protect people from him. Sirius had a few more questions, but finally agreed and accepted the magic, too.

Harry took them to a temporary guesthouse which was usually where new people went first. A friendly older man, a werewolf, and his wife were in charge of new arrivals and showing them to the places they'd need to know about. They still insisted on taking the tour, after they'd dropped their things off, anyway.

Harry had no problem taking them on the tour, in a transportation shield. They had not expected for Reina to show up, and she easily kept pace with them, as they flew over the Mage Isles, with Harry showing them the other islands.

To say they were shocked, was an understatement. They saw all the sights that Moody and Poppy had, that first time, with one or two thrown in. The fairy forest was a new stop. They didn't enter, because the fairies were in the process of helping some unicorns get accustomed to the forest, but they did get a few waves from two fairies who were apparently waiting at the edge of the forest to tell people not to enter.

There were also a couple of centaurs at the marketplace, talking to a grumpy goblin who was apparently in charge of selling day-to-day necessities, which were sold and then turned into marbles using a rune tablet, which was the standard for large sales. The currency in use was gold, which all the creatures of the Mage Isles had access to, for services rendered.

The centaurs were quite capable of carrying loads and working with wood, and they offered limited readings of the future, to predict things like the weather. Whatever money they made, was given to their chieftain, who kept things like cost and demand in mind, when it came to finances. While buying and selling was a new concept to some, centaurs did like to purchase certain things, like luxuries or fresh vegetables not found in the forest.

Some other creatures lived off the land, and some were taken care of by others, which was considered part of their jobs, for which they received payment from town hall on a weekly basis.

Moody had handled most of the newcomers, and had thought to ask questions about how they would like to help and where, and if they required remuneration. Some didn't even want that, but just a nice place to stay.

There were still some issues, but strangely, the creatures started helping each other without much prodding from those in charge.

Sirius and Remus were more than impressed. Harry then told them he'd stop by to build their house the next day, just as soon as they picked a plot, so he suggested that they explore a bit, to get to know their neighbours.

Then, Harry left them by the public pool, to mingle with the sunbathing Veela. He'd grinned when Sirius looked like he was going to cry. No doubt he was moved by all the skimpily clad ladies. Hopefully Remus could keep him in check.

"Are you sure you've got all of them?" Dumbledore asked, as he, Madam Pomphrey and Moody stood in Dumbledore's office. Harry was about to remove his own connection from the madman's soul.

"I went all over the world, looking for more connections, just in case." Harry said, nodding.

"I went with him." Moody said. "He even let me see his detection program. I can't think that he missed anything. With how these things function, we'd have picked up on another one, if there were any."

Madam Pomphrey was still nervous, even though she did trust Harry's findings.

"And you are sure you can remove the one in your scar?" Dumbledore pressed. He was worried as well.

"I let him use the diadem to confirm his theory." Griff said. "He was able to move the soul-anchor and anchor it to another soul crystal, like the one Beth made for that last time."

"Still…" Dumbledore said. "We could… maybe just wait a little while?" he asked, hopefully.

"Are you seriously hoping that he'll keep a part of Voldemort's soul in his head?" Moody asked.

"But what if something goes wrong!?" Dumbledore objected, while Harry just rolled his eyes. "I don't want it there either Alastor. I just don't want to… I don't know how to help." he finally admitted.

Moody was quiet as he watched Harry with narrowed eyes.

"He's got help." Poppy said. "I'll be monitoring everything. If something goes wrong, I know how to carry on where Harry leaves off."

"And what if Harry is hurt?" Dumbledore asked. "Would you heal him, or continue the transfer?"

"If Harry gets hurt, I'm sure his system will be more than capable of protecting him." Poppy said, as she took a deep breath. She needed to believe in Harry. She couldn't doubt him, now.

"And I'm done." Harry said, as he levitated a crystal out of his pocket and let it hang in the air in front of Moody.

Moody, for his part, smirked. He'd seen Harry roll his eyes. In that moment, he had suspected that Harry would be trying for shock, again. He didn't let the boy shock him anymore. Not that he showed, anyway. He activated his own levitation system, and took hold of the crystal, before he used a finite system he'd created to disconnect Harry. The levitation system had been easy. The finite system was less so, but more useful. Being able to pull up a cancellation of any active magic at a moment's notice was very useful for many situations.

"Already?" Dumbledore asked, as something lightened in his heart. "You did it, as we talked?" he asked, still looking shocked.

"You were taking too long." Harry said. "I told you that I've had it isolated for a while now. It wasn't even anchored in me anymore. It was anchored to a piece of magic on one of my interfaces I dedicated to the task for the last few months."

"Interfaces?" Dumbledore asked. "Plural?"

"Oh, I've got a ton of them." Harry agreed. "Needed more mental real-estate, so I expanded it a bit. I now host different magics on different interfaces, so that I can dedicate my focus correctly. Beth was right about having more than one. It makes things much simpler to focus on."

Just then, the suit of armour walked into the headmaster's office. Moody, having been told of what had happened to the other soul-anchors, decided to trust the hat and let the armour take the last crystal.

"Not going to complain that all the horcruxes are in one place?" Harry asked, looking at Moody. He'd think that the man would complain and want contingencies.

"If nobody knows where they go, nobody can target anyone to find them." Moody said. "I don't care where they are, as long as nobody can find them, and Voldemort can't escape. I just want to be there, for when you destroy the monster."

"Consider yourself invited." Harry said, easily.

And that was that. They now had all of Voldemort safely contained, and as an added bonus, Harry had been able to do it in such a way as to protect all the items the horcruxes had been in. He still didn't know what the ring did, but he intended to find out. He had it in his interface already, where he kept the other artifacts, too.

Over the next weeks, the Goblin nation set to work importing all sorts of animals, insects and other necessities for the other islands. Moody was required to be there, when they went to those islands, and he always kept an eye, until the goblins were ready to leave, because until further notice, Ragnok had decided that the occupied territory was to be considered their home. Only the original goblin clan that had settled under the main island had been allowed to stay there, because they had been inducted into the forbiddance.

Unbeknownst to most, there was an interface door placed between the Goblin Isle, and the main island's underground goblin settlement. This allowed free travel, and security, along with a way for any wealth that they would start accruing, to be transported to the Goblin Isle. Nobody that was not on the forbiddance, would be allowed to leave the Goblin Settlement, onto the island, though.

Deep vaults were already being built under the Goblin Isle, and Ragnok had plans for Harry to help them use interface portals to connect to the other branches of goblins, around the world. If needed, he'd call in that favour. This would make their global community a much more connected one. The branch managers of the different Gringotts branches could even come together for meetings, then, and the goblin nation would once again become a powerful magical clan, something the wizarding world had long been trying to stop.

There were a few other developments on the Isles, over the next few months, as well. More magical creatures came out of hiding, and made contact, and Moody, since he was in charge of that, had gone to meet with many of them.

Many mythical creatures from Japan and China, for example, wanted to take part in living freely again. Oni, Kappa and a few Yuki Onna, from Japan, needed their own places, and Harry had needed to set up new forbiddances for them, too. The Yuki Onna, a kind of human-form creature that exuded cold, needed a control program to actually stop bringing frigid weather, but they'd not had a problem with that, and actually enjoyed being in control of that apparently, much like the Veela. And just like the Veela, they were all beautiful women and girls, too, with a different form of allure, which made them seem unnaturally beautiful. Alien, almost.

The Chinese also had a sort of wingless dragon, which looked like a snake, but very large and capable of flight. There were not many of them, but they were apparently considered divine beasts. Two of them, a mated black and white pair, could even take human forms already, and speak, but only in their native tongue. Harry had been able to help with a bit of time and a translation function, built into a program, which they allowed him to give to them.

They'd almost greedily taken that magic from him, as he allowed it to them. In a strange twist, the female of the pair had considered the magic, understood it, and offered Harry the same magic back, instantly modified, so that he could understand all easter languages, as they did, which Harry had only smiled about, and accepted. That one had given him a headache because there were suddenly many new things in his head. Culture was a large part of that information, since languages contained much of that, like how something was meant to be said, what was considered humour, and why certain things were necessary, so as not to cause offense.

There were hundreds of werewolves, that had decided to come, too, and they became the manual labourers of the island. Well, as manual as you could get with magic helping, anyway. In the end, they acted more like designers and architects. Their goal was to show that they were capable of more than the savagery that people tended to associate with their kind. They worked on building roads and larger buildings that could house many.

The Veela, as was their nature, decided it was their job to make the Mage Isles, and its primary human town, simply referred to as Unity, a place of beauty. They worked on creating sustainable water-features and planting flowers and basically anything that they thought was pretty. A central park, just outside of the shopping district, was already overflowing with pretty colours and had soft grass and tall, wide trees, to create shade. The forest nymphs may have helped with that, but they were still never mentioned. Apparently, they just liked being mysterious like that.

Then, there were the muggleborn. Hundreds of them had made the move to the Isles. People that had settled somewhere outside the magical world, and lived with muggles, hiding their magical natures and just living their lives. These people were usually quite disillusioned of the wizarding world, but the magical world seemed to only draw them in. Moody and Harry had needed to take a bit of time to learn their skills, and then started making plans to profit both them and the Isles.

The Mage Isles' bank, also Gringotts, was more than happy to pay salaries for people who worked on the island, in the various positions that were being filled and who worked primarily on the islands and to their benefit. Strangely, Ragnok informed Harry that they were still making more money than they were spending, due to the magicals that were going out into the world, and selling magic to mundane people on the sly. This, obviously, made the goblin nation quite happy, and they just started spending more money on educating and training people who could then go out and work in the human world.

The goblins were also getting in on that act, because they had the Lord Mage's magic to turn them human, something he'd even offered them, to go into the mundane world and learn about how to profit themselves. There was an agreement, though, about a percentage of any money they made, as humans, being put into the Mage Isle's already considerable fortunes. Ragnok had even put his foot down, when some of his managers had complained about that, and insisted that it be a larger percentage. Any investment they made into the Mage Isles, would only solidify their value to the Mage Lord, someone that every goblin knew their king respected and trusted, which in and of itself was no small feat.

As a result of all the people and creatures coming to join the Mage Isles, and the magics they brought, the islands were soon bustling with activity, life and magic. Even so, the islands were still very large, and it would take a long time for them to need more space. Magic was more than capable of supporting a large settlement, on less space, and for that reason, it was estimated that Harry had already exceeded the needs of the current and future populace, by at least fifteen to twenty years. That was also only the estimate, and only if they didn't expand the lands that they were on magically, which was still an open option to them.

Still, they were making provision for the future, by working hard, and stocking up on foodstuffs. Large spaces that were built by dwarves, and protected by magics to keep things fresh, were starting to fill up with grains and other necessities. They had storage for building supplies, lumber, cloth and other non-perishables, too. Some of those were even being purchased in the muggle world.

There was apparently also a whole warehouse, which was stocked with creatures that had been put into magical stasis, using Harry's petrification magic. It was supposedly so that they could regulate use of crops, feed and produce, and only to use what was necessary, as the needs arose. Moody had been involved with that project, apparently. He did have access to the petrification and de-petrification magics, after all.

Harry had also been told that the Mage Isles needed a few things, like a coat of arms, because while people were intrigued by the Mage Lord's mystery, they still wanted to show their support. So, when Harry designed something, with Moody, Gryff, Fawkes and Poppy's help, it shocked him when he saw that almost every house, shop, facility and building in general, sported the new design, less than a week after it was designed and introduced. It was even engraved on the Town Hall, in a dazzling array of fluctuating colours.

The coat of arms, which showed no one creature, because he didn't want to show favouritism, looked like a multi-coloured door, with a claw, talon, hoof and hand, on the four corners, made to look like they were keeping the door open, over a black background. It was meant to illustrate that the many species were the reason that the Mage Isles existed in the first place.

In the wizarding word, and for the ICW, the fact that magical creatures the world over had started disappearing, was a concerning fact. Yet, they had been unable to predict or stop it from happening. There was a big concern about it, too, because some of those magical creatures were used for things that were essential for the wizarding world. Some potions ingredients became impossible to come by, and what stock there was, soon either sold out, or were hoarded by the owners.

The wizarding populace were making demands of their governments that they find out what was happening, but no answer could be found.

Albus had obviously had a word with Harry about it, and he'd sighed, before he started working on using magic to extract said ingredients from the different species, in such a way that they did not suffer from the need to contribute. After a bit of work, Harry had had Dumbledore there to see an ingredient extracted, as Reina herself activated a new ability, which safely and painlessly extracted a heartstring from her own body without hurting herself.

It had simply looked like she held her hand in front of her chest, and the program which used a model of her heart to grow the required part and then remove the excess had left her having used some magic, but perfectly healthy. That was the idea for all the ingredients but with the creatures choosing how much to give. A percentage of the funds from selling the parts would then go to encouraging the creatures to continue doing so, with either money, food, or other luxuries.

This system soon had the wizarding world sighing in relief, as the market was soon back up, and once profits started rolling in, the ingredients increased in availability, since the creatures so loved their luxuries. The profits for such sales, were always handled by the goblins. They'd learned to protect themselves, though, and they told the people that they were buying the ingredients from the seller, who had a contract to remain anonymous. The goblins were not complaining about making a pretty penny on every deal, either.

Anonymity was unfortunately not going to last, because one of the dragon handlers had inevitably gone to the press about a man who identified himself as Lord Mage, referring to the handlers as mortals. Of course, that had the consequence of having a lot of articles printed about a possible new dark lord, irrespective of the fact that the dragons seemed happier and were still visiting the preserve. The fact that Harry Potter was apparently learning from the man, and was apparently trying to become his apprentice, was not welcome news to some.

Fortunately, they'd predicted this outcome, and the people who really mattered, didn't even entertain the accusations with their attention.

That only lasted a few weeks, though, because someone smart had apparently decided to do a bit of math and had shared their findings with the press. The fact was that with the sole exception of the people who'd been abusing suddenly missing magical animals for parts, and were quite upset with losing their income, the wizarding world had only profited. Ingredients were cheaper now, and in more abundance than before. Werewolves were never seen anymore, and they all welcomed that fact. Nobody had seen a vampire in months, either.

There was still a worry that someone now had a monopoly on some markets that were obviously making them rich, and many purebloods were making noise about losing their businesses, but the general public was still better off. Unfortunately, the purebloods still held a lot of power with the ICW, who were mostly purebloods themselves.

As a result of that situation, two months before the end of a mostly quiet year for the students, a contingent of Aurors had walked into the great hall, with a warrant for Harry Potter's immediate arrest, for suspicions of collusion with a likely Dark Lord.

"What is the meaning of this!?" Dumbledore exploded, as the men simply walked in and made a beeline towards the Potter heir.

"Official business, Dumbledore." an ugly man said, with an equally ugly sneer. He was apparently the senior auror. "Harry Potter needs to be detained and questioned, in connection with the new dark lord."

Dumbledore's face darkened, as he looked over his glasses at the man. "I am the Supreme Mugwump of the Wizengamot. I am to be informed of any activity regarding suspected dark lords, and Harry Potter is not in contact with one. I happen to know the person he's studying under, and they are no dark lord."

"That's not for me to decide." the auror sneered. "I'm just following the orders of the Minister."

"Then I order you to leave." Dumbledore said.

"You're not the minister." the man said, smirking. He pointed at the boy. "Arrest him."

"I think not." a deep voice said, as reality seemed to bend, revealing the dark figure of Lord Mage, himself. Of course, the fact that they had crossed the wards of Hogwarts to get there, meant that Gryff had known to act, and he'd quickly discussed his best options with Harry. They'd decided to leave Dumbledore out of their plans, because he needed to act normally. This situation could be used to their advantage.

Moody had had a few of his operatives, which were just invisible automatons which could be directed with connections to interfaces, follow the minister and a few suspected people (read all the death eaters that bought their freedom), the moment the news broke. There was a full platoon of goblins watching those interfaces, with simple controls to move the automatons around, which was based off ancient Goblin techniques, from when they had similar devices. They had thus learned quite a lot. Moody had even come up with the idea himself. He'd needed Harry to help make the items, though, and Harry had gotten the goblins involved.

"What? Who are you?" the lead Auror asked.

"I am the self-same man you are accusing of having fallen to darkness." the man said, as a door appeared behind him (opened by Harry) and a very agitated Reina and Cragril jumped through, before taking ready stances, growling in the natural tone and volume of dragons. Their hands and feet, which normally looked reasonably human, had changed into scaled claws, a new feature, and their wings were on full display and ready to block any attack. Reina's skin, which normally looked more human, was also covered in scales, now, in angry lines and jagged edges, which made her look like she was there with one mission: kill. Dragon scale was very magic resistant, after all.

"I-it's him!" one of the Aurors exclaimed, his wand instantly on the man.

"NO." Reina said, in her draconic voice, having started to learn some words, and how to pronounce them, even if it was in her dragon voice. She jumped forward, and grabbed the man's hand, in the blink of an eye, and crushed said hand, and wand, in her grip. "NO ATTACK. REINA EAT." The move had not been missed, and most of the Aurors were looking at the strange woman with fear, as their colleague screamed in pain. The woman's features already scared them, but her eyes were ablaze with barely contained fury, while her wings shook in shudders and shivers of draconic anger.

"That's enough, Reina." Lord Mage said, even as the other aurors started firing at the dragon. Even though her hide would have resisted magic normally, not one spell hit her, and the other dragon, Cragril, roared in anger that anyone would dare attack one of his packmates. Lord Mage lifted a hand, and everyone froze, even the dragons, just before Cragril could go on a rampage. "First off, you lot are an embarrassment to peacekeepers. You never cast a spell at a dragon if you can't defeat their resistances. Secondly, you have just proven to me that you are likely all corrupt, because not only did you show up here, to arrest an innocent young man, but you also raised your focusses at me, my student, and my dragons.

"That is a crime in my book, and in the eyes of Magic itself." the man continued, as he calmly walked around the men, easily taking the wands from all their frozen hands. "Boy, you are released. Please heal this man's hand. I will lay down appropriate justice."

Harry seemed to shake himself from immobility. "Wait, are you going to do that?" he asked. "Are you sure that's necessary? I mean, they are only following orders. I wouldn't mind answering a couple of questions. They'll find out that they were wrong, and this will just blow over."

"Ah, but I'm afraid that for a bright child, you are as yet still a bit naïve." the man said. "These men are here because the so-called 'purebloods' are putting pressure on your minister to act. Not even he knows that these specific men had alternate orders from those same purebloods. You would have disappeared, and they'd claim that you got away, and then went into hiding, leaving them free to do as they wished to you, for however long they wanted."

"What?" Harry asked, frowning, even as he went to heal the man whose hand Reina had turned into a broken mess. "So… they want to get to you, through me? But you did nothing wrong!"

"Indeed." the man said. "I'm afraid these men are completely corrupt on the sin of greed."

Harry sighed, nodded and stepped back once he'd fixed the hand. "Of course." he finally said.

The dark man then proceeded to touch every forehead of every Auror in the room, while Harry sent a program through the hat's interface, which he could see through, into the aurors.

When that was done, the man stepped back, and placed the wands on a table, close by them. "I am going to release you now, but before I do, I will warn you and make it perfectly clear to all these witnesses, that any spell you cast for the wrong reason, or against an innocent, will have consequences beyond my control." he said, as the magic faded, and everyone in the great hall was suddenly able to move again.

The leader of the Aurors, not the smartest person in the group, decided to act like a child. He quickly went to the table, picked up his wand, and pointed it at the man. "As an auror, and under the authority of the Minister of Magic, you are to be taken dead or alive, by any means necessary!"

"No! Please stop!" Dumbledore tried to stop the man, urgently. He knew what 'by any means necessary' allowed an auror to legally do.

The man ignored the warning and sneered. "And I choose dead. Avada Kedavra!" he exclaimed.

Harry instantly increased his perception of time and took a few precautions. Any other spell, and he may have just let it happen, but the killing curse was one he'd not tested this specific trick on.

"No!" Dumbledore exclaimed, in anguish. He'd helped Harry perfect a new trick and had no doubt what had been done by Gryff. He knew what was coming.

The spell left the Auror's wand, but when it reached the halfway point between them, it inverted, as it passed through an interface that was connected to the man, but which he couldn't see, and followed the programming on it, like it was bounced by an invisible mirror, and hit the man in his own head.

Of course, there were screams of fear, at this point, as the children saw a man die, before their eyes. Or so it would seem.

"You were warned." the man said, grimly, while the other aurors all paled, as their leader crumpled to the ground, dead. He still had a shocked expression on his face. "I take no responsibility for that man's death. He chose to use deadly force, after I expressly told you all that there would be consequences, outside of my control." he said.

The dragons seemed to calm down, as the most aggressive of the idiots died. They smiled, satisfied.

"DO NOT TOUCH YOUR WANDS!" Dumbledore exclaimed, while he rushed to them, as two more men lunged for their wands. They were smart enough to listen, this time. "Lord Mage has cursed you with magic that reads your intent. If you try to do anything that you know is wrong, your magic will rebound on you, or bind you from casting a single spell from that point forward. If you continue your actions here, today, and you are so punished, everyone that hears of this, will know that you were attempting to deliver Harry Potter to the hands of those who would do him harm." he finished, as he reached them.

"We're doing our jobs!" one of them exclaimed.

Dumbledore glared at the man, knowing that Gryff had likely spoken about things he knew, not just suspected. "If you are so certain of your innocence, then I dare you to cast a spell at me, because you will have to go through me to get to Harry Potter." he challenged. The man lost some colour, as he realised that if this was connected to knowing that he was intending to break the law, then he'd not be able to do a damn thing. "Exactly." Dumbledore said, sighing as all the Aurors stepped away from the dragons, who'd decided to back Dumbledore up, as he walked closer to them.

"But… we must bring Harry Potter in." one of them said, weakly. "That was the minister's order."

"Wait, how long does this curse last?" one of them asked, after looking at the dead man, again, and then looking up at the Mage, who seemed to be quite calm. He had never been so afraid. He'd faced down a killing curse without blinking. To the Aurors, it seemed like the magic itself had refused to hurt this man.

"It's permanent." Dumbledore said. A part of him was quite vindictively enjoying this. They came to his school and threatened one of his students. "From this point on, if you ever cast magic at anyone maliciously, you will either receive your own spell back, or you will lose your magic. If you were honest and dutiful, though, your magic would work as it should. Lord Mage has not limited you, past breaking the law, something an Auror should not be considering, anyway."

"Ah, right." the Mage said. "I should mention that my future apprentice worked a clever little trick on that. They'll only lose their magic if they dodge their own returned spells, now. It also includes knowingly breaking the law. Quite ingenious of him, in my opinion. Reap what you sow, or never sow again, as it were. I wish I had that idea, back in the day. So many issues could have been avoided, if I could enforce justice like that."

Dumbledore looked at the man, and then Harry. He would have to congratulate Harry on that little addition. It was actually quite perfect. "Very well done, my boy." he said, nodding at him. Still, there was a cooling corpse in the room, as were all the children. He turned back to the Aurors. "As of this moment and as the Supreme Mugwump, I forbid you from casting any magic until you have confessed your crimes to Madam Bones."

"Ha!" the Mage laughed, while Harry sniggered.

"Professor, would that make it illegal for them to cast spells, until they do so?" Harry asked, wondering if he'd just forced them to either confess, and go to jail, or never being allowed magic again.

"That would be the case, yes." Dumbledore said, nodding. "Fortunately, if they are innocent and had not intended to commit any crimes here, today, then they will be fine. Aurors should uphold justice, after all. Breaking the law should have consequences."

"But… you can't do that!" one of them exclaimed. "We'd lose our magic if we apparated back to the ministry!"

"Then I suggest you take the Floo, in Hogsmeade." Dumbledore said, sternly.

"Oh, and do remember to take this with you." the Mage said, indicating the dead man. "No need to leave it lying here. I'd hate to undo the magic that bound the children from seeing what happened, only for them to see it lying here, anyway."

Dumbledore frowned and looked around.

The children were definitely scared, and seemed to be able to see each other, and hear everything, but there seemed to be a localized effect, keeping them from actually seeing anything in the area. He sighed, in relief. The children might know what happened, but they'd probably not seen it happening. Thank Merlin for Harry. He'd likely known this would happen, or he'd cast a spell, the moment the man started casting the killing curse. He knew how quickly the young man could act.

"Thank you, my friend." the headmaster said to the man.

"I do not punish the innocent for the actions of fools Albus. You know that." the man said, as the aurors picked up their fallen and beat a hasty retreat, leaving the hall. "That is not the action of a righteous man."

Dumbledore nodded, understanding that they were putting that idea into the children's heads, while they had a moment. It should relieve Harry of some of the negative attention the Daily Prophet's articles had caused. "Of course not." he said. "I've known you for long enough, to know you are a just man, and have stopped dark lords from rising in the past."

The man nodded before he turned to the side and vanished, reality seeming to bend around him again.

Cragril looked around, nodded in satisfaction, nodded at Harry and then the headmaster, and walked back out through the door which had just reappeared.

Reina turned back into her more human form, walked up to Harry, put a hand on his shoulder, and tapped his head with her chin, again.

"Hi Reina." Harry said with a smile, as he decided to hug the dragon, who froze at the action, not knowing how to respond. "Thanks for coming."

The dragonkin smiled slowly, before lightly returning the gesture. "Harry stay good." she said, in a much softer, but still draconic voice.

"I'll try." Harry said, as he let go. He knew she meant to stay safe. She still didn't understand a lot of words, but this was the fullest sentence he'd ever heard from her, so he smiled at her.

The woman nodded at him again, and then went through the door which vanished.

"May I have your attention?" Dumbledore asked, as he walked back to the head table, when the students started whispering urgently. "Due to the events of this morning, and because I feel it is necessary, classes for the next two days are cancelled."

There was a cheer at that, which was a good sign to the headmaster.

"If anyone would like to discuss what happened this morning, I remind you that Harry Potter is under strictest confidentiality vows, so do not bother him with your questions, please? You may go to your heads of house, or Madam Pomphrey if you feel the need to discuss something more serious. By no means do I ask you to keep what happened here today a secret, but please do remember that Lord Mage was here to protect Mister Potter, as a valued student, as any one of us professors would do for you. He did not break any laws, besides perhaps bypassing the wards of Hogwarts, as he tends to do, probably just to perplex me." he added, as a bit of a joke, which did actually get a few laughs.

After that, the children were a little subdued, but they soon picked up their spirits, and finished breakfast, before leaving to their entertainments, for the sudden long weekend, considering it was a Thursday morning. Most were discussing the happenings of the morning, the dragons, and how absolutely bloody cool the Lord Mage was. He'd been fearless and had taken charge, doing things that nobody even knew were possible.

Dumbledore sent Harry a message requesting a meeting after breakfast, to discuss what had happened there, that morning.

Harry didn't delay going to that meeting, and soon walked into the headmaster's office.

"Are you okay, my boy?" Dumbledore asked, as he uncharacteristically stood up and walked to him, putting his hands on Harry's shoulders, and looked him in the eyes.

"I'm fine." Harry said, wondering what the old man was worried about.

"Harry, I know you're the one that cast your new portable forbiddance program on those men." Dumbledore said. "You are not responsible for the fact that that man cast a killing curse. You didn't kill him."

"I know that." Harry said, easily.

"No." Dumbledore said. "I know how quickly your mind works. I know you would already have thought of why those men were here. Even though you are the reason they were here, even if they don't know it, you do. I need you to know that that man had the worst of intent. To cast that curse, as that man did, he needed to have malicious intent."

Harry looked down, as he considered that. He had known, of course. He'd also known that something like this would eventually end up happening. Moody had warned him that people would eventually die, if they continued with their plans. Their plans, which were to make the world a better place. In the end, the man had left it up to him to decide if he wanted to get personally involved with that, and Harry had made that decision, today.

"Thank you for your concern, headmaster." Harry said, finally looking at him, again. "I was aware that something might happen today, and I was prepared for this. I knew and decided not to change the path I was on. When that man cast the killing curse, I could have redirected that killing curse. I could have saved him, but Moody already spoke to me about this. Just because I could help someone, doesn't mean that I will always be able to. One fatality now would likely stop more people from dying later. While I agree with you that it was his choice, I also had a choice to make. Today, even indirectly, I became a murderer, but I will carry that for the sake of the lives that I hope to save."

"No!" Dumbledore exclaimed. "You will not bare this guilt, Harry! I could have intercepted that spell, as could many of the professors in the room with us, had they known about the program and what had been done. I will not allow you to even consider being a killer!" He seemed really angry at Harry, just then, before he calmed himself with a deep breath. "You are a hero, my boy. You are already a bigger hero than I have ever been. Please, don't carry this? I need your conscious to be clean. Blame me, okay? I could have stopped that man from dying. I should have stopped it."

"Stop being idiots, both of you." Gryff said from his pedestal. "That man killed himself. I warned him that there would be consequences. If anyone killed him, it was me. It may have been Harry's magic, but it was Moody's idea that he creates that application of the forbiddance to begin with and it was my idea to apply it to those men. Harry just complied with my request that we use it. That idiot decided to cast a killing curse, which was his choice. The consequences of his actions lay squarely on his own shoulders."

Dumbledore looked at the hat and decided to accept that. "I agree." he said. "For the future, however, I will request that you give Gryff a copy of the application of that program, please. I'm still considering letting him put it on every student at the sorting going forward but taking the choice of good over evil from people, doesn't sit right with me. If it's not their choice, it's not right."

Harry nodded, as he finally let go of the little bit of shame and fear he'd been holding onto. "Thanks." he said. He felt the same about liberty.

Dumbledore smiled kindly at the boy, and simply because he felt it was needed, he pulled him into a hug. "I may not be your family, Harry, but I do care for you like you were, and you make me so proud with the young man that you have become." he said, with a voice full of emotion.

Harry smiled a little, as he returned the hug, before quickly becoming uncomfortable, and breaking the hug. Dumbledore and he didn't do things like that, and it felt a little weird, even if he did appreciate the sentiment. "Thanks." he said.

Dumbledore, having known the boy long enough to know he wasn't there yet, decided to straighten his back, and went to his seat, before addressing the boy again. "So, while we have a moment, let's discuss everything else that happened here, today, and maybe a chat about the recent happenings on the Mage Isles." he said.

"You know that the Mage Isles are not considered part of the wizarding world." Harry said. "As such, the happenings there, are considered classified."

Dumbledore nodded, accepting that as usual. "I ask for this information, not in my formal capacity as the Supreme Mugwump, nor in my role as Chief Warlock, and promise to keep anything I learn in this meeting, as confidential and private."

"Witnessed." Gryff said, formally. This had happened enough, that they'd made it a binding promise, after an initial oath, and it had been enough to protect Harry's secrets, since.

Harry looked up and frowned, as he felt a brief touch of magic's attention. He'd need to think more about that, at some point. Magic seemed to be everywhere, capable of witnessing and participating in everything, but when its attention was on them, for things like this, he wondered if it was more aware of them, and actually like a person that was just out of sight, but who you can feel watching you.

He turned back to Dumbledore, though. "Well, today was pretty simple." he said. "When I needed to step in, to stop Cragril from actually ripping those idiots apart, I used both enhanced perceived time, and a modification of the body bind, to stall all motion, besides ones that are needed to keep yourself alive, and then I placed the partial interface through Gryff's interface and vision."

"They should have known better than attack, anyway." Gryff said. "Everyone knows about the Dragonkin, now. There were pictures of some of the initial dragons capable of the transformation in the paper, months back. Cragril was even in one of those articles, in both forms."

Dumbledore nodded. "I agree." he said. "I just wonder how you applied the magic to them. They are resistant, after all."

"Their outsides, maybe." Harry said. "Through the connection I made, to give them their forms, however, they are much simpler to affect. I just stopped them internally. I didn't affect their external protections."

"Ah." Dumbledore said, nodding. "Quite clever. Nobody but you would be able to take advantage of that, and it made Lord Mage seem like he could affect even dragons on a whim. I had wondered how you overcame their resistance to change them, but I think I figured that out, too. It's because they use their own magic, to change, isn't it?"

"It is." Harry said, nodding.

"And the new addition to their forms?" Dumbledore asked, having noted that Reina had been more covered, today, and that she reverted to a more human form, afterward.

"Just a slight change to the program." Harry said. "Cragril actually requested it. He's way too interested in appearance, for a male. He's got a thing for looking impressive and intimidating."

"He is a dragon." Dumbledore said. "As I understand it, male birds are also usually the more colourful of their species. You once told me that birds and reptiles are related?"

"I suppose that makes sense." Harry allowed. "When he saw Reina, the first time, he was so impressed, he tried demanding Gryff to give him something like that, on the spot."

"We had to overpower him, to make him listen, and Reina quickly stepped in to put him in his place." Gryff agreed.

"I'd heard that that was an impressive display." Dumbledore said, smiling. "That explains everything from today, then. What is the current status on the Isles? Are things still progressing smoothly?"

"We've recently received a few Nyad transfers." Harry said. "They are now protecting the lake with the Sphinxes. They are loving their new home, and the Sphinxes actually built some things for them to play with, along with homes on the lake, on a pier that goes out over the lake's surface, with easy access to their homes, from underneath. In a secure environment, like they are in, they are actually enjoying turning into their human forms and exploring the island, on foot."

"I've never seen one of those." Dumbledore said. "They are very secretive and skittish, as I understand it."

"The Veela helped bring them in." Harry said. "For representations of polar opposite elements, they get along remarkably well."

"The Veela have long been keeping some of the more mystic creatures of the magical world in hiding and supporting them." Gryff said. "It's because Veela are sort of like the bridge, between mankind and the creatures of the world, being part of both."

"They were quite friendly to me." Harry said, smiling. "Very pretty, but they look like little girls, somewhere between eight and ten years old. They love being held, for some reason, too."

"That's because the creatures of the Mage Isles know that you are the one that made the lands they live on. They can feel your magic, and the purpose for which you made them." Gryff said.

"How do you ensure that nobody slips up when you are there with the muggleborn around?" Dumbledore asked.

"We've abolished that word." Gryff said. "First generation, or mundane-born magicals, are what we call people now. Muggle is too often used as a racial slur."

Dumbledore slowly nodded, in agreement.

"And I've never needed to ask them about that." Harry said. "They just know to keep from referring to me as 'king' when people are about. They are still respectful, but I'm thinking that it doesn't really matter. It is known that I tend to do odd jobs for the Lord Mage, so I'm basically functioning as his representative, while I'm there."

"Maybe you should address it, anyway." Dumbledore suggested. "One wrong word in the wrong company, and someone that leaves the Mage Isles one day, might out you."

"People leave the Mage Isles all the time." Harry said. "But they love it there, as far as I can tell. Moody tells me that he's worried that there will never be anything for him or his people to do."

"Well, considering you obviously knew about the people who were coming today, he's obviously been keeping busy, anyway." Dumbledore said, smiling at Harry.

Harry shrugged. "True." he said. He'd not explain how, though, just as he'd not explained that bit before. Moody didn't want him to know, but the headmaster knew that they were doing some things to keep an eye on the movements in the wizarding world.

"Any other new arrivals?" Dumbledore asked.

"Some more Kappa, from Japan." Harry said. "They're apparently enjoying the rivers of the Wild Isle. Had to plant some wild cucumbers, for them to eat. Apparently, it's their favourite food."

"How many islands have you raised by now?" Dumbledore asked.

"Just the seven." Harry said. "The goblins have requested a bit more land, for some crops they want to grow, and I've expanded on the Dragon Isle, again."

"Are there more dragons?" Dumbledore asked, frowning.

"The dragons from the Goblin Vaults." Harry said. "They now have volunteers, rather than captured creatures. It was something I negotiated with their king, for the extra land. At least it seems that they didn't mistreat them, besides maybe keeping them locked down there for a bit long, at times. I'm still not sure if there was mistreatment, and Ragnok was just covering his own ass, but he quickly acted on the deal, and we arranged that some of the dragons can now move to places to protect the deepest vaults, as required, rather than all the time. We've added other security, so that we can track any attempts to infiltrate, before such a need arises."

"Some dragons even volunteered to spend some time at the different banks, to be a visible deterrent." Gryff offered. "We're still considering it. Having such a visible relationship with the Lord Mage, would draw negative attention to the goblins."

"Agreed." Dumbledore said. "Better to keep them in their natural forms, too, when they go to protect those vaults."

Harry nodded. "They already know that." he said. "Besides that, we've incorporated a whole British magical commune into the Mage Isles, recently. Something to do with their previous leader taking liberties with the women. The other residents have taken it upon themselves to help them get settled. It's been a whole thing. Some people aren't used to there not being overbearing rules, and some of them are still acting like they are waiting for the other shoe to drop."

"It is unfortunate that that situation occurs at all, but it is the nature of power to corrupt." Dumbledore said, sighing. He'd heard of similar in the past, but not recently. "I do hope that you are keeping that in mind, too?"

"I'll not become like them." Harry said, sternly. "These people are my responsibility, not my subjects. I know that being seen as king is technically necessary, but that doesn't mean that I'll ever see myself like that. The whole point of the Mage Isles is peace, and safety."

He'd not mention that Moody had been involved with stopping the previous leader of that commune. He had all the details, because Moody thought he should know, and frankly, if that man died, he'd not care.

He'd locked older girls and young women in a basement, and used them recreationally, calling it obedience training. He was currently awaiting trial, by the Justice Committee, which was a gathering of intelligent beings from different species, along with Moody. Basically, the leaders, who were meant to uphold order and justice when such situations cropped up.

Said Committee had already needed to mete out justice, when a Russian Wizard, a new resident, had anger issues and cast a lashing spell at a Veela woman, for daring to step on his lawn. Because the intent hadn't been to kill, but only to hurt, the man was sentenced to one month incarceration, one year without magic, and to serve the same Veela as her gardener, and housekeeper, for that time. He'd actually already apologised and meant it. He'd asked not to be banished, and agreed to take any punishment, to stay. Therefore, the committee had decided on leniency, after hearing the wishes of the Veela woman, who'd been gracious enough to allow the proposed punishment.

Harry didn't like it, but he'd declared, as Lord Mage, that the Committee had his full support to deliver sentencing and wouldn't be pulling that support. He had suggested that they get someone to start discussing his anger problems with him, so that the issue never cropped up again, though, and they'd added that as part of his parole, after the incarceration. It came as a bit of a surprise to Harry, that that same Veela woman was actually quite learned in psychology, but because she was so close to the problem, they referred him to someone else.

"Harry doesn't have the mentality for harming others, Albus." Gryff said. "He's not at risk."

"I know, Gryff." Dumbledore said. "I'm more thinking about my own past, really. I have always wanted to do what is in service of the greater good, but my judgement, as you know, hasn't always been sound. I am grateful that Harry has the support he does, so that he doesn't ever end up like me."

"We'll ensure it." the hat agreed.

"And hey, I've got you." Harry said, giving him a lopsided smile. "You have that experience, now. I like to think that bad things happen to good people, so that they learn from them. You don't need to punish yourself over it, forever. Just learn from it, and don't make the same mistakes again."

"Well said, young man." Fawkes decided to add, in his deep timbre, from his own perch. "I see a bright future for you, with that beautiful heart of yours."

"Hear, hear." Gryff said, nodding.

"I couldn't agree more." Dumbledore said, smiling at Harry. "And I should know better than to think that you would fall for the same traps that I did, in my past. You are, after all, at least a little bit cleverer than I was at your age." he added, jokingly.

"Try miles ahead." Gryff scoffed. "The only reason that you still have value to us, at this point, besides being in charge of the ICW and Wizengamot, is because you are still wiser than the boy."

"Experience, age and knowledge brings wisdom." Harry said, nodding. He got up from his seat, then. "If that's all, I believe I have a long weekend, and I was thinking of taking my friends for their first official visit to the Mage Isles."

"Miss Granger and Mister Longbottom have not seen the Mage Isles, yet?" Dumbledore asked, frowning. He'd only seen it the once, too, even though he had been wanting to go for a visit, for a while. He'd not wanted to intrude, though. He was being kept up to date in these meetings, though.

"I wanted it to be more developed, first." Harry said. "You know, really impress them. Hermione is nearly crawling up the walls in curiosity, of course, but I didn't want them to see, until there was enough for them to appreciate." Hermione and Neville did know more about what was going on, and he didn't ignore their questions, but he had skipped over some things, so that he could still surprise them.

Gryff instantly lifted up, and floated over to Harry, placing himself on Harry's head, and turning into a maroon and brown baseball cap, with the Bulgarian Quidditch Team's logo. They were currently Harry's favourite, because of his friendship with Victor. "Of course, I'll be going with you." he said, excitedly. He'd wanted to be there when he introduced his friends.

"You can change into other hats?" Dumbledore asked. He knew about the human form, Lord Mage, obviously, but he hadn't seen this before.

"I can change into many animate and inanimate objects." Gryff said, from a tear that formed in the hat, as he talked. "I like hats, though, for obvious reasons." he added, as he changed into a soft leather golf-cap, otherwise known as a newsboy hat. It was one of his favourites, because it felt… comfortable, to him. It was flat and squat, and just lay there, comfortably. Harry referred to it as the hat's version of lazing about.

"I like that form." Dumbledore said, admiring the patched-looking leather cap. "It looks quite fetching, I think."

"Not really his style, though." Gryff said, as he turned back into the baseball cap.

"Would you mind if I accompany you?" Dumbledore asked. "I would very much like to see Unity Isle again. It sounds like it has expanded greatly."

"Don't you have to follow up on those Aurors?" Gryff asked.

Dumbledore made to reply, but then he frowned. "Sometimes I wish I didn't have all my responsibilities." he lamented, knowing the hat was right.

"Sucks to be you." Harry joked, as he turned and left. He still had to do some things, to prepare. "Oh, we'll be gone the whole weekend. You can expect us back on Sunday."

"Ah, Harry?" Dumbledore asked. "I think… with Miss Granger going, you should probably be escorted." he tried.

"I'm going, Albus. And so's Neville." the hat reminded him.

"Would you stop them if they became… closer?" Dumbledore asked.

"No." Gryff said, almost giddily.

Before Dumbledore could argue, they were gone, having slipped through Harry's interface. The original use was also how Harry usually summoned the 'Lord Mage', but he was usually under Harry's form of invisibility, so that he could appear somewhere else. It added to his mystery and unpredictable nature.

"I can go to the Mage Isles." Fawkes decided to say, a little smugly.

"You can?" Dumbledore asked. "Could you…" he trailed off.

Fawkes had flamed away, before he could finish the question.

AN: Only the epilogue left. I'm still editing it a bit, so don't expect that one to release in the next few days. If you want to see something specific, please do review and ask. There's much to see on the Mage Isles, and your suggestions are welcome.