A/N: This plot kitty had some promise. It was so desperate to get out, that I set it free this very day, less than twelve hours after I found it. What do you think? Should this plot kitty grow larger? Harry Potter is the intellectual property of J.K. Rowling, et al. The situation alone is mine, at least I haven't read a similar one done by someone else. Rated PG-13 for language, hormonal but non-slash teenagers, and violence including torture, dismemberment, and violent death. Oh well, on with the story.
Harry Potter walked along Privet Drive in the Surrey hamlet of Little Whinging deep in thought. He wore a hand-me-down rain jacket over his hand-me-down clothes to ward off the light rain that fell from time to time on that day in July of 1996, his sixteenth birthday.
He was deep in thought from all that had happened to him in his sixteen years and thirteen hours of life outside his mother's womb. He had known true love from his true parents for little more than a year before Voldemort; the most powerful Dark Wizard in over a century killed them. Harry still wore the scars from that attack, mental and emotional, as well as the lightning bolt shaped scar on his forehead where the same killing curse that killed his parents instead rebounded upon its caster, giving Harry over ten years of some safety in which to grow up.
He was barely sustained in his body and emotionally abused by his aunt and uncle for the next ten years. They, unlike Harry and his parents, were "muggles," or non-wizards. Worse yet, their hatred of magic and any who could do it overrode even their love of family. But Harry had to live with them, and they had to willingly accept him, to keep him safe. For his mother tried dying in Harry's place, and succeeded in dying. Because of her magical power and Harry's, a shield was placed on his blood that so long as he dwelled in a house of his mother's blood relatives, he would have extra protection from harm until at least his seventeenth year. His aunt, Lilly Potter's sister Petunia Dursely did take him in willingly, thus sealing the blood charm. But she never loved Harry, thus he suffered in a house cold as ice, with only the kindness of teachers and strangers to keep his naturally kind and loving nature from turning evil.
On his eleventh birthday, he suddenly found himself the hero of the wizarding world; something that even now he barely accepted and wanted not at all. Because Voldemort's curse rebounded, Harry was known as "The Boy Who Lived," the only person to survive Avada Kedavra, the killing curse that destroyed all whom it was cast on, until Harry himself survived it. Since the curse instead rebounded, burning away Voldemort's body, Harry was also thought to have destroyed Voldemort, saving wizarding Britain from indescribable suffering and peril, making him indeed a hero. Sadly, Voldemort's destruction was not total, but it was sufficient for quite a few years. Those years for wizarding Britain, unlike for Harry himself, were joyous indeed.
His time at Hogwarts, the major wizarding school of Britain, was filled with wonder, fun, and danger. It also gave Harry just enough love, at just the right time, to keep him alive and good. It was on the train to Hogwarts that he found his first true friend and surrogate brother Ronald Weasley. Hogwarts also gave him his second true friend and surrogate sister, Hermione Granger. In the Weasley family, he gained surrogate brothers, a surrogate mum and dad, and Ginny Weasley, Ron's eldest sister, who Harry still couldn't quite place as either girlfriend or sister, though she at times seemed both.
But Hogwarts had also robbed him of what had remained of his childhood. He fought one incarnation or the other of Voldemort once for every year of his five years in school! In his first year, he fought off the disembodied spirit of Voldemort, preventing the evil wizard from gaining the Philosopher's Stone, an alchemic catalyst that would have given Voldemort an immortal and physical body. In his second year, he rescued Ginny from a hidden warren of caverns beneath Hogwarts known as the Chamber of Secrets, and from the sixteen year old spirit of Voldemort, who at sixteen was still known as Tom Marvolo Riddle. In his third year, he battled against the twisted legacy of Voldemort, rescuing his falsely accused godfather Sirius Black from the clutches of the Ministry of Magic, the government of wizarding Britain, while accidentally allowing the escape of Peter Pettigrew, the rat-animagus who truly committed the crimes Sirius was accused of, including betraying Harry's parents James and Lilly Potter to Voldemort.
His fourth was truly dismal. Harry was forced to participate as an extra contestant in the Triwizard Tournament, a contest held between Hogwarts and the other two leading wizard schools in Europe. At the end of this tournament, he was transported away by the prize trophy, which was made into a Portkey. This took him to the graveyard outside of Voldemort's home, where Harry was used for a Dark ritual to give Voldemort his body back, immediately after Harry witnessed the murder of Cedric Digory, the other Hogwarts contestant.
His fifth year of school was indeed the worst yet. It found him broadly slandered by the ministry controlled newspaper, the Daily Prophet. He was attacked by Dementors, the soul-sucking Dark creatures who guarded Azkaban Fortress, on the orders of Delores Umbrage, the Senior Undersecretary to the Minister of Magic. This same foul woman appointed herself first a professor at Hogwarts, and then replacement Headmaster there, to torment Harry, because she thought the regular Headmaster, Albus Dumbledore, was trying to overthrow Cornelius Fudge, the current Minister of Magic, with Harry's help. Fudge, in turn, was trying desperately to prevent the general wizarding public from finding out the truth, for fear that he would be voted out of office. After all, his true incompetence and petty corruption were well known by the public, and were strangely tolerated in good times. But with the end of those good times, the public would rightly toss him out onto the street, and find a real leader to see them through the war that was sure to follow.
Harry's curse scar placed a connection in his mind with that of Voldemort, though no one knew exactly how or why. Because of Umbrage's abuse of Harry, he was left open to Voldemort planting misleading dreams in Harry's mind through that link. Because Voldemort was starting to exploit that link, Dumbledore, who had been Harry's surrogate grandfather and occasional mentor as well as headmaster, felt obliged to withdraw from Harry to protect him. This sadly made Harry even more vulnerable.
Dumbledore tried having Harry learn the magic known as Occlumency to shield his mind from Voldemort. Since he felt he couldn't teach Harry himself, he had his most trusted professor, Potion Master Severus Snape, try to do so in his stead. Snape, who was every bit as powerful an Occlumens and Legillimens (the opposite of Occlumency, whose practitioners could read thoughts in the minds of others) as Dumbledore himself, should have been the ideal choice, especially since he was also Dumbledore's infiltrator and spy into Voldemort's band of followers, who were known to the world as the "Death Eaters."
But Dumbledore's "reformed" and most loyal fighter was also James Potter and Sirius Black's most mortal enemy, short of the Death Eaters themselves. Snape had bullied Harry since day one of year one, and Harry in turn had no respect for the Potions Master. Thus, neither master Occlumens nor natural talent did their duties. Harry didn't study, Snape tortured more than taught, and Harry learned almost nothing of Occlumency, though he did learn that his dad and godfather exhibited Snape's dirty grey knickers to most of their fellow students next to the lake at Hogwarts, with Snape still in them no less, when the three were fifth year students. In the end, this did Harry no good at all.
Thus, Harry believed the dream Voldemort sent him that his godfather Sirius was in mortal peril at the hands of Voldemort in the Department of Mysteries, a secret warren of offices and storerooms in the very heart of the Ministry building in London. Harry tried to confirm whether or not this was true, which resulted in him being captured and almost being placed under the Cruciatus curse by Umbrage. But his attempt was foiled not by Umbrage, but by Kreacher, the lying and disloyal house-elf Black inherited from his parents and was forced to keep at his hidden house in London, where he was still in hiding. Harry, with the help of his friends Ron, Hermione, Ginny, Neville Longbottom, and Luna Lovegood, escaped Umbrage's malign clutches and stormed off to London to rescue Sirius from Voldemort.
Sirius in turn found out from Snape, who tried in vain to convince Harry that his godfather was safe, that Harry was going to London to rescue him, and in turn Sirius took off to rescue Harry. In the ensuing battle, Harry bravely fought off Voldemort's followers with some small measure of success, and accidentally saw to the destruction of Voldemort's true desire, the only record of a prophecy concerning Harry and Voldemort. Unfortunately, Harry also saw the death of his godfather at the hand of Bellatrix Lestrange, Sirius' cousin and one of Voldemort's most loyal followers.
In the days after the fateful battle, Harry learned the true contents of the prophecy, which had been told to none other than Albus Dumbledore himself. He also demolished Dumbledore's office in rage and anguish at the loss of Sirius, and Dumbledore's lack of total forthrightness that Harry knew helped cause Sirius's death.
However, Harry blamed himself deeply for his godfather's death above all others, save Severus Snape. He also still blamed himself wrongly for the death of Cedric Diggory. This, along with the proper sadness and grief at the two deaths, had Harry teetering on the edge of an absolute abyss of depression and self loathing that wracked Harry's body and soul almost to the point of death. Harry miraculously pulled himself back from the brink, but it was the nearest run thing you saw in your life. Even now, as he walked the street in front of his aunt and uncle's house, which he never thought of as home, and was only shelter because of the blessing his mother gave him at cost of her life, he still grieved, and cried freely. Thus, he walked in the rain, that no one could see him cry.
He had also found an unshakable and steely resolve to see the prophecy through to its least bitter end. Harry, who didn't want to kill, considered it the least bitter of two ends of the prophecy for good reason. The prophecy stated, "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches… Born to those who have thrice defied him, born as the seventh month dies… and the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not… and either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives… The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…" Thus, Harry was bound to kill Voldemort, or be killed by him. Not really being in that big a hurry to die, nor wanting others to be tortured or killed, Harry saw himself as having no choice but to kill Voldemort.
The prophecy could have just as easily applied to Neville, who shared Harry's birthday and whose parents were also competent Aurors, the wizarding equivalent of Scotland Yard, who primarily battled Voldemort on wizarding Britain's behalf. But Voldemort, who only heard the first part of the prophecy, inadvertently chose Harry by trying to kill him. Thus, Harry held that much more an enmity towards the Dark Lord, as Voldemort could just as easily picked Neville and left him be.
Harry walked along Privet Drive deep in thought. He was shadowed discretely by two of his adult friends. For Harry was now placed under guard by Dumbledore, and the Order of the Phoenix, a society dedicated to the protection of wizarding Britain from murderous Dark Wizards, and currently chaired by Dumbledore himself. The guard was two-fold. First, ensure that Harry was finally fed and cared for by the Dursleys. This was successful. For the first time in his fifteen years at Privet Drive, he had plenty of food, he was given chores only to keep him from having time to wallow in self-destructive grief, and he was addressed respectfully if not kindly as "Harry" by his Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon, and cousin Dudley, the boxing champion of his muggle private school, who now admired Harry after Harry rescued him from the Dementors last summer.
Their second reason was to protect Harry from Voldemort himself. Despite their best efforts the year before, Harry had in fact been attacked by the Dementors, along with Dudley. Harry's friends in turn declared that this would never happen again! Thus, no less than two guards were on duty at all times, to make sure that Harry was safe. In order for the blood charm to keep working, Harry had to spend time every year at the Dursley's house in Little Whinging. This time at an end, Harry was to be taken that evening to 12 Grumauld Place, London, to be with the Weasleys and Hermione Granger for the rest of the summer.
This was not only the hidden headquarters for the Order of the Phoenix, but was now Harry's property. For Sirius, who was now posthumously exonerated of all wrongdoing, had left Harry all of his property, and as the last of the Black family, Sirius had a lot of property. Harry's ancestors had been even richer. But unlike the Potter fortune, which save a small multi-million Galleon (near billion Pound Sterling) trust fund could not be touched by Harry until his seventeenth birthday, Sirius' wealth was Harry's now, with the only stipulations being that the Order of the Phoenix continue to use 12 Grimauld Place rent-free as long as they needed it, and that Remus Lupin, Sirius' werewolf best-friend, Harry's beloved former Defense Against the Dark Arts Professor, and James and Lilly Potter's best loyal friend apart from Sirius, would always have enough money to get by and a place to live. Harry knew neither of the inheritance nor the restrictions, but wouldn't object once he found out. For after his own parents, Sirius, and Ron's parents Arthur and Molly Weasley, Harry loved Remus as a father, and didn't think of Lupin's lyncanthropy at all. He would see to Remus' welfare, in such a manner that the proud man was not insulted by "charity," whether he was asked to or not!
Remus was usually one of Harry's "guards," but not today, for the moon was quite full, and like all werewolves, Remus was now a wolf, until the moon started to wane on the morrow. However, unlike all other werewolves, Remus was now gentle to Harry, even without the Wolfsbane Potion most werewolves took to make them less dangerous. A less cautious werewolf would still be at Harry's side. But Remus Lupin valued Harry's life and happiness way above and beyond his own. Knowing that he would slit his own throat and die before harming Harry, and knowing that his dying in such a manner would harm Harry even more severely than being bitten by a werewolf and becoming one himself, Remus was now imprisoned in a dungeon at Hogwarts at his own behest, to ensure Harry's safety during "that time of the month."
His two guards were more than enough anyway, and both friends to Harry if he decided he needed company to cry for. But they knew Harry wasn't quite ready for that, so though Harry knew they were there, he also knew they were respecting his privacy, as indeed they were. Alistor Moody was a retired Auror, and was supposed to have been Harry's DADA Professor in Harry's fourth year. Moody had instead been held prisoner and impersonated, but Moody himself still gained Harry's trust, respect, and friendship. Nymphadora Tonks, who was only addressed by her last name, was a young Auror, who had also quickly gained Harry's trust and friendship. They followed Harry at a close but discreet distance, ready in case Harry needed them for defence or to grieve with, but far enough away to let the teenage boy cry alone without shame.
As Harry drew abreast of the house of Arabella Figg, the Squib (muggle born of wizards) babysitter of his youth and Order member, he doubled over in pain! His curse scar, and his head itself felt as if it were being split by fire! This could only mean one thing, and that thing apperated barely ten feet in front of the near-prostrate youth.
Harry forced himself to stand proudly with dry eyes as his tormentor gloated, "Fortune favours the bold, Potter! I come alone, and behold, you die!"
Harry, who never went without his wand now, restrictions on juvenile wizards not withstanding, drew his wand and cast the first spell he though of! Harry's Expellaramus and Voldemort's Avada Kedavra met in mid-stream, and like in Harry's fourth year, the brother wands bound each other, and rapidly formed a gold cage separating them from Harry's guards, and everyone else.
Harry knew that Dumbledore's attitude made Voldemort most prone to mistakes, and thus adopted it as his own. He said, "Oh, hello, Tom. You know how this will end. My people can't breach the cage and kill you, and your people can't breach the cage and kill me, even if you could summon them through the cage, which you can't! Neither of us has figured out how to kill each other like this, so we'll end up chatting for a while, Mum and Dad will come out and Stun you with the help of the others you've killed lately, and we'll each retreat to lick our wounds."
"I'm Voldemort, you impudent urchin!" Voldemort snapped in reply.
Harry ignored him and asked, "No matter, Tom. So, How's your family? Oh, I forget, you have no family. No matter. Mine have been horrible, but not as bad as usual. And my friend's family, who adopted me as their own, are doing just fine, despite your best efforts."
Voldemort snarled, "I'm not Tom Riddle, I'm Voldemort! I'll torture you that much more before I kill you, you disrespectful toe-rag!"
Harry said soothingly, "There, there, now, Tom! Don't embarrass yourself with idle threats! Everyone knows you'll torture me as much as you can before you kill me anyway, if you should ever get so lucky! We've too much bad blood, and we both know I'll never follow you or even surrender short of being killed!
"So, how about your Death Eaters, Tom?" Harry thought quickly and decided to throw a little salt into the wound. "After all, our spy is dumber than his robes and his son combined, which is saying something! I doubt he's giving Dumbledore and me the inside information we truly need?"
"I'm Voldemort, asshole, and I have spies, too!"
Harry laughed in reply, "I've no doubt you do. In fact, I know who he is! But, you know Professor Dumbledore. No proof, no pudding! So, until I get the evidence, all I can do is keep him from getting anything useful."
As Voldemort tried to come up with a desperately desired retort to the teenager who he battled with, two things happened. First, Harry, who had been losing the battle of wands, took the upper hand, and Voldemort's wand was belching out repeated Crucio shadows, and was about to start yielding up the echoes of the people he had killed, the echoes who would break up the confrontation and allow Harry to flee again to safety. Secondly, and more importantly, Harry had an epiphany! Voldemort was not Tom Riddle after all!
Harry's magical power, which had always been more powerful then average, was starting to grow even stronger with Harry's latest growth spurt. And, with Voldemort being thrown off guard by Harry's confrontation, Harry could now see Voldemort's soul. Or rather, Harry saw his souls. Harry saw the active soul, who was clearly Voldemort. He also saw another soul, that of an older boy who was yet barely a teenager. With this new found Legillimancy based sight, Harry saw that this was still a good soul, one who could be saved from his misdeeds, yet who was trapped with Voldemort in the same body. Harry saw that the soul needed two things to accept forgiveness and truly live again; a body and a loving family. Harry, who could be impulsive as well as lucky, decided to try providing both body and brotherly love to that soul who desperately needed it.
Harry remembered all the times Professor Dumbledore told him that love was more powerful than hate. Harry, while not doubting his headmaster entirely, had not quite taken him to heart. Now, he knew. It wouldn't be the death-blow, but a life-blow, one that in the end would bring almost as much peace and even more joy than actually killing the Dark Lord. Harry drew up his strength and serenely confronted his evil foe.
"Ah, yes… I guess you aren't Tom after all! And I always wanted to meet him, you know…" The shadow of an Auror Harry didn't know came out of Voldemort's wand as Voldemort's eyes grew to the size of saucers.
The Auror whispered in Harry's ear, "You shouldn't be in such a hurry to fight him, Harry. But, it can't be helped…"
The Auror was followed by several more Crucios, a ghostly silver hand, and the shadow of Cedric Diggory. Cedric's shadow said, "You were always so clever, Harry! You'd have made a good Ravenclaw. You'd have made a good Hufflepuff too. Prove it again, Harry!" Harry knowingly blinked tears out of his eyes as a few more Crucios floated past.
Bertha Jorkins' shadow came out next and whispered, "Just like your dad, Harry! So brave and smart. He and your mum are so proud."
Bertha was followed by several more Crucios, then Harry's mum emerged. She whispered, "You should be more careful, Harry. It will work, though. Be strong for him, Harry, he hurts even more than you right now." Harry smiled in love and acknowledgement at his mum's shadow as the shadow of James Potter emerged from Voldemort's wand.
The shadow of Harry's dad whispered, "I feel you know the spell. Cast it when I move away from you. Grab what is good and run for your life to Alistor. We will hold what is not good as long as we can. You should be safe in your Aunt's house for a few hours, until Professor Dumbledore can collect you, which I have a feeling will be very quick indeed. Trust your feelings on this, Harry. Forgive, and be your brother's keeper."
The shadow moved to the edge of the cage with the others and circled around menacingly to Voldemort, and encouragingly to Harry. The teen wizard felt his strength was starting to wane, and knew he had to cast his spell now to make it work.
Harry chanted loudly, with total authority, "Soul of my brother's soul, bone of my brother's father, blood of the mother of my brother's brother, flesh of my brother's brother's darkest foe, hear me! Your suffering is at an end, come to me!"
A blast of intense grey light came down from the heavens and engulfed the Dark Lord utterly! An unearthly tearing and agonized screams could be heard as the light separated into white and black. The black light covered Voldemort, his robes in tatters in his body quaking in weakness and fear. The white light covered something far more wondrous.
Or rather, it illuminated someone more wondrous. The boy was naked, and by his appearance barely thirteen years old. He was of almost but not quite emaciated build, and average height for a thirteen year old boy. The lad had black hair and blue eyes, and had a face trapped between the beautiful of a boy and the handsome of a man. He was also stunned and utterly embarrassed, not only for what he had done when he was free and thirteen, but for standing naked on Privet Drive with everyone in the neighbourhood looking at him!
Harry wasted no time. He threw the boy's right arm over his shoulder, grabbed him beneath the arm with his left, and ran for his life to and just behind Alistor Moody, who even now with the golden cage falling was casting hex after hex after the wounded Dark Lord.
Harry finally stopped several yards behind Alistor and Tonks as Voldemort apparated away to lick his wounds. He took off his rain jacket and helped the boy to don it; its length returned to the boy his modesty. Harry and the boy's knees were both quite weak, and they each sat down on the sidewalk, Harry unashamedly pulling the boy into his lap.
The boy was crying in fear, shame, and repentance as Harry held him by the shoulders. He sobbed, "I'm sorry, so very sorry! I'm as evil as the Orphanage Matrons said I was! I can never be forgiven!"
Harry embraced the boy tightly and let him cry on his shoulder. He answered, "I forgive you, my brother. I would have come for you sooner, but I'm barely more than a child myself! I know you'll never do anything like it again. I can't help but forgive you, Tom Riddle."
The thirteen year old bawled, "You're the first one to say my name and love me!"
Harry replied, "I assure you I won't be the last, my wonderful little brother! I'll help you with your studies, play Quidditch with you, cry with you, laugh with you, and even get you a date! After all, what are older brothers for, and Voldemort mucked up your love life even worse than mine!"
Tom replied, "But Harry, I played with the Dark Arts! I thought myself better than demons, so much so that they possessed me and made me kill thousands of people, and order the killing of thousands more, including your own dad and mum1"
Harry replied, "I know, Tom! But all you can be blamed for is the Dark Arts crap! Other kids your age did almost as bad, and they should have known better! The other stuff was all Voldemort! Besides, all those decades trapped with Voldemort was far worse punishment than you deserved. I'd spank you if it made you feel any better, but that would be even more embarrassing than our blubbering all over each other in the street like we are now!"
Tom jumped back and said, "You wouldn't!"
Harry hugged Tom again and kissed him on the cheek, saying, "Gotcha, Tom! And you know I would, after all, what are older brothers for?"
Tom said in amazement, "Do you really mean that, Harry?"
Harry stood up, helping Tom to his feet as he did. He said, "Of course, Tom! We are now brothers! I'm the Boy-Who-Lived, and you are the Boy-Who-Lived-Again! We have at least one and maybe two fortunes to split between the two of us, so no worries about money to attend university, either magical or muggle. My blood relatives are almost worthless, but even they will be no worse to you than me. Ron's mum and dad treat me like another son, and I'm sure you'll fare at least as good! You are my brother, Tom, you have a home now, though even I'm not sure where we call home. But, welcome home anyway, and happy birthday!"
Tom was utterly shocked and stunned, even as his older brother hugged him again firmly and again kissed his cheek. He asked timidly, "How did you know, Harry?"
Harry answered, "Brothers know these things, Tom. Now, let's get to Aunt Petunia's to get you some clothes to wear. We'll go shopping for the both of us tomorrow, but you need something more than a raincoat until then. I won't have my brother dressing like a pervert, after all…"
Tom finally laughed in happiness, saying, "Geroff already, Harry!" as he swatted his older brother away.
As they started to walk to Aunt Petunia's house, they were surrounded by several members of the Order of the Phoenix, who would beat the rest of the Aurors by only minutes at best! Alistor led the way, brandishing his wand in anger and fear of the young boy. Tonks, Kingsley Shacklebolt, and all the older Weasleys were less anxious, but more confused at the thirteen year old boy who stood beside Harry. "Get away from him, Harry!" the retired Auror said.
Harry replied, "Get real, Alistor! This is my brother! I've freed him, and I say he's been punished enough! Move against my brother, you move against me!"
Molly spoke next, saying, "If you're sure, Harry, then I now have two extra sons! Are you really sure Harry?"
He answered, "More sure than anything in my life, mum. You have another son!" Molly's eyes moistened, and Arthur stood just a little straighter at Harry's words of love and respect. They had two more sons, just for doing what was right! Even when it was bad, and it was certainly bad then, life was good.
Albus Dumbledore, the headmaster of Hogwarts, and one of the most powerful and learned wizards of modern times chose that moment to make his appearance known, after watching most of the scene unfold. Moody, Tonks, Bill, Charley, Fred, George, Molly, and Arthur Weasley, and Kingsley Shacklebolt all stood aside for their leader. Dumbledore walked up to Harry and sized up the situation in an instant, even as Tom, who hadn't had that good a relationship with his Transfiguration Professor, hid behind his older brother.
Dumbledore asked, "Are you your brother's keeper, Harry?"
Harry looked at his mentor, with both respect and defiance. He answered not as the boy he was, but as the man he would become. "Professor Dumbledore, I am neither Cain nor Abel. I am my brother's keeper, as he is mine."
"I see you now sense some of the true strength I told you of" Dumbledore said.
Harry answered, "We three all have another chance Professor; my brother, you, and I. But in times of war, chances are scarce indeed. Please help us not waste them."
Dumbledore paused and answered, "Harry, Tom, you will find I am not Severus Snape. We will work through our differences, Tom, and clean up the mess we started. I accept my responsibility to you, Tom, for having failed you and having left you open to the horrors that befell you. If you can forgive me that, then I can surely forgive you your mistakes."
"Really, Professor?" the thirteen year old asked.
The headmaster replied, "Really, Tom. Besides, after so many years, you will have to be re-sorted! Too many years have gone by to take points from Slytherin for what you did then, even if you're sorted there again. And if you go to any other house, it would be beyond unfair to punish them for what you did in another house. As Harry said, you've already been punished more than enough for your mistakes. You have a brother and a family, now is the time to heal."
Student and professor hugged each other in true affection, the first time either truly felt, much demonstrated that to each other. Tom finally broke the silence by asking, "So, I won't have to go back to the orphanage?"
Dumbledore answered, "No, Tom. You have a family, now, and that orphanage, along with those who mismanaged it, are all long gone." Tom was so overjoyed that he started to dance!
Harry quickly brought his brother back to earth by saying, "You know you're dancing in the street wearing nothing but a raincoat, don't you Tom?"
Tom immediately stopped dancing and blushed beet red! He muttered "Spoilsport" to Harry sullenly.
Harry answered, "Sorry, Tom, but I thought you should know." He hugged his brother yet again.
Tom eventually said, "Geroff, Harry!" As Harry leg go, Tom added, "You said you had some clothes for me at Aunt Petunia's?"
Harry answered, "Yes. You can choose either Gryffindor school robes that will almost fit right but look weird as hell in the muggle world, or my latest hand-me-downs from my cousin Dudley, that'll be so big you'll be able to swim in."
Dumbledore interjected, "I can help there, Harry." With a quick wave of his wand, Dumbledore made Harry's clothes fit perfectly. The headmaster added, "I'll do the same for Tom once he's dressed. After that, Harry, you will pack all your belongings, and we will all go to 12 Grimauld Place. You and Tom will do your shopping in muggle London and Diagon Alley. You will both need new clothes, school books, and Tom will need a new wand. Don't worry about Tom's stuff…"
Harry cut in, saying, "Professor Dumbledore, I meant what I said to Tom, if you heard it. I'm not only my brother's keeper, but my brother's banker as well. Help us where we need it, but I don't think money will be part of that."
Dumbledore said, "Well spoken, Harry. We need to get to your aunt's house, get some clothes for Tom, and get your stuff packed. Your friends want to have a surprise party for you this evening. I apologize for spoiling the surprise, but I'm sure the party will do you all some good."
Harry nodded in agreement, and the three wizards walked to Number Four Privet Drive to collect Harry's things.