Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling; various publishers including, but not limited to, Bloomsbury Books, Scholastic Books and Raincoast Books; and Warner Bros., Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended.
A/N: This is the last chapter for OMLaF. Thanks to everyone who has stuck with me so far, hopefully the remainder of the series will prove as enjoyable for you all.
Chapter Eight: Dobby
April 2, 1994
I know it's been a while since we spoke, but I wanted to let you know that I'd not forgotten about you. In fact, I have a favor to ask you, but you'll need to come to Hogwarts to talk to me. Can you meet me in the headmaster's office on the 9th at seven in the evening?
Dobby's eyes grew very large as he read the one and only letter he had ever received in his life. It had been enough of a shock to see that he'd received one in the morning mail, the fact that it came from the Great and Honorable Harry Potter – the elf still hadn't quite gotten used to Harry's name-change – was nearly too much for him to take. Knowing that he wasn't allowed to use the pens and ink in the manor, he carefully burned the end of a broom-twig and used the resulting charcoal tip to scrawl a childlike 'yes' at the bottom of Harry's letter before using one of the owls to return it to his idol. He hoped that the Great and Honorable Harry Potter would allow him to keep the letter if the wizard didn't throw it away when he received Dobby's reply.
Harry had written the letter on the second, mailed it on the third, and received Dobby's nearly-illegible reply on Tuesday, the fifth. The remainder of Harry's week was spent in a slightly nervous, keyed-up state. It didn't help that Ron insisted on working on the music they'd written together for an hour or two nearly every night. Harry had country music pouring out of his ears, or so it seemed to him. During lunch on Thursday, a snippet of his conversation with the headmaster and Snape returned to him. Snape had asked Harry if he went looking for trouble. For reasons unknown to Harry, the phrase wormed its way into the music Ron had written, and before lunch was done with, Harry had lyrics that fit nicely with the tune.
That evening, after dinner, he was the one who asked the boys to play. It surprised them when he picked up his acoustic and mentioned, "Oh, yeah, I managed to get some lyrics for this'un. Iffen y'all don't mind, I'll sing 'em. Y'all's accents just ain't right for a country song." Since his offer was met with no objections, he counted off and he and Ron started in with the twangy guitar riffs, echoed by the synth's steel-guitar. Dean chimed in with the bass, and Seamus' drums kicked in, too. The song was moderately fast-paced.
Harry took a deep breath and counted two measures before singing:
There I was, just a-sittin' at home,
Mindin' my own business,
When all of a sudden there was a knock on my door,
You'll never guess who it was.
He said, "Hello, my friend, can I come on in?
"It's been a long, hard road and I feel half-dead."
I stepped aside, an' let 'im in,
Got 'im a drink, an' asked 'im 'is name.
He said, "My name is Trouble,
"Trouble with a capital T,
"I like havin' fun an' playin' games,
"Woncha play awhile with me?"
I shoulda known then that somethin' was off,
But I didn't listen to that voice within,
I just shook his hand with a little laugh an' said,
"Nice ta meet ya, friend."
There was an instrumental break of three measures, which allowed Harry time to catch his breath before he had to sing again.
It was a little while later things started goin' wrong,
M'broom broke down, an' the chimney collapsed,
My quidditch team lost, an' I misplaced m'hat.
M' guest just laughed, an' when I asked 'im why,
He said, "My name is Trouble,
"Trouble with a capital T,
"I like havin' fun an' playin' games,
"Woncha play a while with me?"
Another instrumental break, this time only for two measures, and then Harry finished off.
So the next time you're bored an' lookin' for fun,
Feelin' cooped up an' needin' ta run,
When ya go out lookin' for trouble, ya don't gotta go far,
Just come on ta my place an' he'll see how ya are.
My name is Trouble,
Trouble with a capital T,
I like havin' fun an' playin' games,
Woncha play a while with me?
As the final notes of the song faded, Harry looked around the room, "Well?"
The general consensus was that the boys liked the song, but Ron made the suggestion to have someone else sing the refrain. Harry agreed, and they tried it again, this time having the rest of the band – sans Harry – sing the chorus.
As the song ended, there was the sound of muted applause coming through the dorm door. Seamus got up from his seat at the drums and opened it to reveal the majority of Gryffindor House crowded into the stairwell, cheering. One of the seventh-years whistled while a second-year shouted, "Why don't you bring that stuff down here and play for everyone?"
Seamus glanced over his shoulder at his friends, "Well? I'm game."
The boys looked at each other and broke into simultaneous grins. It only took ten minutes or so for them to transport the instruments down to the common room, where a space had been made in an alcove near the fireplace. Once everything was set up, Harry let out a shrill, ear-piercing whistle – the same one that Jim and Dave used to call the horses back to the stable every night. "Okay, listen up, y'all! We'll play for ya, but none of us c'n sing all that well!"
Someone near the far wall shouted back, "We don't care!" at the same time that someone else shouted, "It didn't sound that way from the stairs!"
Amid the laughter, Harry looked at his friends and made sure they were ready to go. "Just follow my lead," he said to them before launching into the first song they'd ever learned together – Blue Moon. When that song finished, Harry led them through the majority of the songs they knew, most of which were all part of the oldies progression that Dave had taught Harry. The boys themselves were surprised at the number of songs they knew, they hadn't stopped to realize that every week for the last two full school years, they'd added one or two songs to the list of what they knew.
Their audience was getting into the spirit of things and hoarded junk food and stashes of bottled butterbeer were brought out. Hermione arrived just at curfew to find that the common room had broken into an impromptu party. She was beyond exhausted, and it was still a school night. Frowning, she squared her shoulders and hurried to McGonagall's office.
When Hermione returned to the common room, the deputy headmistress following close behind, they found that one of the seventh-year prefects had noticed the time and called a halt to the evening's fun. Everyone was working together to clean up the mess and the boys were starting to put their instruments back into their carrying cases. "It appears, Miss Granger, that the situation isn't quite as dire as you had painted it," Minerva commented with a small smile.
Hermione felt like an idiot for rushing after and disturbing their head of house, and had started to apologize when the professor shook her head and spoke to the room. "It appears as though you all had some fun this evening." There was a round of nods and other affirmatives. "Don't pack up just yet, boys," she directed her comment to Harry and the other members of his band. "May I ask you to play something for me?"
Harry and his friends looked to each other, slightly uneasy. "Um… didja have anythin' in mind, ma'am?" Harry asked.
Minerva smiled reassuringly, "Have any of you written your own music?"
Harry shrugged, "Yeah… But there's only the two songs, ma'am."
"I would very much like to hear them," she replied.
Harry shrugged again and retrieved his magical electric guitar from the case. "Hermione? Ya gonna help out on the one, or do we hafta suffer Ron singin' it?"
Hermione's jaw dropped open, "But – "
"Go ahead, Miss Granger," Professor McGonagall made a shooing motion towards the band.
Sighing, Hermione did as the professor had asked and joined the boys. "Can we make this quick? I'm really tired."
Ron smiled at her, "It's just the one song, 'Mione. We can do the other without you."
Neville looked around and noticed that everyone was ready, even the other members of the house had paused in their cleaning. He started tapping out the birdsong for 'Soar.' When the song finished, Hermione escaped to her room, and Harry exchanged his guitar for the acoustic and the band played 'Lookin' for Trouble' for their teacher.
When they finished, the house applauded as noisily as they had in the stairwell. The professor clapped politely, an odd little smirk on her face before addressing the room once more. "I expect the common room to be put directly in order, and then for the lot of you to go to bed. You still have classes in the morning, after all." She disappeared through the portrait hole before Harry could ask about the strange smile.
"What do you think that was all about?" Seamus asked, putting his drums back into their cases.
"No idea," Harry admitted.
All day Saturday, Harry was extremely nervous. He had no idea if Dobby would be able to slip the potion into Narcissa's drink, or if that would be considered acting against his family – something that no bound house elf would be capable of doing.
He tried to keep himself occupied, finishing up his homework, reading through some of his additional books, and working on trying to find something for his last project for Spell Creation, but nothing held his attention for long. He eventually meandered his way to Remus and Sirius' rooms, where the two managed to keep Harry sufficiently occupied for most of the day, chatting about how school was progressing, reminiscing about their own days as students, and playing card games. Sirius made mention that he had started working on the animagus transformation near the end of his third year and asked Harry if he'd read the book he'd given him. Harry had nodded and replied that he thought it sounded pretty cool. That led to Sirius explaining the process in a bit more detail than the book had gone into.
Before Harry realized it, it was finally time for dinner. Dobby was due to arrive just afterwards. Harry rushed through his meal and telling his friends that he had some questions regarding Spell Creation, he headed up to the staff table. "Sir?"
Albus nodded to Harry, "Yes, Mr. Brewer?"
"That person I told y'all 'bout should be here at seven. I told him to meet me in your office," Harry replied, keeping his voice low.
"Severus and I shall join you shortly," Dumbledore replied. "Go on up, the password for this evening is 'fruitcake.'"
"Just out of curiosity, sir, how often do you change your password?"
Albus thought for a moment, "Approximately twice every seven hundred-thousand seconds or so."
Harry figured that probably meant about twice a week. He thanked the professor and hurried to the headmaster's office. Checking his watch, he saw that it was still only half past six. He still had a half an hour to wait before Dobby's expected arrival.
He managed to waste about ten minutes looking over the multiple whirring gadgets on display throughout the room, and a further five by looking over the many portraits of headmasters past. His gaze landed on the shelf behind the headmaster's desk and he noticed the Sorting Hat sitting there. It startled him when it spoke, "Still insist you don't wish to be great, young Harry?"
"Yeah, I still insist. I don't wanna be 'great.' I'd much rather just be me."
Harry had the distinct impression that the hat was grinning at him, "But, don't you see, you already are great." Harry didn't know how to reply to that, but the hat continued before he had the chance to, "And even you can't argue that the events of this year would have gone much easier for you had you been where you should have been all this time – in Slytherin."
Harry rolled his eyes. "I ain't a seer, so I can't prove or disprove that, but iffen I'd been a Slytherin like y'all wanted, I'd've had ta put up with that snot-ball, Draco, Tweedledee and Tweedledum, as well as that inbred yokel, Nott. I like my friends in Gryffindor, an' you can't tell me that I woulda been friends with them iffen I'd been in Slytherin. You know none of the students mix with the other houses none."
"That is hardly my fault. I merely sort the students and try to encourage interhouse cooperation with my start of term song; you can't blame me if my advice isn't taken."
"Whatever," Harry replied. "How come y'all sort the students the way ya do? Iffen y'all want everyone ta get along, why doncha just randomly send students to a house?"
"That is not how I was designed," the hat responded. "The founders spelled me to sort the students based on specific lists of criteria, ergo that is what I do."
"I s'pose I c'n understand that," Harry acknowledged, "but what happens iffen y'all come across a student that don't fit with none of the houses?"
The hat made a motion with its brim, it looked to Harry as though it had shrugged. "In the millennium since Hogwarts was founded, that particular scenario has yet to surface."
Harry dropped the conversation when he heard the door to the office open and Snape and the headmaster arrived. Harry checked his watch, it was ten to seven. The headmaster took his seat, and Severus and Harry arranged themselves identically to how they'd sat during the conversation the previous week. "I have prepared the draught," Severus stated, "and it should be ready for use no later than the twentieth of May. It has a shelf-life of roughly two weeks, so if tonight's encounter turns out less than favorably, we still have eight weeks to come up with an alternate plan."
Before either the headmaster or Harry could reply, there was a small popping noise. Harry jumped out of his chair and spotted Dobby, still wearing the dirty pillowcase. "Hey, Dobby!" Harry greeted the little elf. The elf immediately burst into joyful sobs at seeing Harry and rushed over and clung to the teen's legs. "It's good ta see ya, too," Harry patted the elf on the head. "I'm glad you could come, I hope it won't get ya in trouble none."
"Dobby came, Mister Harry Brewer Sir, just like sir asked. You said yous had a favor to asks of Dobby?" The elf said, his eyes still leaking large tears and smiling brightly.
Harry nodded, "Yeah, but 'fore I get ta that, lemme introduce ya to Professor Snape and Headmaster Dumbledore."
The elf bowed low to both of the wizards. "How can Dobby be serving such powerful wizards?"
Harry motioned to the chair he'd vacated when the elf popped into the room. "Remember the rules for my room, Dobby?" Dobby nodded. "Good, same rules here, only the headmaster is the one who will tell you iffen a punishment's needed, right?" he looked up at Dumbledore.
Dumbledore nodded, "That is correct."
Harry turned his attention back to the elf. "Have a seat, Dobby. I need to explain some things before we get to that favor. Quick question, though, how long can you stay before you're missed?"
Dobby's smile grew, "I's made sure Dobby won't be missed until morning, Mister Harry Brewer Sir."
Harry let out a deep breath, "You did the right thing, Dobby. I don't know how long this is gonna take. I also have a few questions I wanna ask ya."
"How can Dobby help?"
"Firstly, Dobby, you're bound to protect your family, right?" The elf nodded. "Okay, so can you tell me what you'd do iffen one member of your family was hurting another member of your family?"
"That depends, sir," the elf replied, fidgeting with his pillowcase.
"On what?" Harry prompted.
"On if the hurts were punishments or an accident and if the person being hurt was born to Dobby's family," the elf explained.
"Well, what if the 'hurts' weren't a punishment or an accident, and were being done to a member of your family that had been born to the family by someone who had married into the family?" At this point, it became clear to both of the professors that the elf wasn't bound to Harry, as well as precisely what family he was bound to. Severus and Albus exchanged slightly astonished glances before returning their attention to the elf.
"Dobby's main loyalty is to those members of his family that were born to the family," Dobby replied. "Dobby's duty would be to stop the hurts from happening."
Harry smiled at that. "Good. Now, Dobby, I need you to listen carefully to this, okay?" The elf nodded. "Narcissa is hurting Lucius – she's keeping him under a really bad spell."
Dobby's eyes grew very large and an angry look crossed his face, "Bad mistress!"
Harry settled a calming hand on the elf's shoulder. "Settle down, Dobby. The professors and me know a way to fix the situation, an' make sure she can't hurt 'im again. But, we'll need your help, okay?"
"Dobby will do whatever Mister Harry Brewer Sir asks."
"We will need you to put a potion into one of Narcissa's drinks. Does she do the tea-thing at four?" Dobby nodded. "You'll need to do it then, alright?"
"What day will Dobby be doing this?"
"The twentieth of May – that's next month. The potion we need you to use won't be ready until then."
Dobby stood up, "Dobby will be back at three on May twentieth." He snapped his fingers before anyone could reply, and disappeared from the office.
Harry sighed, "I wish he'd stuck around a little longer, I had more questions for him."
As Harry sank back into the now-vacant chair, Albus gave him a quirky smile. "I must say, Harry, you do have some of the oddest friends."
Harry shrugged, unable to contradict the comment.
The next six weeks alternately sped and dragged by. The quidditch season progressed, with Ravenclaw winning against both Hufflepuff and Slytherin, Slytherin then losing to Hufflepuff – which put them out of the running for the Cup – and Gryffindor winning against Ravenclaw. The final match was scheduled for the second-to-last weekend of the school year and would be another between Ravenclaw and Gryffindor.
Since Spell Creation wasn't the same as a normal class, there wouldn't be a final exam for the class; instead, they did their final projects for the year by creating a spell that the headmaster assigned. Draco was to work out a way to determine the fillings of various chocolates without having to poke holes in them in the process, Hermione was to create a spell that would automatically annotate a handwritten tome with an index, and Harry was to create a combination cleaning/pressing/folding spell for laundry. Oddly enough, the most difficult of the three spells proved to be the one concerning chocolate.
At long last, May twentieth arrived. As had happened six weeks earlier, Harry was rather nervous, the upside was that this time around, he had class to distract him. Dawdling over cleaning his workstation in Potions, he was the last one to finish. His friends offered to wait for him, but he waived them off, saying that he had some questions for the professor. Somewhat used to his seemingly abnormal liking for the class, the group of Gryffindors headed outside to enjoy a head start on their weekend.
"I have the draught with me, Brewer," Snape said.
"Good," Harry replied, hurriedly packing up the last of his things. He followed the professor through a couple of hidden corridors to the headmaster's office. Dobby was already there. Harry gave the little elf a hug and said, "Professor Snape will tell you what to do with the potion, Dobby."
Dobby turned his overlarge green eyes on the potions master. Severus handed the elf a small vial, filled with a colorless liquid. "You will need to empty this entire vial into her tea, elf. Once she drinks the entirety of it, she will fall asleep – do not be alarmed if you are unable to sense her magic or life force, this potion is designed to suppress both of those. When she has fallen into that state, return and inform the headmaster."
"Dobby will do as sir asks," Dobby bowed low and disappeared.
Harry settled into 'his' chair opposite Dumbledore. "I wish I knew how he did that," Harry said. "I thought ya couldn't apparate inside Hogwarts."
"House elves do not apparate," Albus explained, conjuring his favorite cream-and-rose tea service. "No one is precisely sure how they travel as they do, other than the elves themselves, of course, but none of them will tell a wizard."
Harry accepted a cup of tea, and the three of them fell into a discussion regarding the uses of dragons' blood in potions – which, coincidentally, were ten of its twelve uses. The eleventh had to do with the setting of household anti-fire wards, and the last was in binding diametrically opposite spells into the same object.
Approximately an hour and twenty minutes later, Dobby reappeared. "Mistress has drank all of the potion, sirs. She's sleeping now, and sir was right, it is hard to see mistress's magic."
"Thanks, Dobby. I haven't forgotten that promise I made you when we first met, but after this is over, you might not need me to anymore." Harry smiled at the elf, who returned the gesture.
"Dobby must return, sirs," he said and disappeared a final time.
"What did you promise the elf?" Severus asked while the headmaster activated the floo.
"Don't matter no more," Harry replied, shrugging a little
In short order, Kingsley Shacklebolt stepped out of the fireplace. "What's this about, sir?" he asked of Albus.
"We have reason to believe that Lucius Malfoy has been under an imperius curse set by his wife," Albus explained. "We have already cancelled a portion of this issue by seeing to it that Mrs. Malfoy unknowingly took a dose of Draught of Living Death. If you would verify our suspicions by going to Malfoy Manor and speaking with Lucius, I would be much obliged."
The tall black auror blinked. "I should know by now that if I show up and you've got the Boy-Who-Lived in here with you, the report I'm about to hear is going to be completely unlikely, almost absurd, and entirely true." He smiled at Harry and said, "Do me a favor, would you?"
"Don't ever become an auror, kid. You'd make the rest of us look bad."
Harry chuckled, "Don't worry 'bout it none, sir. Mom don't know, but I wanna run rodeo when I get outta school - least for a few years. After that, I dunno... Maybe get my pilot's license upgraded to commercial or mayhap see iffen the USAF could use me for a stint or two."
Kingsley chuckled and ducked back into the floo.
"And that," Albus said, banishing the tea service, "as they say, is that."
"Will you let me know how it all turns out, sir?" Harry asked.
"I dare say that an incident of this magnitude is likely to be in the papers, Harry," Albus replied.
Harry grinned, "We don't get the Prophet at home. Would ya lemme keep your copy when it comes out?"
"Not a problem," Albus smiled. "Now, though, you have an entire weekend ahead of you and a big match on Sunday to prepare for. Off with you."
Harry knew a dismissal when he heard one, and headed out into the bright May sunshine.
After a long match wherein there were many seemingly death-defying maneuvers performed in midair, dozens of goals were scored on both sides, and the snitch evaded capture no fewer than a full nine times, Ravenclaw scraped a minor victory. The final score was 410 to 400. It wasn't quite enough to put them in the lead for the House Cup, but Ravenclaw was happy with winning the Quidditch Cup. Oliver, on the other hand, looked positively crestfallen when he shook the Ravenclaw captain's hand at the end of the match. Harry was glad that no one had mentioned the scouts from Puddlemere United that had been in the stands during the game to Wood.
As it turned out, though, the scouts had been impressed with Wood's performance during the six-hour match, and said that they'd be in touch after his NEWTs were completed. So, despite losing the Quidditch Cup, Oliver couldn't stop grinning for the remainder of the school year. Harry was surprised to find out that most professional quidditch teams required a minimum of three NEWTs in order to play – most, if not all, sports he was familiar with didn't care if you knew anything else, so long as you could play and play well.
The second-to-last week of school was spent in review, and the final week was spent in completing their final exams and projects for the year. When it was all said and done, Hermione mentioned that she wasn't going to continue on in Muggle Studies because the class was 'laughably out of date,' and as a direct result, she was able to turn in the time-turner – she wouldn't need it the following year.
When everyone was packing up for the summer, Dean paused in packing away his uniforms and asked, "Hey, Harry? You ever find out what you needed from that ruddy clock?"
Harry laughed, "Yeah, mi amigo, I did. Iffen y'all wanna know more, then I'd advise ya to keep an eye on the papers this summer."
Despite pestering and threat of tickle-torture under rictusempra, Harry still refused to go into any more detail.
After the leaving feast, Harry returned to a dorm that was all packed away, with the exception of the clothes the boys were intending to wear home the next day and their pajamas for the night. There was also an unfamiliar owl perched on Harry's bedpost. It dropped a letter at Harry's feet before winging out through the open window.
Harry sat down on his bed and broke the wax seal on the back of the thick parchment envelope.
4 June, 1994
Dear Mr. Brewer:
I must admit that when I felt your presence in my mind a year ago, I had no idea that you would be able to do as much as you have in the short amount of time since that day. You managed to surprise me and not many people can.
In short, I thank you for your help. I do hope that one day, you will consent to giving me the full details of just how you managed to figure out what was going on.
I am uncertain as to whether or not you are familiar with the concept of a wizards' debt, but, considering the circumstances, I find myself in the position of owing one to you. If there is ever anything you need, do not hesitate to ask.
Lucius AbraxianXavier Malfoy
Harry tucked the letter into his trunk, wondering in passing just why the Malfoy family seemed to have an obsession with the name 'Xavier'. He further wondered if Lucius was going to be at Kings' Cross the next day – if so, then he could reply to the letter in person. Harry changed into his pajamas, and used his newly-crafted laundry charm to set the clothes he had been wearing to rights before placing them in his trunk as well. Noticing that he was starting to run out of space in the clothing compartment, Harry made a mental note to clean it out when he returned home. It looked as though there were still things in it from his first year.
The next day, just before the carriages arrived to take the students down to the Hogwarts Express, Dumbledore pulled both Harry and Draco aside. "I am impressed that the both of you managed to go the entire year without another confrontation. You may consider your probationary period lifted, but I hope that the two of you will be able to continue as you have this year, and ignore one another if you are unable to interact peaceably."
Harry shrugged, "It don't seem that hard to ignore him, professor. I'll try to continue doing so in the future, but iffen he starts somethin' I will finish it."
Draco merely scoffed, rolled his eyes, and headed for the carriages that had pulled to a stop outside the castle.
Harry looked back at Dumbledore, "You know, I almost feel sorry for the Krätze. Does he know what's been goin' on with his dad?"
Albus shook his head, "At Lucius' request, no one has told Draco about the situation. I believe Lucius mentioned wanting to speak with him personally."
Harry threw back his head and laughed, "In that case, I really do feel sorry for him!"
Albus smiled at Harry's reaction. "You'd best hurry, Harry. You don't want to miss the train, I'm sure."
Harry grinned, "Naw, I ain't worried 'bout the train, though I do wanna see Draco an' his dad meet up in London."
Harry bade the headmaster a good holiday and slipped into the carriage he'd seen Hermione, Neville, and Ron enter while he was talking with Dumbledore.
The train ride back to Kings' Cross was as uneventful as the ride to school had been. Less so, really, when one took into consideration the fact that Draco and his friends secured a compartment in a completely different car than the one Harry and his friends occupied.
The peace, though, lasted only until the blonde Slytherin annoyance purposefully rammed his shoulder into Harry's while they were looking for their respective families on Platform 9 ¾. "Watch where you're going, Potter."
Harry glared at Draco, "You sorry excuse for a wizard – why doncha watch where you're goin'? Mayhap y'all need glasses like mine. There was plenty of room for ya not ta run inta me."
"You still sound like a simpleton; what's the matter, didn't your whore of a mother teach you how to speak properly?"
Harry curled his right hand into a fist and was about to step forward and give Draco another black eye and hopefully break the runt's jaw, when he saw something that made him smile. Lucius was standing just behind Draco, and had arrived in time to hear his son's ill-advised comment. Forcefully making his hand relax, Harry met Draco's eyes. He could tell that the moron was perplexed by his actions and likewise didn't know what had made Harry smile. "Out of respect for your dad, I ain't gonna kick your ass like I should – "
Before Harry could finish the sentence, Lucius interrupted him and placed a hand on his son's shoulder. "There is no need, Mr. Brewer. Draco and I are going to have a long talk when we return to Wiltshire. If he continues in this behavior next year, you will have my permission to deal with the situation as necessary."
Draco had jumped at the sound of his father's voice, and Harry could see that he wasn't at all sure what was going on. "But, Dad –" he tried to get his father's attention.
Lucius merely leveled a scorching look at his son's whining. "None of that, Draco. When we return home."
Harry called after the pair as they turned to leave, "Mr. Malfoy?"
"Yes?" Lucius turned back to Harry.
"I got your letter, an' I don't know iffen it still applies, but I made a promise with your house elf last year… well, almost two years ago, now. Anyway, you might wanna talk to Dobby. An' as to your request about the whole story… well, get my floo address from Dumbledore. You're welcome ta call anytime, so long as y'all realize that my home is six hours earlier in the day than here."
Lucius nodded and ignored Draco's agitated questions of what Harry was talking about and what was going on. "I will do that, Mr. Brewer."
Harry smiled, "Thanks, sir. Have a nice day."
"And you as well, Mr. Brewer."
The sound of Draco's confused questions as Lucius led him away was music to Harry's ears.
A/N2: Okay, that's about all I have completed in the series thus far. The next book, 'International Magical Cooperation' will begin to be posted when I finish writing it and having my beta read through it. Hopefully, everyone should see the first chapters for it come up in approximately two weeks' time (no later than October 8).