'SIRIUS' TIMES !
Disclaimer – Harry Potter belongs solely to J.K. Rowling and I am unfortunately not earning anything from it.
Author's Note: I have decided to make the age of entering Hogwarts at fourteen years. The kind of personality I want Harry to develop would not be possible if he is eleven or twelve years old. Hopefully, now the story and Harry's actions will sound a bit more realistic.
It was a hectic weekend as Harry made his way towards the dorms after winning another match in the English League. Having qualified for European league, the schedule had become even more busy and almost every alternate week, he had a match. Thankfully his record of never losing a snitch chase was intact as they had won the matches they had played. As he entered the common room, he found people relaxing or finishing up on the homework in preparation of coming week's classes. He had already finished his homework thanks to the extra hours he was able to get by using the time turner.
Things had progressed rapidly after his meeting with the Greengrass and Patil patriarch. Construction work was being done rapidly while the allies were making deals with regards to the shipments and other processes. Aunt Elle had also delivered on what she promised as she along with Andy had a meeting with the Board of Directors of Puddlemere United with regards to the installation of screens in the stadium. There were a few complications as a few members were too 'conservative' and wary of introducing any kind of change in the experience of a Quidditch fan but thankfully they were in the minority. The offer of freely installing the screens in the stadium sweetened the deal even further.
Aunt Elle had explained the process of installation but even he was impressed to find the execution. It was magical, pun intended, to see that not even a single seating space had been compromised to adjust for the screens. Another beautiful facet of all this was the fact that visual angle was not compromised for even a single spectator. Harry had no clue how all the researchers had come up with all this but he was damn impressed. He was sure it was going to blow the mind of everyone who was born and brought up in the Magical world as well as those in the Muggle world. The researchers at Wiztech Corporation had gone a generation further than the muggle counterparts and made use of magic to circumvent the limitations that had not yet been breached by the advancement of technology in the muggle world.
It was quite apparent on the faces of all the staff and Board members who had come before the match to inspect all the arrangements. They all had their mouths open in wonder as they looked all around. They were even more excited when it was revealed that the copies of the recording devices could be made for each match and could later be sold to the general public to watch the matches on their personal screens anytime they wanted (magical version of VCR). Obviously, since the installation and equipment were provided free of cost, for the first five years, Wiztech Corporation would get seventy five percent profit while Puddlemere United would get the remaining twenty five percent.
The spectators' reaction was completely out of the world. Everyone was shocked by how helpful and pleasing the whole experience was. It was a full house and as per Aunt Elle, the game hadn't even finished before they had started receiving floo calls from various teams asking for the same in their stadiums. It was going to be a crazy three months for the manufacturing team. There were huge advertisements telling all the audience about the availability of screens for homes, offices and landmarks. Wiztech corporation had also made plans to approach the Boards of all Leagues as well as the World Cup for the rights. Harry still remembered the headlines of the daily Prophet after the first game.
"LATEST INVENTION ROCKS THE PUDDLEMERE STADIUM!"
"WIZTECH CORPORATION ENTERS THE BRITISH MARKET WITH A BANG!"
It only took them three days to find out about the company and its management.
"HARRY POTTER REVEALED AS THE FOUNDER OF WIZTECH CORPORATION!"
"LILY EVANS-POTTER CREDITED FOR THE INVENTION, TECHNOMAGES ALL OVER THE WORLD STILL IN DENIAL"
Harry was thankful he was in the school that acted as a shield against all the media and others who were trying to reach him so desperately. Aunt Elle had anticipated the attention correctly and had set up an office in Diagon Alley to take any and all requests. As expected, a lot of purebloods had approached Aunt Elle or 'Jennifer Wright' to try and get a piece of business or in some cases intimidate her into giving up everything. Unfortunately for them, Jennifer Wright was a seasoned businesswomen who knew all the loopholes to exploit any situation to her fullest. He was blessed to have her take care of everything.
He was excited for his next match though as for the first time he would be travelling with the team. He had heard from his teammates how exciting it was and how much fun they had. It was going to be a new experience for sure. He was too tired to think of anything else so it was a few seconds later that he fell asleep.
The next morning was the start of a busy week. He had once again gone into the groove of classes, extra studies and his own interests. He was going through the academic course of Fourth and Fifth year for Charms and Transfiguration at a fast pace trying to cover the basics. Rest he would do on his own throughout the year for his preparations of OWLs. Hagrid had also become quite adept as a professor although his chats after the morning run had still continued. What was a surprise though was the interest he had developed in runes. As a means of going further, he had started an in-depth study after asking the Runes professor, Bathsheda Babbling. In classes, the Professor only covered the basics of each type of language and asked the students to showcase how to use them in combination. There were advanced parts in each language that were not even touched. Anyone who was interested would try to learn them on their own although the professor was always ready to point them towards the right texts. He had taken up Futhark as his first language and had already gone beyond what was expected as per the course. It was as if he was learning new alphabets not knowing what sentences and meanings they would form once combined together.
Not everything had turned out well though. A grimace formed on his face as he remembered the last DADA class he had attended. Professor Lupin was showing them how to deal with Boggart. It was an overall fun class although he felt revealing someone's fear in front of everyone might not turn out too well for everyone. It was hilarious to watch some transformations though. Although the one incident that became infamous was when Neville had transformed Professor Snape's clothes to that of his grandmother. He wished he could have seen it with his own hand but he was happy to imagine as well. Unfortunately, when it was his turn, the professor asked to meet him separately and he had to wait out the whole class. Once everyone left, Harry for the first time found himself alone with his parents' good friend. He had thought maybe now he would tell Harry about his connection to his parents but he was wrong. Lupin was worried that Voldemort might be what Harry feared the most and thus did not want the Dark Lord to appear in front of everyone causing trauma to young students.
So, as he faced the Boggart, he was surprised to find it taking the shape of a Dementor. What he hadn't expected though was the fact that it could mimic the effects as well as suddenly there was cold and an influx of memories of his parents' dying moment. It was a traumatic experience once again as Harry fell unconscious. After regaining consciousness, he bit off a large chunk of chocolate while remaining silent as Lupin commended him for having a passing fear rather than a permanent one. Harry was a bit embarrassed though as he hadn't even been able to utter the incantation, 'Riddikulus'. So for the rest of the session, he practised trying to vocalise the incantation while under the effects. Lupin had warned him that the real dementors had even more brutal effects as compared to a boggart so he had to prepare accordingly. Although Lupin had agreed to one session per week only, Harry was using the Room of Requirements daily in order to get used to the onslaught of dementors' effects and to stay conscious a little longer. Room of requirements was able to mimic the actual impact that dementors created and as Lupin said, it was almost double that of a boggart.
Harry and Hermione were also going smoothly as a couple. They had become even more comfortable and close as they spent more time with each other. He was aware that she had too much on her plate as she was attending all the electives. It had taken him only a day to realise that she was using the time turner to attend all the classes although hiding it from him was a lost cause in his opinion as the frequency with which they ended up in Broom closets ensured that he would eventually get a good look at the time turner she was wearing as a necklace.
It was Halloween and there was additional buzz as the first Hogsmeade weekend was finally here. Harry had already received a signed acceptance from Aunt Petunia and thus was looking forward to it. He and Hermione had decided to spend the first half of the day as a date and after lunch they would meet up with their friends. So, it was this that led to them visiting the only magical village in Britain. As he walked on the main street, it reminded him of the families that lived in the village near Potter ports. He would make sure that one day that village would become even more prosperous and wonderful than this.
There were many shops selling candies, books, pranking items, Quidditch related stuff and clothing. There were also a couple of cafes and eating places which were quicking filling to brim. He had a nice time with Hermione visiting all the popular shops and they had eventually made their way towards the Shrieking Shack. He was quite amused as Hermione told him about the 'history' of the decaying hut. The decrepit place reminded him of the condition that Remus Lupin was afflicted with. Lycanthropy was still as rampant as it was during his parents' school time. As per his journals, it took James Potter only three months to figure out the biggest secret that Remus had. Although he did not reveal it to Sirius or Peter, he did let Remus know that he would always be available for any kind of help that Remus needed. Remus was terrified that James figured it out so quickly fearing the ridicule and cruelty he would face from the whole world, especially Hogwarts. Harry shook himself out of that whole set of dynamics and once again focused on his girlfriend who was feeling hungry. They had tried to sit in Madam Puddifoot's but even ten minutes was too much for their liking. So, both of them made their way to the Three Broomsticks famous for butterbeer and the owner, Madam Rosmerta who was the crush of all the boys of Hogwarts for the past few years. Rest of the day was spent just having good food, joking around with friends in what was a lively environment.
As they came back to school, all of them had dinner and after such an adventurous day, they headed to their dorms for a good sleep. Harry felt as if it was only a few minutes before someone was shaking him to get up. He was not even able to open his eyes properly as he realised a seventh year prefect was standing in their dorm asking them to quickly vacate the dorm and follow him to the common room. He shook himself awake and wore a robe as he went down with his roommates. He was immediately engulfed in a hug by Penelope as she checked over him. Before he could ask her anything, the whole house was slowly gathering as Professor Flitwick stood waiting for them.
"It has been found that Sirius Black was successful in entering the castle. Thankfully, no one was harmed. The faculty is still searching the castle for him in case he hasn't fled. Meanwhile it has been decided that all the students will spend the night in the Great Hall as it will be easier for us to protect you. So please move to the Great Hall in an orderly manner." Professor Flitwick's announcement was met with exclamations of fear and shock but no one put up much of a fight and followed the House head.
Harry was accompanying Luna and Terry as they entered the Great Hall. They found that the layout had changed as instead of long dining tables, hundreds of sleeping bags had been laid out along with needed amenities. Harry searched for the face of his friends and found them huddled in a group in a corner dominated by Gryffindors. He made his way there along with his companions and found himself hugged by Hermione. As he listened to them, he found that apparently Sirius Black tried to enter the Gryffindor tower but was not allowed to enter by the Fat Lady, the painting that guarded their entrance. In rage, he completely ripped off the portrait yet was unable to enter and thus was once again on the run. The teachers were making sure that he was not still within the castle. Harry assumed the Headmaster was using the paintings as well ghosts to assist in the process. Rest of the night was much less exciting although Harry did manage to sleep beside his girlfriend so that was a little positive.
Next few weeks went normally although there were constant sightings of the Azkaban escapee around Hogsmeade. They also watched the first Quidditch match of the season between Sytherin and Gryffindor which was won by Gryffindor for a change as the Chasers piled up too many points so that even when the Snitch was caught by Malfoy due to his superior broom, Gryffindor were able to win the match. Unfortunately, Harry's own match against Hufflepuff was nothing to boast about. His record of never losing out on a Snitch chase was broken as while he was in pursuit of the golden ball, Dementors somehow flooded the Quidditch pitch attracted by the scent of so many emotionally charged students at a single location. Since he was way more sensitive to their effects, he lost consciousness while he was ascending on his broom. As a result he lost the Snitch to Cedric who caught it when the play resumed and Harry lost his broom to Whomping Willow. Fortunately Harry did not sustain any serious injury as Professor Dumbledore casted a charm to slow down his descent to ground. He still ended up spending one night in the infirmary.
Soon it was December and Harry was quite proud of the fact that he had finished the OWL coursework in Charms and Transfiguration and would now be concentrating more on Duelling with Professor Flitwick & McGonagall. As he walked towards Professor McGonagall's classroom, he wondered what he would learn in tonight's lesson. He entered the classroom to find a completely different setup. Usually there was space where they would practice spells but tonight there were a couple of couches with a table in between. On the table was a big bowl which had a silver colour liquid swirling inside, a Pensieve. It was familiar to Harry as he remembered the incident with Lockhart where it used to view his memory.
"Tonight's lesson will be a bit different than what you are used to. I know you are familiar with Pensieve. As Filius mentioned, my task is to make you aware of different styles adopted by duellers so that you may identify the strategies your opponents might use. But before we get to that, I thought of arranging a lesson where you get to see the wonders that have been performed in Duelling rings in the past few decades. I have compiled a few memories of the most notable duels that I could find spectators for. Most of the memories are from Filius, Albus and my perspective. The people you will see inside are admittedly the most advanced users of magic on the planet. So without further ado, let's dive inside."
What followed was a spectacle Harry would never forget. The speed, the intensity, the strategy and the power displayed by duelists competing at the highest levels was a true display of talent and magical use by wizards and witches. Harry saw masters of various fields going against each other. Charms, Transfiguration, Dark Arts, Ancient Runes, DADA, Illusions, Enchanting, Elemental and few others Harry hadn't even been able to recognise. He even saw duels involving younger versions of his professors. Had he never seen it himself, he would never have accepted the fact that the Charms Master could be so springy and intense or the Transfiguration mistress could be so ruthless.
As they got out of the Pensieve, Harry took a couple of steps away from the Professor. He was not scared as he knew she wouldn't harm him. It was awe and respect that made him feel so insignificant. He had always realised the fact that he was lucky to be able to receive so much individual attention from masters of the two most prominents fields of the Magical world. Yet it took watching them in action while displaying their full potential to actually realise it. They were the best in their fields and yet they were spending decades of their lives teaching kids the same thing again and again. The whole experience was too much for him and maybe that is why Harry had not stayed any longer in the classroom.
He did not go back to his dorms. Rather he used his Invisibility cloak and roamed the grounds and finally sat near the lake. He was feeling too many emotions. He was mesmerised yet intimidated after seeing the power and control, and felt miniscule compared to others. He had thought that the effort he was putting into learning all the things he could would be enough. Who was he kidding? The feats he had seen people performing without a thought were things he hadn't even considered possible. He felt anger as well as pity for the students who were so involved in mediocrity that they never realised the quality of education that could be available to them by being a part of Hogwarts. Yet he had not seen many people actually striving to do new things or going beyond what was needed to pass NEWTs or OWLs.
It took him two days of introspection to come to terms with what he had done till now. As he looked back, he found that he wouldn't do anything differently. He had done his best in any scenario he had been put to. He was learning magic, trying to restore his family's legacy, already earning by being a professional player and most significantly, had people whom he could rely on either as friends, teachers or family. This brought him out of the funk as he walked towards the office of Professor Flitwick. He entered to find both the mentors waiting for him while sipping tea. He felt quite embarrassed with the exit he had made in his last lesson so he apologised to Professor McGongall who was fairly understanding as well as relieved when he was finished with his explanation. After that he put forward all the fears and insecurities and emotions he felt in the last lessons. Both the Professors sat listening to him and didn't interrupt him at all. When he commented on the lack of initiative that students were putting into their studies, the professors shared a look before turning to him, waiting for him to finish.
After he was done, Professor Flitiwick offered him a cup of tea.
"We both quite understand that it was quite a shock to you. We didn't intend for it to be so disturbing to you. After listening to you though, we are happy it didn't let your thoughts spiral into something negative. Thinking too much wouldn't be prudent in this case. You are very young Harry. You have to understand that you have seen the best in their individual fields and it was our motive to make you understand how much you can achieve. We tend to limit ourselves in our learning, thinking of NEWTs as almost a finishing line even though it was supposed to be totally opposite. When the examinations were regulated properly, it was the intention of the decision makers that those who pass the NEWTs will be considered ready to advance in the fields they find their passion or inclination in. Unfortunately, a couple of centuries have totally tarnished that idea. What was supposed to be a beginning has become an end goal." Flitwick said.
McGonagall also inserted herself in the conversation and said,
"I understand your frustration when it comes to lack of ambition and drive among students and you won't be the first one to reach that conclusion, but it has multiple reasons. The last two wars have impacted not just our country but the whole world as well. We have to understand that Europe has been the epicenter of advancement in major fields of magic. Unfortunately, the past century was totally wasted because of two Dark Lords. There are other vibrant communities all around the world but they have their own limitations and challenges to deal with. There was a time when the ideas developed by us used to permeate into the non-magical world but these two wars have instilled a belief that anything non-magical is a strict negative. Rather than being the advanced ones, we are now lagging behind."
"But how is it that the wars in the past sixty years were able to impact us so much? I know wars create huge issues but our muggle counterparts also went through two wars yet they have recovered way more swiftly and are now advancing at an even rapid pace. Please don't mind me saying this but sometimes I feel that we as a community justify all the flaws just by giving these two wars as an excuse." Harry interrupted.
"You would be correct in your assumptions in a few areas but they did have few major repercussions. Muggles were able to swiftly recover because of the population that they had. Although everyone was in some way or other impacted by those wars, it was nothing compared to the magical community. To give you an estimate, a hundred years ago, the number of students attending Hogwarts was almost triple that of today's numbers. We had double the faculty, double the courses and way more assistants and apprentices assisting and leaning in the castle. Because of the wars, talented people were more inclined towards being Aurors or Healers rather than pursuing academic excellence. Similarly, due to so many major family lines ending, surviving families are feeling more burdened. Add to that the fact that most of these families don't even have spare heirs, that completely takes them out of contention as they have so many other duties. In our time it was almost fashionable to take a couple of years off after Hogwarts as we all wanted to explore the world and all the possibilities it could offer before we chose the path that called to us. Now, no one has time to even think about it. This has in turn resulted in the stagnation of our community as a whole. I don't think I would be wrong in saying that what your Wiztech Corporation has come up with could be considered one if not the most impactful inventions of this century. Do you remember the time when our students' research articles were published in almost every edition of major magazines in almost all fields. The last time an article was posted by a Hogwarts student was six years ago." McGonagall said while reminiscing.
"Don't forget the fact that the last Dueling champion from Britain was 60 years ago. I think we are getting a bit distracted from what we started. Our intention has always been to push you to do even better. Now that you know there are actually no limits to advancement in any field, you would be more open to anything we teach you. You might be a good student especially in the current batch of students, but there is a lot of work that needs to be done. I hope this clears up any doubts that you might have. Now, I don't think we should start anything today. I hope from next class, you will be even more motivated and energised to learn new things." Flitwick continued.
Harry thanked both of them for the impromptu session on Magical society as a whole. It was disorienting to think how much they as a community have deteriorated. Yet there was no point in becoming tied up in what-ifs. He would focus on what he could do rather than what should have been. So with a lot of his doubts cleared, he finally had a nice enough sleep. It didn't stop there though. Harry shared what he learnt with Aunt Elle and she concurred with what his teachers had told him about the community. When she got to know that he was looking at memories of duels of the best magic users, she promised to get him a lot more memories to add to his collection. Harry was beyond ecstatic knowing that being in the community for more than six hundred years would have definitely given them the chance to view the best of the bests. Especially those who practiced the types of magic that have become really rare with time.
His occasional lessons with Aunt Elle were also becoming entertaining as well as strenuous. After talking about all the things happening at the Wiztech Corps, which she made sure Harry knew about in detail, they would have almost two hours of sword sparring where Harry continued to be beaten ruthlessly. Unfortunately the pain and bruises did transfer to his real body as had been Aunt Elle's intention. This also had a positive impact of transferring muscle memory to his real self. After finishing their sparring session, they would work for a couple of hours on Occlumency. Rather than learning mind arts, this part had become more of a counselling session. As Harry started organising his memories, he was forced to face all the feelings that he had hidden deep in his heart. The heartache would have been too much to deal with. Fortunately Aunt Elle helped by listening to him and as always Penny was also there. In spite of being a Head Girl and managing her relationship with Percy (Harry could never figure out what she saw in him), she would spend late nights sitting with him in front of the fireplace on the couch as he talked to her about unresolved trauma he had been through until now. The positive influence of these two ladies during this time was the reason why Harry was finally able to assimilate all the memories properly. Now that he had an organised mind, he could clearly identify the increase in focus as well as ease with which he was able to recollect anything he had heard, read or seen. He was sure it would be a massive boost in his studies. The next process was the building of defenses and that was something Harry was quite excited to begin. He had been giving it a thought for the past two months and decided to use electrical circuits in a machine as a way to hide it. Chances of someone familiar with Muggle technology trying to get into his mind was rare at best. Obviously, he was going to add other defence as well but it was a fun project that would keep on evolving with time. He had also progressed a lot in sensing magic and could clearly identify the intent of magic just by touching it. He had yet to understand how the tendrils of magic felt and how to bind or unbind them.
It was the beginning of December and Harry was in the DADA classroom. They had just finished a lesson on how to handle Grindylows. As he packed his stuff and got up to leave, he heard Professor Lupin asking him to stay behind. Not knowing what the reason was, he waved Terry away and made his way to the front of the desk. After everyone had left and the Professor had cleaned his desk, he motioned for Harry to follow him to his office that was adjacent to the class. He entered and took a seat in front of a desk.
"I know you might be wondering why I called you to talk separately. Your work in class is satisfactory. Apart from your difficulty with Boggart, I feel you are actually quite ahead of your peers when it comes to defensive shields and hexes. What I wanted to talk about was your 'dementor situation'. After what happened in the last match, I feel that you should have some proper defence against them. There is a particular charm that can repel the Dementors as well as a few other Dark creatures. I used it on the train when you passed out. So I am proposing to teach you the Patronus charm. Now before we go ahead, let me be very clear that it is a very difficult charm to master. In fact only one-third of the Auror force is actually able to cast it to some degree. So if you are willing to put in some extra effort, I feel we could at least make you proficient enough to cast a basic version that may save you until some help could come for you. So what do you say?" Lupin asked tentatively.
Harry didn't say anything instantly. Of course he knew about the Patronus charm. He had been trying to learn it for the past month. Unfortunately he hadn't been able to make any progress at all. He had thought to ask Professor Flitwick but he was already set on a schedule and Harry didn't want to disturb that. What was taking him time to reach a decision was whether he wanted to learn it from his parent's friend? But then he wanted to learn the charm as quickly as possible because knowing his luck, he would find himself in a sticky situation with Dementors soon enough. So he said yes and they decided to meet every week for a couple of hours. He knew he was pushing the schedule a bit too much. Weekends were totally for Quidditch practice or matches, while during the week he already had dedicated days for Charms, Transfiguration and Healing. Because of the use of time-turners during Charms and Transfiguration classes, his friends only had to know about Healing class. When they got to know about how he was learning directly from Poppy, a few of them approached her but she straight away said no, citing busy schedule. Although she did agree to support a club for people interested in Healing. She agreed to dedicate an hour every week for them barring any medical emergency. She privately blamed Harry for additional work but was actually happy that more people were interested in Healing. Though she did mention that she was going to be using his name to get speakers of prominence from St Mungos and it would be his duty to make them feel welcome. Harry had a headache just thinking about it but he endured it after he let all his friends know about it and stressed on taking the club seriously rather than just as an extracurricular activity.
Harry was pleasantly surprised with the way Quidditch teams travelled for their matches. Excitement regarding European League was at its peak as the best clubs were competing amongst each other and Puddlemere was amongst the top on points table. Harry had already visited three different countries and it was a totally new experience. In a usual scenario, the team does some practice after reaching the venue followed by some rest and eventually the next day they play the match. After the match is a party usually hosted by the home team which gets to a level of rowdy depending on the venue. Harry was completely blown away by the way teams celebrated. There was no lack of alcohol or food or music. Initially Harry resisted any advances made on him by those of opposite gender but as he was a sixteen year old teenager, it was an inevitability that Harry eventually wound up having some fun with the gorgeous models who were older than him and way more experienced in the art of seduction. Although, he felt guilty thinking about Hermione but then as he saw his teammates being totally unrestrained, he decided to have as much fun as possible. He felt as if this was the only time where he could act his age and be whoever he wanted to be without any prejudice or judging. Obviously everyone attending the party had to sign a contract not to reveal anything personal about what happened there. He still remembered the party he had attended in Spain where he had woken up with two veelas the next day. It was one of the craziest nights he had and he didn't think he would be able to forget it.
At Hogwarts, Harry had attended a couple of solo classes with Remus trying to learn Patronus charm until now but unfortunately he was only able to produce some mist that was definitely not enough to fight against a dementor. He was hopeful that Easter, he would have some kind of breakthrough with the spell. The season for Quidditch in both the Leagues had also been put on hold. Puddlemere had faced a couple of losses in both the leagues as one of their chasers had gotten injured and the replacement was not good enough although Harry had caught the snitch in all the games. Since it was World cup year, the English League and European League were going to be wrapped up by Easter so Harry was hoping for almost three months of additional time in which he could focus on his OWLs. Maybe completing the construction of Potter Ports as well as Potter Manor.
Harry had received an update from Aunt Elle regarding Wiztech. They had to expand their current research as well as Manufacturing hubs to meet the demands of the screens to be installed in all the major stadiums of the world. The revenue generated from it will be more than enough to further expand the business. Aunt Elle wanted to set up another factory in Germany and one each in the United States and Japan in order to cover all the parts of the world. These points would act as supply zones although they would have to tie-up with existing businessmen for further ease. Aunt Elle or the resources she had won't be enough to take care of an expansion of this scale. So it had been decided that Harry would organise a personal lunch on the first day of the New year with all his allies and families he was hoping to have a professional relationship with. Madame Longbottom had agreed to be the host once Harry penned a personal letter expressing his inability and inexperience in such endeavours. She immediately agreed and within a day, invites had been sent to all the relevant individuals. Harry hoped that this meeting would act as a foundation for what he hoped to be a catalyst in changing Magical Britain politically as well as economically.
Harry had already refused the customary invitation to Malfoy's Ball citing his business with regards to the Quidditch schedule. It was a clear snuff on his part indicating his unhappiness with Lucius's action in the whole Chamber of Secrets fiasco. He was sure it would be a cause of some tension in the Malfoy household. Harry had decided to spend the Christmas holidays with Flamels as Aunt Elle was as close as family. So with a spring in his step, Harry packed his stuff he got ready for the Hogwarts express. This was the first Christmas that he could remember that he was actually excited for. So, after a fun filled train ride and cheerful goodbyes, Harry got down at the train platform and took the Knight's Bus to Flamel Estate.
The days until Christmas were spent relaxing and catching up. Harry was busy making sure all his friends received the gifts on time. He also took two trips to Diagon Alley for some last minute gift shopping. So, as Harry went to sleep, he was excited for how the next day would pan out. He was expecting some gifts, nice food and overall a very normal Christmas with Flamels.
It must have been a few minutes after he went to sleep when he felt someone shaking him awake. As he opened his eyes, he found Aunt Elle standing near his bed, smiling at him. She asked him to freshen up and follow him. He was rubbing his eyes trying to be coherent enough and made way to his washroom. After washing his face twice, he wore a robe and followed Aunt Elle. As he came to the living room, he found 'Uncle Nick' as he had started calling him, waiting for them while holding three broomsticks. He was a bit surprised but followed them as they went outside. As Harry checked the time, he found it was still fifteen minutes to midnight. Harry did not ask much and took flight in the moonlit sky as he gently floated behind five minutes of flight, he saw Nick making way towards a clearing beside a stream. He glided gently and soon landed near him. He stayed silent as he saw runic symbols drawn on the ground. He watched as Nick & Aunt Elle approached the circle and started to sketch a few more runes. After a few minutes, Aunt Elle motioned him to come forward.
"We celebrate this day by remembering the almighty for giving us magic and life. This is the way of old people that has been lost to the commercially fashioned festivals. Here we donate a little bit of our blood and thank Mother Earth and all the nature on the planet for allowing us to sustain ourselves."
As soon as the clock struck twelve, Harry stood with the Flamels and watched as Nick lit a flame in the center. He took out a ceremonial knife and sliced his palm to give a few drops of blood in the flame and passed it to Aunt Elle. After her, Harry did the same and gave it back to Nick who chanted a few words. The flame that was very small started gaining intensity and suddenly started roaring brightly. After that they sat around the fire while the elves appeared and started giving them all some snacks. As he looked around, he was amazed to find a lot of magical creatures had also come into the clearing and were lazing around as elves served them some food as well. Harry didn't do anything else but sat for around an hour while staring into fire peacefully, without any thought. It was a different experience and Harry quite liked it. He hoped that one day he would have a big family who can gather around and celebrate the festival the way it's supposed to be. Near the loved ones and away from all the stress of life. As they made their way back to the manor, Harry hugged Aunt Elle and thanked her for including him in their family tradition. She gave a small smile and ruffled his hair wishing him a good night.
Next day, Harry woke up a bit late but was quite quick to make his way downstairs where he found the old couple sitting and having tea with Professor Dumbledore and his brother, Aberforth. Since Flamels were in the same country, they decided to invite the Dumbledore brothers as well. After tea, they all gathered near the Christmas tree, one tradition they had picked as well. Harry had received a lot of gifts from his friends, teachers and colleagues. Although most of them were books or Quidditch related stuff, there were quite a few other interesting gifts as well. From Wiztech staff, he had received the first prototype of the WizPanel along with subscription of recorded Quidditch matches for the whole year. This included all the matches he had played this season. He also received a couple of trinkets from Albus ( a deluminator and a time-dilution circle that stopped time for 30 seconds in a ten feet radius) which were his own creation and a mini-Pensive from Flamels. He let out a huge whoop as he thanked them again and again.
After the gifts had been exchanged, all of them moved to the kitchen. As per tradition, today was a day off for the elves and thus they will be making their own lunch. Since Aberforth owned a pub, he declared it was his day-off as well. Thus the responsibility fell on Flamels, Albus and Harry. It was a fun time as no one was actually proficient in cooking a proper lunch but that was the fun part somehow. Harry also realised that just being good at potions and Alchemy did not guarantee good cooking as could clearly be seen in dishes made by the joint effort of Nick and Albus. Had it not been for Aunt Elle making them check for burnt food again and again, they would have served burnt food. Aunt Elle and Harry on the other hand were working on cakes, salads and other snacks to go with the main dish. Having cooked in the Dursley household, he was very comfortable around the kitchen. Thankfully, Abeforth decided to make beverages for them, as they all were totally famished by the time cooking was done. None of them remarked on the condition of the kitchen after they were done though. Suffice to say it was bad.
In the evening, Harry visited the Penelope household and later went to Diagon Alley where he met his friends and some of their families. He had to be disguised so that they could have a little bit of normalcy, otherwise it was a good day. They roamed around, having ice cream and street food creating ruckus or just being a teenager. It was an evening full of happiness and laughter. Although there were aurors still patrolling the street for additional security against Sirius Black, it was still a very lively environment. Fireworks in the evening were an added attraction. At dinnertime everyone went back to their homes to spend the rest of the break with their families.
Aunt Elle and Harry had already discussed that the rest of the week apart from New Year Eve would be spent in Time Dilution so that they could cover even more material. So, the next few weeks were spent continuing things like 'Basic potions' with Nick and Occlumency, Magic Detection and Sword Fighting with Aunt Elle. They had also come up with a few more appliances and trinkets for Wiztech Corporation. Things were progressing well but for serious expansion outside the country, they needed things to go their way in the upcoming lunch at Longbottom Manor.
It was the first day of the year and Harry was getting ready for a lunch meeting at Longbottom Manor. It had been a long night for Harry as he had visited Godric's Hollow once again with Dumbledore. As had always been the case, it involved a lot of meaningless yet informative conversations with the Headmaster and after that a visit to his parents grave. This time, Dumbledore took Harry to his own house and told him about his family. He was shocked to know that THE Albus Dumbledore was actually friends with Gellert Grindelwald and at one point of time, both of them supported the same ideology. It was a long conversation where he told Harry the mistakes he had committed as a youth and eventually the price he had to pay in the form of his innocent sister's life. It was a sensitive topic for the headmaster to discuss especially with a teenager yet Harry felt special that he shared it with him. He was pretty sure if someone else told him that Dumbledore and Grindelwald were friends at one point of time, he would have laughed in their face.
By the time they returned, it was almost two in the morning and Harry wanted plenty of sleep before facing all the potential allies who would be important for the growth of his business. So, after making sure he had dressed as best as he could, Harry made his way to the fireplace and floo'ed to Longbottom Manor. Aunt Elle had left early as Miss Jennifer Wright as she wanted to discuss some last-minute things with Andromeda.
He stepped out of the fireplace to find Neville waiting for him. Being the organiser, Harry had arrived an hour before the guests were supposed to arrive. He greeted Neville as they made their way towards the formal dining where his grandmother was already sitting while sipping tea and making sure everything was ready. Harry saw three-four house-elves running around making sure everything was in place. As he looked out, he saw a couple of house-elves making sure the entrance and lawn was impeccable as well. He didn't even want to imagine the chaos that must be happening in the kitchen. Madame Longbottom wanted everything to be perfect as it was more than a decade since so many elites were going to visit the manor. After the war, she had maintained distance from those outside the family and this was the first time she was comfortable hosting a social event. Harry was feeling guilty for asking so much of her but thankfully Neville confided that she loved to host all kinds of events before he was born. Almost all the family dinners had tales where she would talk about the galas and meetings she used to host.
Preparations were completed just ten minutes before the first guests started arriving. Since Harry was going to be a major part of the meeting, it had been decided to invite both the Heads as well as Heirs of the houses. This would be profitable in all forms for everyone involved. Madame Bones was the first to arrive accompanied by Susan, who Harry was happy to see. Followed by her were the three Tonks', Jennifer Wright, Lord Greengrass with Daphne, Lord Patil with his eldest son Prakash and finally, Lord Bernard with his heir, Patrick, a French Lord that had come on recommendation from Aunt Elle.
After the customary introductions, mostly led by either Madame Longbottom or Andy, they all gathered in the Dining area to have some snacks. There was tentativeness among those who were new, especially Lord Greengrass, Lord Patil and Lord Bernard as they hadn't interacted much with those present in the room. Once everyone was done with tea, they all moved to the lawn where Madame Longbottom had set up a meeting area in the open for the guests. Harry sat in the middle with Aunt Elle on one side and Andy on the other. After everyone had settled down, Andy got up and took charge.
"I would like to once again welcome you all to this wonderful estate and also thank Madame Longbottom for hosting us. I know all of you have come here on request without even knowing what the agenda of the meeting will be. On behalf of House Potter, I would like to thank all of you for trusting us with your time. Please rest assured that this meeting will be profitable for your family and what we establish today would surely be one of the most impactful decisions you will ever make. As you all know, due to Harry's aggressive decisions with regards to his career as well as his approach towards our society as a whole, especially due to late Lady Potter's inventions, we are in a very advantageous position. Now, what I am about to offer you is a chance to be a part of the legacy that we all are envisioning. This will not only make your families' influence rise to an unforeseen standard but put Magical Britain once again as a leader when it comes to the World Magical economy. We are obviously talking about Wiztech Corporation."
"The purpose of this lunch is actually quite simple. We have found a huge market for our inventions all over the world, yet we are not fully equipped to do justice to it. All of you here are in some way historical allies of House Potter and heir Potter wanted you all to be the ones who benefitted the most."
As soon as Wiztech Corps came into picture, everyone present had become very interested in what Andy was saying. They were all hanging on each and every word coming out of her mouth. Andy was a very convincing orator as the power and enticement she put in the offer would make an ordinary person believe as if it was the best offer they could get. The initial introduction was followed by a little bit of exhibition of current and planned inventions that included TV screens as well as prototypes of communication devices. All the guests were stunned when they actually understood what stood in front of them. This would completely transform the entertainment industry that was still reliant on gramophones and Radio. Communication devices were even more marvelous as they would completely destroy the market for demands. The prototype shown only had a calling feature but what they were told were the updates that would allow things like messages and later video calling would completely take out owls and Floo calls from the lives of magical society all over the world. Later, when Andy told them that they had the chance of being partners in this venture, everyone was positive. As had been decided before the meeting, each family had been assigned a particular region where that family had most influence. They were the ones responsible for setting up manufacturing hubs and managing sales, marketing and advertising. For the first decade, they had to pay House Potter forty percent of the profit after which only twenty percent had to be paid. The contracts had been pre-drawn by Ted and everyone was given a choice of signing it.
Jennifer Wright (House Potter by proxy) - North America & Japan
House Bernard - France
House Patil - South Asia
House Longbottom - Africa
House Bones - Italy
House Tonks & Potter - Britain
House Greengrass - South America
East Europe and Russia had not been covered yet as the families with influence were unfortunately not of the same ideology and it was very difficult for a new business to be set up by someone new to these countries.
Everyone was happy with the distribution although it was a huge surprise for Ted & Andy as they were completely unaware though Harry wanted to show his appreciation for all the effort they had put on his behalf. His initial instinct was to somehow involve House Clearwater as well but after talking to Andy he realised that they neither had the resources nor passion for the setup. Jennnifer(Aunt Elle) had intentionally kept North America & Japan under her as they were currently the most advanced in terms of Technomagic and the competition there was on a totally different scale. Also, these areas would eventually turn out to be the biggest market and she wanted Harry to have a majority stake in future. Add half ownership in Britain to it and that would ensure that House Potter would have almost fifty percent direct ownership globally.
The meeting was later followed by proper lunch which was completely different. This time everyone was more open towards each other. Harry got to know that House Bernard had been friends with House Potter from the days of Grindelwald war where Harry's grandfather had worked with the then Lord Bernard and formed a friendship. After that they had continued and started being partners in business as well. At the table, the youngsters sat together and the main topic was inventions that had been showcased. Daphne especially was super excited and wanted to talk more but somehow held herself and told him in no uncertain terms to meet her at school as soon as possible. Soon it was time to depart and a happy group made their way towards their homes.
Next few days were spent once again in Time dilution at Flamel Estate although before boarding the train, Harry did make sure to visit the main lab and meet all the scientists and thank them for their work. It was a very productive break and Harry wanted to soon return to the school and relative normalcy.