THE CHOSEN ONE
A/N: Here is the fourth chapter of my story 'The Chosen One'. In this chapter you get to see some powers that young Harry has developed during his stay with the Dursleys; as well as some of Amelia Bones through the years (1981-1987) as she has been absent as of recent chapters. Enjoy.
I am sorry for the slow update and not responding to your reviews but my laptop's screen broke previous Friday, it is still undecided whether it will be repaired or I will get a new one, so updates will be slow. Sorry.
Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter and the other characters; they are the property of J. K. Rowling. I am merely using them for your and mine amusement. No money is being made by me through this fic.
Answers Lead to More Indecision
Black Vacation House
Harry Potter was lying on the bed in the room which Cassiopeia or rather, Aunt Cassiopeia, as she had insisted to be called, had deemed his. He was still pretty indecisive about the whole situation he found himself in. After all, how many orphaned children got their relatives, which they didn't know about in first place; jumping out of whatever hole they were hiding in and telling them that they were their relatives?
They said that they all were the cousins or siblings of his grandmother; they had even showed him their evidence in form of a tapestry which showed the Blacks being related to the Potters via Dorea Potter nee Black's marriage to Charlus Potter. But Harry was not sure if he bought it. He had seen other children's relatives in Privet Drive and they all had similar builds, facial structures, something, anything, similar in them. Harry did not have any similarity to the Blacks. They all were tall, elegant with angular cheekbones and regal faces; all having stormy grey eyes. Harry, on the other hand was short, too short for his age, skinny, his face did not have any angularity about it; he had a square jaw; and his hair was at best described as a crow's nest in contrast to the Blacks' straight silky raven locks.
Though his emerald green eyes made him slightly more than average in handsomeness category, the Blacks were handsome without even trying; the kind of people Aunt Petunia liked to see and gossip about from magazines.
But they had evidence. A small voice countered in his head. Evidence that could easily have been faked. How hard would it be to make a wall hanging showing your family's names? Another reason that Harry was hesitant to believe the whole situation was the matter with Dursleys. In his years with them, they, particularly Uncle Vernon, had made quite an effort to break his spirit. The use of such elaborate ruses was not beyond them, quite the opposite. Harry remembered quite clearly how they, with Aunt Marge, had tormented him with a distant aunt of Piers' being a relative of his; they had even gotten the fake papers to support their claim. Thus, the years he had spent with the Dursleys had left him with a lack of trust around strangers. And these people were definitely strangers.
As his thoughts drifted towards his former caregivers, he would not call such animals his relatives; he recalled the incident that started all this mess. He had, well rather, some kind of energy shooting from him had, gutted them in the morning. What if these people hand me over to the police after learning of the incident? He certainly had had enough experience with the policemen that he did not want to be arrested for murder; basically that's what everybody would see it as. How are you supposed to make people understand that some energy thing shot out from your body and created an explosion that killed your relatives? And that was a fat chance when people were actually willing to listen to him. But they did not, they never did. He tried not to let it affect him, but it hurt.
No, he decided, he could not stay here; there were just too many reasons not to. Mind all made up, he gingerly got off the bed and felt his way in the darkness of the room. Hadn't they known that he would need glasses? Another point against them. With years of practiced stealthy silent feet, he made his way out of the room and into the corridor. He had been walking for a couple of minutes when he felt like he was being watched. Very slowly, he glanced around but he could not make out any person through his limited eyesight. He walked ahead, keeping close to the wall, but the feeling of being observed did not leave him. You cannot move around this house without one of us knowing. Hadn't Cassiopeia said that? His mind filled with dread, he tried a trick that he had developed with his powers. He willed himself to be unnoticeable, completely concentrating on the feeling when he had simply walked before Dudley's gang without them noticing him. He had since then, tried this trick more times than he could count and the only person it had failed against was Uncle Vernon. He had been too terrified of the man for the trick to work properly.
Behind him, Cassiopeia smirked; the child had very good instincts. She was following him under the cover of disillusionment and a silencing charm and still he felt that he was being watched. Then she saw him fade away from the view. A notice me not charm? How…intriguing? She pulled out her wand and cast a homonem revelio. The corridor came up empty. The child must have run away, without her hearing any sound of footsteps. A notice me not and a silencing spell! Intriguing indeed. Keeping the wand in her outstretched palm, she chanted "Point me, Harry Potter." The wand spun in her palm and pointed to the corridor on the right. She followed him at a sedate pace; she was nearing on his perceived location by the alert wards when she felt the input fed to her by the wards completely fade away.
Harry had run away after performing his trick; the feeling of being watched had, more or less, subsided after that. But he could not shake it off completely. A noise coming from the corridor behind him only increased his unease. Concentrating even more on the need of being unnoticed, he forged ahead; trying to put as much distance he could between his pursuers and himself.
Cassiopeia turned another corridor and tried the point me spell again. It came up empty, her wand rotating wildly in her palm. The child had somehow managed to hide his presence from the crude observers like the wards and the spell. She would have to use more refined approach in pursuing him now. Feeling really impressed, she let her magical senses loose through the wards and the house; trying to detect even the feeblest of presence when she felt a slight disturbance moving towards the main gates. Smirking, she cancelled her disillusionment and silencing charms and apparated to the foyer with a soft 'pop'.
Harry felt himself getting closer to his destination, namely the exit from the house. He had no way of knowing it, for he had not seen much of the house in the time he had been awake but he could tell. The corridors were getting broader and more… grand, to his limited eyesight. Just how big was this house? He mused in the back of his mind. Stepping out of the corridor he found himself in a large open area, which should be the foyer of the house. He could vaguely make out a metal gate. He walked towards t when he heard a dreaded voice.
"Not bad, young Harry; not bad at all. In fact, I am quite impressed." Cassiopeia said with a smirk.
Harry was so startled by her unexpectedly sneaking up on him that his trick failed and he faded into the view. Cassiopeia's smirk widened knowingly.
Just when Harry thought to run out of the gate, she took out what looked to be a twig, from the sleeve of her robes and gave it a little flick in his direction. What was that supposed to do? Harry thought. The gate shut with a loud clang and Harry got his answer. A magician? Harry gulped, she looked bemused; but there was approval in her eyes.
"Come with me; it's time you get some of your questions answered." She said in a stern tone.
Harry nodded and followed her into the study. He had questions alright; he just could not bring himself to trust these people to give him the right answers.
Little Whinging, Surrey
Arthur Small arrived in the police station in a business suit and headed straight to the local chief. He entered his office after a knock and instantly had to cover his distaste for the plump man. The chief, Jacobs, as the nameplate said was a fat man, in his fifties, he had an unkempt appearance and his office was in total disarray; he could vaguely make out someone under his desk.
"Chief Jacobs, I am John Smith from White and sons Insurance. I am here to study the files of the Dursleys' case." Arthur said shaking the man's hand.
The chief's eyes glinted with greed. This was an opportunity he could make much of. "I am afraid, Mr. Smith; we cannot just allow anybody to study ongoing case files." Jacobs said.
"But sir, surely you can take into consideration, ah…special circumstances surrounding their deaths." Arthur said making a point of flashing a wad of conjured cash he had kept ready for such persons.
The chief got an even greedier grin on his face and grunted; "I suppose we can take into consideration your special circumstances." He made a show of taking something out of his drawer to fasten his pants and lumbered out of his chair after a bit.
"I will lead you to the officer in-charge of the case." He said leading Small out of the office and to a cubicle in the back of the station.
There was a young police officer, around thirty years of age, with blue eyes and brown hair, tanned skin. "This is Officer Jordan" the chief said gesturing to the man, "Officer Jordan, this is Mr. Smith from insurance company. He needs to study the files of Dursleys' case."
"Of course, chief." The officer said and quickly handed over the files to Small.
Arthur had kept his wand ready, flinging two confundus charms on the policemen; he copied the file and altered their memories, making them term the case as an accident due to short circuit dangerously close to the parked car; he apparated away with a crack. He just had to collect the memories his colleagues had collected in the meantime, and of course, alter their memories too, and his debt would finally be paid.
"Is that all, Monsieur Beaumont." Amelia Bones asked the man sitting before her in her study. She had been given some scrolls pertaining to the dark families of Britain's less than honest dealings across the channel.
"Oui, Mademoiselle Bones; zat ees all I 'ave on the persons 'ou 'ad asked for." The Frenchman said, nodding in emphasis.
Madam Bones, too, nodded and with a flick of her wand, put the scrolls away in a hidden cabinet.
"Ze debt my father owed to 'Ouse Bones; is now considered paid?" the Frenchman asked tentatively after Madam Bones had lapsed into silence for a few minutes.
"Oh, I am quite sorry, Pierre; my thoughts just drifted away." Madam Bones said with a start and then realizing that she had been asked a question, said; "Yes, the debt Andre owed to House Bones is now considered paid, in full."
The Frenchman sighed in relief and stood up, "Eet 'as been a pleasure meeting 'ou Mademoiselle." He said giving her a bow and kissing her knuckles.
Madam Bones nodded, somewhat awkwardly, and watched the man depart. When she was sure that the man had walked out of the hearing range, she squealed in delight and did a little victory dance in the study before composing herself with a light shade of pink staining her cheeks. If only Susan saw you now, what would she think?
She got up and lighted the fireplace with a flick of her wand; putting a handful of sparkly green floo powder, she called "Andromeda Tonks" and stuck her head in the now green fire.
A small, cozy sitting room came into her view after a few moments of spinning uncontrollably; "Andromeda." She called into the room.
Instead of the elegant woman she was expecting, she was answered by the heart shaped face and spiky pink hair of Andromeda's daughter, Nymphadora. "Madam Bones!" she almost squeaked, Amelia could be quite stern looking and it was one of those expressions she had shown the little girl. "Mum is in the kitchen, I will call her."
The girl quickly went away without bothering to hear her reply or inviting her into the house for that matter. Amelia chuckled quietly to herself when she heard a thump as Nymphadora, already known for her clumsiness, fell down after tripping on something. A few moments later Amelia was greeted by the woman she actually wished to see.
"Amelia, come on through." Andromeda said, looking at her friend.
"Sorry Andromeda, cannot do; I would like you to come through to the manor. I have some things to discuss." Amelia said apologetically.
Andromeda raised an eyebrow but did not say anything, just nodded. "Nymphadora, I am going to Amelia's; tell your father when he returns." She yelled in the direction of kitchen and stood up.
"Okay, mum" could be heard as Amelia stepped away from the fireplace.
A few seconds later, Andromeda Tonks stepped down gracefully from the fireplace and cleaned her robes.
"Have a seat, Andromeda." Amelia said, filling up a glass of firewhiskey for her friend and herself.
Andromeda got a good look at her friend and saw that Amelia looked… fidgety. The best way to compare it was with her own daughter Nymphadora, who was always squirming in her seat with restless energy.
"What has got you this excited, Amelia?" Andromeda asked sipping her wine.
In response, Amelia waved her wand and summoned the scrolls Pierre Beaumont had given her some time ago. "See for yourself." She said excitedly.
Andromeda looked through the scrolls and Amelia was disappointed to see no reaction from her friend. She was hoping for at least, an agape mouth, an exclamation, a swearword, anything; instead, she got nothing, not even a raised eyebrow; just a calm "Hmm."
After studying the various scrolls for a few minutes, Andromeda looked at Amelia with an unreadable expression on her face.
"Well?" Amelia asked impatiently, her fidgeting had stopped and she had started to somewhat doubt herself after Andromeda did not look too optimistic.
"While you have a good amount of evidence," Andromeda began, "these are nothing more than tantalizing hints to bigger crimes across the continent, crimes, that have been more or less made invisible to even the most curious of observers." She said and Amelia slumped in her chair.
"But would it not be possible to…er, coerce them into following our agenda by threatening to reveal these to the public?" Amelia asked.
Andromeda raised an eyebrow as she contemplated the question, "Blackmail, Amelia? I never quite thought you had it in yourself." She said slowly, her mind still on the question, calculating the response of the people, trying to think any way they could make it work. It was, after all, for her only decent family. The only family member who even acknowledge her existence and relation with him.
Amelia smirked at Andromeda's surprised comment but seeing that the other witch had her attention elsewhere did not say much. Andromeda was her best hope to make a decent case in Wizengamot as she had been raised for the first eighteen years of her life as a Black, even if she was not considered one now, she was a formidable foe in regards to politics; but her influence had been all but decimated when she was cast out of the family. Amelia, though, could use all help Andromeda could give her as loath she was to admit it, even after being in Wizengamot through Bones family seat, politics had never been her strong suit.
"This plan of yours could work, in the best case scenario; but as is often observed, plans rarely survive the initial contact with the real situation, which in our case would leave us with no way to influence these families." Andromeda spoke after a few minutes of silence.
"Please elaborate." Amelia said in a somewhat strained voice, she had put too much effort and resources in gathering these scrolls and did not want that all to be in vain. Ever since that fateful Halloween night, she had strove to find any way she could help Sirius, any speck of dirt she could find on the Wizengamot members to coerce them into their favour; it had been hard, very hard; the dark families were very secretive and covered their tracks well, while, on the other hand the light families usually dealt in open and thus had no dirt to find, not to mention, the war with Voldemort had nearly exterminated all the light and neutral families. It made her task even more difficult as the Wizengamot now was skewed in Dark families' favour.
"Let's see our situation, shall we?" Andromeda started. "We have evidence about gifts given to politicians so that certain cases were dropped against these certain people. Also, we have not so solid evidence of some items, books, artifacts being stolen from across the continent while certain people were seen visiting these countries. But that is all we have, rumors and conditional evidence; we do not have any solid transactions, even memories, which would lend us an upper hand in getting some leverage over them." She finished with a sigh.
"But if we threaten to release it to public, they would lose their support; wouldn't they?" Amelia said stubbornly.
"Please think it through leaving your emotions outside for a moment Amelia, do you think that they care about their public opinion when they could just shove gold down the Ministry's throat and have their way? And for that matter, do they even have any favourable public opinion?" Andromeda said pleading her friend to think this clearly.
Amelia saw Andromeda's desperation in making her see things clearly. Her feelings for Sirius were clouding her judgment; when she left them out, she could see that her case was too feeble to stand the test of a hostile Wizengamot. Sirius Black had no supporters in the Light, or in the Dark families. And if they lost the case once, there would not be a second chance.
"You are right, Andromeda." She said with a sigh, "As always." She continued in somewhat bemused but deflated tone; it was one thing she admired about the woman, Andromeda could shut her feelings out and think things through when it mattered the most. And Amelia knew that Andromeda had equal, if not more, interest in getting Sirius out of the jail.
"Don't give up just yet, Amelia. We just need to dig deeper; look at everything again, Sirius would be free in no time, we just have to wait for a chance to present itself, and if it doesn't, we would create our own chances." Andromeda spoke, drawing the younger woman into a warm, comforting hug; knowing that Amelia's spirit had been hurt today and she needed her to be there.
Amelia just sighed, leaning into the comforting embrace. We just have to wait, we will create our chances; but why do I get the feeling that we would be presented with a chance, just not in a way that we have anticipated in even our wildest dreams.
Black Vacation House
"So, young Harry; do you know anything about your parents?" Melania asked in her usual motherly voice.
She was, as usual, flanked by her husband Arcturus, a little distance from them were sitting Pollux ad Irma.
Harry nodded, "Yes ma'am." He said in a small voice, for all his confidence, all these people could make it vanish in an instant.
"Now, now dear; no need for this ma'am; you may call me Aunt Melania." Melania said in an encouraging tone. She knew better than most how intimidating facing that many Blacks at a time could be.
Harry had not had much contact with these people as he had been in his room most of the time but he liked Melania, no, Aunt Melania, already. She was warm, had a motherly feel around he and she commanded his trust, just like Mrs. Nancy.
"Umm…my…caregivers" he would never call them his relatives "told me that they were unemployed drunkards, hooligans who died in a car crash." He said but quickly added, "But I do not believe them for a second."
The Blacks were enraged, they had not known about Lily Potter much, but Dorea's son was far from being an unemployed hooligan. James Potter was a professional Quidditch player before the war heated up and he joined the aurors with Sirius.
"That is as far from the truth as can be, Harry." Melania spoke softly, still with a warm smile on her face to put him at ease around them.
That gave Harry something to be happy about. His parents were not worthless drunks; the way Melania spoke about them made them up to be respectable persons. He wanted to ask so much more about them but he held his tongue, he would get his answers first; then he would ask about his parents.
"But, tell me; have your…caregivers told you about your heritage?" she asked.
"My… heritage?" Harry asked, uncertainly.
"Yes Harry, your heritage. Explanations for strange things happening around you?" she prompted.
Harry thought back to all the strange things that had happened around him, things flying to him when he desperately needed them, his vanishing trick, and in the recent months, a glimpse of his caregivers' thoughts whenever they acted strangely, all to save him from getting hurt from them. There had been no explanations. They just said that he was a freak and anything they caught was a result of his freakishness. The fear of anything imaginative or deviating from their normal routine, Harry felt that he would get some of his answers now.
"No, they did not explain anything." He said, hoping that Melania would just hurry up and tell him.
"The thing is, to put it bluntly, your parents were wizards and you yourself, are a wizard." Melania said.
Wizards…that explains so much. "They knew, that's why they feared anything not normal. That's why they called me a freak." Harry did not realize that he had just vocalized his thoughts.
The Blacks were even more enraged at this, but they did not say anything. It was clear ta Harry was abused at his relatives' home and abused people tended to be mistrustful of everyone. They needed to be calm, getting angry would only cause even more mistrust.
"Can you tell me more about my parents?" Harry asked after some moments, letting the information told to him sink in.
"We do not know much about your mother, Lily; but your father, James, was a professional Quidditch player, he was a friend of Sirius Black, my grandson. He married your mother straight out of Hogwarts, the school where they teach magic, causing quite an uproar in the pureblood community as she was a muggleborn witch." Arcturus said.
They told Harry about his heritage and the first war with Voldemort's forces, his parents' involvement in the war, their own involvement, Sirius' supposed betrayal and the end of the war due to Neville Longbottom. About the importance of blood purity in the wizarding world, their own stance on the subject over the years. They were hesitant to at first, but Melania convinced them that the road to gain Harry's trust would be easier if they come clean with him regarding these events. And it was his right to know. They explained how they had gained custody and how it took them so long to look for him. Harry had not taken it well; they had not expected him to.
The wards alerted the Blacks of the arrival of a portkey. Pollux was informed by a house elf that it was Arthur Small so he went to greet their guest.
"Arthur, good to see you again." Pollux greeted in an exaggeratedly cheerful voice. Keep them off balance.
"It's good to see you again, Pollux." Arthur said shaking the older man's hand. "I just came to hand over the memories."
"Everything went well, I take it?" Pollux asked.
"Yes, everything went quite well. There was a little problem with the muggle Bobbies but I sorted it out." Arthur said in a prideful tone.
Pollux raised an eyebrow at the mention of Bobbies.
"You will understand from the memories." Arthur said seeing the gesture.
Arthur handed the vials containing the memories of the neighbours, Marjorie Dursley, himself and the Bobbies over to Pollux. Pollux took out his wand and started muttering spells under his breath waving it over the vials and sometimes pulling the memory strands out. All the while Arthur eyed his wand warily. You could never be too careful with a Black.
Arthur cleared his throat after a few minutes passed without any comments from Pollux.
"Yes?" Pollux said impatiently, looking up from his examination of the memories to Arthur.
"The debt between you and I, is it cleared now?" Arthur asked in an obviously annoyed tone.
"Ah yes, I completely forgot," Pollux said looking very sorry, "the debt is considered paid in full." With that Pollux waved his wand at Arthur muttering "Obliviate! You will consider the debt still unpaid."
Arthur had gotten a glazed look in his eyes when the spell hit him, his clarity returned when Pollux finished his command.
"I will take my leave now." Arthur said, in a confused voice.
"Of course; have a good day, my friend." Pollux shook his hand one last time and saw as Arthur walked out of the house to disapparate.
Just like last time. You are slipping Arty boy!
A/N: And that's it. How was it?
Tell me via review/PM.
PS: For those who are moaning about the story still being in the past (pre-1991 era), I wish to create a solid back story of the events that happened after Halloween, 1981; that I deem necessary in order to give a satisfactory reason for all the future and ongoing developments. If you are going to moan about that, well there are 140k+ stories on with Harry Potter as a central character (only English language), you are free to read any of those.
PPS: I am posting this through a friend's computer. My laptop's screen broke and we are still undecided if we want to get it repaired or get a new one (it's fairly old; 5 years) so the updates will be slow. And that is my only reason for not responding to reviews.
Until next time…