Harry Potter and the Tails of Change

Disclaimer: I do not own any of the Harry Potter characters, nor do I own any of the settings that JKR created in Harry's world. Any resemblance to anyone; living, dead, or imagined, is purely coincidental, and not intended on my part.

A/N: This is a work of fiction, and I have altered reality from how JKR wrote things. First off, Nymphadora Tonks is a 6th year when Harry is in his first. Second, this story starts off in the summer between Harry's third and fourth years, so he has met Sirius, and knows he's innocent. Third, I'm having Harry be just a wee bit more intelligent, and have something more of a backbone by this time in his life. This story may include relations between two consenting females, so if that doesn't float your boat, you have been warned here, and can take appropriate action.

A/N 1: Taena Haslinger is © and ™ her owner.

Chapter 9: Questions, Quiddich, and Quirks

As the professors discussed the coming year, Harry and Dora are discussing what extra tutelage that she thinks would help him not only survive, but head towards the career that would not only be good for him, but keep him well challenged.

Dora was also starting a notebook with things she and Harry noticed changing about him since he'd achieved his first Animagus form. There wasn't much in it yet, but she had noticed that when he donned his Invisibility Cloak, it was as if a Silencing Ward dropped around his feet, making it even harder to track him when it was on.

This brought a mischievous grin to Harry's face as he thought of all the possibilities that would open up for him.

He had also noticed a rather sizable increase in his sense of smell and hearing, yet nothing had affected his sight yet, beyond what had happened due to the Cleansing Ritual.

Dora had also been screening his mail, and came across the invitation from the Weasleys to attend the Quiddich World Cup with them, as the head of the Clan had been able to procure tickets to the event. Said event was to be held three days before School started, and they wanted to know if he wanted to attend with them.

Harry looked up at Dora, "I'd like to go, but there's no way for us to get you a ticket as well. Unless there's a way to swing a 'protective detail' from your boss, I'm likely to decline their offer, citing that reason."

Dora smiled, and then kissed Harry deeply, "Harry, you didn't read the letter closely enough. Due to them getting spots from Ludo Bagman, the Head of the Ministry of Sports department, your spouse is automatically included."

Harry looked surprised at that, and looked questioningly at her, "How'd they swing that?"

Dora giggled, "Because Bagman's an idiot who has been hit by one too many Bludgers, he wrote it simply as the 'Potter Family'." She then shook her head, "I'm not even sure if he realized what he did, or whether or not he was aware of the fact that you weren't the only Potter any more."

Harry smiled at this, then shook his head, "Well, then, we should also see about getting us our own accommodations, shouldn't we?"

Dora smiled at her husband, "I do have a small Wizard's Tent, which should suit us for the occasion."

Harry nodded, then set about penning a proper response to the Weasleys. Hedwig settling on his shoulder as she became aware that Harry was writing letter being in need of delivery.

-=-=-=- At the Burrow -=-=-=-

Ginny and Luna were going over their choices for electives for the coming year, the redhead making a list of pros and cons for each class.

Luna spoke up, "I really don't think Divination would suit either of us."

Ginny nods, "From what both Harry and Hermione have said, you're right." She then looks at her blonde friend, "If we feel the need to pad our OWLS and NEWTS, we can use the books."

The slightly older blonde nods at this, "I've chosen Arithmancy and Runes. Partly 'cause my mum was good at those, but also because they feel right to me."

The redhead nods, "My choices are Runes and Care of Magical Creatures." She smiles, "I'm surprised that you're not trying for CoMC as well."

Luna giggles, "It won't help me find what I'm looking for. Dad thinks that the knowledge of the creatures we seek has been hidden on purpose, to protect the species from going extinct."

Ginny nods at this, "I'm kind of leaning towards something along the lines of taking over from Hagrid, once I get old enough."

Luna grins, "I think that's a wonderful idea." She then looks into Ginny's eyes, "Don't want to get a Ministry job, huh?"

Ginny shakes her head no, "Not after the way I've seen it take its toll on Dad. Too many times, I've seen him come home from the office, weary not just in body. Especially since, lately, the people he catches don't get punished for their infractions."

Luna gives Ginny a soft hug, "And he's looked down upon by those who think he's too friendly with non-purebloods."

-=-=-=- Elsewhere -=-=-=-

Remus and Clarisse wake up together, Remus smiling as he studies the lithesome woman he's fallen in love with. He chuckles as she stretches against him, "Good morning, my love. What are your plans for this day?"

Clarisse smiles and kisses Remus' nose, "Well, I do have my job at the butchers' down in town to go to, but otherwise, no real plans, other than ravaging my handsome mate."

Remus blinks, then chuckles, "You found yourself a job where your condition not only comes in handy, but won't be questioned."

The younger Werewolf nods, "The Mundane also have so many religions, they don't question odd ones, with very predictable days of worship." She grins, "My boss believes I practice a form of Paganism, or Wicca, wherein my high holy days coincide with the full moon."

Remus blinks at that news, and then shakes his head; "I might have to figure something similar out, for myself. Especially after Snivellous 'conveniently exposed my condition to the school, it will be harder to find a job in the Magical world."

Clarisse nods, "The Mundane side is easier, if you can blend in well. And, from what I've seen, you can easily blend in, unlike the vast majority of our peers."

The older Werewolf laughs at this, "Not just our peers, but likely anyone who takes the 'Muggle Studies' class at Hogwarts as gospel. I know the teacher for that class is a Pureblood, and hasn't been to the Mundane side since the early forties."

Clarisse blinks at that, before shaking her head, "Not as bad as I believed, but still a lot of history has happened since then. Must have been a change since we went there, as I remember my Professor being stuck in the late 1800s"

Remus shrugs, then kisses her, "How much time do we have before you need to get ready for work?"

The younger Witch grins and returns the kiss, "Enough time to enjoy a shower together, and also enjoy breakfast."

Remus grins at that, before nuzzling his mate's neck, "Then, shall we prepare for the day?"

-=-=-=- Elsewhere – Near Bermuda -=-=-=-

Sirius slowly entered the court room, Dominique leading him in, giving him an encouraging look, murmuring, "Don't worry, Siri, these folks will allow you to explain yourself, and take all the evidence into consideration."

The Grim Animagus nods before acknowledging the Wizards before him, then stating, "Gentle Wizards and Witches of the Greater Islands ICW, I come before you to plead my case, and finally get the justice that has been denied to me for all these years."

The nearest Witch nods, "Welcome, my name is Marchioness Kyldarree, I am the Supreme Mugwump for this chapter of the ICW." She then gestures to the conclave around her, of thirty-eight other Witches and Wizards, "We are gathered here to hear the case against Sirius Orion Black the third, and are going to weigh the evidence that is placed before us, to render a judgment upon him, based on said evidence."

She then looks upon Sirius, "Do you understand the laws as they have been explained to you, and how they pertain to you in this case?"

Sirius nods, "I understand my rights, and I am willing to go on record that I volunteer to undergo questioning with Veritaserum."

The gathered Wizards and Witches stir at this, one of the older Wizards speaking up, "You're willing to allow us to question you under truth serum?"

Sirius nods, "I'll even go four drops, with a Legal Grade Dictaquill to record my testimony." He looks to each of those presiding over his trial, letting them know just how dedicated he was to getting the truth out there."

Dominique, meanwhile, has set up the parchment with the Dictaquill ready to record, the phial of Veritaserum on the table next to it, "Lords, Ladies, and assorted ICW members, My name is Dominique Argent, and I shall be aiding in the note keeping for this, the one thousand one hundred thirty fourth session of the Greater Islands Magical Tribunal." She then sits down and folds her hands in preparation.

Marchioness Kyldarree settles herself, "Fair enough." She then checks that the Dictaquill is transcribing things properly, before stating, "This is Marchioness Kyldarree, Supreme Mugwump for this chapter of the ICW. Today, the fifth of August, the year of our lord, Nineteen Ninety Four, we are convened here to hear the case of one Sirius Orion Black the third, to determine his fate, be it innocent or guilty."

Sirius seats himself in the chair, before a young intern, flanked by an Auror, bustles over to him. He opens his mouth and presents his tongue, holding it still for the requested four drops.

Dominique states, in a low voice that the Quill picks up, "The accused has just been administered the requested four drops of Veritaserum, we shall wait the requisite five seconds to ensure that the serum has taken effect."

There is a small chime that is repeated five times, after which those gathered notice that Sirius' eyes have glazed over as he comes under the influence of the potion.

A middle-aged wizard steps forward, "This is Law Wizard, Gerald Stephensen, prosecutor for the ICW." He then gets out a roll of parchment, "Shall we begin?"

Marchioness Kyldarree nods, "Please, Stephensen, let's get this done and the answers brought forth."

Stephensen nods, and then reads from the parchment:

"Please, for the record, would you please state your full name?"

In a monotone voice, Sirius replies, "Sirius Orion Black, the Third. Also known to the Marauders as Padfoot."

Stephensen: "Can you try and tell me a lie?"

Black: "I was sorted into S-S-S-S-s .. Gryffindor."

Stephensen: "Can you tell me the events that transpired on October Thirty First, Nineteen Eighty One?"

Black: "I was feeling uneasy all day, I hadn't heard from either Lupin or Pettigrew on their scheduled check-in."

Black: "I first went over to Pettigrew's, as it was closer, and he was the one who was the longest out of touch."

Stephensen: "What did you find when you got there?"

Black: "The house was abandoned, with evidence that he hadn't been there for his last few check-ins as well."

Black: "I then got a message from Lupin, saying he'd been in a situation where he couldn't send a response easily."

Stephensen: "Why did you accept that as a viable excuse?"

Black: "Due to Remus' condition, he often came into contact with those who had a reason to mistrust Wizards and Witches, at least those who weren't also affected by the same affliction."

Stephensen: "What happened next?"

Black: "I sent him a message about Peter, and that I was checking in on James and Lily next."

Black: "I tried sending a Patronus Messenger, but it refused to go, which is caused by one of two things."

Stephensen: "And those are?"

Black: "Either the person's behind War Wards that are set to keep EVERYTHING out, or the recipient is dead."

Stephensen: "And, given what you knew of the Potters situation, what was your conclusion."

Black: "That my brother in all but blood was dead, betrayed to the murdering psychopath that was decimating Magical Britain by someone we had believed we could trust."

Black: "I then sent a Messenger Patronus to Albus Dumbledore, who was aware of the Fidelius, and my part in the set up."

Black: "I got onto my motorbike and flew to where the Potters were hiding."

Stephensen: "You had been let in on the secret?"

Black: "Yes, that was also part of the ruse that was set up. I was to pose as the Secret Keeper, to draw any and all Death Eaters to myself, which was supposed to keep the true Secret Keeper safe."

Black: "Little did we know that the one we entrusted with the secret was a Death Eater, themself. Who had broken the oath of brotherhood we had sworn to each other."

Stephensen: "What did you find when you arrived?"

Black: "The back upper half of the building was gone, blown out from the inside, showing little Harry's room, his crib barely sheltered by a fragment of the roof."

Black: "When I landed by the front of the house, I noticed that the door had been forcefully removed from its frame via Dark Magic."

Stephensen: "How did you know this?"

Black: "Both myself and Lily had taken pains to Ward the very walls of the house against most types of Magic. We also used different rune systems to base our Wards upon, to make things more difficult for any adversary to work around the Wards."

Black: "The frame of the door itself was twisted and blackened from the Magic used against it, which meant that Darker Magics were in use."

Stephensen: "What did you find next?"

Black: "I carefully entered the house, using the techniques taught me by Master Auror Alastor Moody. I preserved as much of the evidence that was left to the best of my ability."

Black: "Within the confines of the entryway were the remnants of a massive battle between an unknown Wizard and a Master of Transfiguration who is determined to defend his home."

Stephensen: "You're saying that there was evidence of a Duel?"

Black: "I wouldn't call what happened a Duel, the things that I saw littering that room had no place in what would normally be called a Duel."

Black: "No, this was a battle, waged by someone who knew that if he faltered, he would pay with his life, and also anyone he was defending would suffer if he didn't hold the line."

Black: "James Potter was a Wizard who could be a demon with Transfiguration if he was cornered and felt he needed to defend someone."

`Stephensen: "What did you find, beyond evidence of a lethal battle?"

Black: "When I entered the living room, I found the body of the Wizard I considered my brother in all but blood, James Potter."

Black: "The way he lay, led me to the belief that he had been hit with a Killing Curse."

Black: "It also appeared that the battle had culminated in the room, as there were multitudes of spell impacts and other evidence littered around the room."

Stephensen: "What happened next?"

Black: "I searched the rest of the downstairs, to see if there was anyone left there, to either ambush the authorities when they came, or any other victims of the invading Witch or Wizard."

Black: "Finding none, I proceeded to head up the stairs, fearing what I knew I would find, and hoping that somehow, there were survivors."

Stephensen: "Survivors? How so, Mr. Black?"

Black: "I knew that the fight James had fought was one to give his wife and child a chance to flee the house if possible. Once I had seen how James had fallen, I knew he had done his best to give the two most important people in his life a fighting chance to escape."

Stephensen: "What did you find next?"

Black: "I carefully worked my way towards what I knew to be young Harry's room, again making sure there wasn't anyone waiting to ambush me."

Black: "The door to Harry's room, like the door to the house itself, had been obliterated with an excess of Dark Magic."

Stephensen: "Obliterated? That's a strong description."

Black: "There wasn't a piece of the door bigger than a Knut to be found."

Stephensen: "What did you find when you entered the room?"

Black: "The first thing I noticed was the body of Lily Potter, laying face down, with a scorch marks in the middle of her back, where the magic that was used to kill her had burnt though her clothes."

Black: "What I knew of the protections that she had woven into the travelling cloak, it would need to be something on a level such as the Killing Curse to overwhelm them with no other evidence being present."

Stephensen: "Madam Potter was that gifted with Runes and Charms?"

Black: "Both the Runes Professor and the Charms Professor were trying to get Lily to apprentice under them to get her Mastery, before she was forced into hiding."

Black: "Knowing Lily, if she could have done it, she would have found a way to study for both simultaneously."

Stephensen: "What else did you notice in the room?"

Black: "There was a set of well made, yet tattered Robes on the floor, as well as the evidence that there had been a wand, yet there was none evident beyond the one in Lily's hand."

Black: "I was then startled by a cry from the crib. When I cleared away the wreckage covering the blankets, I was pleased to discover my Godson to be safe, and relatively unharmed."

Stephensen: "Godson? You did the ritual, and the rites?"

Black: "Yes. My family had the books on how to do the ritual both in the Modern fashion, but according to the ancient laws and writs."

Stephensen: "Let it be known to the court, that the evidence just presented, should have been enough to clear the Defendant of all charges against him, in the case of betraying the Potters."

Black: "I scooped up my Pup and carried him outside, doing my best to attend to the many scrapes and cuts he'd gotten in the explosion. The only one I couldn't manage to figure out was the one on his forehead, shaped like a small lightning bolt."

Black: "I was surprised when I encountered Rubeus Hagrid when I exited the cottage, as I was unaware that he had any inkling as to where the Potters were hiding."

Stephensen: "What happened next?"

Black: "Hagrid said he'd been sent by Dumbledore to see if there were any survivors. When he saw Harry in my arms, he became worried for the baby."

Black: "Hagrid offered to take Harry to Dumbledore for safekeeping until something could be done about the cause of the failing of the Fidelius."

Stephensen: "And, what happened?"

Black: "I handed Harry to Hagrid, and offered the Groundskeeper my motorcycle to get him back to Hogwarts with relative ease."

Stephensen: "Why did you do that?"

Black: "While I believed that Hagrid could apparate, himself, I didn't want to risk anything happen to Harry."

Black: "Once I saw Harry off, I decided to start tracking Pettigrew."

Stephensen: "Why did that seem to be the logical next step?"

Black: "That's the crux of it. I wasn't thinking logically, or sanely. The man who was as close to a brother to me had been murdered, and the woman he loved had died protecting their son. I was consumed with the need for some Black Vengeance."

Stephensen: "The way you say that, makes me believe that it would involve some of your Family's Magics?"

Black: "Oh, most definitely. But, it also involves something of a Family Curse, as well."

Black: "When those of my Family view that a wrong has been perpetrated upon themselves or those they consider under their protection, they become consumed with a need to wreak unholy vengeance upon those that they view perpetrated such wrong."

Stephensen: "What happened next?"

Black: "I spent the next couple days tracking Pettigrew down, switching frequently back and forth to my Animagus form to both track him, and ask the local canine population if they'd heard anything of him."

Stephensen: "You're able to converse with Canines in your Animagus form?"

Black: "Yes, that is one of the perks that myself and my fellow Marauders discovered after attaining our forms."

Black: "We each gained an affinity for conversing with animals of the same 'family' as our form was."

Black: "James found he could converse with both the Unicorns and the Thestrals."

Black: "I found that I could understand Wolves, Foxes, and weirdly enough Werewolves."

Black: "Pettigrew, well he was right chuffed to find he could talk to the resident rodent population of the castle. He set up his own little spy network with them."

Stephensen: "Fascinating. What happened when you finally tracked Pettigrew down?"

Black: "I cornered him in one of the mixed towns that were cropping up at that time. Communities where Half Bloods and Mundane Borne could easily blend into the folks that lived there."

Black: "Pettigrew, being the conniving little Rat that he was, took advantage of the situation, when the Aurors arrived to enforce the Statute of Secrecy, and yelled out that I had betrayed the Potters, and that he'd been the one to corner me."

Black: "Needless to say, the Aurors half bought the cockamamie story, and asked me to lower my wand."

Black: "Somehow, Pettigrew managed a nonverbal silencing spell upon me, and then with a swift motion, sliced off the pointer finger of his left hand, cast an over powered blasting curse at the ground close to him, and in the ensuing chaos, transformed into his Animagus form and escaped into the sewers."

Stephensen: "How'd you counteract the Silencing spell?"

Black: "I didn't, one of the Aurors, thinking that the smoke caused by the explosion was magical in nature, used a wide area Finite, which released me from its grasp."

Stephensen: "What happened next?"

Black: "I lost my mind. I couldn't believe that Pettigrew had not only escaped, but shifted all the blame unto me."

Black: "I went willingly with the Aurors, thinking that I'd get a chance to explain myself, if only at a trial."

Black: "I never imagined it would take over a decade of living through what most sane people would call Hell on Earth before I could present my case, and hope that freedom could once again be mine."

Stephensen: "Is there anything else you wish to tell those who are trying your case, before we administer the counter serum?"

Black: "That I regret the deaths of those thirteen Mundanes that were caught in the explosion caused by Pettigrew. If I had been more in my right mind, I would have chosen a better location for the confrontation."

Stephensen: "Does anyone else feel they need to question the defendant any further?"

The gathered Witches and Wizards look amongst each other, then Marchioness Kyldarree spoke up, "No, we find ourselves quite satisfied by the proceedings, and shall take the evidence provided and deliberate amongst ourselves."

The court scribe approaches Sirius and administers the counter to the Veritaserum.

As Sirius comes out from under the influence of the Veritaserum, the gathered Witches and Wizards congregate in the center of the room, whispering to each other, once in a while one of them gestures at Sirius with a hand.

Sirius looks over at Stephensen, "I hope I provided the evidence needed to clear me."

Stephensen smiles, "I believe that you've provided not just evidence to clear you, but also enough evidence to allow us to put an ICW bounty on Pettigrew."

Sirius nods, "I thank you all for your time, and your willingness to hear my case. I wish that all Witches and Wizards were as forward thinking as I have found you."

Marchioness Kyldarree smiles at this, "Sadly, we here think that it's the fact that we're not stuck in a country where you don't get enough sunshine. Somehow, it's hard to be stuffy and hidebound when there's a beautiful day outside."

Stephensen laughs, "It might also have to do with the fact that here, if you're a closed minded idiot, nature tends to teach you a lesson or three."

Another member rolls his eyes, "It might also help that the founders of our little community were sent here to 'get the upstarts out of the establishment's hair', so to speak. Our ancestors decided that, if the society who sent them here for breaking a few silly rules didn't want them, why should they follow them now there's no one tutting them about not behaving properly."

Sirius laughed at this, "Oh, I definitely agree. Then again, I was the 'white sheep' of my family."

~~ Elsewhere – The Burrow ~~

Ron sat at his the desk in his room, having finished up a report on the various ways that ingredients needed to be prepared for Potions, and the reasons for using each method for the results that were desired.

Gathering a new parchment, he put his mind to writing a letter to the young lady who he'd noticed watching him.

He nibbled absently on the nib of his quill as he pondered how to address the letter, and how to phrase things properly for a first letter.

Dear Daphne Greengrass,

I know this letter comes as a surprise, especially given my history. Due to experiences during the close of last year, I have taken a long look at my behavior and come to the conclusion that if I didn't better myself, I'd end up friendless and alone.

Because of my change in attitude, and comportment, I took notice of your interest in my humble self.

It took a swift poke from a friend of mine to put deed into motion, and get me to pen this letter to you.

Let me formally introduce myself, I am Ronald Billius Weasley, of the Ancient House of Weasley, sixth child of Arthur and Molly.

I hope this letter finds you well, and willing to at least start conversing via letters.

I know my history of hating all things Slytherin works against me, but after long thought, I came to realize I didn't hate the whole of Slytherin, just certain members who were the loud and vocal minority.

With sincere apologies for previous behavior, and hopes to prove that I've grown up enough to be a friend,

Ronald Billius Weasley

Rereading the letter, Ron shrugs, "Hopefully she doesn't mind me rambling, and chooses to at least exchange letters." Then calling the hyperactive owl Sirius got him to replace the Rat that had been hiding as his pet, "Pig, can you deliver this to Daphne Greengrass?" The tiny owl gives an excited and positive hoot, letting itself be caught so that the letter can be tied to its legs. Once in charge of the missive, it streaks out the nearest window and makes its erratic way to the forest nearby, where it's swiftly lost within the branches.

The young Wizard then does something that used to be out of character for himself; he goes over his homework and makes sure that each essay says exactly what he needs to say. "Hope that they appreciate this new approach I'm taking."

~~ Elsewhere == Near the Cliffs of Moher –

If one were able to see the entirety of the estate that perched atop a cliff, with a majestic view of the surf below, they would first come to the conclusion that the castle within was ancient, even by medieval standards, the stones of not just the castle but the protective walls massive enough to out weigh a Morris Mini.

The castle itself hunkers on the precipice of the steep cliff like a malevolent gargoyle determined to protect the land from the sea.

Swiftly a tiny owl approaches the imposing edifice and flits into a crag, where a tiny window sits open for owls to fly into.

A House Elf swiftly scans the owl for anything that would mean its masters harm, and then swiftly takes the parchment to the elder Greengrass daughter, "Miss, mail has come for you."

Daphne blinks, as she isn't expecting any mail, "Thank you, Dotty, I'll call you if I need anything."

The young Witch then carefully opens the roll and scans what's written within. She shakes her head several times, as if she's quite unsure of what she's reading, before murmuring to herself, "So, the brave Gryffindor needed someone to help him to stop being a major git, but to man up and actually write a letter." She then giggles as she shakes her head, "He's cute when he rambles."

There's a knock on the door, "Daphne, dinner's in half an hour. The Davies are visiting, so Tracey's staying the night."

"Thanks, mum!" She answers and then calls out, "Mum, could you help me out here?"

A Witch in her mid Forties comes in and sits beside her daughter on the bed, "What's up, dear?"

"A Wizard I've had my eye on just recently had a rather large shock to his system, which caused him to reevaluate how he looks at things."

"Go on," states Tyche Greengrass, "You've got something of a crush on this young Wizard?"

Daphne nods, "Until late this past year, he's been a bit hard to deal with, as he's had a rather strong aversion to anything Slytherin." She then sighs, "It was getting to the point I was considering giving up on him and trying to find a better prospect."

Her mother nods, "You almost make it sound like you fancied a Weasley, sweetie."

The younger Witch turns her head fast enough to run the risk of whiplash, "How'd you know, mum?"

Tyche giggles, "Hon, two things, I went to school with Arthur, so I know how cute and obtuse they can be when younger."

Daphne places her face in her palms, then hands her mother the letter, "Well, thanks to being exposed to the Dementors, thanks to the brilliant minds in the Wizengamot, the youngest male had a cranial rectal inversion executed, and he seems to be taking time to reinvent himself."

The older Witch nods, "Well, it's good he got his priorities straight, but I would wish for less extreme methods of triggering such behavior."

Daphne nods, "He's also improved his eating habits, amongst other subtle changes." She points to the letter, "I just received this, from him."

Her mother nods, and then scans the letter. "Oh, my. Formal introductions, and a blanket apology for being a numpty for the last three years."

Daphne blushes, then looks askance at the word choice, "Well, he was a wee bit on the 'obtuse' side of things, despite the evidence that he had more brains than Crabbe or Goyle, combined."

Tyche giggles, "Not that that would take much, but I do understand what you're saying." She then hands the letter back to her daughter, "Do you intend to at minimum try and make friends with this young Wizard?"

Daphne nods, "Something in me sings when he's near. It's as if his Magic will fill in the damage that's been done to my own."

Her mother blinks at that phrasing, "How is your Magic damaged, sweetie?"

Daphne shakes her head, "I'm not sure if Damaged is the right word to use .. His magic seems to balance out my own, supporting where needed, and taking support the same way."

Tyche nods, "Well, here's hoping that the nice young man keeps up his end of the bargain."

Daphne nods, "Doesn't hurt that Tracey has found a conquest of her own." She then giggles, "Here's hoping the kid's up to the challenge before him."

Tyche looks curiously at her daughter, "Why, pray tell, should this boy be worried about Tracey's attentions?"

Daphne giggles, harder, "She's set her eyes on the Longbottom scion, and from everything I've observed, he's a wee bit on the shy and introverted side."

Tyche nods, "The shy ones tend to be a bit adventurous once they break free from their shell, I hope she's ready for that."

~-Elsewhere -~

In a run down Manor, overlooking the quaint town of Little Hangleton, a rat-like man scurries around, gathering things he needs, under the high pitched commands of what appears to be a small child.

"Make sure the fire is hot, and that there's plenty of wood to keep it going, Wormtail! This body feels the cold and the damp that permeates this house!"

The hunched over Wizard, now revealed to be Wormtail, nods, "Master, now that our Agent has been captured, what shall we do to acquire the blood we need for the ritual?"

Voldemort hisses sibilantly, "I already have another Agent in place, taking a role in which he won't be discovered the same way Junior was." The form gives a soft cackle, "It is fortuitous that we have acquired the loyalty of one who can be assigned to the security detail without question."

Wormtail nods, "Yes, Master, it is. Your forethought knows no bounds, Master."

Voldemort rasps out, "I grow weary, this form tires easily. I need you to milk Nagini for her venom, the potion that nourishes me requires it."

Pettigrew nods, "It will be done, Master."

~- Elsewhere-~

Up near the top of Ireland, on a portion of the coast overlooking the Giant's Causeway, hidden from the Mundanes by a massive array of Wards, and naturally occurring hazards, is the Stadium for the Quidditch World Cup, and the campgrounds associated with it.

The Aurors had already set up a few patrols, as the first of the millions of those attending the event had started showing up.

One of the Aurors, currently sitting at a table in front of the Auror Barracks Tent, was a tall, dark skinned individual, who was currently going over the schedule for when people were supposed to be arriving."

Another Auror comes up to the table, calling out "Shack! Can't believe that there's already a couple dozen families who have arrived."

Shacklebolt nods at his compatriot, "Well, Hammer, most of those who are arriving now had to do so due to the fact that their work schedule couldn't be rearranged easily for the World Cup, and need a stable location to Apparate to work from. As we get closer to the actual event time, the folks more able to take time off will show up, along with those who are wealthy enough to afford better spots, closer to the stadium."

Hammer nods at this, "Well, right now I've got a few Aurors set up near the main grouping of tents. Betelgeuse, my junior, is good with kids, and the parents are happy to have a minder who can help keep the kids occupied."

Shacklebolt nods at this, "Doesn't she prefer being called 'Beth', Hammer?"

Hammer nods, "Have to keep reports official, and with full names, but after the initial Ministerial nonsense, nicknames are allowable."

Shacklebolt nods, "Being able to at minimum write Fudgian is a skill that makes things easier in the long run, doesn't it?"

Hammer grins, "Here's hoping that the next person who is invested into the role of Minister is less of a pedantic piece of paper pushing placeholder."

Another Auror trots up, "Strongbow reporting in. The new array of Ward Stones have been installed and buried, as suggested by Senior Auror Moody."

Shacklebolt nods, "Good to hear. Despite his tendency to see hazards where there might not be, Moody's usually got a good head on his shoulders for making sure security's as tight as humanly possible."

Strongbow nods, "Well, we lucked out then, as the Warding team that was sent out to help us included a Goblin, who owed a favor or three to Moody."

Shacklebolt blinks at this, then shakes his head, "I should have figured that Moody would find a way to add to the security."

Strongbow laughs, "Goblin's name was something along the lines of 'Venomdrinker', if my memory serves me correctly."

Both Shacklebolt and Hammer start at that name, "How in hells did Moody manage to gain a favor from him?" Hammer states, "If my memory serves me correctly, that Goblin is third in line for the Throne in Gringotts England."

Shacklebolt smiles, "If you can get the tale out of Moody, I'll buy you a case of Firewhiskey."

Strongbow laughs, "Well, Venomdrinker was rather tight lipped, but from what I gathered, Moody's actions gained him the status of 'Honored Warrior' amongst the Goblins, at least in England."

Hammer blinks at this, then swears rather creatively, "Not the top of the food chain, as far as their Warrior Castes go, but high enough to rate an audience with the King, if the need is great enough."

Shacklebolt nods at this, "And, from what I'm given to understand is that Harry Potter, due to some of what he's accomplished, has gained a similar level of respect. Though, from what I hear, Potter's got the Goblins all in a tizzy due to something uncovered during his last visit."

Hammer nods, "Rumor has it that after the World Cup, Potter will be leading a clean up crew down to the Chamber of Secrets."

Shacklebolt shakes his head; "Keep the rumors to a minimum until there's more evidence."

Hammer nods, "Fair enough, boss." She then settles herself down at the table and gets out her lunch, "Wonder what other tricks Moody has up his sleeve."

Shacklebolt grins at this, "If you can divine the thoughts of Mad Eye, I'll not only buy you a case of Firewhiskey, but I'll nominate you for a promotion."

The other nearby Aurors laugh at this, one of them snarking, "Shack, I think you'd need to schedule a visit to the Mind Healers for anyone who manages to think like Mad Eye."

Hammer grins at that, "I don't know, being able to out think the various villains that he's encountered, and be relatively whole at his age isn't a bad thing to strive for."

Shacklebolt nods, then gets out the parchment he was writing on when Hammer came up, "I've got a temporary schedule set up, that'll be modified as we get more people at the camp." He then posts it to the front of the Barracks Tent.

Now, to the casual, or Mundane viewer, the Barracks Tent looked like a rather ordinary Four Person Tent, the main differences being that it had two entrances, and the inside was divided to allow male and female Aurors privacy and their own bunks.

Shacklebolt then gazed over the campgrounds, "Now, folks, I know we're going to be getting several VIW in the next day, including our own much beloved Minister for Magic. I want teams, with Ward Specialists and Curse Breakers to go over the camping areas that have been set-aside for them. I want no buried or pre set surprises for anyone, especially not anyone who might cause an international incident."

The gathered Aurors snap to attention, and announce, "Aye, Sir," to which the lead Auror smirks, "Also, if anyone finds cashed stashes of contraband, feel free to confiscate them for 'further investigation'."

The surrounding Aurors cheer up at that before dispersing on the first of their rounds, getting themselves familiar with the land the campground was set up on.

-= Elsewhere – With Harry =-

'Dora and Harry busy themselves packing for the Quiddich World Cup, placing everything they need into the furniture that came with the tent.

Harry smirked to himself as he saw that 'Dora was distracted picking out things to wear, so he snuck up behind her and hugged her, though his hands ended up on her bosom, "Need help, dear?"

'Dora grins as she is hugged, "Just trying to figure out night wear, why?"

Harry nuzzled 'Dora's neck, then breathes in her ear, "And why do you need anything to sleep in, hmm? I thought we'd try sleeping together, on this jaunt."

'Dora gives a blush, though she fights it as best she can, "Are you saying you trust me not to seduce you while sleeping naked?"

Harry blushed as well, "More like I trust myself to behave appropriately with my wife, sleeping in the nude."

'Dora turns in Harry's arms, then kisses his nose, "Best answer." She then looks thoughtful, "Do you think there's a chance we might run into our missing partner while we're there?"

Harry looked surprised by the question, "I don't know. I'll definitely keep my senses open, but I won't be too disappointed if she's not there. Might make things a bit awkward if she's from another country."

Dora nodded at this, "Might be a bit sticky if she is, unless she's in one of the schools coming for the TriWizard."

The younger Wizard nods, "With my luck, I'll end up competing against her in the damn thing. With me as the unexpected fourth Champion."

Dora placed her hand on Harry's shoulder, "Don't sound so fatalistic. Think of all the interesting things you'll have the chance to learn."

Harry shook his head; "I just want to know which of my ancestors caused Fate and Chaos to both consider me their personal plaything." He then gave his wife a playful grin, "I can't say it's all been bad, as it's given me you, hasn't it?"

Dora nodded at that, giving a short when Harry references Fate and Chaos. "A lot of us wonder that at times, dear. It just seems like you've gotten a bigger dose due to people like Dumbledore and Voldemort being associated."

Harry nods at this, "Do you hate me for wanting to live a relatively quiet life, once I deal with Voldeshorts?"

Dora shook her head, "No, but I hope you realize that, unless you do gain my Metamorphmagus ability, you'll be the most recognizable Wizard of your generation, and likely the next."

Harry nodded at this, "Shall we go? I'd like to set up our tent before the madhouse truly begins."

Dora smiled at this, "Certainly, dear. Though I do look forward to teaching you to Apparate." She then holds out what appears to be a small clay pot, "But, this distance isn't good for side-along Apparition, at least not until I get more practice at it."

Harry nodded at that, taking a hold of the clay pot, then making sure Dora had a hold of it as well, uttered the activation word that would take them to the campgrounds."

Suddenly the two of them are pulled, by magic, through a vortex of spinning colors, most of which Harry couldn't even guess the name of, and several he was sure that hadn't been discovered yet.

Then, with equal abruptness, the journey ends, and with supreme difficulty, Harry manages to keep to his feet, only stumbling when Dora doesn't manage to stay on hers.

The couple is greeted by a pair of Aurors in civilian garb, doing their best to appear as a pair of Mundane hikers. The only thing that would give them away to the experienced eye is the utter newness of their clothes, and that their climbing sticks looked more like what they thought Mundanes thought Wizards' Staffs would look like.

The more senior Auror steps forward, and greets Tonks, "Ah, the Potter party; you've timed things well, as the majority of the masses haven't shown up yet." He then gets out a small parchment map, "Here we go, you two are located in a prime spot, less than a stone's throw from the stadium, and right next to where the Weasleys will be setting up."

Dora smiles, "Smythe, what did you do to deserve this duty?" She then turns to Harry, "This is Cyrus Smythe, he graduated from the Academy the same year I joined, and he's also been one of those who's been attempting to help me with my balance and stealth issues."

Smythe smiles, "I volunteered for this, Tonks. I figured that not only would it show to the higher ups that I don't believe any duty is below me, it also allows me to be here for the game, and not need to save for tickets."

Harry laughed at that, "Pleased to meet you, Auror Smythe." He then turned to the other Auror, "And you are?"

The other Auror smiled at this, "Name's Björn. I won't expect you to try and pronounce my first name, the higher ups usually just called me Joseph."

Harry nods at this, "Pleased to meet you, Auror Björn." He then steps off the area demarked for those arriving by portkey, "May your time here pass with as little trouble as you desire."

Both Aurors laugh at that, "The path here, to the right, will lead you to the area marked off for your accommodations." Then Björn states, "The entire site is swept at random intervals by different teams, to make sure no one tries to set up anything nefarious for the VIW."

Tonks nods at that, "Just as long as the spots for the 'Common Wizard' are checked as frequently, that's a good policy." She then tilted her head, "Shacklebolt or Moody?"

Smythe barks out a laugh at that, "Both, actually. Moody suggested it, but Shacklebolt implemented it."

Tonks nods, then Harry speaks up, "So, practicing paranoia, but not to the extreme." Which causes Tonks to snort, "I forgot, you've met Moody already. I can't say I envy those kids in Defense this year. My feeling is Moody will run the class like a little mini Auror camp."

Smythe shakes his head at that, "Better them than us, by my book. Perhaps it'll wake a few of the pampered Pureblood kids to the fact that the real world has teeth, and they need to be prepared to defend themselves from said teeth."

Dora nods, "Well, if you get off 'Greeter' duty, and you find yourselves near our tent, come say hello. We've got our tent well stocked with Butterbeer."

The two Aurors nod at that, before waving Tonks and Harry off, Björn saying, "I'll keep that in mind."

Harry leads the way, following the markers that have been set up on the path, as well as an eye on the huge stadium.

After nearly half an hour of walking, the pair come upon a parcel of grass roped off with a small sign in the middle stating 'Potter'.

Dora unpacks the tent, and with practiced ease, sets it up, using special tent pegs, which set up a low level 'notice me not' field, set to keep gawkers and autograph seekers from noticing the area around the tent.

Once the tent is set up, Harry ducks inside, bringing a set of lawn chairs out and setting them up, also sets up a small camp fire circle, "Well, welcome to our home away from home, my love."

Tonks collapses ungracefully into the chair nearer her, "Should be fun. And arriving when we did really reduces the chance that you'll get mobbed by fans."

Harry rolls his eyes at this, then seats himself with a bit more grace, "Plus, it's fun to people watch, and just enjoy the anonymity that the setting gives us."

Dora nods at that, "Shall we head in for the night? The Weasleys and everyone else should be arriving way early tomorrow, and we should be properly rested to deal with that mayhem."

Harry nods, "Sounds like a plan, plus we get to break in the bed in the tent, don't we?"

Dora Laughs, "I thought we were waiting on finding our third, dear?"

Harry blushes a bit, then smiles, "This will be the first time we sleep together in it, won't it, dear?"

Dora laughs as she takes Harry's hand and leads him into the tent, "Indeed, my silly husband, indeed it is."

== To Be Continued ==

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