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Chapter 11: Place Your Bets!
“Okay, so you saw Harry use a summoning charm to rescue Kori from the fire.”
“And obviously a five year old boy couldn’t possibly know how to use a fourth year level charm, let alone do it wandlessly.”
“So you believe that the boy we think is Harry is really a Death Eater in disguise.
“And now you have him locked in his room with no way out.”
“Alright Sirius, I just have one question for you,” Remus said.
“Have you completely lost your mind or are you just an idiot?”
Whatever Sirius had expected, that wasn’t it, as his face suddenly dropped and he began sputtering.
“Wha-bu-Remus he- how could he have-”
“I don’t know,” Remus said loud enough to make Sirius stop, “I don’t know how he did it, but did you ever stop to think that a Death Eater probably wouldn’t bother to save a child from death, much less a muggle?”
Sirius opened his mouth, but no words came out as the wizard realized his friend was right. Remus, for his part, rolled his eyes in exasperaton. Sometimes he wondered how Sirius got to be a top scoring student at Hogwarts.
“Well…alright,” Sirius conceded, “but he did admit that he wasn’t Harry, or at least not the Harry we thought he was.”
Remus raised an eyebrow.
“I don’t get it either,” Sirius shook his head, “he started saying something about time travel and then he just clamed up, almost like something was stopping him from saying anymore.”
Remus clicked his tongue, “That’s odd…I guess we’ll find out in a minute.”
The man stood from his chair and walked into the hall toward Harry’s room, Sirius quietly followed. It was still fairly early and neither Draco nor Narcissa were morning people. In addition, Remus and Sirius had silently agreed to keep this whole thing secret for the time being.
As they approached the door, Sirius took out his wand and removed the charms, granting the two men access to the room. Harry, to their slight surprise, was still awake and casually glancing out the window.
“Something wrong, Sirius?” Harry asked without looking up.
“Harry,” Remus said causing the ‘boy’ to turn around, “we want to talk to you.”
Harry studied the man for a moment, then nodded his head and went to sit on the foot of the bed.
“Sirius just got through telling me a very bizarre story,” Remus said, “I’m hoping you can tell me the rest.”
Harry just stared at the ground and sighed, “I love to tell you the whole story…but it seems I’m not allowed to.”
“Says who?” Sirius piped up.
Harry inwardly sighed, no use keeping it from them now, “says the contract I signed to come back here in the first place.”
The two men stared at him, “You signed a contract?”
“Well, you read it first right?” Remus asked.
This time, Harry said and did nothing, but that was answer enough for his guardians.
Sirius gawked, “You signed something without reading it first? Are you crazy, you always read contracts before signing them, especially the fine print, that’s where all the tricks are.”
“Yes, I know that now,” Harry snapped, “I can apparently tell you that I’m from the future if only in spirit, but I don’t think I can tell you anything else.”
“Well that certainly blows,” Sirius muttered, “what’s the point of it then?”
Harry glanced at his godfather and smiled, “just because I can’t say anything doesn’t mean I can’t change anything. I already have made a lot of changes and I’m going to make more.”
“You think you can?” Remus asked.
“I think so,” Harry answered, “I think I’ve done a good job so far. The only problem is I’ve had to set my schedule back a bit due to recent developments.”
The two men blinked, “’recent developments?”
Harry nodded, “For example, have you heard the legend of the Chamber of Secrets?”
“Well, it’s true,” Harry said, inwardly smirking as their eyes widened, “it’s behind a tap in a girl’s bathroom believe it or not, it can only be accessed by a parselmouth, that’s why no one could ever find it, and the monster inside it is a basilisk.”
Harry’s explanation had mixed reactions. Remus became wide eyed and visibly frightened by the implications of such a beast residing in the ‘safe’ halls of Hogwarts. Sirius just looked horror stricken.
“Harry…if you know this, does that mean you’re a parselmouth?”
Harry stared at him, “I just told you that a monster capable of killing a person by looking at them is at Hogwarts and you’re shocked because I’m a parselmouth?”
“Alright, wait a second,” Remus said before Sirius could respond, “you say there’s a basilisk at Hogwarts, what happened to it last time around?”
Harry clicked his tongue, trying to find the right words, “well you see…”
“Well this is boring…” a redhead intern said, popping a few pieces of popcorn into his mouth.
“What do you mean?” asked his companion, a bald janitor.
“All he’s doing now is explaining everything we already know about, and no one wants to see that.” the intern answered.
“Hey stop hogging all the popcorn,” a female secretary snapped, pulling the bowl away from the red head.
“Say, am I the only one who thinks it would be cool to be a parselmouth?” said a thin, male secretary.
“Would you all shut up?” came the exasperated voice of a white haired Grim Reaper who probably should have been working right now, “I can’t hear what their saying.”
“Okay,” Ellie said as she and Max walked down the hall, “so the contract says Harry can tell them he’s from the future and everything that happened in the past. The only things he can’t tell them are who sent him, and any individual’s ultimate fate, right?”
“I think it’s just theirs,” Max corrected her, until he noticed a look of confusion spread over her features, “I mean, he can tell Sirius and Dumbledore was killed, but he can’t tell Sirius that he himself was killed, get it.”
Ellie nodded in understanding, “Okay…let’s go over section 3 again…”
As they continued going over the now infamous contract, they passed the open door to the Grim Reaper Only lounge (which was really just a name as Grim Reapers, secretaries, interns, and even janitors could be found in there on a regular basis) at which point Max noticed something very strange out of the corner of his eye.
He turned back around and stared wide eyed at the big screen TV the lounge possessed, which currently showed an image of Harry Potter talking with his two guardians, exactly like he was doing at that very moment. Max did a double take and practically ran into the room with a confused Ellie at his tail.
“What are you doing?” He demanded causing to jump in fear and look up at him.
“Hey Max,” one voice called out, “don’t scare us like that, man.”
“Why are you watching my charge on TV? How did you even manage to get the feed?”
The small crowded looked around at each other before they all pointed to one very familiar red head.
“He did it,” they all said.
“Hi Maxie!” Rob cheerfully greeted them.
Said ‘Maxie’ stormed over like a thick boiling cloud of anger and hate and grabbed Rob by the collar.
“What is this?” Max hissed.
Rob grinned, either unaware of the danger he was now in or uncaring of it.
“Well actually it-”
“Hey Rob,” someone in the audience suddenly called out, “I want to change my bet, instead of twenty, I wanna put thirty on Potter killing Voldy before fifth year.”
“Fifth year?” another intern scoffed, “You’re giving him way too much credit, I doubt he’ll even manage before he graduates.”
“Oh shut up, don’t be such a pessimist,” the first intern said.
Max stared from the arguing interns to Rob, “A betting pool, you started a betting pool on when Harry will defeat Voldemort?”
Rob rolled his eyes, “No, of course not. That would be stupid, we bet on lots of things, not just that. There’s also a pool going for when Harry and Hermione will get together. I think the highest bid right now is-”
“WHY?!” Max shouted, interrupting the zoot suit wearing red head, “what is the point of all this?”
“Aw, come on Max,” Rob said, “this is the biggest event we’ve had since…well since forever. Everyone wants to know how this kid’s going to do it, and not only that, they want to see it.”
Max stared at his so called best friend and let out a groan before finally releasing him.
“If it makes you feel any better,” Rob said, “I promise to keep everything in here and away from your office. I promise that no one will bother you and we’ll be so quiet, you won’t even know we’re here.”
Max’s blue eyes softened a bit, “Alright, I guess as long as-”
“Hey, I bet twenty five that the kid screws up and Max gets fired.”
“I’ll see your twenty five and raise you thirty.”
“Hey, I want in on this one.”
Max’s soft expression became a glare again and Rob could only chuckle with nervousness.
The ensuing explanation took the better part of ten minutes. During which time other things were revealed including Hermione Granger’s true status as a muggleborn witch, a fact which greatly surprised both men. When Harry finished, they both appeared deep in thought.
“Hermione’s a smart girl if she figured all that out,” Remus noted softly.
Harry smiled nostalgically, “I know…she really is.”
“I’m assuming you’re not just going to sit around waiting for this Weasley girl to get possessed right?” Sirius asked.
“How can she?” Harry asked, “Lucius Malfoy is in jail. I know you had his house cleaned out and his possessions stored away.”
“Where did you put those things anyway Sirius?” Remus asked.
“They’re all in one of the family vaults at Gringotts,” Sirius explained, “I had a feeling I should hold on to them, I just wasn’t sure why. I suppose it’s a good thing I did.”
Harry nodded in agreement, but silently wondered if Max had anything to do with Sirius’s ‘feeling’ and made a mental note to discuss it with the Grim Reaper during his next assessment.
“I’ve also been wondering,” Harry started, “why I can’t find any of the books belonging to your family Sirius.”
The man scoffed, “those? They’re just full of dark magic, why would you want them?”
“Well, I think it’s always a good idea to know your enemy,” Harry said with a sad smile, “and I must admit, I didn’t know him very well the first time around. I’m not going to make that mistake again.”
Though Sirius wasn’t sure he agreed with his godson’s words, seeing as he’d done everything in his power to distance himself from his family’s philosophies and general way of life, but even so, he knew the truth of those words. He sighed and stood up.
“I guess we’re going to Grimmauld Place then.”
“And Gringotts,” Harry responded, startling the two men, “we need the diary.”
“Why?” Remus asked.
Harry sighed, realizing that he now had another bout of explaining to do and hoping that this wouldn’t have any adverse effects on the time stream.
‘It would’ve had to happen eventually,’ he told himself, ‘you searched the library a dozen times and even searched all the other rooms in the house. You would have had to tell him eventually otherwise they’d never give a five year old access to those kind of books.’
“You’d better sit back down,” he said out loud to Sirius, “this may take a while.”
“Aw come on, not another boring explanation, nobody wants to see that!” the redhead complained again.
“To bad you’re not one of the readers then,” Max muttered.
“What was that?”
“So, looks like Remus saved the day huh?” Rob asked.
“Yep,” Max answered, “he used his impossibly rare power of common sense, which neither Sirius nor Harry seem to possess.”
“Come on, Max,” Ellie said, returning from a coffee trip and handing her boss his cup, “as if Harry doesn’t have enough negative criticism.”
“Hey, who wants to bet that the 3 headed dog eats him?”
“Max,” Ellie said, ignoring the stupid intern, “I know you’re mad at him, but Harry’s a good kid, and I know he’s going to do great this time around.”
Max snorted, “As long as he gets his act together.”
“I just hope they do something about that portrait of Sirius’s mother,” Rob said with a shiver, “I never can get used to that whole moving paintings thing and she just makes it worse.”
“Whose idea was it to paint that thing anyway?” said an intern who’d been listening in.
“Probably hers,” Max shrugged, “personally, I think the whole family is nuts…”
“Hey guys,” Max and Ellie watched as a dark haired intern entered the room, “I got your coffee for you.”
The redhead took his and sniffed it, making a face.
“I thought I told you to get me decaf, or are you deaf or something?”
The dark haired intern looked momentarily annoyed but smiled, “I’m sorry, I’ll go get you another one.”
“Get it right this time,” the redhead shouted rudely.
“New guys,” the blonde muttered in annoyance and the redhead nodded his agreement.
“What a bunch of jerks,” Ellie muttered, “picking on the poor guy just because he’s new.”
Max shrugged, “They’re just stupid kids, Ellie.”
“Hey, Rob,” the redhead suddenly called out, “put down for twenty on Potter saving that Diggory kid.”
“I’ll bet forty on that!”
“Ten says Potter doesn’t even let him touch the cup.”
“Twenty says he finds a way to keep Cedric from all together entering.”
As this continued, Max gaped in amazement.
“Hey wait,” he said, “you can’t bet on that. Cedric’s death is predetermined, it has to happen.”
The talking suddenly stopped as everyone began staring at Max, who suddenly felt rather awkward.
“Max,” Rob said, wrapping an arm around Max’s shoulders, “come walk with me.”
The two moved away from Ellie and the rest of the ‘audience’ until they were mostly out of earshot.
“Max, Harry and Cedric were friends right?” Rob asked.
Max raised an eyebrow, “Well, they never really got close enough to form a strong friendship but yeah, I guess…”
“And Harry is a true friend, right?”
“Yeah…” Max said slowly, wondering where the hell Rob was going with this.
“Well Max,” the redhead said, “if there’s one thing I know about friends, it’s that a true friend is the kind of person who would die taking a bullet meant for you…or in this case a killing curse…anyway, true friends, they look out for each other. True friends are also there during the best of times and the worse of times. A true friend is the person who you know you can cry in front of without feeling like a sissy girl, they’re your pal, your amigo, your confidante, they’ll look destiny in the face when it tries to take their friend and they’ll say “Hey, destiny! Keep your hands off my friends soul, he ain’t done living yet,” and then spits in destiny’s face, that’s what true friends do and most important is that a true friend never, EVER allows his friend to become a sparklepire.”
In the background, the rest of the room’s occupants could be heard applauding Rob’s speech, while Max was left feeling very, very confused and what felt like a headache coming on.
“I bet twenty that the giant squid eats him!”
‘I hate my job.’
A/N: This chapter was a bit short I know. The next one will feature Harry, Sirius and Remus visiting Gringotts, and the Grangers will return, so it’ll be a lot longer.
And remember everyone, if you have a friend that wants to be a sparklepire, STOP THEM!! Because nobody REALLY wants to be turned into a sparkly pixie that thinks it’s a vampire. It’s not, it’s a pixie. A sparkly pixie with bipolar and stalker tendencies.
Remember to review. !skcus thgiliwT