After Dudley left, Harry and Ginny went back to the front room and fell on the sofa.
“What do you think of all this?” Harry asked.
“I think you have a great opportunity to be part of another young wizard’s success, Harry.” Ginny said.
Harry sat up and looked down thoughtfully and said nothing. Ginny leaned next to him and whispered:
“You see with your mother’s eyes Harry.”
He looked at her and then she left him alone with his thoughts.
“Well then” Harry said as he came into the kitchen where his children and Brian were getting to know one another. Ginny turned round and saw that her husband had made his decision and would serve as asked.
“We have lots to do. First, I think Brian and all of you will come with me to my study and we’ll go over what we need to get at Diagon Alley.”
Harry read over Brian’s letter and explained to the child all about the books, the robes, finding a wand and the purpose and need of an owl. He did not mention brooms quite yet. They really had to be seen to be believed. Brian listened intently and was truly amazed at it all and not just a little relieved. Brian thought lately that he might be a demon or something. That’s what his brother Edward told him anyway. That he was some dark demon from under the earth and that the creatures he belonged to would someday come and snatch him back down their long endless abyss. Harry noticed Brian’s anxiety.
“Are you alright, then Brian?” You look a little…apprehensive.”
Brian snapped out of his thoughts at once and said, “No, no I’m fine, better than I have been in a long time, actually.”
Harry smiled at him and tousled his hair, having a fair idea what he meant.
The next morning the household was up early. They enjoyed a big breakfast which Harry himself had created. Brian and Lily went outside to the garden to wait for the others. After a while Brian asked
“Are you a wizard too, Lily?”
“No silly, I will be a Witch. Lily replied. It is the same thing, of course, just a different name.”
“Your brothers were talking last night about Quidditch. Brian said. It sounds complicated.”
“Nah” Lily replied I practice with Albus all the time; my mom says I’m a natural.”
It was then that Dudley arrived. Harry and Ginny brought him to the garden where Brian and Lily were talking. Brian ran over to Dudley who bent down to hug him.
“Dad I think I might have a go at Quidditch!” Dudley, who had removed his cap when he walked into the house, absentmindedly returned it to his pate.
“Hmm, well that sounds like an idea, I think.” Dudley glanced at Harry.
“Quidditch is a sport, a game quite like soccer but not quite on the ground and we use sticks. I play myself.” He informed Dudley.
“Get on” Dudley blustered, slapping Harry hard on the back “I didn’t know you could do anything athletic.” taking a piece of gum from his pocket and putting it in his mouth oblivious to the rather insulting remark.
“Yes, well I’m just a “Seeker” not anything too skilled.” Harry said. Ginny rolled her eyes in amusement.
“Well” Dudley said clapping his large hands together “Are we on our way getting all what Brian needs to go wizarding and all.”
Harry and Ginny looked at Dudley and blinked back to reality in unison. “Yeah, yes we’re ready I think.”
Ginny went inside followed by Harry, Dudley and the children. She called to James and Albus and when they were together in the kitchen she made sure she had all their supply lists including Brian’s.
There was much of the same on the list as when Ginny and Harry were first year’s. There were, though, some new items. “The History of the Ministry of Magic—Revised edition”, and for third years: “Perfect Potions”- This book was by Severus Snape as rewritten by Hermione Granger upon finding the old potions book Harry had found on the shelf in Prof. Snape’s classroom, written by Snape as the Half Blood Prince. And lastly, and the one that made Harry a little uncomfortable was “The Testimony of Harry Potter” which was Harry’s statement to The Ministry of Magic that he was required to make for the record some months after the defeat of Voldermort and when Harry was able to speak of it without too much agitation. It turned out that the transcript of the statement itself upon becoming declassified about three years ago and was in a Question and Answer format became a bestseller among wizards and witches and then soon after became required reading.
Ginny handed Brian’s list to Dudley. Dudley looked at it quite puzzled. “I have to get all this myself? I’m used to me fetching being done for me. Well, we’ll figure it out, I reckon.”
It was Harry and Ginny’s turn to be somewhat puzzled at Dudley’s remark.
Dudley had a small “office” on Union Street. Things were getting a little heated with some of his “colleagues” and the law. He certainly didn’t want a little wizard around to peak anybody’s curiosity. He had his son Ed handling the day to day for now.
Ed was sitting behind his dad’s desk and in front of him was Albie, one of Dudley’s number’s runners. Albie was standing with his cap in hand shifting from one foot to the other. Ed popped a mouthful of raisenettes into his mouth he was thoroughly addicted to the candy, he smacked his lips saying "Delicious, every time." Then leaning forward he said “siddown”. Albie groped for the chair behind him and sat.
“What’s Big Willie after? Eh?” Ed asked.
“I dunno Eddie. I really don’t.” answered Albie which was a half- truth at best.
“Look”, said Ed “I noticed and me dad too, he’s got some of his guys pokin’ round here, Albie and I know you talk to them, even drink with them so I’ll ask you again: What’s up?”
“Oh I really can’t…I mean I have no information. They don’t tell me nuthin’” replied Albie nervously
“Guess.” Ed demanded.
“Maybe they’re after somethin’ valuable or whatever, I reckon.” Albie replied.
“Valuable?” Ed asked.
“I dunno, I’m guessin’ at it. What else could it be if it’s anything at all, yeah you know maybe it’s nothing and you and your dad are just nutty.” Cried Albie.
Ed laughed and poured out another handful of raisenettes then looked up at Albie. “Maybe” he said.
“Tell Big Willie’s guys that I want a meet… with Big Willie real soon. Can you do that?” asked Ed.
“I got it Eddie, I really have and I’ll get on it straightaway. You two should be the ones doin’ the talkin’ anyways. Well if it’s all the same I’ll just be takin’ me leave.”
“Get out.” Ed replied and ate the handful of candy.
Albie left but not without knocking the chair over in his haste and tripping towards the door.
Ed Vernon shook his head, took another handful of candy and made a call.
Back at the Potter house on Crescent Circle Harry was explaining floo powder to Dudley and Brian. “So I get in to the fire place, you’re telling me, say where it is I’m headed, blow into the floo stuff and I land where I’m supposed to be?” asked Dudley. “ Is that right?”
“That’s all there is to it.” Said Ginny
Dudley was skeptical but it was important to get Brian where he would be safe.
“Ginny and Lily will go first, then James and Albus then Dudley and Brian, then me. Alright?” asked Harry.
When there were no objections. Harry opened the jar of floo powder.
Ginny and Lily were gone in a green swoosh in an instant. “James and Albus were on their way with ease as well. He looked at Dudley and said "By the way dudley, is that gum your chewing?"
"It is, I've given up smoking, my wife's had it up to here with it."
"Well, Harry said "Just be careful when you..."
"It was too late Dudley held Brian’s hand and with a mouthful of bubble gum, sputtered: “Jiagon Ulley”…
Harry stood there for a moment motionless. Then he started laughing and laughing. He thought he would die right there from plain laughing. He gathered himself together and took off his glasses to rub the tears from his eyes and began to give some thought as to what Dudley said and where it took him and Brian.
Harry apparated to Diagon Alley to find Ginny and the kids. He found them just coming out of Olivander’s. Ginny could see by the look on his face that Harry had a story to tell. Also Dudley and Brian were nowhere to be found.
“What’s happened Harry?” Ginny asked.
“You won’t believe it” Harry said
“Dudley went to transport with the floo powder but had a mouthul of gum, bubble gum I think and I really couldn’t tell you what he said or where he ended up.” Harry was still laughing.
“But dad what about Brian? Lily asked. You know he might be a little scared right about now.”
Ginny agreed and Harry reassured them that he would get to the bottom of it somehow.
As for Dudley and Brian they ended up falling into a rural area outside of Sussex known to Muggles as just a rather useless overgrown park-like lot but to the Wizarding world was known as Dragon Gulley. It was, of course unplottable. There, these dragons did not expect to be disturbed especially sudden-like and very especially not by someone who thought that cursing and screaming and waving about is a good idea.
For a moment, all was quiet. Dudley was now standing straight and keeping Brian close behind him. The dragons, for their part, were forming a circle around their unexpected visitors. Dudley decided that before they were completely surrounded he would gather Brian in his arms and make a mad dash for it. Before Dudley could make a move one of the Dragons came out of the circle and raised its head and looked down on Dudley and Brian and without preamble and with some authority asked
“Who are you or what are you and what is it you wish?”
Dudley choked and held Brian even tighter in case one of this rabble had any idea either one of them would make a tasty morsel.
These dragons were much smaller than Dudley had ever imagined dragons to be, which he never imagined for the life of him that dragons could actually be, let alone that they could be asking questions of him. His mind was reeling, perhaps for the first time in his life. The dragons were about the size of ostriches. Their appearance was somewhat like that of the Swedish Short Snout in that their color and texture was a silvery blue and they were attractive to behold. These dragons however had wings as fine as lace, long lashes covering their eyes and what appeared to be golden manes down their backs and, of course, had mastered language. (They had only recently been discovered in the last couple of years sending “Fantastic Beasts & Where to Find Them” into is 53rd edition!)
Dudley knew none of this. Only that he needed a way out and if being able to communicate intelligently was his ticket out he had a feeling it would be a hard departure.
“Listen blokes I was supposed to meet my cousin Harry Potter in this Diagon Alley” he explained grabbing a piece of paper out of his back pocket to make sure he had that name right. When he looked back up at the dragons they were muttering to one another when what Dudley figured was the ‘Boss’ dragon turned to him once again.
“You are kin of Harry Potter?” The dragon asked.
“That’s right” said Dudley a little defiantly.
The dragon continued “And who, may I ask, is the hatchling behind you?”
“Well that’s not important” he said while tucking Brian behind him once more.
“How would you know who my cousin is, anyway?” ventured Dudley to the dragons.
“You are not serious.” said the dragon.
The dragon continued “I go back to my original question: “What is it that you wish from us.”
“Nothing I just gotta see Harry is all and right quick if I might say.” answered Dudley.
“Very well” answered the dragon. “A tall order but we shall do our best.”
The dragon closed his graceful eyes and a golden hue came around him.
Back in Diagon Alley Ginny and Harry were discussing ways to find out where Dudley had gone by dissecting what he had said putting different accents on the words when Harry began to feel dizzy. He swayed somewhat and Ginny grabbed his arm.
“Harry? What is it?” She asked. She brushed his hair back from his forehead with her hand and examined the scar. It was quite pale. She was relieved at that and touched his face. He was perspiring. Harry looked up a Ginny and said “Ginny, I can hardly see you.”
Ginny rushed Harry outside; they were enjoying a cup of tea at the Rose Café. She told James to take the other two children back inside. While she was supporting Harry and about to ask him what he needed there before her very eyes he vanished. Not disapparated but evaporated and was gone! Ginny screamed.
Harry landed in the middle of the circle, not moving. Dudley was astonished.
“You boys mean business don’t you? Look at this!” Dudley said.
Dudley got down next to Harry and slapped his face lightly when Harry came to.
“Dudley what in the world is happening. Where’s Brian?” Harry asked trying to get his wits about him.
Brian poked out from behind his father and squealed “Here I am Uncle Harry!”
The Boss dragon nudged Harry to his feet. “What the..” was all Harry could say.
“Well I’m glad you’re surprised too” said Dudley.
“This is quite the fix isn’t it?” He added.
The Dragon addressed Harry bowing to him he said “Mr. Potter I am quite sorry if you’re trip was, shall we say, unexpected and not a little smooth. On behalf of all my pride I bid you welcome and we are quite pleased and honored to meet you Harry Potter.”
Lordriel the name of the “Boss” dragon tilted his head in Dudley’s direction.
“This being says that he knows, in fact is a relation to you, and it was his wish to see you quickly. We, of course, cannot deny a wish to whoever asks in honesty and truth. Hence we summoned you. Again, our apologies.”
The dragon bowed again and Harry dusted himself off and said “Yeah..OK, right. I. I’m honored to meet you guys as well. I don’t believe I’ve ever met your kind before.”
“No, most certainly you have not for we are new to this habitat. But we have heard of your great and noble deeds Harry Potter and we are in your debt as are all intelligent beings.”
“What’s he going on about?” asked Dudley impatiently.
“Oh, I won a fight once” replied Harry.
The dragons were amused by the understatement.
Lordriel said “I notice that the hatchling looks quite like you Harry Potter. Is he yours?”
“No” Harry replied “He’s his” pointing at Dudley.
“Remarkable said one of the dragons. I sense greatness here other than yours Harry Potter.”
Harry was not very puzzled at the statement since he had his own ideas about Brian.
“Well, thank you for your hospitality and conversation” said Harry but we need to get back. My wife was very frightened when I disappeared. “
“Of course” said Lordrial
Harry, Dudley and Brian arrived back in Diagon Alley where Harry had left Ginny and the kids. Ginny had taken the children though and headed towards the Flourish and Blotts where she knew they could regroup and she could think what to do. She was hesitant to leave the area because of the way Harry was “taken” against his will. She hoped and prayed he would be returned safely close to where he disappeared.
James didn’t witness the disappearance but nothing frightened his mom so he knew this wasn’t good. James told Ginny that she and Lily and Albus should return home while he remained to see if he could somehow reconstruct what happened. It was then he turned and saw his dad running towards the book store.
James got up and ran towards his father. James wanted to see Harry first before his mother did before to be sure that he was alright and ‘unchanged’. Harry saw the concern in James’ face as he approached and hugged him tightly telling him that he was fine and that there was no need to worry. James looked into Harry’s face and Harry smiled at him then James relaxed and fell into to Harry’s arms.
Ginny came running towards them “Harry, are you alright, are you hurt?” she asked.
“No, I’m fine”, Harry said. Then Ginny saw Dudley and Brian.
“We saw the most beautiful dragons Aunt Ginny. Briand turned to Harry and in a low voice said "They gave me this.” Brian held out his hand and there was a beautiful key. It was gold and silver at the same time, shimmering yet solid.
“When did they give you that?” Harry asked.
“While you were talking to them, right before we left. One of them took my hand and gave it to me and said “For later” replied Brian.
“Keep it safe” Harry told him, folding it back into his hand and don’t tell anyone else about it. Do you understand, Brian”? Brian nodded.
“Let’s sit for a bit, I’m very tired all of a sudden.” Harry said.
Dudley and Brian sat together at a small table with a large stack of books on it. “Whose books are all these” asked Dudley.
“Those are Brian’s books.” Ginny replied.
“What in the world..” Dudley gasped.
Dudley started to absent-mindedly look at the different books when he came upon “The Testimony of Harry Potter.” Here he stopped. He looked over at Harry. He was busy talking to Ginny and the kids. Dudley flipped through the pages randomly and stopped towards the end…
M.O.M: “Mr. Potter can you recall for us what happened when you first entered the forest .”
H.P: “Yes. I walked about 30 yards. I remember it began to feel cool, almost refreshing. I began to shiver somewhat. I remember thinking - yes I was a horcrux and in order for Voldermort to be destroyed all of his horcruxes had to be destroyed since they were all a part of him, so I knew I had to die”
M.O.M: “Mr. Potter, do you need a moment, we can recess if you like.”
H.P: “No, I would like to continue, thanks.”
M.O.M: “Very well. There is water there if you need it.”
H.P: “Thanks. I removed the ‘snitch’ from my pocket as I told you. The words appeared on it ‘I open at the close’ the words made sense to me now and the ‘snitch’ opened for the first time.”
M.O.M: “So, Mr. Potter it is your testimony that the ‘snitch’ never opened before this after your many attempts, is that correct?”
H.P: “Yes, that’s right. It only opened after I accepted what must be done.”
M.O.M: “Was there anything inside the ‘snitch’?”
H.P: “Yes, the ‘snitch’ contained a stone, the’ resurrection stone’. I held it in my hand and a very light, benevolent sensation came to me. I saw the apparitions.”
M.O.M: “Please tell us who the apparitions were.”
H.P: “The apparitions were of my mother and father, Sirius Black and Remus Lupin.”
M.O.M: “What, if anything did they say?”
H.P: “I....approached my mother first and she said (pause)
M.O.M: “I realize that this is difficult Mr. Potter; but we must have your first- hand account of this Historic event. “
H.P. “She told me how brave she thought I had been and that she will always be with me.”
M.O.M: “Mr. Potter?”
H.P. “I’m fine. I then asked Sirius what dying felt like you know if it would hurt. And he told me it was just like falling asleep. I told Professor Lupin I was sorry that his son would not know him. He said that others will tell his son about him and his wife Tonks. They all promised that they would stay with me to the end; and that they couldn’t be seen by anyone else; and that they would stay with me.”
M.O.M:” What became of the resurrection stone?”
H.P: “It was lost”
M.O.M: “Lost? Well what did you do then?”
H.P: “I walked on to meet my death.”
M.O.M: “Tell us please what occurred at that meeting Mr. Potter”
It was then that Dudley snapped the book shut because Harry was standing at the table watching him. Harry noticed what he was reading and their eyes met. “I never knew you Harry Potter.” Dudley whispered.
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