Damon was walking through the French Quarter one sunny Saturday afternoon. It was just like any weekend day for him. It was now summertime and the tourist season was in full swing. The city had filled with families enjoying the rich history and culture of New Orleans. He always loved the sights and sounds of all of the tourists. Even the lucky dog vendors were out in force today. Most of the drinking and partying was done up on Bourbon St. and since Damon was only seven years old he stayed away from there. He liked hanging out in Jackson Square, it was very old and the buildings were beautiful. A lot of tourists gathered in the square because of St. Louis Cathedral and the park like setting of the area, so a lot of street vendors frequented the square as well. You could find beautiful paintings and street performers, the whole place just made you feel good. New Orleans could be considered a scary place for most kids Damon’s age, but he had grown up here and had what older people called street smarts. He was also very intelligent; he started speaking at a very early age and could already read pretty much anything you put in front of him. Damon did not understand how rare it was to have both street and book smarts; he was a very unique child.
He never understood why sometimes the tourists were really nice to him, especially the ones with children in tow. He did not understand that his clothes were dirty and ragged, or that he had dirt smudges on his face. He thought this was customary since it was how it had always been for him. He knew some kids got hand me down clothes from their older siblings, but all his clothes came from charity, so sometimes they were already soiled or ripped when he got them. Most of the tourists who saw him knew he was probably an incredibly poor inner city kid, and they just wanted to be nice to him. They were torn between their compassion at seeing a child in such poverty and the immediate need to distance their own children from him. A few times he had been chased away by angry parents when he was only trying to play with kids his own age, and sometimes the police would run him off. Those occasions were rare though because Damon was just such a good natured kid.
A few minutes ago one of the tourists had asked Damon for directions to JAX Brewery, a local mall that was built in the old building of a famous New Orleans brewery. Damon offered to walk with them over there so they would not get lost, and upon completing his job they offered him a five dollar bill. He was just about ready to head back home since dusk was rapidly approaching, when he remembered the money in his pocket. Since he knew his foster parents would take the money, he wanted to get some candy and a soda before he headed home. He was taking one of his shortcuts through an alley beside the cathedral known as Pirates Alley when three older kids stepped out of the shadows and surrounded him.
“Hey kid where are you going, shouldn’t you be home with your mommy and daddy?” one of the older kids asked Damon.
“I was on my way home right now” Damon replied with apprehension in his voice.
Damon was a small child and since he spent so much time on the streets he had learned to always avoid conflict.
“Well if you’re going home you should just give us that money that guy gave you back there”
“Come on guys, it’s all I have. I just wanted to buy some candy and a soda.” Damon pleaded with the older boys.
One of the boys stepped forward and punched him in the stomach causing Damon to hunch over and hug his stomach in pain.
“Look kid we can stand here and beat on you all day and just take the money or you can just give it to us” the leader of the group said with an impatient tone.
Damon tried to run past two of them and the leader threw a glancing blow to Damon’s head, it didn’t hurt but he began to feel very dizzy and things got real hazy. The last thing he remembered was getting very angry at these older boys for trying to steal his money. He repeated that thought in his head just before he blacked out, ‘It’s my money and it’s all I have’
Damon opened his eyes and realized some time had passed because it was definitely almost dark out. His next realization was that he was still standing and he could not understand how he had not fallen on the ground when he passed out. He quickly looked around for the older boys but it was almost impossible to see in the darkness, as he walked away he tripped over something that he had not seen on the ground. All three of the older boys were lying unconscious on the ground, they were still breathing and they did not look beat up or bleeding or anything. When Damon checked his pocket he realized the five dollar bill was still there, and he got spooked. He ran away from Pirates Alley as fast as his little legs could carry him. He did not know what had happened and at this point he could care less, he had his money and obviously no broken bones so he was happy. He hid the money under his mattress before he went to take a bath that night.
Damon went about his normal routine for the next few weeks as if nothing had happened. Then one night as he sat on his front porch enjoying the evening and waging his own personal battle with the horde of mosquitoes that threatened to eat him, he noticed the same gang of boys approach from down the street. He felt relatively safe since his foster parent’s front yard had a fence around it so he stayed seated on the steps of the porch; he figured he could run inside if they tried anything. As the boys came around one of the bushes and walked in front of Damon’s house they noticed him sitting there looking at them. They all looked at each other and took off running as fast as they could in the direction they had just come in screaming something about voodoo boy. Damon just smiled; he liked a mystery especially if it benefitted him.
“Merlin, why is it taking so long for them to let me go?” Harry lamented to his group of friends
“Well considering you were pronounced dead just a week ago, I would say your recovery has been very quick” Hermione retorted sarcastically.
“Yeah, and anyway they are going to let you go tonight. Healer Jacobsen wanted you to have one more round of potions. Besides Bill wanted to come by and talk to you now that you are awake and no longer drooling on yourself.” Ron said
Ron always had a way of making the most complicated of subjects appear simple, Harry thought. It wasn’t that he was stupid or anything, it was just easier for him to point out the obvious rather than dissect every little detail like Hermione did. Harry remembered a time when the three of them were standing around waiting for the rest of the family at Diagon Alley. Harry began pacing the street due to his current inactivity and Hermione was muttering about all the awful things that could have happened. A robbery at Gringott’s, a fire, a dark wizard attack, etcetera and then Ron just looked at his watch and informed them they were forty minutes earlier than the agreed upon meeting time.
Harry loved his friends, he always felt empty when they weren’t around. He knew they were dating now but that didn’t matter, they were a team and together they could take on any obstacle put in front of them. Hermione was the genius; she always had her nose buried in a book looking for the right answer. Ron was loyal; never one to back down from a fight and always had a strong moral character. He would stand beside Harry through anything and had proven that throughout their friendship.
Ron and Hermione were the first people Harry saw when he woke up from his coma. They had been talking ever since, barely sleeping at all over the last two days. Harry told them everything about the door in his mind and the memory that Dumbledore had implanted there. Hermione tried to explain about the phoenix, but kind of had a hard time understanding it herself. Ron just blurted out what happened because it was simpler that way and Harry understood what he said, he also knew the parts he did not understand Hermione would figure out. When Harry told them about his meeting at Gringott’s Hermione became all excited, Ron and Harry just rolled their eyes because with all the wealth and property that he mentioned, all she heard was libraries.
“Imagine ancient libraries with all sorts of knowledge locked away in them. We will probably be the first people to look at some of those books in centuries.” Hermione stated with an awed voice and glassy look.
Just then Bill walked in and greeted everyone. “How ya feeling Harry” Bill asked
“I will be a lot better when they let me out of here. How is everything with the vaults at Gringott’s” Harry replied.
Bill began to explain that was why he was here. He had finished his audit of the vaults and began the transfer of the contents into a single vault. It was much bigger and had greater security than his previous vaults. Harry just sat there nodding while Bill began, he did not know much about finance and that was why he was happy he hired Bill to be his financial planner / accountant. Bill began to explain about the deal his family had made with the English commonwealth generations ago, the deal had led to various investments being made in the Potter name. Some of his investments included what was the Royal Dutch Shipping Co. that eventually became Royal Dutch Shell and then Shell Petroleum and that was just the beginning. It seemed that the Potter family and therefore Harry Potter was fully vested in hundreds of companies. Some of them he owned outright, but most of them he just had a large shareholder stake and pretty much all of his investments were in muggle companies. Bill handed Harry a packet with an itemized list of the companies and shares owned, his properties, and all other assets that were listed in his name. The packet also included a sealed envelope from Albus Dumbledore addressed to Harry, Bill told Harry he had tried to open it to place it on the inventory list but it gave him one of the nastiest jinxes he had ever felt. Harry opened the letter carefully but did not get jinxed by anything; obviously his old professor had intended the letter for his eyes only. Harry began to read the familiar scrawling script the he knew was Dumbledore’s.
To my brave young friend Harry,
This letter is my postmortem congratulations for you and also a final way to be the professor and friend I should have been. Obviously since you are reading this my plan has succeeded, and hopefully my demise was not in vain. I made many mistakes in my life; I fear that I kept too much from you but understand that I am old and felt the right to jealously guard my secrets. Well now I am dead and hopefully all of the chess pieces have made their final move. You should probably already know that Professor Snape was instructed to kill me and make it look like a murder. I needed him to be fully trusted by Tom to make all my plans work. Hopefully you will have the chance to mend your relationship with Severus; he is truly a gifted wizard and loved your mother dearly. Given the opportunity you two could quickly become a force to be reckoned with in the wizarding world.
If you will allow me to make an educated guess, I believe it is the summer before your eighteenth birthday. Assuming you took Mr. Weasley and Mrs. Granger on your quest for the Horcruxes then you should have taken almost a year to finish. Forgive me for sidetracking you on the Deathly Hallows but those items as you probably already know were desperately needed to finish your quest.
I left you some items along with your family estate, I am sure the goblins have already informed you of the libraries. It is my hope and intention for you to utilize these fountains of knowledge and allow Mrs. Granger to assist you in your studies. You have a family secret that must be controlled, I have placed many safeguards around these secrets and hopefully you have not needed to access any of them yet. One of the most important was a memory implanted in your subconscious. I have left instruction in the library for you to unlock the powers that remain hidden within you. Understand that it is imperative for you to study and learn to control your magic. Hermione and Ron hopefully will remain by your side because they will be able to grow their magic exponentially with the knowledge in these libraries. This is not school Harry, this is real life. Your future survival depends on your studious examination of the material; you need to understand where you came from. You need to understand what you are, and what you are to become. You will find genealogies, works of art, ancient secrets, and a true history of magic and I believe it goes without saying that this should remain secret from the rest of the world.
Let me finish this with a story and a word of caution. Years ago I had the pleasure of leading the wedding ceremony of James Potter and Lilly Evans. It was a small secretive ceremony because of the constant threat of death eater attack. After the ceremony I was approached by a wizard I had never had the pleasure of meeting. When I asked him if he was here for the bride or groom he told me neither, he was here for their child. Well of course I was intrigued so I allowed him to continue, because he was a very interesting wizard and his amazing life was defined by his mostly weathered face. He explained that James and Lilly were from wizarding lines that were not allowed to be crossed until the appointed time. The man went on to explain that his family had been tasked for centuries to watch for signs and deal with any threats to these family lines. The Potter family had been wizards for centuries and the surname had changed many times but always had strong magical blood flowing through its veins. The Evans family was different, every few centuries an incredibly powerful witch would be born to this family and this was the first time in history an Evans had met a Potter and all of the signs were right for the birth of their son. We finished a few more rounds of drinks and he departed with the instruction to contact him once Lilly was with child. I did that shortly after I found out and when you were born he assisted me with locking a portion of your magical ability, and gave me a second set of instructions. Now back to the present, Harry your locked powers would not have increased your ability to deal with Voldermort. It is a completely separate set of circumstances but I must ask you to fulfill this gentleman’s second request. He needs to speak with you as soon as you are comfortable with your new powers. He explained that he would know when that time came, allow him to help you. I trust him completely and I have studied the topic through the years. You will need him and allow him the opportunity to release his family from the burden of being watchers.
I love you young man, and I only want the best for you. Please remember that everything I have done was because I thought it was the best course. I may have been wrong or misguided but it was always an attempt to protect you.
Well that’s it for this chapter. Please review and let me know how I am doing, and thank you for reading. I am updating and uploading as fast as I can but sometimes the chapters get denied because of my inexperience with this medium. Please bear with me.
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