Harry sat down across from Dudley. “I see you’ve been reading ‘the Book’ Harry said.
“Harry, I don’t, I mean I can’t believe that you went through anything like this. I mean it’s shocking and I only read a small part.”
Dudley gave a small laugh of disbelief and continued “and then you had to come back to our house and were treated like some...” Dudley’s voice trailed off and he shook his head in shame.
Harry glanced over at the book. All sorts of memories he thought.
“They were fascinating times, Dudley. I don’t really dwell too much on my time at Privet Drive.”
Dudley just kept looking down.
“I really think mostly of my parents and maybe how things would’ve been if they hadn’t died”.
“Listen Harry” Dudley began.
Harry knew Dudley was going to try to make some kind of amends for the lonely and difficult childhood Harry experienced but Harry interrupted him and said “I’m really impressed and very happy that you’re taking such good care of Brian.”
“Yeah” Dudley said.
Dudley was relieved Harry changed the subject although he knew that eventually he would have to get Harry out of that cupboard someday.
“Those dragons though.” Dudley said.
He couldn’t believe the dragons. First off, they were really beautiful. He would have expected fire-breathing, nasty half-wits with nothing on their minds but turning a fella into ashes; but not this lot.
Dudley’s talk about the dragons reminded Harry about the key the dragons had given Brian. Harry was hoping Brian told no one.
“ You know Harry, about Brian, Dudley began “ I think there’s something I ought to tell...” at that moment Dudley’s cell phone rang which caused Harry to jump.
“Just my phone, mate.” Dudley said laughing and gave Harry a little smack on the cheek. “I’ll be right back.”
Ginny came over and sat next to her husband.
“You Okay?” she asked.
“Oh yeah…fine, brilliant.” Harry said.
Ginny knew her husband too well to accept that answer.
“What is it? Is it that he read part of that book? I know you consider the book deeply personal Harry but you have to know that you are an example of courage and hope and we love you.” Harry raised his eyes to Ginny and a huge smile grew on his face.
“I don't know where I would've ended up without you.” Harry said.
“I’ll say” retorted Ginny and they both laughed.
“You know”, Harry said “I have a feeling that something’s just not right.”
“Not right?” asked Ginny “How do you mean?”
“I don’t know exactly. Harry replied. “It’s not anything I can put my finger on…yet, just a feeling.”
Harry got up to talk to the kids and get them going. Ginny looked after him wondering whether his ‘feeling’ could be right.
Dudley’s call was from his son Edward. “What’s going on Edward?” Dudley asked.
“First off” Edward replied “I’ve been trying to get in touch with you for almost two hours. Where the heck have you been?”
“Talking to dragons, Edward what else?”
“Very funny” Edward replied. “Listen, I spoke to Albie and he says he doesn’t know of anything that Big Willie could want or why he would be sniffing around; but then Albie wouldn’t know the truth if he fell over it.”
“Did you set up a meeting so we can get to the bottom of this nonsense?” asked Dudley.
“That’s why I’m calling” “Albie got right back to me, said we can all meet in the morning.”
“No” Dudley said. “That’s no good.”
“Why not?” Edward asked. “We should meet as soon as we can Dad.”
“Don’t ya see Eddie?” Dudley said “Brian won’t be on his way to the Wizard school...Hogwish until the morning of the day after tomorrow. I don’t want to see Big Willie until I’m sure Brian is safe on that train.”
“What makes you think that train is so safe?” Edward asked.
“Harry says once he’s on the platform, then he is out of the reach of any ‘muggle’”. Dudley replied.
“Out of reach of any what?” Edward asked.
“Oh for crimony sakes” Dudley replied, “Muggle!, Muggle! “Any regular person, Edward like you and me…Muggle, for cryin’ out loud.”
“Alright, alright I’m new at this not an old hand like you.” Edward retorted.
“I think we’d both better get “old hand” at it pretty soon.” Said Dudley.
“I’m sure Big Willie wants to get his hands on Brian. Dudley continued. Maybe he’s thinking Brian could work him some magic.”
“By the way, I’m thinking of lettin’ Harry in on what’s been going’ on.” Dudley said.
“Harry?” asked Edward incredulously. “What good would that do us Dad?” “I mean he’s not exactly savvy, you know.”
“Harry’s more than you think he is Edward. He’s more than I ever thought he was anyway.” Dudley replied.
“What are you going on about?” Edward asked confused at his father’s sudden respect for his cousin.
“I think Harry will help us make sure Brian is safe especially if I explain that some hoodlums want to get their hands on him.”
“Sure.” Edward replied. “I just hope this school or train or whatever it is is as safe as Harry says it is.” “I hope you can trust him.”
“I know I can trust Harry.” Dudley said “I only hope Harry will trust me.”
“Get back to me when you have a meeting set” Dudley continued. “Then I can talk to Big Willie. I mean it’s a cinch I’m not gonna let him take Brian away from me so we’ll see what he has on his
“Alright.” Edward replied and they rang off.
Dudley put his cell away and walked over to Harry, Ginny and the kids.
Big Willie was waiting for Montague Sidebottom in the vestibule of Mr. Sidebottom’s townhouse on Raffington Square. Willie was a well-dressed businessman by his own right and lived in a stately home of his own. He was impressed, however, with the luxury that was before him now. The floor was a cream marble. The entryway had a beautiful winding staircase of oak and straight ahead was a formal living room. The widows in the living room were floor to ceiling and draped with sage raw silk. Through the windows one could see a fountain and formal gardens. Mr. Sidebottom came down the staircase and invited Big Willie into his study which was accessed through a small hallway through the east side of the home. There was a fire burning in the fireplace. The room was done in a cherry wood panel. The floor was matching wood and it was covered with a fine Persian rug. Mr. Sidebottom’s desk was a large heavy walnut affair. There was a green desk lamp and various pens and a copy of a newspaper called the Daily Prophet which Mr. Sidebottom removed rather quickly.
There was also a beautifully carved wooden box. The box was Dark pine wood with a patina of gold to it. It had a small keyhole and Big Willie presumed it was locked.
“Have you been able to procure a way for me to access the boy, Mr. Frame?”
“Yeah about that. I am meeting with the boy’s father on the 2nd, just a couple of days from now.” Replied Big Willie.
“I tried to make the meeting tomorrow but they wouldn’t do that. “I think they’re getting a little skittish here.” He added.
“I mean I think they might have an idea of what we’re after.” Big Willie continued.
“You know you can’t keep things completely…covert...shall we say." Big Willie said "and I know you’re very resourceful; but Dursley’s pretty creative himself. I mean how are you going to separate the child from his father?” asked Big Willie
Mr. Sidebottom was standing looking out of the window onto the garden.
“I’m quite sure they know exactly what we are after. After September 1st we cannot reach the boy. He will be beyond our reach." Montague Sidebottom said.
It was important for Montague Sidebottom to be able to get a hold of Brian Dursley. Montague Sidebottom was a Wizard of some shady repute. He was an expert in legends, myths, prophecies and rumor. A rather interesting rumor had emerged of late.
The rumor involved a young wizard who would aspire to greatness having coming from greatness. He would possess and old magic given to him from an old life. He and he alone, a wizard of truth, can wield the Key of Requirement for those whose needs are true. Montague was very interested in finding the Wizard of this rumor.
After all, a Key of Requirement could do many things not the least of which would be to open the box he had stolen or rather procured from the Ministry of Magic containing what might very well be one of the most powerful amulets known to Wizardry and Witchcraft.
So Montague kept the rumor ever alive in his mind always searching for its answer.
Then it happened that while reading “The Testimony of Harry Potter” he happened upon the name Dursley in a footnote. He didn’t think much of it at the time. After some weeks and while visiting with an acquaintance, one Big Willie Frame, the name Dursley came up in the conversation.
Montague asked Big Willie about Dudley Dursley and Big Willie told him that he was a second rate gambler and confidence man with an office on the south side. Montague did not think that this could be the same Dursley mentioned in the ‘The Testimony of Harry Potter’ as Potter’s cousin and dismissed the idea.
Then on an afternoon only a few days later Big Willie was having tea at a small sidewalk shop when Montague spotted him talking with another man. The man that Big Willie was speaking with was introduced to Montague as one Dudley Dursley.
After observing Mr. Dursley for some time, Montague didn’t think that this muggle could have anything whatsoever to do with Wizards, witchcraft, Harry Potter or rumors and he was about to leave when ‘round the corner a young boy came running and ran right up to Dudley. Dudley spoke with the boy who had just come back from getting a piece of his favorite candy.
Montague looked at the boy and saw the astonishing resemblance to one Harry Potter. Well, this changed his assessment of Mr. Dursley and Montague realized for better or for worse this man was related somehow to Harry Potter, a Wizard of greatness indeed. He could possibly be powerful enough to be given the responsibility of the Key and the time of the rumor, the wizard coming to his 11th year was perfect.
After having the boy watched by Big Willie’s men, it was apparent to Big Willie Frame’s spies as well as to Mr. Dursley that the boy was having the usual hard time keeping his magic under control. Montague needed to get to the boy to see if this was the Wizard who could, indeed, wield the Key of Requirement.
Back in his study Mr. Sidebottom said “Somehow you’re Mr. Dursley has figured out just how to handle his son.”
Mr. Sidebottom finally continued to Big Willie speaking more to himself than to Willie. “My concern is not so much that he has figured this out but rather who is helping him access Hogwarts.” “If it is whom I suspect, then that presents complications.”
“Access what?” “What are you talking about?” Big Willy asked becoming very confused.
As if just remembering that Big Willie was in the study Mr. Sidebottom said “Don’t concern yourself, Mr. Frame.”
“I am afraid that I will no longer need your services in fetching the boy.” “I will have to be more direct in my approach.” Montague Sidebottom said.
“If you don’t mind, Mr. Sidebottom said “I have to be somewhere in rather a hurry.”
Mr. Sidebottom pressed a button on the side of the massive desk. In a few moments a small elf-like creature stood in the entryway of the study.
“Yes Master, sir?” said the house elf."
Fidelis, please show Mr. Frame to the door. Thank you.” Said Mr. Sidebottom.
Big Willie was stunned. He looked down at the little creature and his eyes became almost as big as the house elf’s.
“This way sir” said Fidelis in his small but distinct voice.
Finally Big Willie couldn’t contain himself “What in the world are you?” He blurted.
“I am a house elf; sir if that’s of any help to you.” The elf said.
Fidelis looked back and saw Mr. Sidebottom take out his wand and when they reached the front door Big Willie had no idea what he was doing there or any memory of the whole ordeal at all.
Fidelis softly closed the big door and shuffled back to the kitchen.
Montague Sidebottom reckoned that about now Mr. Dursley just might be preparing the lad for school. Yes, he thought, what was the name of that little square of shops that young wizards and witches patronize?
“Accio”: Book of Information!” In no time at all a huge book came floating through the door of Mr. Sidebottom’s study but not before he heard Fidelis give a yelp trying to dodge the thing on the way to the kitchen.
“Now, let me see,” said Montague to the book. “Give me: Where to buy a young wizard’s first wand,” commanded Montague, “Yes that ought to do it.”
The book moaned and groaned and complained as it usually did. It knew everything, of course and found most wizards and witches quite boring, if you don’t mind.
“You have arrived.” The book snorted.
Montague took a look: “Ollivander’s II, Diagon Alley, London.
“That’s it.” That’s where they’d be about now – Diagon Alley.” “Why I haven’t been there since I was a lad” mused Montague. “Well, can’t waste any time now can I?” He disapparated at once.
Upon arriving in Diagon Alley, Montague was immediately taken in by memories past. He had a rather privileged childhood. He was remembering some of his mates of those days: Regulas Black, and...oh what was his name? Yes, of course Lucius Malfoy. He only remembered James Potter vaguely. Montague did not play Quidditch nor did he get into the mischief James Potter managed so well. I swear, Montague thought, that boy was always up to no good!
He walked around a bit, careful not to be seen just yet. Montague had never met Harry Potter in person; but like everyone else he’d seen his picture countless times in the Daily Prophet. After a time he saw, speaking on one of those ‘ tell phones’, Dudley Dursley. As he looked round he saw Harry Potter and his ginger-haired wife. He observed several children when he saw the smallest of them turn towards him. He ducked besides the building but he had had enough of a glance to know that Brian was with them. They looked as though they were getting ready to leave.
Harry Potter, Mr. Sidebottom mused, Neutralizing Harry Potter. Neutralizing Harry Potter quickly enough before he knew what was happening. Not bloody likely, Montague thought but he had little choice. He did have the advantage of surprise after all and he knew he would need every advantage. He took out his wand, and with all the stealth he could muster he walked up to the family. “Expelliarmus!” he said in a quiet voice to Harry whose wand went flying across the cobblestone street. Harry looked up to see Sidebottom coming towards his family. Sidebottom’s black robes flowing. Ginny grabbed her wand but before
she could lift it Sidebottom Called “Stupefy”! Ginny hit the ground and Harry ran towards her then toward the children.
Montague grabbed Brian but not before Dudley jumped him. Albus and James grabbed Sidebottom by the arm. It made no difference to Sidebottom he disapparated with all four of them clinging to him for dear life.
Harry went over to Ginny and held her head gently.
“I’m alright Harry.” She assured him.
“The children, where are the children?” she asked.
“I don’t know what’s happened yet.” Harry said as he helped Ginny to her feet.
Montague Sidebottom and his four friends apparated inside of FAO Schwarz, a rather large toy emporium in Manhattan, New York, USA. Their abrupt appearance went unnoticed as Montague figured.
Mr. Sidebottom owned the toy shop for many years. His new friends were at a loss as to where they could be and the surroundings were strange enough to stop Brian and his three sidekicks dead in their tracks.
“Now let’s all get a grip on ourselves, shall we?” Montague said pointing his wand at Albus and James.
“Expelliarmus” he whispered as both their wands fell to the floor and rolled over to Montague who raised them towards his hands and put them under his cloak in the wink of an eye.
“Just one damn minute you little half-wit” screamed Dudley.
“Why Mr. Sidebottom is everything alright sir?” asked the store manager.
“Oh yes, quite” lied Montague. “I’m just showing my friends around the shop”
They walked passed shelves of candies, stuffed animals the size of full grown men, dolls, games and they finally stopped in a corner of the store called “The Corner of Wizard and Witch” Two street signs intersecting on a pole one marked Wizard the other Witch.
“I couldn’t help myself, you know. I make a fortune turning wizardry and witchcraft into games and delights for muggles!”
James was trying hard not to be too distracted. Albus’ eyes were wide as saucers.
“Those wands, they’re not…they can’t be real” said Albus in disbelief.
“Of course not, Muggles like to pretend they are. It’s all in good muggle fun!”
James grabbed Montague by the arm it was time to get down to business and he said “You’re not getting anywhere near this boy. If you’re a wizard, what do you want with him anyway?”
Montague eyed James for a moment. Was it possible, he thought, that this young man knows nothing of the Key? That his father Harry Potter never mentioned the appearance of the Key? If that were true, then all Montague had to do was con the boy and his family into using the key and everything would be ‘jake’ they could all be on their way. Since conning was a talent of Montague Sidebottom’s he felt very at home.
“I can see that you are a very astute lad, Mr. Potter. I am not after your cousin Brian here; rather I am interested in his safety, probably more than you are.”
Montague turned to Brian “Young master, have you been given a Key in the last few days?” Brian looked surprised but knew enough not to look too taken aback. Harry told him not to tell anyone about the Key and he didn’t mean to.
“I don’t know what you talking about. I mean I haven’t any sort of key.”
“What are you getting at?” Asked Dudley “What’s any key got to do with anything?” Montague and Dudley went at it for a moment when James leaned over to Brian and in a whisper he asked. “Listen; do you know what he’s talking about?” “Tell me Brian. It’s important.” Brian looked at James and knew he could trust him. He nodded slightly and patted his pants pocket.
Harry, Ginny and Lily apparated back home. Once there Harry sent
Maggie, his owl directly to Hermione and Ron with a note:
Hermione: I need you and Ron quickly. We are in need of some fast thinking. HURRY! Signed HP
Ginny was sitting on the sofa thinking of James and Albus and even Brian. Let them be safe she thought. Harry went over to her and sat down next to her.
“They’ll be alright James is very smart and Albus is as well. They’ll be alright.” He assured her. She looked up at him and then fell into his arms weeping. Harry held her when Ron and Hermione appeared in the
“Harry?” where are you?”
“In here Hermione.” Harry answered. He held Ginny and looked up at Ron and Hermione.
“Harry, what’s happened?” Hermione asked.
Ron knelt in front of his sister and she looked at him. “I’m alright.” I’ll be alright”
“Hermione, do you know anything about…I don’t even know if this has anything to do with what’s happened …” Harry said.
“Go on Harry.” Hermione urged.
“Do you know anything about a certain key?”
Hermione’s faced changed and she gasped slightly.
“Tell me Hermione” Harry demanded.
“We’ve been researching this for some time now, Harry at the Ministry I mean” she said turning to Ginny and Ron.
“There is talk of a certain Key that is supposed to be passed on to a Great Wizard who will wield it with wisdom and truth. The Wizard will get the key from the last of a civilization that is dying out and wish to pass the Key to a new race. As far as we know this wizard will aspire to greatness and will be descended from greatness and the Key is old magic which will be passed to this wizard by an old life.”
“I have to tell you something then Hermione.” Harry looked over at his wife and Ron.
“I haven’t mentioned this to anyone because I didn’t quite know what it meant myself.” Harry confessed.
Turning again to Ginny, Harry said “Ginny, remember when I was pulled away by the magic of those dragons?”
Ginny looked at Harry somewhat puzzled. “Yes, you said that they were beautiful dragons and that they spoke to you and Brian and Dudley. What does that have to do with...?”
Harry answered “The dragons gave Brian a key. They said to him only: “For later.”
“He told me about it when we got back. I told him to tell no one about the key because I didn’t quite understand what it could mean."
“An old life”. Hermione whispered. “They could have been animagus and were not dragons at all.”
“That could be true. Not wanting to reveal themselves completely. Anyway they did give Brian this key.”
“Oh, Harry that’s incredible. That has to be the Key in the legend. Brian may very well be in possession of the Key of Requirement. You know what that means?” She asked breathlessly."
Well, it just means that Brian, your relative and descendant is this Wizard of Greatness and that he is Wise beyond our reckoning.” Hermione stated excitedly.
They were all quiet for a moment.
“But Harry, where is he? Brian I mean. Where are the rest of your children by the way?” Ron asked.
“They were ‘appropriated’ taken by a wizard I don’t know only just a while ago.” “That’s why I sent Maggie to you Hermione to see if the Key might have had anything to do with the children’s abduction”. Harry said hopefully.
“Were you able to recognize who it was that took them?” Ron asked.
“No.” Harry said “He came at me too quickly.” Harry put his head down, disappointed in himself.
Hermione walked over to him. “Harry, what about a Pensieve?
“You mean I should extract the memory of what happened at Diagon Alley and maybe we can identify the wizard who took them?” Harry asked.
“That’s what I mean. There is a Pensieve at the Ministry.”
Brian took the Key out of his pocket and held it. The Key sparkled gold and silver. Brian closed his eyes. In a few moments James and Albus’ wands were released from Mr. Sidebottom’s cloak without stirring the man’s suspicions in the least. James was astounded at how easily they floated over to them as though Montague Sidebottom had been blinded to their activity.
Dudley was running out of patience and was about to land a punch right square on the wizard’s nose when Montague turned around; but this time James said “Stupefy” before Montague could respond. Montague Sidebottom fell to the ground and Dudley, Brian, James and Albus turned around and ran as fast as they could toward the door.
The Pensieve was successful and when Hermione saw that it was Montague Sidebottom who took Dudley and the children, she went to the books on her office shelf and came up with a history on the wizard. He was harmless enough although he was interested in the history of things and it was entirely possible that he knew something of the Key. How he would’ve figured out that it could be with Brian they didn’t know.
He had a beautiful estate in the country and another place in New York City where, it said in the book, he owned some sort of business, a toy shop. Harry and Hermione would head for New York and Ginny and Ron would go to the country estate.
Harry and Ginny hugged each other. Harry brushed the last of Ginny’s tears away and said “I won’t let you down.”
Ginny sensed that Harry was upset about not being able to stop Montague Sidebottom. “You have never let me down, you couldn’t.” They parted.
Harry and Hermione apparated right in front of FAO Schwarz just as Dudley, James, Albus and Brian were heading out. They fell into the street colliding with a pedi-cab and various expletives were exchanged. The collision was a joyous one however and Harry took James and Albus into his arms. Hermione let Ginny and Ron know that they found Dudley and the children. Montague Sidebottom was just coming around in the store. Sirens were sounding in the not so distant distance and Harry knew they had all better get back to safety and he took them all back to the Potter house.
Harry took Brian into his study. He sat the boy down and said “It looks as though you’ve been considered worthy of a great responsibility Brian”
“I know. I want to do the right thing with this” he looked down at the Key which was no longer glowing.”
“Have you used it yet?” asked Harry.
“Oh yes” replied Brian. I used it to get our wands back. Mr. Sidebottom never noticed the wands leaving him. I mean he didn’t see them or feel them or anything.”
“That’s interesting,” Harry said.
Ron came into the study “I’m sorry to interrupt Harry but we found this box in Sidebottom’s study. It looked familiar to us. Turning to Hermione he said” Hermione didn’t you have a picture of this box out the other day?”
"Yes, it was listed as stolen from the Ministry."
While Hermione was talking Brian got up from beside Harry. The Key was glowing silver and gold. Harry and Ron watched as Brian took the box and lifted the Key to the small key hole. They keyhole looked way too small for the Key of Requirement to fit it and Harry almost said something but Brian was able to insert the Key with no problem.
The box opened and there was a heart shaped diamond. Brian lifted the diamond out of the box and it became a real heart. Brian held it and seemed to say something they could not understand.
Everyone had come into the study when the box was opened because it released a scent so beautiful it could not be resisted. Dudley saw Brian speaking inaudibly and made a gentle move towards his son. Harry stopped him. Brian put the heart back into the box and it turned once again back into a flawless diamond. Brian closed the box which disappointed everyone for while it was open it gave a feeling of euphoria to all around it.
Brian looked up and said “This box contains the last essence of a dying race of Magi. They showed themselves as dragons to us and they have now passed away in time. Their time is over. They have left this
diamond heart as a gift of their great wisdom and knowledge. Something they owe to their creator and wish to pass on to us. To be used for the good of mankind.
No one moved. They all stared at the box then the Key and then Brian. Which of the three was most valuable no one could say. But all three were needed to access the beauty of the heart and its gifts of wisdom.
Montague Sidebottom thought he was after a large diamond that would bring him great riches. But the diamond’s commercial worth was like sand compared to its real value.
Harry took the box and held it for a moment. It was warm to the touch. He said to Brian “Maybe we will keep this box in Gringott’s for now.”
He looked down at Brian and noticed something different about him.
“Brian” Harry said “Look at me.” Brian looked up at Harry. Hermione, Ron, Ginny and Dudley came over to look at him.
There on the left side of his head was a small shock of grey hair.
Brian said slowly and in a gentle whisper “I will keep the Key and be its Steward.”
Dudley took him in his arms and the two stayed that way for a long time.
The next day Harry, Ginny, Dudley and the children were on platform 9 ¾ in time for the Hogwarts Express. Both Dudley and Edward were there.
“We’ll see you at Christmas Brian. Be a good boy and mind your teachers.” Dudley advised. Then put some bubble gum in his mouth and blew his first bubble in a long while.
“Yeah kid. Stay in line but don’t take anybody’s guff. Got it?”
“Sure” laughed Brian.
Brian went over to Harry. “I love you Uncle Harry and thank you for helping me with…everything.”
“I will always be there to help you Brian; Albus, James and Lily as well.
Remember your headmaster has been told about the legend and he will be an advocate for you. The Key will always want to be with you, it will never leave you…willingly.
“I know.” Brian said wistfully.
“Well good-bye then” Brian said tearfully. Brian hugged Harry and Ginny and turned and ran off with his trunk and owl and his backpack swaying on his back with several small trinkets dangling from the strap loops one of which was a small Key. And so the Legend would continue…
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