Scion of Gryffindor
2 - To Grimmauld
Harry / Tonks ship
Harry closed the front door of 4 Privet Drive with a sense of wonder, trying to think through everything that his many-times great-grandfather had just told him.
His internal musings were interrupted, however, by a solid mass in front of him. Looking up, he found himself face to face with a livid Vernon Dursley.
"What is the meaning of this, boy?" Vernon's voice was a ragged whisper, a fact that scared Harry more than he was willing to admit. Vernon was not quiet when he was angry. In fact, yelling was his normal state. This was the first time Harry could remember his uncle being quieter than any other person's regular tone of voice.
"The meaning of what, sir?" Harry asked cautiously.
"That . . . That freak coming into our home," Vernon growled, his tone getting back to what passed for normal. "I thought they said they wouldn't invade our home again if you sent a letter off with your ruddy owl every three days. You didn't FORGET, did you?"
"No, sir. Lord Gryffindor isn't part of that same group that spoke to you on the platform."
"James," Petunia whispered, still staring at the closed door.
Harry and Vernon both jerked their heads around to look at her.
"WHAT?" Vernon roared.
"James," Petunia repeated in a firmer voice. "That's who that . . . individual reminded me of. James Potter."
This made sense to Harry. He was, after all, the man's descendant. By about fifty generations.
"WHAT?" Vernon roared even louder than before.
Dudley, apparently alerted by the raised voices, poked his head down the stairs. "Whazzup? What's the freak done now?" Everyone ignored him.
"Is that true, boy? That man can't be James Potter. Your freak father died, didn't he?" Vernon demanded of Harry.
"Yes, he did. He died trying to protect his wife and infant son." Petunia flinched, but Harry ignored her reaction. "And no, that wasn't James Potter. I told you, his name is Godric Gryffindor."
"But he looks so much like . . ." Petunia trailed off.
"Lord Gryffindor is my ancestor," Harry admitted.
All three Dursleys looked at him blankly.
"If he was your ancestor and he looks that young . . ." Dudley's thought processes were clearly trying to pound a square peg through a round hole.
"Oh, he's a ghost," Harry said cheerfully.
Petunia and Dudley went pale.
Vernon, on the other hand, went red. "WHAT? That's it! That's the last straw! Out! Get out of this house! I will not subject my family to any more of your unnaturalness!" His words were starting to slur together, and he was spraying his nephew with spittle.
"Fine," Harry growled, completely fed up with the treatment he'd been receiving at his home. No, not his home. It was merely the house he'd been living in. He made to move past Vernon to gather his belongings.
His uncle blocked the movement. "No! Out! NOW!"
Harry's eyes narrowed. "I'm going up to my room and gathering my things."
"NOW!" Vernon gargled out at high volume but low coherency.
Harry drew his wand, intending to intimidate his uncle into letting him get his things.
It was almost as if a light bulb had gone off over Vernon's head. Even as Petunia and Dudley squeaked and moved away, Vernon's hand moved quicker than Harry expected and snatched the wand from his hand. It took only a moment before Vernon had snapped it over his knee.
With a look of deep satisfaction, Vernon dropped both broken halves to the floor. "Now," Vernon said with a truly evil smile, "we'll see what you can do without your little toy."
Harry hadn't heard a single word. He was staring at the pieces of his broken wand. It somehow felt like a piece of his heart had been torn out.
Even as Vernon's large hand was reaching toward Harry, the front door evaporated in a flash of light and a muffled bang that caused the floor to shake. Harry's reflexes, inadvertently trained into skittish paranoia by repeated encounters with Death Eaters, sent him diving to the side before his mind caught up with the situation. He looked up in time to see five glowing bands holding his Uncle Vernon to the wall by his wrists, ankles, and neck.
Mad-Eye Moody clumped into the room, flesh and blood eye fixed on Vernon. "What the bloody hell do you think you're doing, Dursley? What we said at the station didn't soak in through that blubber-coated rock on top of your shoulders? You were to leave the boy alone. Couldn’t you even accomplish that task? 'Course not. Break his wand and try to physically attack him instead. By rights, I should drag you in to face charges." He turned away from the pinned, and incoherent with rage, Vernon and addressed Harry. "You alright, kid?"
Harry picked himself up off the floor. "He broke my wand," he answered blankly, mind still not processing things properly.
"I saw," Moody answered gruffly but with a trace of compassion. "Well, no hope for it now. We gotta get you out of here. Go on upstairs and pack."
Harry nodded numbly and moved to obey. He mechanically packed his few belongings into his school trunk. Once that was done, he opened Hedwig's cage. The snowy owl hopped onto her companion's shoulder and rubbed her head along his cheek. She didn't really know what had happened, but she knew something was desperately wrong with her human.
"Hi, girl," he whispered, running one finger over her head.
She hooted softly.
"Mad-Eye's taking me away from here. Headquarters or the Burrow, I suppose. Do you want to fly or ride?"
She made an unusual crooning noise and stayed on his shoulder.
Harry eyed his trunk warily. "I hope this is light enough to carry," he muttered. When he went to lift it, he found that it was indeed light enough. He had difficulty maneuvering it down the stairs, scraping it along the wall at one point, before making it back to the front room.
He found Moody standing over the three Dursleys. They were sitting in the front room, confusion written all over their faces.
Moody jerked his head toward the repaired front door. "Jones is outside with a portkey, Potter. I'll clean up here. Go along now, lad."
Harry's blank gaze passed over his relatives before he turned away without a word.
He left the house and was met on the front stoop by Hestia Jones. She silently held out a wire coat hanger. Even in his shocked state, Harry remembered how badly he handled portkey travel. With a resigned sigh, he set the trunk down, sat on it, and grabbed the near end of the hanger. When she tapped it with her wand, he felt the telltale jerk behind his navel. He and Jones landed in the foyer of 12 Grimmauld Place.
"Thanks," he said tonelessly.
"You're welcome," the small, rotund witch said, looking at him curiously.
"Harry?" asked a voice from the direction of the kitchen.
Harry turned to look and saw Ginny standing there, Ron behind her. Both of the Weasley siblings looked surprised to see Harry.
"Hi, Ginny, Ron," Harry said tiredly.
"What are you doing here, mate?" Ron asked.
"Uncle kicked me out. Broke my wand. Moody just sent me here."
Ron's eyes went wide when he heard about the broken wand. To break a wizard or witch's wand was just about the worst insult they could receive. Their magical core was tied to their wand, so there were physical and emotional consequences as well as the obvious physical security problems of not having a wand. Having had his own wand broken in second year, Ron could sympathise with what Harry was feeling.
"Here, let me help you with that," Ron said, extending a hand to take one of the handles of the trunk that Harry was sitting on.
Harry hopped down and moved to take the other end but missed his hold and dropped it with a loud thud.
This, of course, woke the portrait.
"FILTH! MUDBLOOD LOVING, BLOOD TRAITORS INFESTING THE ANCIENT AND NOBLE HOUSE OF BLACK! KREACHER! KREACHER, EXPEL THESE -"
"That's enough, you old hag," Harry said flatly.
Despite the low volume, this brought Mrs. Black to an abrupt halt in her tirade. When Harry said nothing further, she shrieked again, "KREACHER!"
"Kreacher is dead," Ginny informed her. "He committed suicide earlier in the summer," she added as an aside to Harry.
Harry couldn't care less at that moment. He'd had a rollercoaster of a day and needed to vent some of his pent up anger. Mrs. Black's portrait seemed, at that point, to be a good target.
With a frustrated growl, he reached forward and started to pull at the frame. To his absolute astonishment, the bottom of the frame came off of the wall accompanied by a shower of sparks. He stared stupidly at the length of wood in his hand for a moment before smiling grimly at the portrait. "You're going down," he informed her. Grunting in effort, he tore the other three sides of the frame from the wall, each time accompanied by bright aqua sparks.
Mrs. Black was screeching all the while. "BLOOD TRAITOR, DEFILING THE ANCIENT AND MOST NOBLE HOUSE OF BLACK! HOW DARE YOU TOUCH A SINGLE ITEM WITHIN . . ."
Once the frame was down, Harry peeled at one corner of the canvas that was still stuck to the wall. With a ripping sound, it began to pull up from the wall. After tugging at it until the entire canvas was down in a crumpled pile at his feet, Harry turned his back on the muffled but still screaming portrait to find that he'd gained an audience.
Remus, Tonks, Jones, and Professor McGonagall all were standing in the now crowded hallway, staring at the scene.
Standing on Harry's trunk, Hedwig hooted. Harry got the distinct impression that she was laughing.
"Well?" Harry asked his audience.
"Well, what?" Tonks asked, blinking rapidly.
"Aren't one of you going to vanish or set fire to that damned portrait?" Harry demanded.
The four adult witches and wizards looked at each other before they all drew their wands. "Incendio!"
Harry fancied that he could see the spells moving from the four wands to the pile of wood and canvas. It all ignited with a flash and burned rapidly.
"Thank you, Harry," Ginny said sincerely.
"Yeah," Ron agreed, still wide-eyed at what he'd seen. He moved to take the trunk again and helped Harry carry it up the stairs, leaving a gaggle of witches and wizards staring at the retreating back of the Boy Who Lived.
Remus poked his head into Harry and Ron's room less than an hour later. "Harry, if you're feeling up to it, Albus would like a word with you."
Harry suppressed his flash of anger. NOW the headmaster is deigning to talk with his weapon? No. Must keep calm. Harry levered himself off the bed and dropped the copy of Quidditch Weekly he'd been reading.
Remus led him to the library and sat with him on a couch across from Dumbledore and Moody.
For a minute, the only sound in the room was the crackling of the fire.
"What happened, Harry?" Dumbledore eventually asked.
Harry, remembering everything Godric had said, replied, "I don't really know, sir. My uncle suddenly demanded that I leave the house. When I tried to go upstairs to retrieve my belongings, he stopped me. I drew my wand in an attempt to intimidate him. He grabbed my wand and broke it over his knee. Moody came in at that point."
Moody reached a gnarled hand into his robes and pulled the broken wand out, laying the pieces on the coffee table between them.
Harry sighed and looked sadly at the remains of his faithful wand.
"Did your uncle tell you why he decided to throw you out?"
"He needed a reason?" Harry growled quietly. Remus looked at him in concern, so Harry decided to explain. "All three of them have hated me forever, Moony. When they weren't calling me a freak, they were forcing me to do all the chores on little or no food. Only Professor Dumbledore's threat to Aunt Petunia kept them from throwing me out long ago."
"They were carrying on about the ghost of James Potter," Moody reported.
"Did you see the ghost of my father?" Harry asked the retired auror.
Moody shook his head.
"I didn't either. Maybe their guilt over their mistreatment of me drove them insane," Harry said sarcastically, trying to redirect the conversation.
"Harry, there is no need for this," Dumbledore chided him gently.
Harry bit back his reply and remained silent. He was secretly very pleased that nothing he'd told Dumbledore was actually a lie. Not that he expected Dumbledore to actually believe everything he'd said, but keeping him away from the truth would be good enough for now.
"What did you do to the portrait?" Remus asked, moving the conversation forward.
Harry shrugged. "I tore it off the wall. I'm surprised nobody else ever tried something that simple."
"We did," Moody said. "It had a Permanent Sticking Charm on the back. Nobody could get the thing down."
"Except young Harry did just that with his bare hands," Dumbledore observed.
"Well, good riddance," Harry said.
"Agreed," Remus said. "I'm just curious on how you got it down. What spell did you use?"
"Without my wand?" Harry waved at the broken pieces.
"With regards to that," Dumbledore said, "we shall have to get you to Diagon Alley in the near future to get a replacement."
"While we're there, Gringotts wants me to visit. Something about Sirius's Will."
Dumbledore's face closed down. "I am afraid I cannot allow that, Harry."
Harry frowned. "We'll be there anyway. Why can't I just stop in Gringotts? I need some more galleons for Hogsmeade weekends anyway."
"Give Molly your key and she can restock your money bag. I feel that a trip to Gringotts for you is out of the question at this time."
Harry let it go but noted the closed expression on Remus's face.
Remus and Tonks entered the library the next evening, finding Harry reading an ancient-looking black leather book.
"How've you been, Harry?" Tonks asked gently.
"Better now that I'm away from Privet Drive," Harry answered, carefully putting the book down. "Moony, how're you doing? There was a full moon recently, wasn't there?"
"Three nights ago. I'm doing fine, thanks for asking. Harry, Dumbledore has asked us to take you to Diagon Alley tomorrow to get you a new wand."
"And Gringotts?" Harry asked.
Remus shook his head. "He thinks it's too dangerous."
"Too dangerous for me to go to the bank?" Harry asked incredulously.
Tonks shrugged hopelessly. "That's what he said."
"Or maybe he doesn't want me to go hear Sirius's Will," Harry hypothesized, eyeing Remus.
Because Harry was looking so closely, he saw Remus shift uncomfortably.
"What am I missing, Remus?" Harry asked directly.
"I can't answer that, Harry."
"Can't, shouldn't, or won't?"
"I've been ordered not to," Remus admitted, looking more uncomfortable by the moment.
"Does it perchance have anything to do with my not having been told of the Potter vaults? Or will something Sirius did hurt Dumbledore's little weapon?" Harry asked bitterly.
Remus just stared blankly.
"He's keeping things from me, Remus. You know it, and I know it. Don't you think his keeping information from me has cost us both enough?"
Tonks winced and Remus visibly flinched as if in pain. "That was low, Harry," he whispered.
"But not untrue."
Remus sighed and nodded. "But not untrue," he agreed. "Okay, yes, I agree to take you to Gringotts. Tonks?"
She shrugged. "I need to listen to the Will as well. If we're doing more than just Ollivander's, I'm going to ask Kingsley to come along."