Scion of Gryffindor
4 - Out of the Order
Harry / Tonks ship
Returning from Gringotts in search of clothing for two of the Order members, Remus and Tonks flooed into Grimmauld Place without fanfare. Shortly afterwards, Harry flooed in and promptly fell on his face.
Chuckling, Tonks helped Remus pick him up and said, "I know you enjoyed looking at my chest, Harry, but that's no cause to fall at my feet like that."
Harry blushed fit for a Weasley but still managed to glare at her.
As Kingsley appeared in the fireplace behind Harry, Remus said, "You must admit, Tonks, that your current form is a bit . . . ah, distracting. For Harry, I mean."
Whatever response Tonks may have had was lost when a disappointed looking Dumbledore strode into the room. He didn't even bat an eye at their state of dress. "Meet me in the kitchen in ten minutes," he brusquely ordered before turning on his heel and leaving the room again.
The four conspirators glanced at each other in concern before they scattered to their respective rooms.
A few minutes later they walked into the kitchen, now cleaned up and fully clothed. There, Hermione, Ron, Ginny, Mrs. Weasley, Professor McGonagall, and Mad-Eye were seated around the table, apparently waiting.
Harry squeezed in between Ron and Ginny. "What's up?" he asked.
Ron shrugged. "Dunno. Dumbledore just asked us all to be here."
The headmaster himself entered the room, and everyone quieted down. He took a seat and tapped his fingers together for a moment, looking from Remus to Tonks to Kingsley. "Why did you disobey my instructions?" he asked eventually.
Harry's eyes hardened slightly. Remus and Tonks kept their heads up. Kingsley kept his habitual, calm expression.
Remus spoke, "Harry has the right to know about his inheritance, Headmaster."
"That is not the point," Dumbledore waved a hand.
"Isn't it?" Harry asked quietly.
Dumbledore looked over at him with an eyebrow raised.
"It's NOT my right to know about my inheritance, Professor? Is that what you just said? Or was it that you didn't want me to know about what I may or may not have inherited from Sirius?"
For the first time, Dumbledore looked a bit uneasy. "You would have learned in time."
Harry snorted in disgust. "Like you told me about my connection to Voldemort in time?"
"Harry!" Mrs. Weasley scolded him after wincing.
"It is quite all right, Molly. As pained as I am to admit it, he is correct. Instead of dwelling upon that, Harry, perhaps you could tell us what you did in Gringotts today."
Harry eyed the bearded old man for a moment. "Visited a few vaults and listened to a Will."
Apparently choosing not to pursue that thread, Dumbledore turned back to Remus, Tonks, and Kingsley. It was only now that Harry recognized that they were being subtly segregated from the rest of the Order by the seating arrangement.
"Despite my specific wishes, you three agreed to take Harry to Gringotts, correct?"
They all nodded steadily.
Harry again spoke up. "You make it sound like they helped me do something dangerous, Professor. We just went to a bank." He paused for a moment before turning his full attention to Dumbledore. "What was it about Sirius's Will that you're so afraid of my learning?"
"That's it," Molly burst out. "Harry, you will NOT talk to the headmaster in that tone!"
Without shifting his attention, Harry quietly noted, "I have every right to speak anyway I want, Mrs. Weasley, as this is my house." That little tidbit of information was one of the things he remembered during the whirlwind paperwork spree at Gringotts before they'd left.
"That was a somewhat childish reaction, Harry," Dumbledore chided his student as Molly simply stared, open-mouthed, at Harry's words.
"I'll tell you what; I'll stop acting like a child if you all stop treating me like one," Harry fired back.
"Harry!" Mrs. Weasley and Hermione chorused.
Dumbledore paused, but his expression never wavered. "This is getting us nowhere."
"On that we agree." And he has yet to explain why he didn't want me to go to Gringotts, Harry added mentally.
"Harry, Kingsley, Nymphadora, Remus, perhaps we should discuss this in private."
The rest of the Order and students left after a bit of grumbling. Once they were all gone, Dumbledore magically closed and sealed the room.
Harry moved around the table to sit beside Remus, a move that did not escape anyone's attention.
Dumbledore sighed and appeared to grow older. "I cannot allow such disobedience from you four."
"Ah," Harry said. "So we're not allowed to disagree with one of your unexplained proclamations?"
"Why are you being so hostile about this, Harry?"
"Because you did the very same thing to me last year, and it cost me my godfather," Harry replied, finishing the accusation in a whisper.
Dumbledore appeared to be surprised at Harry's words.
"You ordered me to take occlumency lessons from Snape," Harry explained.
"Professor Snape," Dumbledore gently corrected him.
"SNAPE!" Harry shouted. He took a deep breath and started again. "When we're at Hogwarts, I will refer to him as Professor. Outside of school, I will not give him any more respect than he deserves, which is very, very little. Now, back to the point. You ordered me to take occlumency lessons but didn't explain WHY. Snape and I ended up pissing each other off so badly that I quit the lessons. If you'd explained the rationale behind your decision, I probably wouldn't have allowed the situation to deteriorate that badly."
"So now I am to blame for Sirius's death?"
Harry gave him a look of aggravation. "No more than Snape or I. No, Voldemort and Bellatrix deserve almost all of that blame. I'm just saying that giving us orders without the reasoning behind them doesn't work out all that well. I think you'll agree that we've proven that."
"For security reasons the leader of a fight like this can't always explain his actions or orders," Kingsley said.
Harry smiled bitterly at Kingsley. "The problem with that argument is that I never asked him to lead me. I was never offered a choice."
A long silence held until Dumbledore finally broke it. "I will endeavor to remember that, Harry." He turned to the three adults. "However, we must take into account your disobedience. I cannot allow members in the Order to ignore their orders."
Tonks's jaw tightened. Shacklebolt remained impassive. Remus narrowed his eyes.
Now seeing where this was going, Harry turned his head. "As I'm the cause of you three apparently getting tossed out of the Order and losing your jobs, I'll step in and fix it. All three of you are hereby offered jobs, double whatever you were making before, as my personal bodyguards." As the three adults stared at Harry in shock, he turned Dumbledore. "That should reduce the strain on the Order as well. Now, you're not going to tell me why you refused to let me go to the bank, are you?"
Dumbledore slowly shook his head, "I am afraid I cannot tell you."
"Cannot or will not? I wonder if it's the Potter fortune that you didn't want me to get control of. Or perhaps it was Grimmauld Place."
"I would like to point out that you are still underage, and as such do not as of yet have 'control' over any of it."
"Ah, but I'm not underage," Harry disagreed with a slight grin.
Dumbledore frowned. "The Potter line is not old enough for the ministry law to -"
"You're desperate to keep me from learning that I'm the last heir of Godric Gryffindor, aren't you?"
Dumbledore sighed and closed his eyes. Kingsley was shocked as this was the first he was hearing about it.
"Why is that, I wonder?" Harry went on. He knew he was being very cruel with his words, but he'd long since lost patience with the man telling him half-truths to keep him under control. It was going to end, one way or another.
"Hogwarts," Remus answered, clearly thinking quickly. When Harry looked at him questioningly, Remus went on, "I wonder if being an heir of a founder gives you some powers in the castle that you otherwise wouldn't have."
Dumbledore let the comment slide by without responding. Instead, he adopted a formal tone. "Lord Gryffindor, do I have your blessing to continue to use this house for the Order of the Phoenix?"
Harry thought about it for a moment, honestly surprised that Dumbledore would even ask. "Under some conditions."
Dumbledore appeared wary. "What conditions are those, if I may ask?"
"You leave me alone. No guards unless I approve it ahead of time. You do not tell me what to do. You may ASK me to do something, but if you do, you'd damn well better give me an explanation. You are on probation, Headmaster. If I find that you've reneged on this agreement or lied to me, then you'll have a very unhappy Gryffindor on your hands. Do you understand me?"
Dumbledore inclined his head.
"Say it out loud, Professor. I want there to be absolutely no question about this," Harry persisted.
Dumbledore deflated just a little bit. "I understand and agree to your terms. In return, the Order has unlimited use of 12 Grimmauld Place."
"Agreed," Harry said. He saw twin, ghostly pulses of magic flare out of himself and Dumbledore.
Tonks's eyes widened a little bit, but nobody else reacted. Harry was tempted to ask, but he figured he could simply do so later.
"Is there anything else you would like to discuss, Lord Gryffindor?"
Harry frowned at Dumbledore in annoyance. "Yes. Please don't call me Lord Gryffindor. Very few people know about it."
"As you wish. If there is nothing further, I shall take my leave." When Harry didn't respond, Dumbledore stood up and quietly left, unsealing the room as he went.
Harry immediately stood and walked to the door, closing it back up. He then threw as many warding, locking, and secrecy charms around the room as he knew. When he was done, he sat down and put his head down on his arms. "That wasn't any fun."
Kingsley drew his wand and cast one more charm that Harry didn't know before putting his wand away. "Is what you said about not being underage true?"
"Yes, Mister Shacklebolt."
"Call me Kingsley." He paused. "You realize you could have gotten more out of Albus?"
Harry looked up and grinned. It wasn't a cheerful expression. "Oh, I have more demands. But those are for a later conversation with him. Can't drop too many shocks on the old man at once.
"Now, what was that that Fudge said about Madam Bones?"
Remus slumped a little. "Her grand-niece Susan was killed in a Death Eater attack early this summer. Amelia blames the Order. We only had enough people to guard three of four possible targets that night."
Harry winced and looked down again, mourning the cheerful Hufflepuff girl who was one of the more prominent D.A. members.
Gathering his composure again, he said, "I suppose I should have asked you three about the jobs before springing it on you like that."
Tonks shrugged. "I just got fired, Harry. You offering me a job at double the pay? It's not like I'm going to turn that down. So long as your demands aren't TOO outrageous." She grinned.
"Like a private showing of your earlier form?" Remus asked with a wink at Harry.
Again blushing brightly, Harry folded his arms and refused to say a word. Tonks grinned, not at all embarrassed.
Chuckling, Remus let the young wizard off the hook and returned to a previous topic. "I didn't have a job before, Harry."
Harry nodded, remembering that as a werewolf, consistent employment was very difficult for him to find. "I'll pay you whatever I'm paying Tonks."
Kingsley tilted his head. "You have no idea how much money you just offered us?"
Remus grunted. "I saw his vaults today, Shack. He doesn't need to worry about the money."
Kingsley looked thoughtful for a moment. "Potter and Black AND Gryffindor vaults? No, perhaps he doesn't."
"The Gryffindor vault had nothing but books," Harry pointed out. "Which brings me to my next question. Could you three tutor me?"
Remus sat up straighter. "In what?"
"Dueling, charms, and transfiguration as they relate to defense. Plus whatever auror techniques you think are appropriate. You'll recall a prophecy explaining why I have this really ugly wizard trying to kill me . . ."
Tonks made a face at him, which is quite entertaining for a metamorphmagus to do.
Kingsley offered, "Occlumency?"
Harry blinked at him. "You can teach me?"
Harry frowned. "Bastard." When Kingsley's expression closed down, Harry shook his head. "No, not you, Kingsley. Dumbledore. He said that Snape was the only one who could teach me. Looks like another lie's been uncovered." He snorted and continued in a softer tone, "Just add it to the list."
"You really are angry at Albus, aren't you?" Remus asked hesitantly.
Harry grimaced. "Angry? Perhaps. Disappointed and frustrated is probably closer to the truth, though." He immediately shook his head. "No need to get into that now, though. So, where do you three think I should live?"
Some bunnies used herein were provided by Kinsfire and Dale.
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