Unofficial Portkey Archive

The Perils of Innocence by puck_nc

The Perils of Innocence


Disclaimer: If you recognize the character, it isn't mine. Just playing in Rowling's sandbox.

Scheduling note: My life is currently lived by the academic calendar. Said calendar is about to get supremely busy for a while. In order to ensure that I will be able to stay on track in my writing, I'm going to have to slow updates to once a month for the next couple of months. I hope to be back to bimonthly in June. Apologies for disappointing anyone, but I'd rather keep on a schedule I feel I can maintain instead of disappear for ages and leave readers uncertain. So, next chapter at the end of April.


3 August 1991

Harry and Dean stared as the huge man approached. He looked them over. "You two look about the size o' first years. I'm Hagrid, Keeper of Keys and Grounds at Hogwarts. What's yer names, boys?"

"I'm Dean Thomas. He's Harry-"

"Harry Potter! It is you! I haven't seen you since you were a wee thing! Look a lot like yer father, ye do."

Any questions Harry wanted to ask were cut off as Griphook took the first seat of the cart. "Hold on."

They took off at an incredible speed, twisting up and down hills like a roller coaster but spiralling lower and lower into the caverns. Over the noise Harry thought he could hear Hagrid groaning. The cart stopped suddenly, surprising everyone but the goblin. Griphook hopped out. "Mr Potter, this is your vault for school expenses." He led Harry to an ornate silver door and held out a hand for the key. Harry handed it over and Griphook gave him a pouch similar to the one Hermione had shown them. "I recommend around three hundred Galleons, just to be sure."

Harry felt his jaw drop at the sight of so much money. Piles of gold, silver and bronze reached the roof of a space he could almost stand up in. Dazed, he pushed piles into the apparently bottomless bag until Griphook told him to stop. He climbed back into the cart with his bag and key.

Hagrid was looking a bit pale. He patted Harry on the back, nearly knocking the wind out of him. "Now yer all set. Ye can have yer aunt and uncle hold yer bag while you shop."

Harry whirled to face him. "My aunt and uncle? What do you know about them?"

Hagrid frowned and began to answer, but his reply turned into a whimper as the cart took off again.

The next stop was Dean's vault, with an even larger and more ornate golden door. Griphook explained, "This is your family vault. It contains everything: money, jewellery, heirlooms and so forth. It's all itemized in your papers to study later." He turned to Harry. "Your family vault is near this one and you have the same lists."

The information that he had an even larger vault distracted Harry. He barely registered the exclamation of "Bloody hell!" as Dean stepped in and turned around, looking up and taking in the amount of wealth inside. Behind him, Hagrid was moaning as if he were going to be sick.

The last leg of their journey took them even deeper. Harry watched, trying to get his bearings. He blinked when going past a side corridor full of light; if he didn't know better he would have sworn that he'd seen a dragon bellowing flames.

At the final stop, Griphook led a staggering Hagrid to a simplistic carving in the stone wall. Instead of using a key, Griphook dragged one long finger down a certain line in the design. The design vanished into mist, revealing a small cavern. Harry and Dean looked eagerly, but only saw Hagrid remove a small something wrapped in brown paper, leaving the vault completely empty. Hagrid shoved the parcel deep into a pocket and climbed back into the cart with resignation.

"If ye don't mind, boys, best not to mention that you saw me here."

They nodded, mystified.


Albus Dumbledore Apparated to the back door of number four Privet Drive and hesitated before knocking. His ears had already taken a battering from Arabella Figg, who had seized him by his long beard and let him know exactly how she felt about being essentially ignored for years before he could even begin. He would much rather retreat back to Hogwarts and recover before tackling the Dursleys, but there would be no rest there either. Minerva was stalking him, waiting for an opportunity to tear into him again.

He was being ridiculous. I'm Albus Dumbledore. I'm the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot. I was awarded the Order of Merlin. I've been headmaster at the premier school of magic approaching forty years. I can handle a few women. Taking a deep breath, he knocked.

He could hear a distant bellowed "Who's that who comes on a Saturday and the back door at that?" and then the sound of heels tapping across a floor. The door opened to reveal Petunia Dursley, whose mouth fell open in horror.

"You! How dare you! You swore you would never come here again!"

"Good morning to you, too, Petunia. May I come in or do you wish to keep shouting at me in full hearing of your neighbours? I did use the back garden to be a bit more discreet."

Her eyes darting around frantically, she stepped aside to give him room to enter and swiftly shut the door. "What are you doing here?"

He opted to be blunt and possibly have the advantage in a conversation for the first time all day. "Harry was discovered to be at a mental health facility this week when his Hogwarts letter was delivered there. My deputy headmistress says that he's been there for over five years. Why did you break your promise?"

Petunia stammered, "He was a freak! He kept making things happen and then he just appeared out of thin air. It would have gotten worse and once he started school he would have been doing it in public! It wasn't fair to force us to try and control him! Vernon insisted that he go to a place where they could deal with his abnormalities!"

"Petunia? What's going on in there?" Sounds of someone struggling out of a chair preceded Vernon Dursley. When he appeared in the doorframe, his face immediately flushed red. "YOU! Get your freaky old arse out of here! The boy is gone and he is never coming back!"

Dumbledore pulled out his wand, Silencing both of them and putting Durlsey into a full Body-Bind. "The damage is done. Your nephew is just about to enter Hogwarts where he will be taught proper control of his magic. I also daresay from what I have just witnessed that he was raised with more kindness in hospital than he would have been with you. My only remaining question is how my blood wards stayed in place without Harry here." He circled slowly with his wand out, concentrating on the feel of the barriers around the property.

"Yes, they feel exactly the same as they did the day I cast them. But without Harry, that means something went wrong with the casting." He pulled a chair from the dining table and sat, waving for Petunia to join him. With one very nervous glance at Vernon, she did so. He released the Silencing charm on her.

"Petunia, those wards were designed to protect both Harry and your family as his only blood relatives as long as he resided here. The wards are still the way they were after I set them almost ten years ago. I followed the instructions exactly. It should be impossible for Harry to be elsewhere without them collapsing. I realize that you may not even know this, but is there anything I have missed? Harry is your sister's child, your blood relative, this is your home, and as long as Harry called your house his home-"

"It's not my house, technically," Petunia offered in a small, quavering voice.

"Explain that, please. You live here."

"The house…it's in Vernon's name. He bought it after his mother passed. Yes, I live here, but Vernon brought me here after we were married."

Dumbledore stared at her in shock. Is it that simple? Do these rituals depend so on Muggle technicalities when the magic is focused on intent? Petunia continued to babble.

"It's one of the reasons I work so hard to keep the house neat for Vernon. He trusts me to care for his home, to take care of him and Dudley. And the little freak upset all that. Even when he did the chores correctly, there was always the danger of someone seeing him do something abnormal-"

"Excuse me? What chores could a five-year-old possibly handle?"

"He, er…he cleaned and took care of the garden and sometimes cooked. He was just about big enough to start washing Vernon's car and cutting the lawn-"

Dumbledore paled. "You forced a child that young to work so much?"

"Of course, it wasn't like I would let my precious Dudley lift a finger-"

Dumbledore jabbed his wand at her, Silencing her once more and casting a full Body-Bind to keep her in place. He stood and began pacing the room, pondering both his catastrophic mistake and how much work it was going to take to repair it. He made his first decision easily enough.

Waving his wand in a circle above his head, he intoned, "For cause of the broken promise and the broken foundation, let the wards of this place fall!" He felt the magic wash over him as the wards flew apart. He had no easy way to test if they had ever been effective against Death Eaters as Severus, the only former Death Eater he could trust, was still on his trip through South America to harvest valuable potion ingredients. He turned to the Dursleys, still frozen in place.

"I am leaving now and I expect that we will never cross paths again. However…" Dumbledore glanced around the pristine kitchen and spied a particularly hideous teapot. Judging from its place on a higher shelf it probably was not used very often. He Summoned it down and released the Silencing charm on Petunia. "How often do you use this teapot?"

"N-never. It was a gift from a cousin of Vernon's. He moved to Australia years ago."

"Excellent." Dumbledore waved his wand in the correct movement and muttered, "Portus." He Levitated it back, but to a shelf below where it had been, within Petunia's easy reach. "I do not expect that you will have any trouble, as the wards showed no interference at all for many years. However, if I am wrong and you find yourselves attacked, everyone needs to put a hand on the teapot. As soon as all of you are touching it, saying 'Dumbledore' will activate this Portkey and send you directly to my private office at Hogwarts, where you will be safe. Do you understand?"

Unable to nod due to the Body-Bind still in place, Petunia mumbled, "I understand."

Dumbledore released both of them and Disapparated before Vernon could draw breath to bellow.


Once they were back in the main hall of the bank, Harry and Dean raced to find Hermione so they could introduce her to the enormous Hagrid who worked at Hogwarts. By the time they found her, conversing eagerly with a goblin who was showing her how he calculated the worth of the gemstones in front of him, Hagrid had left the bank.

Dr Aymler looked over the list and suggested that they try the clothing shop first. "It's possible that they'll only need to make minor alterations on a standard uniform and we'll be able to pick them up on the way out this afternoon."

Everyone nodded but Dean, who was flipping through the parchments that listed his assets. "I want to do one more thing here. We'll catch up."

Mystified, the Thomases followed Dean back to the counters. Dean approached Griphook and nodded, then bowed slightly. "Can I ask for a few more minutes of your time, sir?"

Griphook nodded, showing his teeth in what Dean suddenly realized was the goblin version of a smile. Encouraged, Dean continued, "If I'm reading this list of yours correctly, this figure is the amount of ready cash in wizard money that is currently in the vault. Is that right?"

Griphook looked at where Dean was pointing and nodded.

"And according to that lady from Hogwarts, multiplying that number by five will give us a rough total in pounds."

Griphook nodded again. "The exchange rate today is actually six point naught two five English pounds to one Galleon."

Dean turned to his parents. "Da, Mum, how much do you think you'll need to buy a proper house?"

Their eyes widened in shock. Andrea found her voice first. "Dean, you can't possibly mean that! To stay close enough to London so your da could travel to his job would be a hundred fifty thousand pounds, easy!"

Dean turned back to Griphook. "Could you please change a hundred thousand Galleons into pounds and transfer it to my parents' bank account?"

Griphook bowed to him. "It will be done within ten minutes, Mr Demirci-Thomas."

Dean nodded to him. "Thank you very much for all your help."

Griphook nodded back. "It has been a pleasure to work with you. We at Gringotts will endeavour to be at your service at any time." He retreated to his spot at the counter, waving for another goblin to attend him.

Both adults stared at Dean. Geoffrey found his voice first. "Son, what did you just do?"

"I put enough money into your account to buy us a house. I added extra so you'd be able to choose anywhere and to cover any tax stuff. I suppose I could have asked Griphook for help on that." Dean made as if to go to the counter again, but Andrea grabbed his shoulder.

"No, dear, that's more than enough. But you shouldn't have given us all of your money like that!"

"It wasn't all my money, Mum. Here, look!" Dean held out the parchment, pointing to the same number as before.

Andrea Thomas saw seven figures in the number and Geoffrey had to catch her before her knees gave way.


The group found the robe shop with "Madame Malkin's Robes for All Occasions" in golden scrolling letters across the top of the display window. Before Dr Aymler could lead them in, Ms Entwhistle spoke up.

"I don't think we'll be able to do this. It's…it's too much. And we can't afford the prices that the McGonagall woman mentioned, even with help."

Harry stepped forward. "I just found out my parents left me lots of money. I could help if you like."

Kevin, a fair boy who had been rather quiet all day, shook his head. "I asked the professor about the size of the school. There's hundreds of students there. I don't think I could stand it, being around so many people and so far away. And she said that the other school in the south wasn't very far from where we live. I could be a day boy if I went there." He looked down for a moment. "Mum and me, we've no other family. I don't think I could leave her alone, September to June."

Hermione grabbed Harry's arm before he could protest again and spoke. "That sounds like the best plan for you, then. How will you let Mr Clott know?"

Ms Entwhistle smiled at her. "We told McGonagall right away that we might have to look at other options. She told us they have a little office here and where it is. We'll go now and talk to them. If we don't see you later, I hope you all have the best of luck with this."

Kevin began shaking hands all around. When he got to Hermione, she held on. "Give us your address so we can keep in touch, all right?" He willingly added it to Robert's address book and then waved at them all once more as he and his mother started down the street.

Harry spotted Dean and his parents leaving Gringotts and shouted to them. As they approached, Sally-Ann Perks sidled up to Hermione and squeezed her arm. "Now we get to buy our clothes!"

Hermione almost succeeded in keeping her eyes from rolling.


Author's Note: Thanks as always for reading.