batsutousai: (HP-motherseyes-Harry)
[personal profile] batsutousai
Title: Déguiser
Author: Batsutousai
Beta: magickmaker17
Rating: PG-13 for now
Pairings: Intended - HP/LV, Possible - HP/DM
Warnings: AU, an attempt to not copy the book
Summary: When Albus Dumbledore leaves Harry Potter on the doorstep of the Dursleys, the last thing he expected was for an unknown relative to disappear with the boy for ten years. Enter Thomas Potter, a man who intends to change the past, the present, and the future.

Disclaim Her: It's in the first chapter. (I might put some things from DH in later chapters as background info on characters, but it won't be anything too important or anything.)

A/N: Merlin forbid if I don't get Christmas in this chapter. *stare*

Also, since I just now came up with a name for the author of the Young Hawk series, it never made it in any earlier chapter. Oops. So when Thomas sends Harry a book by Kavi Callum, it is the Young Hawk series. I'll see about fixing that in chapter two eventually. Maybe. If I'm not feeling too lazy, I mean. XD

I don't know when the full moon dates were for this year, so I'm making it up to suit my needs. XP

Also! This is a day early on account of Dan Radcliffe's birthday. XD


-~/\~-
Chapter Five - Letters and Christmas
-~\/~-


'So, I had class with Snape today and that lack of snapping from last time I told you about? Well, he's being nasty again. The man can't seem to handle having his horrible behaviour handed to him by someone who knows better. I suppose it doesn't help that you're a Potter. What DOES he have against Dad, anyway?
'It's been really quiet today. People are still a bit jumpy about the troll. I went to that hallway earlier and they'd gotten rid of the troll. Didn't leave a trace.
'On the other hand, when I greeted Malfoy in the hallway today, he got this really thoughtful look on his face, then held out his hand. So we've got a kind of tentative friendship going on. He's sitting here in the library with us at our usual table.
'Word on Ron is that he's got detention with McGonagall all next week. Dean and Seamus are trying to stay out of this whole mess, but Ron keeps trying to get them on his side. There was a row this morning, in our dorm room. It was a bit ugly. Seamus finally told Ron that if he wanted back-up, he was better off looking to the Hufflepuffs. I switched with Hermione so that I'm working with Ron now. He grumbled the whole class about how he was going to get Hermione back for snitching on him and I told him that if he didn't want to spend a month in the hospital wing, he'd shut his trap about Hermione and I'm the one who snitched, anyway. He shut up, then.
'Well, I'm gonna write letters to Sirius and Remus now. I suppose you haven't introduced them to Elizabeth and John yet? I'll leave that to you and not tell Elizabeth.
'Harry'


-~/^\~-


'Sirius and Remus got introduced this weekend. They're all lovely good friends. I'm sure you'll be pleased to know that I hired both Sirius and Remus on as staff at the bookstore with Joseph's approval. Sirius kept telling me that he had more than enough money to never work another day of his life, and I told him that I could do the same, but I like working because it gives me someplace to be and I'm not leaving him in my house, alone, without anything better to do everyday. Remus, on the other hand, is absolutely ecstatic to have a job that he won't lose as soon as his employer geta suspicious of him when he required full moons off. He's not going to move into the house, though, like Sirius has. Remus says he likes his little cottage in the middle of nowhere and feels safer out there anyway.
'Professor Snape is just ridiculously childish sometimes. James saved his life – ask Sirius or Remus for the full details – and Professor Snape just never forgave him. Don't ask me how that man's mind works.
'I'm glad things are going well between you and Draco. I just hope they continue to go as smoothly. It will be interesting to see what happens when his father comes into the picture.
'Mr Weasley is starting to get ridiculous. If he doesn't end this nonsense, let me know and I'll send a letter to his mother, if Professor McGonagall hasn't already.
'Love, Thomas'


-~/^\~-


'Dear Mr Thomas Leland-Potter,
'I would like to extend my thanks to you for protecting my son on the night of Hallowe'en. Draco told me about the troll and that you saved his life, though you insist on denying that you did.
'Would you be interested in coming over for dinner this Friday? I would like to thank you in person and, indeed, meet you.
'Sincerely,
'Lucius Malfoy
'Head of House Malfoy'


-~/^\~-


'Dear Mr Lucius Malfoy,
'While your offer is tempting, I fear I must decline; Friday is the night I go over to the Grangers' with Sirius Black and Remus Lupin for dinner. Perhaps at another date?
'As I told your son, I don't think the troll would have actually killed him before the noise brought someone running, especially with the professors out in droves, searching for the troll. It was my pleasure, at any rate. I am not a man who enjoys watching people in pain, friend or foe. I'm sure you understand.
'Sincerely,
'Thomas Leland-Potter
'Head of Leland Estates
'Guardian of House Potter'


-~/^\~-


'Remus was nearly gushing about the job in his letter. He's having a wonderful time. Sirius is kinda grumpy about it, I think, but he's stopped cursing it.
'I think Snape is being stupid. Sirius keeps telling me to prank him, but Remus says not to. What do you think?
'Oh! And he's been limping lately. Any thoughts?
'Draco's still sitting with us every day in the library, and he's stopped inching away from Hermione when she tries to help him with things. When I offered him some of the candy at the Quidditch game this morning, he took it. We were sitting near the teachers' box, instead of with our Houses, since our Houses don't really like that we're hanging out together. Snape looked like he wanted to object, but McGonagall told him to shut up.
'I REALLY like Professor McGonagall.
'Ron got a Howler on Monday. I guess Professor McGonagall wrote his mum, 'cause it was a woman yelling at him about his behaviour. He's been really subdued since then. Didn't say anything to me in class on Friday.
'So, the Quidditch match was between Slytherin and Gryffindor. Slytherin won. Our Seeker is crap. I know what the rules say about First Years, but I think I might go to Oliver Wood – he's the team captain – and see if he'd be willing to at least set me up as reserve?
'Harry'


-~/^\~-


'Dear Mr Thomas Leland-Potter,
'The Grangers? I'm afraid they are not known to me.
'I do wish to thank you properly.
'Sincerely,
'Lucius Malfoy
'Head of House Malfoy'


-~/^\~-


'Remus is having fun at the shop, too. He likes talking to the customers.
'Ah... I don't suppose I can plead silence on this matter? No. Well, my thoughts are that the best way to show Professor Snape that he's being childish would be to act the adult. So, no, don't prank him. Treat him with the respect his station deserves and when he's rude, frown at him, like I do when you're acting out. On one hand, you could consider that a sort of prank, I suppose. On the other, maybe he'll get over this.
'Limping? I haven't the faintest. Don't worry about it, I guess. Perhaps he tripped or something while gathering potions ingredients somewhere.
'I'm most pleased that you and Draco have become better fellows – I pause at calling you 'friends' – and even more so that he's losing some of his harsher pureblood ideals about lineage.
'I've been in contact with Lucius Malfoy, actually. He's inviting me over to dinner, and I might just go. Perhaps, if he will allow it, I'll bring Sirius, Remus, Elizabeth and John with. We shall see.
'If Mr Weasley starts acting out again, let me know. I've found that Gryffindors have this irritating ability to bounce right back. Your godfool manages it on an hourly basis.
'Do tell me how that goes. If you manage to get on the team, even just the reserves, I'll send your broom up.
'Love, Thomas'


-~/^\~-


'Dear Mr Lucius Malfoy,
'John and Elizabeth are Muggles; it's no wonder you don't know them. Their daughter, Hermione, is a friend of my nephew's.
'I completely understand. Friday is the only evening I wouldn't be able to come. If another day is open on your end, I would be pleased to attend.
'Sincerely,
'Thomas Leland-Potter
'Head of Leland Estates
'Guardian of House Potter'


-~/^\~-


'Dear Mr Thomas Leland-Potter,
'That would explain my lack of knowledge. My son speaks highly of their daughter. Might I simply invite all of you over this Friday? It would please me to meet the parents of the young witch my son speaks so highly of. And, of course, my wife's cousin is always welcome, as is Mr Lupin. If this is to your liking, I shall send out formal invitations.
'Sincerely,
'Lucius Malfoy
Head of House Malfoy'


-~/^\~-


'Dear Mr Lucius Malfoy,
'I believe that would be fine. The rest of our group also finds it to be a fine idea. I plan to take Elizabeth and John out tonight for dinner robes, so they'll feel more comfortable.
'We shall see you on Friday, then.
'Sincerely,
'Thomas Leland-Potter
'Head of Leland Estates
'Guardian of House Potter'


-~/^\~-


'Mr Thomas Leland-Potter, you are cordially invited to attend a small dinner party at Malfoy Mansion on Friday, the 15th of November. The meal will be served at six thirty. Please come at least ten minutes early.
'Sincerely,
'Lucius and Narcissa Malfoy'


-~/^\~-


'Well I'm glad to hear that you're keeping busy! Even if it is with going to dinner parties with the Malfoys. I heard from Elizabeth that you took them out shopping for robes, and Draco agreed that was the best way to help them stand out less. Sometimes, I wonder how you know to do these things. You're so proper and correct sometimes!
'I told Hermione and Neville and Draco your suggestion and they all treated Snape like you said to with me. Seamus and Dean thought it was brilliant and have started doing it too. So have some of the upper year Gryffindors, according to Fred and George. Snape doesn't quite seem to know how to handle us, so he's started ignoring us. Sometimes he slips, though, and says something nasty and all of us turn to him with a disapproving frown and he looks a bit like a deer caught in the headlights of an oncoming truck. Professor McGonagall awarded me thirty points for being mature when someone needed to. Then, when she heard that other Gryffindors were doing it, she awarded me another forty points! She gave Draco ten, because he was helping and he's not a Gryffindor and she thought he deserved some points too.
'I got on the team! Wood asked Professor McGonagall and she okayed it and sent him to Dumbledore and HE okayed it too! We don't have another game until after Christmas, and I can practise with one of the old school brooms for now and pick my broom up when I come home at the end of term, so don't worry about that.
'Ron's still behaving himself. I think he's decided to let the whole mess go. He actually congratulated me on a job well done in tormenting Snape after potions today.
'Harry'


-~/^\~-


'Dinner with the Malfoys was fine. Everyone was very pleasant and the fact that Lucius had invited two Muggles, a bastard, a disowned heir and a half-blood werewolf over for dinner was never brought up. It was very proper and between Sirius and myself, we prevented any faux pas by Elizabeth and John or Remus. It went so well that Narcissa commented that she might be interested in doing it again or even, strangely, coming over to Elizabeth and John's for dinner. Lucius didn't disagree, so we'll see.
'You do know that my mother wanted me to grow up to be a good heir for my father, should he ever care to remember me, right? I learned all these proper manners as a child. Don't be so surprised.
'That sounds wonderful. See what your fame can do for you? Even the upper years are following your example. Don't let it go to your head, though. Sylvin might try and set you straight.
'I shall pause in sending you your broom, then. Let me know if you want me to send it so you can fly circles around the other members of your team, though.
'Love, Thomas'


-~/^\~-


'Nothing's really been going on here – sorry it took me an extra week to write back. I know you've got your hands full keeping Sirius from bringing the house down, but do you think you could send or recommend me any new books? I'm having trouble finding anything in the library that isn't putting me to sleep, and Quidditch practise only takes up so much time.
'I know you're not fond of talking about Grandfather Potter, but do you think he would have named you his heir if Dad wasn't born?
'Draco says that his father spoke highly of you in his letter following the dinner party. Other than you, though, Draco says that he says only that the other guests were polite.
'Snape's stopped being a git all together, but I'm just waiting for him to think we've let our guard down.
'Oh, trust me, Sylvin has informed me often that if I do anything stupid he'll smack me with his tail.
'Harry'


-~/^\~-


'Ah, it took me a little to find a book that wouldn't continue the trend, I'm afraid, but it's attached.
'You know, I don't know. My mother seemed certain he would and she's all I have to go on, since we never met, Father and I. She was still hopeful after James was born, but by then it was pretty much a forgone conclusion that even if Father remembered me, I wouldn't be his heir. I'm not sure your grandmother even knew I existed.
'Lucius and Narcissa came over to Elizabeth and John's this past Friday – I'm sure Elizabeth already told you – and things went just fine. Narcissa and Elizabeth seem to have hit things off eerily well. Lucius and I talked a lot about politics. Sirius and Remus tried joining in, but they've both been so far behind that they just decided to keep poor John company in the end. We may end up having the Malfoys over for Christmas dinner with the Grangers. What do you think, would Neville's grandmother let him come over as well?
'Tell Sylvin if he does anything beyond smacking you with his tail, I might have to take drastic measures.
'Two weeks and you'll be home. How does it feel?
'Love, Thomas'


-~/^\~-


'It feels brilliant. I can't wait to get home. I mean, I love the friends I've made here and all, but nothing beats being at home and sleeping in a room that I don't have to share with Ron Weasley, the Champion Snorer.
'You, Uncle Thomas, are a life saver. I don't know how I would have survived this week without that book to read. Send me another? (I almost wish I hadn't said that those Merlin books could wait until Christmas.)
'From what you've told me about Grandfather Potter, it's possible he just forgot about you and your mum to protect himself and Grandmum Potter. I don't know. Sirius says that, as far as he knew, Dad was the only son Grandfather Potter had.
'She had, actually. She's quite taken with Narcissa, too. She just keeps going on and on about her. It's really quite impressive. Draco says his mum's singing praises about Elizabeth in her letters to him. His dad's still speaking highly of you and not anything about anyone else. Merlin, Uncle Thomas. What did you SAY to him that has him so in love with you?
'Nev says that he'll ask his Gran, but he's really not sure. She's glad he's making lots of friends and all, but, well, you know. She's REALLY over-protective. Nev says that even if he CAN come for dinner, he might be a little late. Says he visits his parents every Christmas. And, no, he still hasn't told me, nor have I pried.
'Sylvin says that you'd better be taking care of yourself or he'll start smacking YOU with his tail. I told him he needs to grow up, so he kinda slithered off in a sulk. That was yesterday. I haven't seen him yet today, but I'm sure he's fine.
'A little over a week now!
'Harry'


-~/^\~-


'Somehow, I knew you'd need another book. You're now officially lucky and will have the rest of your friends jealous, I assure you. Somehow, Kavi Callum heard you're a fan and sent this to me. It's not supposed to be published for another two months and he says it hasn't even been handed to his beta-reader yet. You'll be the first to see it. Happy Early Christmas.
'Sirius and I have, actually, come to a bit of a truce. Sort of. And since I'm not spending every waking moment yelling at him, he and I have actually had a few decent conversations. I'm amazed. There's so much about James that I never knew; it's nice having someone around who knew him.
'We had dinner together at Elizabeth and John's house again. The Malfoys came as well. I brought up Christmas dinner to Lucius and he seems to think it would be nice. We did argue a bit over whose house it should take place at, but I think I've won. Maybe. It should be interesting.
'Hm. Well, it might help, I suppose, if I met with Augusta. Blast. Maybe at the platform – it's getting a little too close to Christmas for the formalities to go through. Why didn't I think of this last week, I wonder?
'As long as Sylvin's turned up again by Sunday, everything should be fine. If not, accio him to you and lock him in a box and I'll argue with him when you get home.
'Love, Thomas'


-~/^\~-


'MERLIN'S BEARD, I LOVE YOU!! YOU'RE THE COOLEST UNCLE EVER!!'

-~/^\~-


'Okay, so, the book was fabulous. I'll have to send Mr Callum a thank you note as soon as I get home. A long one. With lots of praise. Neville's got the book now and Draco's called it next. Hermione's started in on the second book in the series because she wants to know what we're all so crazy about. She likes it so far.
'I'm really, really glad you and Sirius have stopped going at one another's throats on a minutely basis. You two are just impossible sometimes, I think.
'Doubly interesting fitting everyone into the kitchen. Or are we going to have this party at the Leland Manor like two years ago? That dining room's pretty big, as I recall. Not to mention gorgeous.
'Point: You're not perfect, you're not omnipotent and you have been known to make mistakes before. Never mind that you've got Sirius around to annoy all coherent thought out of you.
'Nev says he'll bring his Gran over to meet everyone. He's REALLY not sure how she'll handle the Malfoys, though. Warn them.
'No, he came back. And he's against being shoved in a box. He says he's going to bite you when we get home. Hard. And with much pleasure. It's quite disturbing to listen to.
'Three more days. Just three more days...
'Harry'


-~/^\~-


Thomas and Sirius had Apparated over to John and Elizabeth's house, then Side-Along Apparated their Muggle friends to the train station. They met the Malfoys at the platform and settled in to wait for a bit before the train would arrive. Thomas had already mentioned to Lucius and Narcissa that Neville Longbottom was bringing his grandmother over to introduce her to his friends and their parents. Narcissa waved it off and went back to gossiping with Elizabeth over something, but Lucius nodded in understanding. Death Eaters ruined the Longbottom family and Lucius was a Death Eater, albeit a pardoned one, but not all Light families were as forgiving as Thomas had proven to be.

Almost as soon as the train had pulled into the station, a small black blur slammed into Thomas and he only barely managed to keep his balance. "Hello, Harry," he said with a chuckle.

Harry grinned up at his uncle. "Hi, Uncle Thomas." He let go of Thomas and tackled Sirius away from John as Hermione and Draco appeared out of the crowds.

Hermione went straight to her parents for hugs while Draco greeted Lucius stiffly and allowed Narcissa to fuss over him a bit. Then the boy turned to him with a small smile. "Thomas."

"Draco. A pleasure to see you well," Thomas replied, inclining his head. Then he found himself with arms full of brown hair and a young witch. "Hello, Hermione. You look well."

"Hi, Thomas. How's your life been?" Hermione asked, eyes glittering with mirth.

"Interesting," Thomas allowed with a wry smile, then put her down. "Here, Hermione, this is Lucius Malfoy and his wife, Narcissa. Lucius, Narcissa, this is Hermione Granger."

"A pleasure to meet you," Hermione offered with a faint curtsey.

"And you, dear," Narcissa replied, giving Hermione a fond smile. Lucius and Thomas shared a look.

"And I'm Harry Potter," Harry declared, strutting forward with a smirk.

Thomas smacked the back of his head.

"Hey!"

"Ego, Harry. Ego."

:I'll hit you too,: Sylvin threatened the boy.

Thomas picked Sylvin up and set the little snake on his own shoulder with a sigh. "Behave, you."

Lucius looked surprised. "I wasn't aware you had a snake, Mr Potter," he said, looking at Harry.

Harry shrugged. "Yeah. Uncle Thomas got him for me years ago. He's grumpy right now 'cause I told him off."

"You–" Lucius blinked.

"Harry's a Parselmouth," Thomas explained quietly.

Lucius' eyes lit up in understanding. "I see. A curious talent, Mr Potter."

Harry shrugged uncomfortably and was saved having to answer by the appearance of Neville and Augusta Longbottom. Augusta looked most displeased with the current company and Neville looked a little peaked.

Thomas stepped forward and performed a half-bow, ignoring Sylvin's complaints about his sudden movement. "Augusta Longbottom?"

Augusta frowned at him, but nodded. "I am she."

"My name is Thomas Leland-Potter. It's a pleasure to make your acquaintance," Thomas said with a faint smile. "I assure you that there is no ill-intent meant by any of those here with us."

Augusta let out a 'humph'. "I believe I will make that assessment for myself, Mr Leland-Potter."

Thomas inclined his head in understanding and moved to introduce the others behind him. "To your left is John Granger, his wife Elizabeth, and his daughter, Hermione. John and Elizabeth are Muggles, while Hermione attends school with your grandson. To your right is Lucius Malfoy, his wife Narcissa, and his son, Draco. Behind me are my nephew, Harry Potter, and his godfather, Sirius Black."

Augusta's frown seemed to deepen. "Muggles, the Boy Who Lived, a pardoned Death Eater and a pardoned supposed Death Eater. Interesting company you have here, Mr Leland-Potter."

"I try," he commented dryly.

"And will these people all be attending your Christmas dinner?" Augusta asked.

"And one other, Mr Remus Lupin."

"And where might this dinner be taking place?"

"Leland Manor, Mrs Longbottom. In Southern Wales."

"I'm aware of where Leland Manor is, Mr Leland-Potter."

Thomas inclined his head. "Forgive me."

Augusta sniffed in distaste, then looked at Neville. "And you want to go to this dinner, Neville?"

"Yes, Gran," Neville managed in a small voice.

Thomas felt Harry step up beside him. "Please, Mrs Longbottom. It would mean a lot to us if he could come."

Augusta gave Harry an appraising look, then nodded stiffly. "Very well. When is this dinner to be?"

Thomas stomped down on the urge to smile triumphantly and said, "Five-thirty, but Harry tells me Neville may be a little late, which is fine."

"Very well. Will the Floo be open?"

"Yes. I'll have Harry owl Neville with the pass code tonight or tomorrow."

"Acceptable," Augusta decided, then turned to Neville. "Say good-bye to your friends, then." Once Neville had finished his good-byes to his friends, Augusta nodded to them all again and led him away.

"Ugh," Harry said in the following silence. "She's horrible."

Thomas snorted while everyone else but Lucius laughed. "At least you waited until after she'd left to say that," he commented to his nephew.

"I'm not an idiot, you know."

"Fooled me."

Harry rolled his eyes. "How are we getting home?"

"Apparation."

"Erm, Thomas, you know what I just realized?" Sirius called.

Thomas turned to look at him. "No, but I have a sinking feeling I'm about to find out." Sirius glared at him and Thomas rolled his eyes. "What is it, Sirius?"

"The number of people who can't Apparate outnumber the number of people who can."

"Yes. So?"

Lucius shook his head. "You can only Side-Along Apparate one person at a time, Thomas."

"Not if they're Muggles or Squibs," Thomas countered.

"Eh?" Sirius said intelligently.

"Expand on that, please," Lucius requested, looking thoroughly befuddled.

Thomas sighed. "The reason you can only Side-Along Apparate one extra person is not, as most witches and wizards believe, because of the extra mass, but because your magic is, in a sense, fighting with their magic, which is why it's almost impossible to Side-Along Apparate an unwilling witch or wizard. As Muggles and Squibs have no magic, there's not that problem to contend with, so a witch or wizard can Side-Along Apparate as many Muggles or Squibs as their magic can support."

"What book did you read that in?" Hermione asked curiously.

Thomas shrugged. "None. I did a study on it when I was younger."

Lucius nodded thoughtfully. "It's sound, and I trust your findings. How shall we do this?"

"I believe we all decided to have dinner at the mansion tonight, dear," Narcissa offered helpfully.

Thomas chuckled. "Lucius, why don't you take Draco? Sirius can take Harry and Narcissa can take Hermione. I'll bring Elizabeth and John. We'll go to Malfoy Mansion, have a wonderful dinner, then worry about getting everyone else home after. Sound fair?"

"Rather," Lucius agreed. "Oh, and I forgot to warn you, Thomas. We'll be having another guest at dinner tonight. He's staying at the mansion for the hols."

"Oh?" Thomas inquired.

"Yes. Severus Snape," Lucius said with a smile, then Disapparated with Draco.

"Snape is going to eat dinner with us?!" Harry complained.

"Who's the better person, Harry, you or Professor Snape?" Thomas asked tiredly as Narcissa Disapparated with Hermione.

"Me," Harry allowed grudgingly.

"Act like it. Elizabeth, John? Hold on, please." And they were gone.

-~/^\~-


The dinner hadn't been too bad. Snape had mostly ignored his students and retired almost as soon as he was done eating. After dinner, Thomas had sent Harry home by Floo before helping Sirius to take the Grangers home. When they returned to their home, Harry was already in bed, asleep and Sirius had followed suit. Thomas stayed up a bit longer to argue with Sylvin before retiring himself. Christmas Eve or not, he still had to open in the morning for the last day before Christmas rush.

-~/^\~-


When Thomas got up the morning of the twenty-forth, he could already smell bacon and eggs from downstairs. As he dressed, he considered to himself how much easier life was with Harry home. Sirius had proven himself incapable of cooking anything without setting off the smoke detector and Thomas had finally gotten to the point where he spelled the stove and the microwave to not let Sirius use them. Honestly, the man was a danger to himself.

As he was descending the stairs, Thomas saw Sirius poke his head out of his room, sniffing at the air. When he saw Thomas on the stairs, he blinked. "Erm..."

"I taught Harry how to cook," Thomas explained. "It appears as though he's made breakfast." Then he continued down the stairs and through the hallway to the kitchen.

Harry was standing next to the toaster, waiting for the toast to pop, but he turned around with a ready smile when he heard Thomas enter the room. "Good morning, Uncle Thomas."

"Good morning, Harry. Did you sleep well?" Thomas asked, taking his usual spot at the table. Years of practise had taught him that when Harry made breakfast, you didn't try and help, you just sat down at the table and waited. When Thomas made breakfast, Harry usually got into the kitchen after everything was already out on the table, so there was never a problem.

"Very well, thank you. How did you sleep?"

"Well enough. I woke up once, but fell right back to sleep." Thomas smiled at Harry's grin. "I must say, it's nice to not have to make breakfast for once. Your godfool can't cook."

"I've heard. Is it true the fire department actually came once?" Harry asked curiously as he brought a plate a freshly toasted bread over to the table and sat it in the centre, next to the butter.

"Sadly, yes. So I spelled everything so he can't use them any more."

"Are you talking about me?" Sirius demanded as he swept into the kitchen. "Morning, Harry. This smells absolutely divine."

Harry blushed. "Thanks, Sirius."

"Actually," Thomas offered blandly, "we were talking about you."

Harry frowned at him. "Don't start a fight."

"Yeah, Thomas, don't start a fight," Sirius added, shooting Thomas a stern look.

Harry turned his frown on his godfather while Thomas rolled his eyes. "Eat."

Sirius sighed. "I keep forgetting that old sourpuss over there raised you."

Thomas tuned him out in favour of the paper an owl delivered. "Harry, don't forget to owl Neville with the pass code today," he said absently as he handed the owl it's money from the bowl of change on the table and shook the paper open.

:Put that down and eat,: Kaz reprimanded him from his neck. The snake had taken to pretending to be a necklace when he wanted to travel places on Thomas' person. Luckily enough, because he was an albino, most people didn't even consider him to be real. When asked where he'd gotten the necklace, Thomas would answer, 'A bin,' and smile.

Thomas sighed and set the newspaper to one side with a sad look. :I was going to eat, Kaz.:

:No, you were going to read the paper, lose track of time and never finish your breakfast because you're running late. Eat now, read the paper later.:

Thomas offer the snake a strip of bacon before starting in on his eggs. :Sylvin, get off the table,: he called automatically when he saw the flash of green next to Harry.

Harry chuckled and set his disgruntled snake on his shoulder, then handed him a large piece of bacon. :You should know better, Sylvin. You don't try getting on the table at Hogwarts.:

:It's not safe at Hogwarts. One of your friends might see me and freak out and then where will I be?:

:A grease spot,: Thomas offered with a smirk.

Sylvin swore at him.

Thomas laughed.

Harry pouted. "Why do you always yell at me when I use foul language, but you don't care when Sylvin does?"

"I only reprimand you when we're in polite company, Harry." Thomas rolled his eyes.

Harry stuck his tongue out, then got a thoughtful look on his face. "Hey, do either of you know anything about Nicolas Flamel?"

Thomas choked on his tea and stared at Harry with wide, surprised eyes while Sirius said, "Can't say I do. The name sounds a little familiar, but I can't think of why."

Harry turned to Thomas suspiciously as the man cast around for something to help him escape. He saw the clock. "Shit! I'm going to be late!"

"Uncle Thomas," Harry half-whined.

Thomas turned from where he was putting his dishes by the sink. "Spend today organizing your Chocolate Frog Cards," he suggested, then hurried out of the kitchen to put his shoes on and leave.

-~/^\~-


Hermione and Harry were pouring over a pile of books when Thomas got home. Sirius was playing with Harry's Chocolate Frog Card collection while John was staring at one of the few wizarding picture books that Thomas hadn't gotten rid of yet. It sounded as though Elizabeth was making tea in the kitchen.

"Are you planning on putting all those books back when you're done?" Thomas asked of the two students as he toed off his shoes.

Harry spun around and stared at him for a long moment before demanding, "Tell us."

Thomas cocked an eyebrow at him. "Tell you what?"

"Sit down, Harry," Hermione ordered, then turned to Thomas with her best smile and said, "Thomas, could you please tell us about Nicolas Flamel?"

"No." Thomas walked out of the sitting room to the kitchen. "Elizabeth. And Remus! I hadn't known you were here as well."

"Hello, Thomas," Remus replied tiredly.

Thomas frowned and sat at the table across from his friend. "Bad moon?"

Remus shrugged. "Not the worst."

Thomas grimaced in sympathy as Elizabeth sat a cup of tea in front of him. "Thanks, Elizabeth."

"Of course."

Pounding feet heralded the arrival of two irritated students. "Uncle Tho–"

Thomas impaled the two with a sharp look. "If you want to know about Mr Flamel then you need to do the work. I refuse to hand you answers. If you want someone to do that, owl Professor Dumbledore. End of discussion." He turned back around and took a sip of his tea.

Harry stormed out of the kitchen with Hermione following him much more quietly.

"I don't suppose you could have just told them?" Remus asked. From the stove, Elizabeth shot Thomas a questioning look.

Thomas sighed and leaned back in his chair. "It has to do with the thing Dumbledore has hidden in the school to keep it safe from Voldemort. The farther away from the whole mess they stay, the better I'll feel by far. Honestly, I spent the entire day kicking myself for giving Harry any sort of hint."

"You know some very strange things sometimes, Thomas," Elizabeth commented. "Narcissa says she has no clue what Dumbledore's got in there, and Lucius is on the Board of Governors."

Thomas shrugged. "What can I say? I have a way of learning about things I shouldn't."

Remus shook his head. "I know Hogwarts is one of the safest places in our world, but why would he hide something from Voldemort in a school full of children?"

"I honestly haven't the faintest. I really think Flamel should just bite the bullet and destroy the damn thing. It's not going to end well at this rate."

Remus blinked. "Thomas, are you a Seer? You sound so sure."

"Maybe." He stood and waved his cup into the sink. "We should probably head over to Leland Manor. I'll go tell the others."

"Very well."

-~/^\~-


Thomas let Harry be angry at him. He knew that the boy would find everything out eventually – neither he nor Hermione lacked brains – but he felt better halting his nephew's search for the moment. He only hoped that Harry would calm down by tomorrow morning so Christmas wasn't a complete nightmare.

Harry was the only one who had been to Leland Manor before, and even he looked impressed with the Christmas decorations. Everyone else, of course, was far more enthralled with the Manor itself. Thomas had to admit that, the first time he'd seen the place, after his mother's death, he'd been pretty impressed himself.

The welcoming room which they'd Floo'd into was done in a shade of blue that was equal to the purity of the sky after a thunderstorm passed. The room was accented in white and silver. The couch and three chairs were all pastel blue while the two tables were made of some sort of animal bone, as far as Thomas had been able to determine. The rug was royal blue and ran throughout the house. He'd added a few Christmas touches with garlands strung around the door and window frames and settled over the fireplace. A tiny fir tree in a pot and decorated with doll house-sized fake lights and ornaments sat on the fireplace mantel, surrounded by tiny, shiny packages in silver and gold.

Thomas had spent almost a month putting decorations up all over the house in between sharing letters with Harry and spending time with his group of older companions. Sirius kept begging to come along and help, but Thomas kept saying that it was to be a surprise. The Animagus certainly looked impressed, after he walked out into the main hallway which had garland draped over picture frames, door frames, and even strung along the trim on the high ceiling.

"Is the whole place like this?" Sirius asked, turning to stare at Thomas.

"Erm, yes, actually. I admit, I may have overdone it with the decorations a bit..."

"This is fucking amazing, Thomas. And you did all this yourself, right? You said you don't have any house-elves..."

"Well, wearing oneself out by hanging a lot of garland and bows was a good way to keep from throttling you when I got back to the house, I found."

"How big is this building?" Elizabeth asked, looking awed.

Thomas frowned and mentally counted. "Three floors and an attic. This floor is made up of the two dining rooms, the kitchen, the welcoming room, the foyer, the sitting room, the library and a potions lab, so that's seven and a half rooms, technically. The second floor's got the study on it, a small work-out/duelling room, and ten other rooms that are done up as private sitting rooms or bedrooms, so that's nineteen and a half. Third floor's got, what, sixteen bedrooms, I think? That's...thirty-five and a half rooms? Oh, and the six bathrooms on each of the upper floors and the three down here."

The Grangers, Remus and Sirius were all gaping while Harry frowned at his own shoes. Thomas shuffled uncomfortably.

"Wait," Sirius suddenly said. "That would mean that this house is bigger than Malfoy Mansion!"

Thomas nodded. "Leland Manor was built before Malfoy Mansion and kept being added onto by following generations. My mother's great-great-grandfather gambled away most of the family's money, though, or we'd be richer than the Malfoys."

Sirius shook his head. "Okay, you've stumped me. How'd they get you," he pointed at Thomas, "out of this?" he finished, opening his arms to encompass the entire house.

Thomas scowled. "You're making yourself a comfortable spot on the front porch tonight, dog-boy."

"Then, weren't the Leland's proud purebloods like the Malfoys?" Hermione asked.

Thomas snorted. "Don't get me wrong, my family is a bunch of stuck up pricks. My mother just slept with someone she shouldn't have. If she hadn't been the last heir, they would have disowned her." Thomas shrugged. "Shall I show you all to your rooms?"

"That would be lovely," Elizabeth said, before Hermione could ask any more questions about things Thomas wasn't really willing to talk about.

-~/^\~-


After a quiet dinner in the smaller dining room, the group in the house dispersed. As far as Thomas could discern, John and Elizabeth had retired to their room, while Harry and Hermione had disappeared into the library. Sirius had been sent to wash dishes after irritating Thomas for the tenth time at dinner and Remus had, for some reason, decided to help the mutt. Thomas, himself, had disappeared into the study to ponder life over a glass of brandy.

Harry found him in the study at midnight, when he and Hermione decided to head for bed. "Uncle Thomas?"

Thomas glanced up from the fire tiredly and motioned Harry to a chair. Once Harry took it, Thomas commented, "I see you're talking to me again."

Harry sighed and pulled his knees up to his chest. "Remus came and told us what you said in the kitchen."

Thomas nodded and sipped at what was left of his glass. "I see."

The two sat in silence for a while.

"I will admit, Harry, that I have a bad habit of being overprotective. I simply don't want to lose you like I've lost everyone else," Thomas finally said, banishing his glass to the kitchen.

"You're not going to lose me," Harry replied firmly.

Thomas looked at Harry sadly. "You don't know that, child."

Harry shuddered at the look in his uncle's eyes. Thomas knew it bothered Harry when he got depressed over a drink, but sometimes he simply needed the alcohol to think about things better left for nightmares of the past. Not even Sylvin dared bother him on such occasions.

"No, I don't know that," Harry agreed. "But worrying about it only makes life less fun." He tried to smile for his uncle, but it faded after a few seconds.

"I know," Thomas said. He glanced at the garland-covered clock on the mantel and stood. "Bed, I should think."

Harry stood and launched himself at his uncle. Thomas hugged him tightly, half afraid that if he let go, he'd never see the boy again. "Can I sleep in your room tonight, Uncle Thomas?" Harry requested.

Thomas felt a smile tug at his lips. "I thought you outgrew that when you were eight."

"It's Christmas," Harry said defensively. "I'm allowed to be childish if I want."

Thomas kissed the boy's scar. "Of course you may sleep in my room tonight, Harry. Go put your pyjamas on first."

"Okay." Harry slipped out of Thomas' arms and hurried from the room.

As he followed the boy out, Thomas felt as if the fear and worry that had been weighing on his shoulders since that morning had lifted. He knew Harry and his friends would still try and find out all they could about Nicolas Flamel and what was beneath the trap door on the third floor, but, somehow, it didn't bother him now. Perhaps it was because he still had Harry and the boy hadn't completely outgrown his old uncle yet. Yes, that must be it.

-~/^\~-



The chapter was too large for LJ. Part two can be found here.

Chapters:
Pro - To Face the Unknown / 1 - Two Potters
2 - Diagon Alley ||| 3 - Summer's End and Letters ||| 4 - The Trial
5 - Letters and Christmas ||| 6 - Dragons and Stones ||| 7 - The First Summer
8 - The Second Year ||| 9 - The Third Year ||| 10 - Fight For What You Believe In
11 - Thomas Potter ||| 12 - Plots and Plans ||| 13 - The Children's Hand
14 - ???
Incomplete

.

Date: 23/7/07 21:57 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skaill.livejournal.com
Possible - HP/DM Oh, please not. Please, please not. Pretty please, I'm begging you!

I love how the kids are treating Snape. *snort* Talk about maturity.

On to part two...

Date: 25/7/07 15:30 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] skaill.livejournal.com
*G* I used to like HP/DM, too. When I started reading HP fanfic I read almost nothing but HP/DM for months. Haven't for a while now. While I still think Tom Felton as Draco terribly attractive, I simply have almost no patience left for him. Maybe that will change again, but for now I skip fics with Draco-pairings. Sometimes I even stop reading stories where he is part of a major side-pairing, or even just a major plot character. But that's solely my problem, isn't it? And certainly not my say how you should write your story.

Date: 24/7/07 08:57 (UTC)
From: [identity profile] black-castle.livejournal.com
Hey, I just found this journal. I have been a long time fan, so I am friending so I can keep up with things. I love your work. I wish you much luck and inspiration in your writing.

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