Harry Crow

What will happen when a goblin-raised Harry arrives at Hogwarts. A Harry who has received training, already knows the prophecy and has no scar. With the backing of the goblin nation and Hogwarts herself. Complete.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/8186071/1/Harry-Crow

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22. Shooting, Shopping, and Shit Happens

The group portkeyed into Gringotts where Barchoke warmly greeted them. They were also welcomed by a bathed, barbered and certainly more becoming Lord Sirius Orion Black.

"It's a pleasure to meet you all, especially Harry's friends." It was difficult not to tease his godson, since he was standing there holding a witch's hand, but Sirius managed to resist. He'd spent hours chatting with Barchoke about their favourite subject and had quickly discovered how close Harry was to a certain Miss Granger. Sirius was desperate to discover more about his godson.

"I understand you all have plans for today but was wondering if we could have dinner together tonight? I've hired a private room from Tom in the Leaky Cauldron and we could spend an hour or two getting to know one another this evening?"

Dan and Emma thought this was a brilliant idea, with the three kids all showing great enthusiasm for the plan too, it was quickly confirmed as a date.

He then addressed his godson. "I know you're meeting more of your friends today, Harry, please invite any of them along that want to come too. The more the merrier has always been one of my mottos."

Barchoke then handed Emma an envelope thick with cash. "Harry wanted the shopping trip to be on him. I know you already bought my son practically a new wardrobe, and both of us are really grateful for that. Today though, we'd like it to be our treat."

Emma was left with no other option but to graciously accept before they headed off to the Leaky Cauldron, where the rest of their friends would be joining them.

Neville and his gran, the formidable Lady Longbottom - resplendent with her signature stuffed vulture hat, were already in the pub. That their friend didn't rush straight over to greet them alerted the other three there was something else going on here.

His gran marched over and bowed to Harry. "Centurion Crow, the house of Longbottom would like to thank you, your father and the goblin nation for righting a great wrong. Our house is in your debt..."

Harry understood it wasn't polite to interrupt someone in a situation like this, but he felt compelled to do so. "Madam Longbottom, please don't. I told Neville back in September he was the nearest thing to family I have, there can be no talk of debts between us. That was also my godmother the death eater attacked, goblins look after family Madam Longbottom. My friends and family call me Harry, I would be honoured if you would do the same."

There was a hint of moisture in the proud old witch's eyes as she stared at the young man in front of her. "Thank you, Harry. I can see Neville has made some good friends in his short time at Hogwarts."

"My godfather has invited us all to dinner here tonight, we would certainly be delighted if you and Neville could join us?"

One glance at her grandson was all she needed to know this was something he really wanted her to say yes to. Neville had been missing his friends so Augusta quickly agreed. This seemed to be the cue that Neville had been waiting for, he dashed from behind his grandmother to greet his friends.

Ramrao Patil exited the floo to see one of his twin daughters in the company of potentially, two of the most powerful young wizards in Britain. That his other daughter, still wearing her gift from Harry, was also joining the group for today pleased him greatly.

Hearing that they were invited to meet Lord Black for dinner tonight was a golden opportunity that couldn't be turned down, he and Smita would certainly be taking up that offer.

Discovering mere minutes later that Madam Bones and her two charges would also be joining them had Ramrao's head in a spin. Since their move to Britain, the Patils had constantly faced hostility from the country's pureblood elite. They guarded their 'patch' jealously, and it had been made very plain that he and his beautiful wife were not wanted.

Their twins were like both halves of his beloved wife. Smita was as serious as Padma or as flighty as Parvati, depending on her mood and the circumstances. That they didn't get invited to parties and balls because they weren't 'British' was just another form of bigotry as far as the Patils were concerned. That his wife loved parties and dancing was the only reason that their snubs bothered him.

Every day, Ramrao woke and thanked both their families for bringing Smita into his life, he loved his wife more than life itself. He also loved his daughters, and that was the main reason he had offered the betrothal contract to Harry Potter. The wife of Lord Potter could be of any descent or blood purity, the Lady Potter would demand respect.

That both his girls now owed this young man a life debt was something that he might bring up later at dinner, but not before talking it over with Smita first. He may be the voice of the Patil family but only a fool didn't listen to good advice, and his wife always gave good advice.

That Padma's friendship with these people saw the Patil family invited to dinner amongst this exulted company was not lost on her father either. That his daughter was clearly very happy was also something he wanted to encourage. He wished everyone well before heading home to talk over these developments with his wife. That there would also be muggles, and perhaps even goblins at this dinner too bothered the head of the Patil family not a jot.

-oOoOo-

Outside the pub, the group split along gender lines. Dan was taking both boys to his club for a few hours while Emma loaded the girls into a Harrods bound taxi. Emma decided it would be better containing the young witches to the one store. In London, that meant Harrods. They could easily spend the day there, with the menfolk meeting them later for lunch.

The instant the group entered the store, Padma had to take her twin aside and try to talk her down. Parvati was so excited, there was a real danger of her releasing accidental magic.

"...but Padma look, just look..."

"I see it Pav, but you need to calm down and then we can both enjoy it. We've got hours to shop before meeting the boys for lunch. Then more shopping before heading back and having dinner with everyone."

It was really comical to watch her sister's eyes almost bulge out her head. "You mean we can actually buy some of this stuff? Padma, I don't have any of their money?"

This drew a smile from her twin. "I do, and Harry's father gave a pile to Emma for our shopping too. I was going to get some perfume for mum, and maybe slippers for father? Will you help me chose?"

This was exactly the right thing to say, Parvati had Padma by the arm and was dragging her deeper into this Alladin's cave of treasures.

Hannah and Susan's jaws were practically on the floor too, drawing a giggle from Hermione. "Probably just as well Parvati doesn't know this is only one floor of the store."

It was Susan who recovered first. "You mean there's more?"

"There are seven floors. Mum, we're going to head up to the fashion section. Will you keep your eye on the twins?"

Hannah was also recovering from the shock. "Mrs Granger, just mention fashion section to Parvati, she'll be along to join us in a flash."

Hermione led both girls over to the escalator, drawing another comment from Hannah. "Now this is what I call a moving staircase, why can't we have these kind at Hogwarts?"

"Hey, you should give being in Ravenclaw a try. We've to climb up to the top of that tower umpteen times every day." Hermione led them unerringly to the right department, and watched their chins hit the floor again.

"Harry's father gave my mum cash to pay for this today. So, anything you see you like, just sing out."

This was way too much for Susan. "What if you like it all?"

Hermione's giggles once more rang out. "Let's go and have a look at some tops, unless you want to check out the lingerie section before the boys get here..."

-oOoOo-

Dan led Harry and Neville into the child-friendly diner on Harrods fourth floor, only to be mobbed. Well, only for Harry to be mobbed by three exceedingly happy young witches. Parvati had her arms wrapped around Harry and kissed him on the cheek, before passing the bewildered boy onto the redhead. "Thank you, Harry, thank you. This place is simply amazing!"

Neville was chuckling at his friend's discomfort, that was before a hyper-excited Parvati gave him the same treatment. "What was that for? I didn't do anything..."

"I didn't want you feeling left out."

Following that same logic, Susan and Hannah hugged and kissed Neville too - after Harry though.

Emma slid out the booth to the table next to it where Dan joined her. Harry was soon sitting between Hermione and Padma, while Neville found himself squashed into the other bench seat between Parvati and Susan. Both were sitting very close, using the excuse they needed to squeeze up so Hannah could fit on the seat too.

Hermione asked Harry how he got on at her father's club, his frown signalled not too well. "It was okay. We spent ages learning safety protocols, then had to wear earmuffs and special glasses - all to put a few holes in a piece of paper. I was kinda expecting more...if that makes sense?"

Hermione realised that, after some of the spells they had been learning from Professor Weasley, shooting paper targets would seem a tad tame. "I'll ask dad to give you a demonstration of just what guns are capable of before we head back to Hogwarts. It's not just paper targets you can put holes in - and from a far greater distance than you can cast a spell."

Harry left that for now, keen to discover how their morning had gone. He'd loaned Hermione his bag, and that was the only reason they weren't currently drowning in shopping. He'd actually thought about getting Hermione a bag of her own for Christmas, he liked carrying her books though so scrapped that idea.

Emma ordered a range of starters, burgers and shakes all round. Both parents couldn't contain their smiles at the sight of their daughter sitting eating lunch amongst her friends as they all caught up with each other. That they were witches and wizards didn't matter to the two dentists, that they were Hermione's friends was all that counted. Neither would admit that they had practically given up on this ever happening for their daughter.

-oOoOo-

It was a blessing Sirius had hired a private room, the youngsters hit the Leaky Cauldron like a tsunami - their excitement and exuberance sweeping everything in their path. It was a knackered and somewhat relieved Emma and Dan who trailed on behind them. Of the seven kids they'd been in charge of, four of them had never set foot in a muggle shop before - with Harry and Padma faring only slightly better on the experience scale. The Granger parents felt a bit like a sheepdog must at the end of a hard day working in the hills, ready for their dinner and then curling up to sleep.

Seeing everyone else was already in the room, Emma attempted to apologise. "Sorry for being late everybody, the store was still open and we practically had to drag this lot out." It was said with a smile as all the guests could see their charges had really enjoyed themselves.

Amelia Bones headed straight to Emma and offered her a chair. "You have the look of someone who could use a drink before dinner, what would you like?"

"Oh a glass of red wine would be lovely right about now..."

The words had hardly left Emma's mouth when her requested drink appeared on the table right in front of her. While she was contemplating how that happened, Amelia had more to say.

"I want to thank you for what you did for the kids today, it's easy to see they all enjoyed it. I don't know how you managed to keep an eye on them all day?"

"It was easy, Auntie, we were only in one store. Providing we didn't leave it, and trust me we didn't want to leave it, we could look about at all this amazing stuff."

The information Susan had missed telling was supplied by Hannah. "This one store was bigger than all of Diagon Alley put together! It was seven stories high and sold everything from entire kitchens to pairs of knickers - I've never seen a shop sell a complete room before."

At this, Emma had to intercede. "The girls did hit the lingerie section, I tried to ensure their purchases were all age appropriate but don't know if things differ in your society. You might want to check what they bought first?"

A stunningly beautiful Indian woman, wearing a gorgeous pastel green sari, was now beside them. If there was even the slightest doubt of her identity, this was dispelled when Emma spotted the gift in her hand that she'd seen Padma and Parvati pick for their mother.

"Hello Mrs Granger, I'm Smita Patil and I would like to thank you for what you've done for my girls. I know Parvati likes to push the boundaries so I will be checking her purchases, please don't think this in any way reflects on you. Padma can't speak highly enough of both you and your husband, and I really am so grateful for the opportunities you've given her and Parvati."

Emma was up and shaking her hand in greeting before they were then joined by Augusta. With Hermione currently unloading and distributing the day's shopping amongst their charges, the four ladies were taking this chance to chat before dinner.

Ramrao had been chatting with Lord Black and Barchoke, that was until the main party arrived. Sirius instantly made a beeline for Dan Granger. The twin's father then heard the impossible, a goblin chuckling with laughter.

"You'll have to excuse Lord Black, he's not quite himself yet. Since gaining his freedom, he's been beside me at every spare moment - desperate to find out more about his godson. This is the second time Harry has stayed at the Grangers and he really couldn't wait to talk to Dan about it. Both Hermione's parents are fond of my son, that makes them people Sirius absolutely wants to get to know. I'll need to see Hermione about adding him to their wards."

Recognising that no snub was intended, Ramrao asked a question that had troubled him. "I wondered about those wards when Padma told us we would have to contact her through Gringotts. Can you ward a muggle house?"

"The director made Hermione a friend of our nation. That, and my son staying there, allows the building to be warded. As you will appreciate, Dan and Emma would be helpless against even something as simple as malicious mail. Normally this would not be a problem, but this is not a normal situation. Hermione's friendship with my son is now known nationally, my son also has enemies from the last war that the ministry didn't deal with. Neither of us were prepared to take the chance that those enemies might go after a soft target."

This was a development Ramrao had not thought of. As he watched his wife standing chatting with the other women, and his girls gathered with their friends, it was almost as if the goblin read his mind.

"Padma and Neville may not have appeared at his side in the Prophet, but you can bet the wrong people will know how close they both are to my son. Longbottom Manor sits behind strong and ancient wards, but I am unaware of what level of protection you have on your home?"

"I really never thought about this, and our home just has a very basic set of wards around it. If my family is in danger then it's not a matter of cost, more important to me is how quickly a secure set of wards can be arranged?"

"As I said to Dan and Emma, this is more of a precautionary measure. If Harry were to stay at your house..."

"My daughter's friends are welcome to stay anytime."

This was all Barchoke needed to hear. "Let's go and have a quick word with Dan and Sirius..."

There was something about Dan Granger that Sirius instantly liked, apart from the fact he was looking after Harry. There seemed to be an ease about the man, an ease that disguised a steely centre. As an auror, you needed to know your partner would stand by you and have your back when trouble called. Sirius was getting the impression here was a man you could count on.

That he was also giving the marauder teasing material to use on his godson was another big plus in Dan's favour. Sirius had heard from Barchoke that Harry had been pretty broken up when discovering he was innocent, yet still had to stay in Azkaban. Hearing that his godson spent the night cuddling into Hermione for comfort was ammunition that was begging to be used. That the girl in question was also this man's daughter granted Harry a stay of execution - for now.

Barchoke and Ramrao's arrival saw the goblin's proposal quickly agreed upon, though that wasn't quite correct. Ramrao did object, until Dan's laughter stopped him.

"Good luck with your argument. Emma and I tried the same, and lost - the argument that is. I certainly sleep sounder with the knowledge my family is safe behind these wards."

This ended the argument and arrangements were made, though both married men inserted the proviso that they would need to speak with their wives first.

The kids finally had their shopping sorted into piles of those famous green bags, the size of those piles surprised even Emma. "I suppose that is the only downside to a magical bag, you don't realise just how much you've bought."

It was a flabbergasted Amelia who summed up the other parents' mood. "I can't allow you to pay for all that, please let me at least make a contribution?"

"Amelia, the only thing Dan and I paid for today was lunch. Harry wanted the day to be on him, and his father gave me the cash. I still have some left to hand back, I just needed a seat first."

Barchoke waived her attempt to return anything away. "Please pass anything left to the three of them, they can spend it over the rest of the holiday."

This was a golden opportunity for Sirius to solve another of Harry's problems, he didn't hesitate. Living up to his 'more the merrier' motto, the marauder waded right in. "Speaking of holidays, as Harry's godfather we can now access the Potter properties. His father and I are planning on seeing Harry spend most of the coming summer exploring some of these, with the Grangers of course. I would like to invite you along for part or all of the holiday period."

The large smile on Harry's face was all that Sirius was focusing on, he didn't notice anything else. "Harry, Hermione and Padma are currently working on a summer itinerary. Once that's settled, we can then sort out details of who's interested and when."

It was an even more excited bunch who sat down to dinner, all the younger members clearly wanting to spend some of the summer together.

Sirius was sitting across from Harry. Watching his godson be happy with his friends was helping Sirius' recovery almost as much as those wonderful goblin potions. It also wasn't hard to spot the 'hierarchy' within his group of friends. Harry clearly thought Hermione was in a class of her own, and treated her as such. Barchoke had said they were inseparable, Sirius now got to see this phenomenon first hand. Padma and Neville obviously came next. Again his information gleaned from Harry's father was that they had been friends since their first week of Hogwarts, and only gotten closer since.

The marauder reckoned their friendship with Padma must be really important to them, he could see no other reason for Parvati being there. Perhaps being in this company might eventually round off some of her more annoying habits, like emitting nerve-jangling squeals of joy at the smallest thing.

Sirius was sitting next to the girl's father, a man who clearly had something on his mind. "If you don't ask Ramrao, I won't know what answers you're looking for."

"Forgive me Lord Black, I realise this is not something one brings up at the dinner table. I was wondering if there were any other duties you were taking over concerning House Potter?"

"Ah, I see. Ramrao, I will give you the information you're looking for, if you can promise it won't leave House Patil. That promise will apply until I get around to dealing with the entire matter - probably about the end of January should do it."

Receiving a quick agreement, Sirius told the concerned father the truth. "My godson has been raised as a goblin and, while I would much rather not have spent the last decade in Azkaban, I have absolutely no problem with Harry's upbringing or his father. Goblins don't use betrothal contracts, believing their children should chose their own spouses. Harry has asked me to give a negative reply to every betrothal contract with his name on it. As his godfather, I aim to respect his wishes."

It wasn't hard to see the disappointment in the father's face, Sirius attempted to make up for it. "I found that the friendships I made at Hogwarts were the strongest of my life so far, and a blind man could see those four are close. I have no way of knowing what will happen as the years go by, I just know it won't include a betrothal contract."

This actually did cheer Ramrao up. A blanket refusal meant his girls were being treated exactly the same as every other witch, and Padma was clearly close to these two boys. It was strange to see the quieter of their girls being the one who was the centre of attention, something Parvati was clearly struggling with. He was sure Smita would have picked up on this, and would be having a chat with her when they got home tonight.

Sirius though wanted there to be no misunderstanding of his role in Harry's life. "Ramrao, I'm Harry's godfather but it will be to his father he will look for advice first, and that's the way it should be. I'm trying to build a role for myself here, the best that I can hope for is a favourite uncle - something along those lines. My role will be to assist Barchoke and Harry in any way I can. This is Harry's decision, backed by his father and carried out by me."

"Thank you for explaining that to me Lord Black, it also helps explain something I have been struggling with. Your godson saved both my daughters' lives, yet refused to acknowledge a life debt. Padma explained that goblins always help their friends and family, therefore there could be no debt. I am finally beginning to get my head around this extraordinary young...goblin?"

Sirius let out a sigh. "If you've done that, the you're way ahead of me. It seems no time at all from when I was berating James' attempts to change Harry's nappy. I went from that to the young person we see before us. It's not the time locked in Azkaban I mind so much, more the years it cost me with my godson."

Dan was sitting on Sirius' other side, and had heard every word. "Why don't you come and stay with us over the New Year? It would give you time with Harry, and allow us all to get to know one another better. Since moving all our banking to Gringotts, we can now afford to take a longer holiday at the summer." Dan glanced knowingly across the table. "I think we're going to be seeing a lot of each other over the coming years."

Sirius was overcome at the kindness he was being shown here, and since being set free. That this kindness was not related to him being the new Lord Black, rather because he was Harry's godfather, just made this kindness that little bit more special in the marauder's eyes. He nodded acceptance before his voice would work again, "I'd like that Dan, I'd like that very much."

The dinner guests had graduated into three groups. The seven kids were easily the largest, and the loudest. The ladies all formed another group, the occasional bout of laugher informing the room that they were having a good time. The menfolk stood back, surveying the room while chatting about Sirius' day in court. Both Dan and Ramrao were desperate to hear every detail from Barchoke and Sirius, those Prophet pictures were iconic. It was almost ten before goodbyes were said and everyone headed home.

-oOoOo-

Getting ready for bed, Dan could see something was troubling his wife. Like husbands the world over, Dan hoped it wasn't anything he had said or done. "What's the matter love. Are you angry at me arranging Hermione and Harry to stay a night at Padma's, or asking Sirius to stay here?"

"What? No, why should I be? That will allow the Patils' house to be warded like ours, and Sirius is clearly desperate to get to know Harry better. It was just meeting Simta Patil..."

"Why? What's wrong with her?"

"That's my problem, absolutely nothing. I was all set to dislike a woman who could allow her daughters to be traded away, only to discover I couldn't find anything to dislike. She is a charming, witty witch who loves her husband and adores their girls - that shouldn't be possible! Her parents chose Ramrao as her husband, yet they're as happily married as we are. I don't know how Hermione copes with this every day, it's just so different..."

"I know what you mean love, I enjoyed Ramrao's company too. I noticed he was studying Harry and Neville but, as the father of two girls both boys are friendly with, who can blame him? I overheard a discussion where Sirius told him Harry will be rejecting all those betrothal contracts. I must say, Ramrao seemed to take it well."

This led to Emma shaking her head. "Discussing the possible marriage of your eleven year old daughters is not a conversation you expect to hear at dinner - or ever."

He tried to cheer his wife up with some gentle teasing. "So you don't want me to start negotiating with Barchoke and Sirius to get Hermione betrothed to Harry?"

"Ha-ha. That might actually be funny, if I didn't think our daughter would suddenly change her mind about betrothals - and can you see Harry turning her down?"

Dan achieved his aim of cheering his wife up, the fact she was now laughing at his pained and panicked expression was an entirely different matter.

-oOoOo-

Hermione was having her best holiday ever. She'd never had friends before, never mind have them stay over. Sirius' arrival had also brought a lot of laughter to the Granger household, the man was a bigger kid than his godson!

That same godson was currently holding her hand as she showed both Harry and Padma around Crawley. This was something else she would normally avoid like the plague, going into Crawley without her parents. She had put those dark days behind her though and was enjoying showing the local sights to her friends. It was now time for Harry and Padma's first trip to the cinema, Hermione thought they would both get a kick out of The Addams Family.

As they waited in the queue, the hated voice that Hermione hadn't heard for six month was like a hard kick to the gut. She should have known things had been going too well.

"Oh look, Granger's parents must have gone to rent-a-friend for her Christmas. A Paki and a poofter, I suppose that's all you're worth."

The despised chorus of derogatory laughter that followed these 'witty' insults triggered an automatic response from Hermione, sending the young witch straight into her shell. That was until Hermione felt Harry squeeze her hand, and remembered she was no longer that lonely and scared little girl.

"Who's the comedian Hermione? Clearly not someone who knows you very well."

This stopped the laughter of the five boys who had approached them, though one had a comment to make. "Oh look Big D, it can talk - and I didn't see Granger pull the string at his back."

Harry had never seen the acne cursed boy before, but recognised the type. In any gang, there was always one who would instigate trouble, usually while standing safely behind others.

The sarcasm was fairly dripping off Padma's answer, not intimidated in the slightest by the odds they were facing here. She wasn't about to take that particularly hated insult from anyone. "Oh Hermione, why don't you introduce us to the local wildlife? Do they actually have names, or just numbers on their collars?"

Hermione was drawing courage from having her friends beside her, she was finished giving in to bullies. "Padma, Harry, meet Dudley Dursley and his 'friends'. I used to go to school with them, and they make Ron Weasley seem intelligent."

"Well, coming up with the nickname 'big-d' must have taken a lot of effort. He also looks as if he eats as much as Weasley too."

Hermione was delighted by the support Padma was giving. Something about this though had made Harry stiffen beside her, Hermione looked at her best friend to see his eyes boring into Dudley. She'd seen that look before, it was usually followed by his knife being drawn as he got ready for battle.

While the group of boys were figuring out if these bitches had just dared to insult them, Harry asked a question. "Dursley, your parents wouldn't happen to be called Vernon and Petunia, would they?"

"Hey big-D, you're fame has spread. The pretty boy has heard of you."

This generated some laughter but just increased the intensity of Harry's stare. There couldn't be too many Vernon and Petunia Dursleys, with a son about the same age as him. He asked one more question to be certain.

"Did your family use to live in Little Whining?"

"Oh shit big-D, you've got your own stalker!"

The putz with the plooks seized any opportunity to escalate the argument. "Yeah, just a pity your stalker's gay. Shit, his hair's longer than my sister's."

Harry had never mentioned his 'family' by name, but his questioning was just a little too specific for the Dursleys to be anything other than his hated aunt and uncle. Hermione also knew the Dursleys, and had no problem believing they would do that to a baby. Dudley Dursley had been the bane of her pre-Hogwarts life, yet his parents refused point blank to see their son as anything but a perfect little gentleman. Neither little nor gentleman were words that could really be associated with the obese bully.

At this particular time, Hermione couldn't give two hoots for Dudley and his gang. She was far more worried at how her best friend would react to this meeting. Hermione swung in front of Harry, with both hands now placed over the arm where his knife was stored. "Harry, you can't!"

He used his other hand to tenderly tuck a lock of hair that had fallen onto her face back under her wooly hat. "Hermione, you don't have to worry about me. Dudley is about our age, he had as much say in his parents' decision as I had."

This eased Hermione's worries greatly but she could still see Harry was up to something, he gently brushed passed her before holding his hand out to Dudley.

"Lord Harry James Potter, pleased to met you, cousin."

Both girls were now looking on in amusement at the confusion on Dudley's face, he had no idea how to deal with this. Hermione also knew that the Dursleys were the worst kind of social snobs, Harry introducing himself as Lord Potter was priceless. Oh to be a fly on the wall when Dudley told his parents of this meeting.

"Cousin? I don't have any cousins. My Aunt Marge isn't married."

"Your mother and my mother were sisters, that makes us cousins."

Dudley wasn't having any of this. "My mother's sister married some drunken freak, they died in a car crash he caused. You're full of shit!"

This was a little too much for Harry, his attitude certainly hardened. "Lily Potter, used to be Evans, was my mother. She and my dad were murdered when I was just over a year old. I was sent to your house to live but your parents didn't want me. Looking at you, I have to think I certainly got the best of the deal. Please thank your parents for me."

Zit boy seized his chance. "He really is full of shit, why would a lord hang about with a loser like Granger? Are you going to let this cissy get away with that big-D? This arsehole deserves a kicking, walking into our manor and trying to pull a stunt like that."

Harry really didn't want this to turn into a fight, Dudley had played no part in his parents decision to reject their apparently only nephew. This mob may be the local bullies but he was a centurion, there was a massive difference between them. The choice was soon taken out of his hands, Dudley's growl and then speed of movement practically owl posted his intentions.

"Get him!" Dudley's meaty fist swung, and hit nothing.

Harry had moved to the side and hammered his knee into his cousin's thigh as the fat boy stumbled passed, putting Dudley down with as little damage as possible. The next boy attempted to put the boot into Harry, only to have his foot caught while his standing leg was then swept from under him. Harry continued his spin, his still outstretched leg now catching a third boy in the groin. As the fourth decided to scram, Harry heard a scream from behind him.

Turning made Harry's blood boil, the acne warrior had whacked Hermione in the face and was now trying to run away. Padma may refuse to exercise with them but it didn't hinder her any. She'd pounced on his back like a wildcat, Padma was spitting and scratching like one to. Harry caught up in seconds, kicking right through the back of this bastard's left knee. He went down screaming in pain, Padma's weight on his back causing his face to kiss the pavement hard enough to break his nose and some teeth. Harry helped Padma to her feet and then they both dived back to Hermione.

She had one hand on the cinema wall supporting herself while the other was covering her mouth, there was blood seeping between her fingers. Harry's jacket was off and placed on the ground as Padma helped Hermione to sit on it. She was obviously in pain but the shock of someone actually punching her was also having an effect.

Harry was sitting next to her, wrapping Hermione in his arms. "I'm sorry Hermione, I had him tagged as the least dangerous of the bunch. I can't believe he did that, far less think he was going to get away with it."

Hermione's mumbled 'he's done it before' saw Harry having to grab Padma, she wanted to go and have another hit at the git. Hermione was surveying the scene of devastation displayed in front of her. Dudley was attempting to get up but appeared to have no control over his right leg. Jake was flat on his back and groaning while Johnny was curled up into a foetal position, clutching his groin. By far the worse was Tony, his leg appeared to be lying at an unnatural angle while his nose was bleeding all over the pavement.

The siren indicated they were going to have to give the cinema a miss, it looked like someone had phoned the police.

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