Partially Kissed Hero

Summer before third year Harry has a life changing experience, and a close encounter with a dementor ends with him absorbing the horcrux within him. Features Harry with a backbone.


101. Chapter One Hundred and One


There was a ring of manor houses around Godric's Hollow, although Harry's could only be termed a palace (and grand in ways that most palaces only wished they could be). Because they lay outside of the great defensive wall each had their own smaller scale copies of that town's defenses, but were also put under Fidelius so that only family could see them from outside.

This made it so armies intent on attacking the town could march right past those manors without ever knowing they were there - which had happened a number of times now, in the town's short existence.

However, there was no perfect tool. No matter how excellent your hammer, not every problem was a nail, or could be treated like one. The Fidelius was a useful charm, powerful even. However it was no more perfect than anything else in the world. It did one thing very well, hid a secret so those who did not know the secret could not act on that information.

However, there are no secrets from the dead. Zombies and vampires could find a house under Fidelius as easily as any seer could. That was why those manors had their own cross-mounted curtain walls. Zombies could not get in past a wall such as that, nor could vampires bear to look at the place. And the dark wizards who had charmed sheets of cloth or leather to fly towards the town and cover the crosses on those walls, could not see or even think about those Fidelius covered manors to do the same to them.

Although Harry technically owned the whole town, and five others just like it, he used only two buildings in Godric's Hollow as his official residences. The first was the castle at the heart of the town, only that was crowded with refugees at present, and the second was his grand manor just outside of it.

Which meant that manor was where he had stored the newly rescued Death Eater children. And it was, for those pureblood heirs, quite an eye-opening experience, as no sooner had they woken up from resting after their ordeal than a houseful of ghosts greeted them.

And those ghosts were all, every last one of them, an Evans.

This came actually as an aftershock of the Wonderland experience. Belief energy has so powerful an effect on faeries it can be very harmful to them. Normally the Faerie Queen sheltered her race from being subject to too much of it. However, for one agonizing moment, Queen Alice of Wonderland had 'dropped her shields' to deliberately expose herself to it, so that she could filter it through her land in order to reshape Harry into the Boy-Who-Lived.

A lot of changes had been wrought by that moment, only some of which were obvious, especially at first.

One of the comparatively minor tweaks had been Lily's genetic code had been rewritten until she now truly was a product of long lines of squibs, except the 'squib' part got gradually forgotten by all of those stories as more and more of her relatives turned out to be actually magical, until the Evans line didn't have a squib anywhere in her entire family tree - they were all magical.

It was now true that Lily had some of the most pureblooded ancestry in the entire magical world, including some apparently lost bloodlines and direct ties to every witch or wizard who was worth anything in history and didn't have a modern clan of descendants, including all four Founders, Morgana and Merlin.

How else would Harry get all of those inherited bloodlines and rare abilities?

Nor was she the only one so changed. As according to the books, Harry held ancestral estates all over the globe, including on all continents and quite a few private islands. Grateful monarchs had given him impressive palaces to dwell in, and cute, local girls to giggle over him.

Well, now, Padma and Parvati Patil were two of those girls, rewritten as Indian Princesses, granted to a grateful Harry by a proud monarch after a successful adventure against a wholly made-up Dark Lord called the Serpent King, who used hydras to terrorize parts of magical India...

... and may, just may, mind you, have born a small resemblance to Auror and Hit Wizard Mad Eye Moody. Magic can be funny about that sometimes.

James Potter's line now, too, stretched back all of the way to the Founders, and included a great many magicals of note whose lines had otherwise died out, all out of a bit of tweaking of the genetic code to include them.

It really wasn't possible to get any more pureblooded than they were, and the largely-Slytherin students to wake up in his manor were stunned to come face to face with the shocking evidence of that, including talking portraits, family tapestries, and ghosts just as had always been seen in those books.

They also learned, from proud ghosts chatting about the subject, that Lily's parents now really were a witch and wizard who'd helped defeat Grindelwald.

They even came down to preside over breakfast, shocking everyone until it could be explained that they had faked their deaths and had been living out of sight for a while, along with Harry's parents and other set of grandparents (when really their lives had been spared by Trelawney's trip through time).

Then it had to be explained that, though they had seen Harry often during his childhood, after every adventure practically, they could not reveal that secret to the public, so had used Astral Projection, where the spirit travels separately from the body for a while, to make appearances as ghosts. In this way the belief energy had resolved conflicts between belief in their deaths and the actual matter of their survival due to fairy time tampering.

The rest of the family hanging the manor around really were ghosts.

It was a truism of the Boy-Who-Lived novels that the homes Harry lived in had ghost populations more extreme and varied than Hogwarts, with just about every relative he'd ever had making ghostly appearances, including a few who dated back to the founding of Hogwarts.

So now they did.

In centuries to come it would be a subject of debate where these ghosts came from, whether they were called by the Resurrection Stone Harry'd carried at the time reality was rewritten, and modified by the belief energy as he was, or whether they were minor fae, partially dissolved faerie spirits that had been taken and transformed via that same belief energy to become ghosts and believe they were Harry's dead relatives.

Either way didn't matter, as they believed they were his deceased family and were willing to act as such. And one of the biggest, most recurrent, plot devices in all of those adventure stories was that anytime Harry needed to know something that he didn't already know, some ghost or portrait would tell him. They were a vast information resource to the Boy-Who-Lived.

In fact, any time he wanted to learn something about anything, no matter how obscure, the first place he always turned was his huge extended family, both living and dead, and somehow not only did someone turn up who knew of it, they could bring in someone else who'd been directly involved and had what had hitherto been hidden keys to those mysteries never before told. It was a staple of all of those stories that these ghosts, portraits and relatives held clues to new adventures.

And, as it turned out, they began doing exactly that today.

As Harry came in trailing his core group just after breakfast to check on the rescued children, only to be interrupted by a bunch of ghosts with an urgent message - one that made every eye in that chamber grow wide.

One of the themes that developed in those stories was that the biggest, best adventures were kicked off by one of the Founder's ghosts showing up. In that, they'd even worked out a scheme. Godric Gryffindor would show up to launch great adventures of bravery and mighty deeds. Salazar Slytherin was always there to warn his proud descendant of plots. Rowena Ravenclaw would arrive with pleas to recover this or that bit of lost knowledge (usually on cursebreaking adventures that would make Indiana Jones blanch with envy), and Helga Hufflepuff would inform him of friends in danger and needing help.

But all four arrived to tell him of new Dark Lords, as those were plots that endangered not only his friends, but the entire world, and required mighty deeds and, often, lost knowledge to defeat.

Later on either Merlin or Morgana would show up too, just to add an extra bit of gravity to the situation. Merlin would show up for a Dark Lord, or Morgana to warn of a Dark Lady.

Jaws dropped on every rescued child when the ghosts of Merlin and the Four Founders drifted in to the manor to confront Harry Potter just as he came in after breakfast, all bearing grave expressions on their faces.

Sensing an adventure about to start, Harry summoned some of his long-term companions out of the mass of Slytherin students. "Daphne. Tracy. Astoria."

Such was the tone of easy command in his voice the girls were on their feet racing to meet his summons before they'd even figured out they'd fulfilled his expectation of instant obedience without thinking about it, with a kind of instant respect for authority they'd never had for any of their professors.

Scary, and also, the most thrilling thing that could happen to a teen Slytherin girl. Daydreams are often made of such stuff, down in the dorms of green and silver. And not a few fantasies as well. The fear/hope that he could do such a thing to them is what contributes a large part to the popularity of rising Dark Lords.

Ignoring the girls getting moist beside him, Harry noted only his present companions had assembled and turned to the ghosts to receive his briefing.


The revelation of magic to the mundane world had so far failed to change the magical societies of the world very much. They had been secret before that secret got revealed, and though magic itself had been outed, those societies had not been, and remained secret now. The average mundane had no idea where to begin on how to contact or gain access to them, and that remained true now. And those vast spy agencies that might have enough information to have figured out patterns of appearances and disappearances and so forth that might have revealed a contact point or two with the magical world, were now fully engaged in what was their real business - saving their own nation's neck in time of war by ferreting out the secrets of hostile enemy powers that sought their destruction, and preserving their secrets in turn.

They didn't have time for exploring nice possibilities. They had all they could do dealing with harsh realities, and they were the only ones who stood any real chance. And, aside from Britain, the Obliviator squads were functioning perfectly. So any clues people *did* happen to find, got erased. So, though nearly everyone in the mundane world, from governments to spy rings through crime lords and stage magicians, sought some magic to help them do better what they were already doing anyway, they just couldn't find any.

About the best clues that could be obtained were those Boy-Who-Lived books left behind by Hermione, which wouldn't have been very good a help, except for the remarkable fact that all of those books were now true.

One of those that would have led countless people right into contact with the magical one was in those books Harry owned properties all around the globe, and quite a few of them had been described in sufficient detail that muggles could have found them - except that the magic of Wonderland could not create them. Altering that much matter outside of itself was beyond even the belief energy that fairy country had been flooded with.

However, that didn't mean nothing happened. The belief of tens of thousands of magical children, coupled with a few million muggles having read those books by then, had a terrific amount of force behind it when coupled with the mutability of a fairy country. Altering too much matter outside of itself was beyond the reach of its abilities...

... However, Harry had been carrying a large number of family estates and properties on his person in snow globe form when he'd gotten blasted apart into tiny fragments and recreated as a garden in Wonderland.

Harry had not been the only thing taken apart and recreated into a new form by that experience. The magic saw a way to complete its objective and took hold on it, so those snow globes now included every property ever impugned to Harry Potter in the books, including a rather large number of private islands.

If they'd actually been in the places the books said they were, the muggles could have found them, by linking hands and walking in chains across where the property lines ought to be to overcome the unplottable and muggle repelling charms if nothing else, so specific were some of the directions. But luckily, none of that was possible because currently Harry was carrying those castles and palaces, estates and resorts around in his pockets instead of where the muggles could find them.

Odd bit of luck, that. So out there, in fact, one almost has to wonder how it could be unlucky for Dumbledore for things to turn out like that.


"... so you see, my lord, it is now within Dumbledore's power to return to this country and subdue it to his will," The ghost solemnly intoned, looking serious in a way few persons could. "And though you have dealt him mighty blows, if he should be allowed to access those supply caches, he will be unstoppable."

One of the greatest truths of the Boy-Who-Lived books was that he was surrounded by friends and associates, and at least half of his adventures started by him receiving a warning from some ghostly relative.

As was happening now.

The entire room had grown silent as the Founders and Merlin had brought in the ghost of Aberforth Dumbledore, who was explaining events around the Styx, the invulnerability they sought from it, his current partnership with a newly-freed Gellert Grindelwald, and the secrets of Aberforth's own hideout, built when he was an imprisoned servant of his brother Albus; and finally that Ollivander, the wand-crafter, had a horcrux container in the back of his head armed with runes to control his actions, just as he once did.

But, most important of all, that scar on the Headmaster's knee had finally been explained, as a guide, or map, to countless supply caches of smuggled goods, both legal and illegal. A series of warehouses storing the accumulated wealth and goods of nearly two centuries of being the most active smuggler in Europe, and a priceless amount of war material, capable of generating the kind of thrust not even an army of vampires could.

Harry had once robbed Voldemort's supply caches to prevent just this sort of thing, although the scope of that one had been much smaller than this one, as Voldemort had not been the sole supplier of just about every business in Britain, legal or otherwise.

More wealth existed in those caches than in all the rest of Magical Britain put together. Every kind of thing from the common: food and wand cores, potion ingredients and cauldrons, to invisibility cloaks and rare artifacts and the most esoteric magical supplies imaginable. It was all anyone could ask for to run a magical army throughout a protracted campaign of conquest. There were even chains and collars for magically binding captured people as slaves.

Armed with those supplies, and a small cadre of invulnerable warrior-wizards to use them, Dumbledore would be invincible.

Scary as anything, but dark lords new and old popping out of the woodwork to invoke some ancient threat was also a fairly typical start to a Boy-Who-Lived adventure, even if specifics on this one were a touch more grim than most. And even the most die-hard advocate of the Headmaster could be convinced by this briefing of his many crimes that Albus Dumbledore was a Dark Lord.

There were not actually any die-hard Dumbledore advocates in the room just then. Still, it would have convinced them.

Hermione retrieved and presented the stretch of skin holding the scar that helpful pixies had once cut off of the headmaster's knee, and the whole group gathered around it at once, until Harry wordlessly cast a charm none of them had even *heard* of, to project its image into the air large enough for everyone in the whole room to see with ease.

The Boy-Who-Lived did things like that on a routine basis.

Hermione quickly saw the problem. "This map shows the locations, but none of the traps or defenses! He's sure to have some."

"And there are too many of them for me to get personally to each one before the Dark Lord returns to claim them." The Boy-Who-Lived didn't have any doubt in his ability to penetrate locations where even the most skilled cursebreakers wouldn't dare to go.

"We're going to need some wrackspurts for this," Luna declared.

Hermione, though she still hadn't seen any of those, wisely refrained from comment. It was Hannah who piped up, "I don't recall seeing those in our Care of Magical Creatures textbook."

"Yeah," Susan backed her friend up. "What are their powers that we should want their help on something like this?"

"Wrackspurts," Luna intoned, acting both serious and playful at the same time, "Are highly magical, although they are only able to use most of their powers when no one is looking. Even so they rarely use them. They are very playful animals most of the time, and only become serious when someone they love is in danger. Then they can do the most extraordinary things!"

"Things like what?" Daphne asked.

Luna smiled. "They can run so fast you'd almost think they were apparating, 'spurting' over long distances, move objects and open doors just by wanting to, and their bite causes special pain to the guilty, 'wracking' them with hurt in proportion to their evil deeds, but most of those they only use in crises. Raised as both rescue dogs and war dogs, they have the almost unique ability to sense magical creatures that are invisible to just about every other sense - including behind walls, under floors or fallen rockpiles. It makes them great for rescue work or guard duty, but we can use that ability to find out where the guards for these storage depots are. Other than that, the only power they use with any frequency is called 'Starlight Barking' where they basically gossip with each other, and normal dogs, over enormous distances."

"Barking?" Several puzzled girls asked at once.

Luna was explaining as they walked, "Just like knarls are very similar to hedgehogs in appearance, and kneazles resemble cats, and crups look like Jack Russel terriers, wrackspurts are magical animals that bear a strong resemblance to Dalmatians. My uncle runs a ranch for them. He calls it the Dalmatian Plantation."

Harry stopped dead cold as that triggered something in his mind.

"Did he, by any chance, start out with a hundred and one of them?" Hermione was, by now, learning to look ahead when Luna started telling stories about her family.

"Why yes!" the bright eyed blonde agreed. "The person we hired to do the muggle version of the novel changed some things; he called my uncle and his wife Mr and Mrs Dearly instead of their proper name of Darling, for one. They were cast out of the official branch of that family back when the Malfoys took over control of it, but they've stayed a cadet branch for many years. It's partly in honor of my uncle that I wanted to revive that line."

"So there truly is a Cruella de Vil? Or did the muggle translator make that part up?" The bookworm asked with raised eyebrows.

Harry had adopted a rather strange expression on his face. "Actually, I just now recalled - the Dursleys said they were related to her."

This time both Luna AND Hermione's jaws dropped wide. Luna was the one who blurted first, "Someone was fool enough to leave children with a couple associated with THAT ANIMAL! That woman makes the Marquis de Sade look like a SAINT by comparison! Any relatives of hers ought to be jailed on suspicion alone!"

The muggleborn was still reeling that the Dursleys were related to Cruella de Vil, and that such a character actually existed! Hearing about ancient legends being true was one thing, but to hear Harry tell it, this woman was still alive!

And was NOT, by any account, a nice person.

"Why would she want to skin a hundred puppies?" Hannah asked innocently.

Luna fixed her with a stare. "Putting aside the fact that she enjoys it, how many objects can you think of that are made with parts of one magical beast or another? There are invisibility cloaks, and dragonhide clothes, and every potion we've ever brewed for starters. I shudder to think what that woman could have done with the hides of one hundred and one wrackspurts. We should all be grateful she was stopped by them escaping in time."

"Will your uncle have enough wrackspurts for us to use?" Harry asked seriously.

Luna giggled. "He'd *have* to! Because their bite wracks people with pain in proportion to their evil, and most Ministry officials are not very nice, and one or two of them got bitten, rather than acknowledge their own faults they'd decreed that his wrackspurts were faulty, and forbade him from selling any until he'd fixed the problem - which, naturally, he couldn't as it was not a problem with his wrackspurts, but rather the Ministry. But he couldn't sell or export, or even give them away for close to four generations of wrackspurts now, and they pine away and die if not allowed to mate and breed, so his plantation is practically wall-to-wall white coats with blue spots now. He'd be financially ruined, even given who he is, if he still had to pay taxes."

She answered Hannah's question before she'd even asked it. "Most magical animals have a distinct difference from the mundane breed they resemble. In crups it is having a forked tail, which Ministry rules require that you cut off to where it looks normal to muggles. In wrackspurts, it is having blue spots, which you must charm to appear black if you live in muggle areas."

"Backing up a step," Harry interrupted. "You said something about your uncle not having to pay taxes?"

"Oh, yes!" Luna bobbed her head happily. "Although the Disney movie had him as a songwriter, the books were more correct in that real Roger Darling, the one who had the 101 Dalmatians, is a 'financial wizard' who has been granted exemption from income tax for life and lent a house by the Outer Circle of Regent's Park as a favor for wiping out the government's national debt. Obviously, that was the muggle-friendly version of what happened, using their government instead of ours. But the substantial facts are the same. He is a wizard, and a genius with finance, and as a favor for wiping out the Ministry of Magic's debt he was granted special exemption from taxation for him and his family for life (we don't have an income tax)."

Harry grinned. "I may need to talk to you in a little bit about getting myself registered a Darling to get that special tax exemption applied to me and my businesses, including that new economy we are building."

Hermione had begun worrying her lower lip. "Harry, I realize this is a strange question coming from me, but I've been meaning to ask: Why all this concern for laws and whether something is legal or not? The Ministry of Magic is all but fallen, and what's left is controlled by Voldemort. Why should we be so concerned with obtaining rights and privileges by the rules of a system that largely doesn't run anymore?"

Harry merely smiled at her. "Just like my staff for moving properties, some forms of magic only operate if it is legal for them to do so. And Dumbledore, if anyone, would be expert in their mastery. So, since we know he is about to return, and control of the Ministry is liable to revert to him the moment he does, it is best to find ways to protect ourselves against it before that happens. And one of the best ways is to NOT let them tax our new economy!"

"Letting your enemy decide how much of your money he's going to take, then use against you, does seem contra-indicated," Hermione agreed.

Susan giggled, having an insider's perspective. "Oh, it get's better than that! Most every non-pureblood, non-Death Eater in Britain now works for Harry. If they can't tax him, or his businesses, they could hardly tax anybody! And denied tax money, that wicked government must surely fall."

Hermione was smart enough to see where this was going, and grinned herself. "Dumbledore is so used to power residing in the Ministry that he won't be able to help himself. He WILL take it over again! But without tax money it becomes a liability instead of an asset. It will drag him down instead of granting him the power he expects it to as it needs more help than it gives!"

"And THAT!" Harry said, hugging them all, "Is why I surround myself with smart witches. C'mon, everybody! We've got to go collect some wrackspurts. There are secret lairs to raid!"


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