Pre Edit Count – 2,712 Words
Song I listened to for this chapter: Believer by American Authors
She nods, watching him. “It’s up to you. You will become Master Potter and be my son as well as my godson. I will teach here and be with you at all times, supporting you. I will stand by your side in any endeavor you wish to do, lend my talents to you. I will be your parent, your sister, your best friend, and your child. But you are the one who will decide this, not me.”
Harry stares at her, his mind twisting with the information as he tries to get a handle on it. After a little while, he closes his eyes and tells her, “Yes.”
Bella’s smile erupts across her face and she pulls Harry into her arms. “Thank you, Harry!”
He laughs at her. “I should be thanking you for saving me this way; I used to dream this would happen and I slowly let go of the dream.”
Shaking her head, she says, “Never give up on your dreams. If I still have them, then you for sure should. We will get through it all and we will do it together. Think of me as the family guardian.”
When he gives her a look, she laughs. “I need some sort of hobby, right?”
He nods, chuckling. Bella sighs happily, then looks around. “Since this is Friday night how about we go to the house and I can get you ready for more surprises?”
He stutters, “Leave school?”
She nods. Looking at the fire, she blows a breath and the fire danced. Soon it opens onto what Harry could see was the Headmaster’s quarters. Albus appears in the fire. “Oh! I see that Harry is agreeable, Lady Swan?”
Bella turns formal while addressing Dumbledore. “Yes, Headmaster Dumbledore. I request leave to show him the estate and to make sure that all is set for him in case anything happens.”
He looks worried. “If you are worried about him, we can always keep the current conditio-“
“No.” The word had so much authority in it, Harry looks up at his aunt in surprise.
Albus blinks a couple of times. “I see. Very well, I will grant permission. Also, where are you at, Lady Swan?”
She laughs. “In my house’s common room that Hogwarts has given me. You know very well that the Sorting Hat declared me the founder of my own House. In fact, I suspect that the quarters may grow and other students will come to my house. You know how stubborn Hogwarts itself is, as well as the Sorting Hat.”
Albus humphs, but he does not refute her. “If a student comes to ask to try, I will be happy to allow it, of course. Have a good trip, Lady Swan, Harry.” With that, he walks away from the fire.
Harry is puzzled, but he calls out, “Headmaster?”
Albus leans back in. “Yes, Harry?”
Harry swallows. “I would like to try.”
Bella blinks, then grins to herself. She holds a hand out to Harry and when he takes it without hesitation, she walks with him into the fire and steps through to Albus’s room. Harry walks beside her, trusting his aunt.
Dumbledore calls Minerva and the other heads of house and once they are all there, he tells Harry, “Whatever the hat says, you will be put into that house. There is no more chances, my dear boy. Are you sure you wish to do this?”
When Harry nods, the four heads of the house stand aside, leaving Lady Swan to be the one to grab the hat.
Albus is watching her, but does not say a word. When the Lady of the Swans reaches over to the hat and touches it, the hat literally purrs…. “Lady Swan of Swans!”
She laughs. “My old friend. Yes, I am here, and the House is ready for you to start sorting into it. Harry here wants to be the first to be put under you.”
The hat chuckles. “I remember him, but let me make sure he is what I thought he should be.”
Bella just laughs and puts the hat gently on her godson’s head.
Harry can hear the hat muttering to itself. “I knew I should have put him there to begin with, but people want to argue with me.”
Harry’s mind starts racing, worried that he would be put in Slytherin after all. But no matter what, he will live with it though he hopes that he will become the first of a new house.
After way too long with the hat twisting his head around while it mutters about how others should be grateful, he then stops, and then proclaims, “Swan!”
Harry is sitting bemused in his new room in the Swan estates. He had been surprised to find that once the hat had declared his new house, it had been a quick move him to his new quarters. Then his aunt took him here to her- no their- lands.
He looks into the mirror on the dresser across from him and he looks surprised to see the same ole Harry that has been before this night turned his life inside out.
He hears someone knock at his door, and he calls out, “Come in!”
Bella walks in smiling. “I expect you are kinda overwhelmed.”
Harry nods. “Not that I am unhappy, but the way the hat was talking I thought I would be put into Slytherin.”
Bella laughs. “No! Let me guess, it let you hear its grumbles about sorting again?”
Nodding, Harry looks up at her in question.
Sitting herself by him, she tells him, “The hat is mad at Dumbledore. My house should have been acknowledged by now. There are a lot of people that should be in our house.”
Harry looks down. “Hermione always says that the four houses represent the elements.”
Bella nods. “And she would be correct. Gryffindor is fire; Hufflepuff is earth; Ravenclaw is air; and Slytherin is water. Swan is the last one. Spirit. Our colors are going to be odd – they will be crystal and a dark blue. Of course the swan will be our emblematic animal. We are the ones that our spirit, our hearts if you will, rule us. We encompass all the best from all the houses and you will be shocked by who all may show up in ours. Harry, our house is not going to be like the others. It will end up defending all and we will be the one who pulls this school together. It is not a small thing but I will start your education. If you wish, you can see the owls.”
Harry looks at her confused. “Owls? The magic birds?”
Smiling at her godson, she answers, “No, the ones that worked with me to bring balance to the last war and I suspect with what I learned today, they will be the ones that will leave this earth standing and not hurting from another war. Come on. Time to let those who don’t already know that we are back in business. Let’s see if any will turn away now.”
Harry nods and he moves to her side as they leave the room. Everything is moving quickly, but he suspects it is because Bella is learning of what has happened and she is not a happy camper.
They move down the stairs and he again is amazed at the amount of people up and moving in the manor at this time of night. He makes a note to tell Hermione that there is a place that house elves are treated like humans.
Bella is thinking of all the stuff she needs to complete this weekend but to have her godson be the first of the new house residents was something she never imagined though she can see it. He really is the person to lead her house; he is the embodiment of all that is good in all the other houses.
He is not perfect, not in any way. Neither is she. But they are willing to work with others not of their house and they are both ones to look outside the box to see what the big picture is.
When they come to a stop at a door, she smiles at Harry and tells the door politely, “I would like to enter if you are willing to open for me today.”
Harry watches as the door slowly opens and he looks up as he hears her tell the door, “Thank you very much. This is Harry. He is the young Master of the house. Will you recognize him?”
Watching the door, Harry’s eyes go wider as the door slowly bows to him, then straightens up.
Bella laughs. “Thank you my, old friend. We will be joined shortly by the others. I have missed them and you!”
With that, Bella escorts them into the room and she nods Harry to the center of the circular room as the candles light around them. Harry is amazed by the pure soft feeling of magic around him. “H-How?”
Bella moves beside him. “The magic?”
Bella takes her wand out and touching the inner wrist of her right hand, she informs the room, “If you can come, I would be very happy to meet my old friends.”
Harry just watches as a light mist spread out from them and then it swirled around them to momentarily blind him. Then the room is full of people standing there with them in the middle.
Harry frowns. All the people had a mist obscuring them. He looks up at Bella in confusion.
She smiles down at him. “Welcome my friends. I know the spell was set up so that whoever you trusted to bring you into the Owls will be seen by you. I in no way wish to make this obsolete, but since my sister is gone, we need to figure out something new.”
A female voice that sounded slightly off to Harry asks, “What about the boy?”
Her eyes lighting up as she meets the eyes of the person who asks, obviously someone she knows. “This is my heir and known to you all as Harry Potter.”
A voice laughs, then Harry stares as the mist fades from the man’s face. “Harry!”
Harry looks up to his aunt, nervous. She smiles down at him. “Harry, meet your Godfather.”
The other members murmured as they realize who is in the room, but Sirius comes forward and lands before Harry, looking at him. He tells Bella, “My hearty thanks, Swan. You are as much a Lady as you have always been. Thank you for freeing me.”
Bella grins down at him, and teasing him, says, “I have been and always shall be your friend.”
Harry couldn’t help the laugh. “You are quoting Star Trek?”
Sirius grins. “Of course she is. She got stuck in America and was bored. Those of us back here would trade letters with her and watched movies with her. Harry, your godmother is one of the most intelligent and loyal people I have ever met. I had often referred to her as the Spock of our world but more human.”
Unable to believe everything, Harry just laughs. “My aunt quotes Star Trek!”
The rest of the room chuckles, each having their own memories of the woman standing in the middle of them all. Slowly, the mist lifts from more people until only one remains. Because none of them could see the other, there was none to notice except Bella.
The one sighs and makes a sign to her. She raises an eyebrow and then asks Siruis, “I take it you will stay with us?”
“I need to have a private meeting. Watch Harry please.”
With that Bella walks to the room and Sirius watches with a close look. When Harry tugs his sleeve, he looks down at his godson, his eyes roving over his face so like his dear old friend. “Yes, Harry?”
Harry looks down, then asks, “Can you tell me about my parents?”
Remembering what Moody had shown him when he had escorted him out of the Azkaban, Sirius keeps his anger banked for now and is soon crouching before the young boy. “Sure Harry. I will be more than happy to do so.”
Bella is inside the room when the other arrives out of a cloud. She smiles. “What did you need to discuss with me?”
The dark shadow glides up to her and a voice emerges from the cloud distorted by the magic. “Since you are all that is left, I wish you to know what my role is and why I do not show you my face. It is for your own protection, my Lady. Nothing will ever have me betraying you, my loyalty has always been yours.”
Bella turns her head to the side, confused. She looks at the being before her, not able to tell if it is male or female or anything to help her be able to determine who it is. One of her better spells if she says so herself.
Sighing, she asks, “What can you tell me then?”
The figure in the spell, smirks, then answers, “I am yours in all things, my Lady. I am a member of one of the groups that you are working against. There are rumors of my doings and I prefer that you have no idea or even the ability to guess who I am. I am well aware of your abilities, my Lady.”
Bella chuckles dryly. “Hmmm. A flatterer. There are many in the group you could be. That is fine. I am guessing Lily was your sponsor. I will trust my sister as I always have and allow you to go on as you are. I suggest, though, that you might want to watch your back. I do not like any of mine in danger and there not being a way to call me. Would you accept a favor from me?”
A drier chuckle than hers comes out of the being in front of her. “My Lady, I would accept a thousand favors from you. However, I promise you, I can take care of myself. I have something from your sister that she spelled in case I was ever in trouble, I could call upon you. Will that ease your worries?”
Bella can’t help but laugh. “You are so smooth. I have a feeling this will be fun to work at figuring out who you can be.”
The figure stares at the object of his affections… and so much more. But all he has done was for her all these long years. To fail at this point was not an option. He bows to his Lady. “I sincerely hope that you will not figure it all out any time soon. Now, before I am missed, I need to leave. It is a pleasure you will never know to find that reports of your death were greatly exaggerated.”
She can’t help the delighted laugh that came from her and when she looks at the spot the being had been, it was gone.
Bella heads out of the room to find Harry waiting on her. “Harry?”
He smiles. “Sirius had something come up and he left me here to wait on you.”
Frowning as she tries to figure out what happened, she asks, “When did he leave?”
Looking out in the crowd and finding the scene very unreal, he says, “It was weird. He looked up and frowned, then was gone. I then saw you enter the room.”
Bella looks down and wonders if Sirius was the man. But he had dropped his spell. Unless Lily had given him another one he would only need to decide to not allow her to see his face and he would be hidden. But the other man was there while Sirius had been as well.
Watching his aunt, Harry asks, “Is there something wrong?”
Bella glances at him and she answers, “Nope. Just a mystery to lighten the time. Come on, Harry. Let’s find your godfather and see who will meet you.”
With that, she leads her godson into the crowd, her mind whirling.
Final count: 2,719