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Innocent by MarauderLover7
Chapter 3 : Gringotts Wizarding Bank
Rating: MatureChapter Reviews: 4

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“Diagon Alley,” Padfoot laughed. “It’s where Gringotts is.”


“The bank. Just wait up a moment.” Padfoot stopped and pulled his stick out of his pocket. He started talking to himself in another language – one that sounded made up in Harry’s opinion – and then tapped his arm.

“How did you do that?!” Harry asked, astonished. Padfoot was now blonde with blue eyes and a rounder face than he had had before.

“Hold still,” Padfoot said, tapping Harry’s head.

“What do I look like?” Harry asked excitedly. Padfoot waved his stick again and a mirror appeared. Harry took it, surveying his new face. His hair was as messy as ever, but it was a light brown colour and his eyes were blue instead of green. “How did you do that?” Harry asked again.

“Magic,” Padfoot said, twirling his stick.

“Magic’s not real,” Harry said automatically. But how else could he have done all those things? a little voice in his head argued.

“Why not?” Padfoot asked reasonably.

“Just... because,” Harry finished lamely.

“It’s real,” Padfoot promised.

Harry watched him, not quite convinced. “Can you show me more?”

Padfoot thought for a moment, had a quick look around and then waved his stick. “Wingardium Leviosa.” Harry felt the ground vanish beneath his feet. He looked down and noticed, with a quiet shout of surprise, that he was floating. He was well above Padfoot’s head and when he kicked his feet all they touched was air. “Believe me yet?” Padfoot asked, grinning. Harry nodded, not sure he trusted himself to speak, and felt himself slowly being lowered to the ground. “Good, because I might have had to leave you there otherwise.”

Harry laughed shakily. “So you’re a...”

“A what?”

“...wizard?” Harry said quietly.

“I am.”

“And is that a wand?” He stared at the wooden stick with newfound respect.

“It is.”

“Can I try?” he blurted.

“With my wand?” Padfoot thought for a moment and then shrugged. “Sure.”

Harry accepted it gingerly, half expecting it to bite him. “What do I do?”

“Try... say ‘Lumos’.”

Lumos,” Harry said. There was a tiny white light at the tip of Padfoot’s wand, so small he could hardly see it. “Is that what it’s supposed to do?”

“Usually it’s bigger,” Padfoot said, shrugging, “but my wand’s always been unpredictable for other people.”

Lumos,” Harry said again, giving it a wave. The wand tip lit up until it was almost blinding.

“‘Nox’!” Padfoot said, shielding his eyes.

Nox!” Harry said quickly. The wand extinguished, as did all the streetlights within thirty feet of them. Harry pressed the wand back into Padfoot’s hand.

“You’re going to be one hell of a wizard,” Padfoot said shaking his head.

“I’m not a wizard,” Harry said. Padfoot’s lips twitched, as if he knew something Harry didn’t. “I can’t be!”

“Really? You’ve never made anything strange happen before, done something you couldn’t explain later?”

Harry’s eyes widened. “That’s magic?”

Padfoot grinned. “Probably. You can tell me all about it on the way to London. Stand back.”

“How are we getting to London?” Harry asked as Padfoot stuck out his wand. “Do you have a magic car?”

With a loud bang, a purple, triple-decker bus materialised. Harry stared at it with wide eyes. “Not quite,” Padfoot said casually. “Two please,” he said, passing a giant gold coin and four silver ones to the squat, neatly shaven man who’d just emerged from the bus.

“But-” Harry stammered, staring at the bus that had appeared from nowhere. “But-”

“Later,” Padfoot promised.

“Thank you, sir,” the man wheezed, pocketing Padfoot’s strange money. “Welcome to the Knight Bus. I’m Jeremy Phillips and I’ll be your conductor this evening. Where is it you gentlemen are headed?”

“London. The Leaky Cauldron,” Padfoot said. “Come on, kid.” Harry stumbled onto the bus after his godfather, unable to help but smile a little. While the Dursleys had called him ‘boy’ to avoid saying his name, Padfoot addressing him as ‘kid’ was done with the same inflection as ‘Harry’ and wasn’t malicious at all. It was nice, Harry thought, to be addressed like a human being.

“Have you got any luggage?”

“Just this,” Padfoot said, shrugging a shoulder to show Harry’s rucksack.

“Any preference about seating?”

“We won’t be sleeping... somewhere we can talk without interrupting other passengers would be brilliant.”

“Follow me,” Jeremy said as the bus jerked. Harry would have fallen over if Padfoot hadn’t caught him. They were led up a wobbly staircase to the top storey of the bus, which had four poster beds fixed to the floor. “Take your pick,” Jeremy said. “I’ll be downstairs if you need me, but otherwise, enjoy your trip and I’ll let you know when we arrive at the Leaky Cauldron.”

“Thank you,” Padfoot said, flopping onto the closest bed. Harry sat down on the one beside it. Jeremy descended the staircase with a little wave as the bus jerked again. It took off quickly, weaving through traffic that Harry was certain hadn’t been on Privet Drive.

“Is this safe?” he asked, his hands fisted into the bedspread.

“It helps if you don’t look out the windows,” Padfoot said. Harry – who had just yelped as the bus missed a pair of runners – was inclined to agree. “So, tell me about any magic you’ve used.” Padfoot was sitting up now, watching Harry with an expression of interest.

“Er... Okay, well,” Harry said, “last week I think I turned my teacher’s wig blue...”

Harry wasn’t sure how long they were actually aboard the bus for, but the time passed quickly; Harry told Padfoot about Mrs Peterson and since Padfoot seemed genuinely interested, he also told him about the time he’d ended up on the kitchen roof. “Do you remember how you got up there?” Padfoot asked once he’d stopped laughing.

 Harry shook his head. “I thought it was the wind.”

“I reckon you Apparated,” Padfoot said thoughtfully. Harry made a face at the new word but didn’t comment. He stored it away in the ‘ask later’ compartment of his head. “If you’d levitated yourself, you would have realised what was happening- aargh!” He flew off the bed and onto the floor with a thump as the bus stopped suddenly. Harry only avoided the same fate by grabbing hold of the bedpost.

“Leaky Cauldron, London!” Jeremy shouted up the stairs.

“That’s us,” Padfoot said gingerly, pushing himself off the ground. Harry kept his expression carefully blank, not wanting to laugh. Padfoot noticed. “Oh, go on,” he said with a grin. “It must have looked stupid.”

“No, it... well, yeah,” Harry admitted, trying and failing to choke back a laugh as he scooped his rucksack up.

“Thought so,” Padfoot said with a grin as he led Harry down the narrow spiral staircase.

“Thanks,” Harry said to Jeremy as they hopped of the bus and into the chilly February night.

“Have a good night.” The Knight Bus vanished with a bang that made Harry jump backward.

“This way,” Padfoot said, his mouth twitching.

“Just laugh,” Harry said, falling into step beside him. “You let me, before.”

But Padfoot didn’t. Instead, he smiled. “You’re so much like Lily.”

Harry beamed. I’m like my mum... he thought happily. I look like Dad, but with Mum’s eyes and personality...  It was strange to be so excited about being compared to people that - before tonight - he’d known nothing about. People were always telling Dudley he was like Uncle Vernon, and while Harry had always laughed – he’d hate to be compared with his Uncle – he’d always been a touch jealous too, that Dudley was like one of his parents.

“Where are you going, Harry?” Padfoot asked. Harry spun and saw his godfather standing ten paces back, struggling to keep a straight face.

“To Dragon Alley?”

“Diagon,” Padfoot said, definitely laughing now. “Come here.” Harry walked back and gave his godfather a sheepish smile before he was steered through the door of a dingy looking pub. Inside smelled vaguely of smoke, and since it was almost dinner time, was full of noisy patrons. “Welcome to the Leaky Cauldron,” Padfoot muttered, keeping a hand on Harry’s shoulder as they made their way through the masses of people.

“What is that?!” Harry whispered, staring at a short creature with a long nose, pointed ears and sharp, black eyes.

“A goblin,” Padfoot muttered. “Don’t stare, don’t stare, they don’t like- Nope, he’s seen us.” The goblin smiled to reveal pointed, white teeth and waved one long fingered hand in their direction. Padfoot waved back, shuddering. “They’re scary and they know it,” he told Harry as they wove through the crowd. “Very professional though, goblins,” he said. “And lucky for us, too.”

“What do you mean?”

Padfoot thought for a minute. “The less you know, Harry,” he said quietly, “the safer you are. At least for now,” he added when Harry’s expression darkened. “I’ve got a lot to explain to you, but now isn’t the time. Excuse me,” he said gruffly. A woman muttered something and stepped aside. Padfoot guided Harry into a small, walled courtyard, empty save for a rubbish bin and a haughty-looking cat. Harry cast a dubious look around as Padfoot stepped forward. “I can never remember the combination,” he grumbled, prodding the wall with his wand.


“You need it to get into Diagon Alley. Three up... one across or two...?” Padfoot muttered. He was quiet for a moment and then, “Oh, yes. Got it. Stand back, Harry.” He lifted his wand and then stopped. He turned back to Harry with a speculative look on his face. “Once we’re in Diagon Alley, I need you to stay close, all right?” Harry nodded. “Keep calling me Padfoot, if you have to introduce yourself, don’t mention your last name – I’ll explain later,” he said with a grimace. “And, no matter what happens, do not let anyone see your scar.” Harry’s hand moved up to trace the familiar shape on his forehead. “Other than that, we should be fine; hopefully, no one knows I’ve got you yet and we can be gone before they’re any the wiser.”

“And then you’ll explain everything?”

“Marauder’s honour,” Padfoot said with a wink.

Harry’s eyes narrowed. “Let me guess: later?”

“Bright kid,” Padfoot remarked to no one in particular as he tapped his wand on the courtyard wall. With a rumble, a brick started to shake and wriggled out of place, leaving a hole. Even as Harry watched the hole grew, and more bricks moved until he and Padfoot were standing in a huge archway. The pub was still behind him – he could still smell the pipe smoke and hear the chatter – but on the other side of the archway he could see a cobbled street winding every which way. “Welcome to Diagon Alley,” Padfoot said as they stepped through.

Harry didn’t know where to look first; despite the time, there were still quite a few people massing outside shops and crowding around stalls. All of them were wearing dresses like Padfoot’s, and quite a few had pointy hats. Aside from that, they didn’t look all that different from any other person Harry had ever seen. They certainly didn’t all have long beards or warty noses, though Harry did see one austere looking woman with a bright red handbag who was clutching a toad. Behind Harry, Padfoot sighed. “It’s nice to be back,” he murmured. “This way.”

Harry followed a little reluctantly, keen to have a look around. He stayed close to his godfather – it would be all too easy to get lost in this – but his eyes wandered where his feet couldn’t; he saw a spindly old man selling cauldrons, a pretty young witch selling protective amulets and a red-haired boy a bit older than Harry was on what appeared to be a broomstick, being chased by his mother and another boy who looked exactly the same, who was laughing as he apologised to the people the boy on the broom had knocked over. After them came two other redheaded children – a boy - who looked about Harry’s age and a girl who was a bit younger, who knocked into Padfoot with a squeak. “Sorry,” said the boy as he and his sister ran past them.

“Not a problem,” Padfoot said, his eyes fixed on the boy on the broomstick.

“Is he flying?” Harry asked, staring after the family; the mother had caught up and was shouting at her son.

Padfoot nodded and smiled a little wistfully. “That’s something James and I would have done,” he said staring at the sulky looking twin. “Except it would have been Moony chasing us, not James’ mum.”


“One of your dad’s old friends,” Padfoot said, starting to walk again. Harry didn’t. “He’s- Harry?” Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw Padfoot turn and walk back toward him. He was saying something Harry didn’t hear; Harry was too busy looking at the stall selling newspapers. On the front page of every one was a picture of Padfoot – with dark hair like he had had when Harry’d first met him - below the headline ‘HAVE YOU SEEN THIS WIZARD?’. Harry didn’t know whether to be more stunned by that, or by the fact that the picture was moving, like a miniature, soundless television.

“Is that you?” Harry said through numb lips when Padfoot was close enough to hear him.

“Yes. Harry-”

“What did you do?” Harry asked, wondering what he could have possibly done to end up on the front page of the newspaper.

“I’m innocent, remember,” Padfoot said. Harry nodded automatically. “I... It’s a long story,” he said with a grimace, pushing his hair out of his face. Padfoot took a deep breath, looking pained. “I’ll tell you now if you want me to – I don’t like having to put this off any more than you do – but it’ll make much more sense if you let me explain a few other things first, and I’d rather not do that here, for your sake.”

Harry nodded slowly. “All right.”

Padfoot sighed, and the stiff set of his shoulders relaxed. “Thanks, kiddo,” he said, his voice as sincere as the hand now resting on Harry’s shoulder.

“Are we going to the bank?”

Padfoot nodded. “And the sooner we’re done there, the sooner we can get home.”

“Which way do we go?” Harry asked.

“This way.” They’d only gone another hundred paces before Harry saw the bank and wondered how he’d missed it. Gringotts – as the large golden letters above the door proclaimed – was a huge building made of snowy-white marble. Standing either side of the burnished bronze doors, wearing scarlet and gold uniforms, were goblins. Harry didn’t stare this time, but his eyes did widen when they bowed them through the doors. Inside, they were faced with another pair of doors, glossy silver this time. Engraved upon them was a message which Harry paused to read:

Enter, stranger, but take heed,

Of what awaits the sin of greed,

For those who take but do not earn,

Must pay most dearly in their turn.

So if you seek beneath our floors,

A treasure that was never yours,

Thief, you have been warned, beware,

Of finding more than treasure there.

“What does it mean ‘more than treasure’?” Harry whispered as another pair of goblins bowed them through the silver doors. Inside, a counter ran all the way around - separated only by golden doors that no doubt led to vaults – behind which sat more goblins.

“Gringotts vaults are protected by all sorts of things,” Padfoot whispered back as they crossed the vast marble hall to get to a free counter; most of the other goblins were weighing gemstones or coins or writing in thick ledgers. “All sorts of hexes and wards... I think they’ve even got a dragon or two.”

“A dragon?” Harry exclaimed and then clapped his hands to his mouth as the shout echoed. Several of the goblins looked up, their black eyes glinting. “Sorry,” Harry said in what was hardly more than a whisper, yet carried to the corners of the hall. Padfoot smiled at him and together they approached a goblin.

“Excuse me,” Padfoot said politely.

The goblin didn’t acknowledge them; he continued writing in his book for a further minute before he finally looked up. “Yes?”

“I’ve come to make a withdrawal,” Padfoot said.

“From which vault?” the goblin asked, showing his pointed teeth.

“My family vault,” Padfoot said carefully. “The Black vault.”

“Mr Black,” the goblin said, looking interested. “Yes, I do see it now, even if it has been years since you were last here. I suppose you don’t have access to your private vault key anymore.” Padfoot stayed quiet and Harry followed his example. The goblin smiled nastily. “I’m a little surprised you’ve come at all... surely you know there’s a reward for your capture?”

“I’m not here to make trouble,” Padfoot said in a quiet but firm tone. “I came to get my gold and leave.” The goblin said nothing. Padfoot frowned. “I wouldn’t have come at all if I’d realised how much things had changed.”

“Changed how?” the goblin asked, twining his long fingers together.

“I never thought I’d meet a goblin more interested in wizarding affairs than in the satisfaction of an old client,” Padfoot said coolly. The goblin at the counter next to theirs made an angry noise and dropped the rubies he was holding. They scattered all over the counter and spilled onto the floor but the goblin was too busy listening to pick them up.

“Wizarding affairs are profitable these days,” their goblin said with a cruel smile.

“So is helping me,” Padfoot said.

“Is that a bribe, Mr Black?” the goblin asked, showing his pointed teeth again.

“If you want to be blunt. I’d call it a reward for a professional approach to a delicate situation.”

The goblin smiled. “How large is this... reward?”

“It would depend on how professional you are.”

“We can be very professional,” the goblin promised, tracing patterns onto the pages of his ledger with one long nail.

“In that case, I’ll have to insist on a permanent interest rate rise for the Black vault of say... five percent?”

The goblin’s eyes widened but he quickly smoothed his expression. “Seven,” he said shrewdly.

“Five,” Padfoot said firmly, “as well as five percent of what I’m withdrawing today. I promise you it’s a substantial amount.”

“Very well.” The goblin stared at him a moment longer, and then his eyes flicked down to Harry. “Follow me.” The goblin hopped down from his chair and joined them at the front of the counter. On the ground, they were about the same height, though the goblin’s head was almost twice as large as Harry’s and his legs were only half the length.

Another goblin appeared beside them holding a bag of metal-sounding objects. “Here, Gurbock,” he said passing it over.

Their goblin – Gurbock – nodded his thanks and the other goblin dashed off again. “That reminds me, I’ll need bags,” Padfoot said as the three of them crossed the hall.

“It’ll cost you,” Gurbock said, smiling in a way that made Harry shiver.

Padfoot thought for a moment, not really seeming surprised. “I’ll give you a galleon for as many bags as I need,” he said eventually.


“All right,” Padfoot said, winking at Harry who smiled after a moment’s hesitation; he wasn’t sure that he liked goblins. The goblin led them through a golden door and Harry, who had been expecting marble or something equally expensive was surprised to find they were in a narrow stone passageway, lit only by torches on the walls. Gurbock whistled and a cart came hurtling around a corner, attached to the little railway tracks Harry had just noticed on the floor. “In you get,” Padfoot said, ushering Harry into the cart. Padfoot clambered in next and then the goblin and then, with no visible prompting, they were off.

Gurbock didn’t steer at all – something which unnerved Harry – yet the cart navigated its way through a maze of passages. Several times, the cart dropped suddenly, or veered off sharply to one side and Harry, convinced he was about to fall out, had latched on to his godfather. Padfoot, thankfully didn’t seem to mind; if he’d done the same to Aunt Petunia or Uncle Vernon, they probably would have saved the cart the trouble and just pushed him off. “Will we see a dragon?” Harry asked as they sped through the darkness.

“That’s what clinkers are for,” Padfoot answered, waving a hand at the bag in Gurbock’s fist. “The older the vault, the more protection it has.”

“Is yours old?”

“One of the oldest, I’d imagine,” Padfoot said rather dryly, “except for goblin owned vaults.”

“Quite right, Mr Black,” Gurbock said approvingly as he adjusted the bag of clinkers in his lap.

After one particularly steep dip in the track that made Harry glad he hadn’t eaten yet, the cart slowed to a stop beside a torch-lit platform. They climbed out, Harry a little unsteadily, and then something cold was pressed into his hand. “Shake it,” Padfoot murmured, giving him a gentle nudge. Harry did, and so did Padfoot and Gurbock and soon the little platform was echoing with a high pitched metallic ring.

“Follow me,” Gurbock called, leading them down a narrow passageway Harry hadn’t noticed. They passageway wasn’t lit at all, though they did pass an adjoining passage which was glowing in orange light. Harry walked into the back of the goblin a few times – unable to see - before they finally came out into a circular room. Torches flared into life on the walls. There was only one door, a large, round, bronze one with Black carved into it.

Gurbock walked right up to it and pressed his hand against it. With a grinding sound, the entire room spun; the vault door was now covering the entrance to the passage they’d entered through, while the vault itself was now open. Harry’s mouth fell open. In one corner was a collection of expensive looking heirlooms – armour, a set of bloodstained daggers, a chest overflowing with jewellery, and leather bags the size of Harry’s rucksack, all filled with rubies and diamonds and sapphires. The rest of the room – which was about as big as Number Four, Privet Drive, was filled with piles of gold, silver and bronze coins, stacked as tall as Padfoot. Right at the back of the vault was another bronze door, open only wide enough for Harry to be able to see the glint of more treasure through it.

“I’ll be needing those bags, Gurbock,” Padfoot said sounding a little dazed. Gurbock dug around in the pockets of his scarlet jacket and produced three leather bags, each the size of the bag he’d kept the clinkers in. “Extension charms?” Padfoot asked, accepting them.

“Each will hold around two-thousand galleons,” Gurbock said. “You did say a large withdrawal, did you not?”

“Yeah,” Padfoot said faintly, accepting one of the bags. “What’s the conversion rate into muggle money at the moment?”

“Approximately five pounds to a galleon,” the goblin said.

Harry’s eyes widened and then widened again when Padfoot tossed him a bag and told him to fill it with the gold coins. Harry stared at his godfather, who stepped forward – stumbled on an emerald that was the size of his head - and scooped a whole handful of coins into his bag. After a moment, Harry followed suit, but threw in some of the silver and bronze coins too. It took them almost ten minutes to fill all three bags yet they’d hardly made a dent in the piles of treasure. Gurbock shuffled to the door, pressed his palm against it and it slid back into place, sealing Padfoot’s vault.

“How much room do you have in your rucksack?” Padfoot asked.

“Dunno. A bit,” Harry said.

“Do you mind if we put this-” Padfoot hefted the bags of gold, “-in there?” Harry shook his head. Padfoot opened one of the bags he was holding and took out three of the gold coins which he passed to Harry - who accepted them gingerly, aware he’d never had so much money in his life - and pocketed another three for himself. “That should be enough to see us home,” he said, retying the bag. “Hold still,” he said, opening the top of Harry’s rucksack. Harry felt him drop the bags of coins in; not only did he hear the jingle of coins but his rucksack also tripled in weight.

“Clankers,” Gurbock said importantly, dealing them out again. Harry shook his. A roar echoed through the tunnels, much closer than Harry would have liked.

“Is that a dragon?” he whispered, moving closer to his godfather. Padfoot nodded, not seeming worried at all. The three of them set off down the cramped passageway again, and when they passed the glowing tunnel, Harry swore he saw a spiny tail disappearing around a corner at the far end. Gurbock led them back to the cart and a quick ride later, they were getting out again, blinking in the torch-light.

“Here, let me,” Padfoot said, shouldering Harry’s rucksack as they walked up the sloped path toward the golden doors.

“Thanks,” Harry said, brushing his sweaty fringe out of his face.

“Well, well,” the goblin said, looking from Padfoot to Harry. He took a step closer, lifting one long nailed finger to brush a strand of Harry’s hair off of his forehead. Padfoot froze. “This is an unexpected turn of events.”

“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” Padfoot said stiffly.

“Oh, I’m quite sure you do.” Gurbock gave Padfoot a feral smile which he then turned on Harry. “Even among goblins your story is legendary, Harry Potter.”

He knows me... I don’t even look like me! Harry stared. “How...?” he said, looking at the goblin, who was still smiling.

Padfoot had gone white, but even as Harry watched he regained colour and drew himself up to his full height. “Would you like his autograph now or the next time we visit?” Padfoot said coldly. Gurbock looked a little insulted. “Or, would you like to skip that part altogether and do your job?”

Gurbock watched them both curiously for a very long time. “This way, Mr Black,” the goblin said at last, his black eyes glittering in the light of the marble hall. Padfoot looked relieved, and the instant Gurbock turned around, he gestured for Harry to flatten his fringe.

“I’d like one bag converted into muggle money,” Padfoot said, his voice still cold. “And you can take your five percent from that.”

Gurbock accepted the offered bag and disappeared behind the counter with it. Padfoot seemed on edge the entire time they waited and sighed in relief when the goblin returned and passed over a stack of twenty pound notes. Padfoot tucked those into a pocket in his dress. “Do you not want your key, Mr Potter?” Gurbock asked, as they turned away from the counter.

“My what?” Harry asked, frowning at the goblin.

“I think he means the key to your Gringotts vault,” Padfoot said.

“I-I have a vault?”

“James and Lily wouldn’t have left you with nothing,” Padfoot said, shaking his head as if Harry were mad.

“You are entitled to the small fortune in vault six-hundred and eighty-seven,” Gurbock said. “The contents of the Potter family vault will become available to you when you come of age.”

“Er...” Harry said, looking at Padfoot, who shrugged, “I guess I’ll take my key now, then, if I’m allowed to?”

“Identification won’t be necessary,” Gurbock said, eyeing Harry’s scar. “Wait here, please.” He returned a moment later carrying a small golden key. “When you wish to access your vault, present this to the goblin at the counter.” Harry nodded and pocketed it. “Have a good evening,” Gurbock said, with another curious look at Harry.

Padfoot nodded stiffly. “Thank you,” Harry said. As they left, Harry got the impression that Padfoot was walking as fast as was possible without running; Harry was almost jogging to keep up. Outside, Diagon Alley was now almost empty and rather dark and this seemed to make Padfoot jumpy; he kept staring at shadows, constantly checking to make sure Harry was nearby and his knuckles were white around his wand.

“How did he know who I was?” Harry asked as they headed back toward the pub they’d come in through.

Padfoot glanced around and then leaned closer. “Your scar,” Padfoot said, very quietly.

“My scar?” Harry whispered, trying to decide which of his thousand questions to ask first.

Padfoot nodded. “I know how frustrating this must be,” he said with a grimace. “If we’d had more time, I would have explained everything to you before we came, but it won’t take Dumbledore long to realise I’ve got you and then he’ll come looking...”

“Who’s Dumbledore?”

“Headmaster of Hogwarts,” Padfoot said, starting to walk again. “A good friend of mine, and of your mum and dad. He’s also the last person we want to see right now.”


“He doesn’t know I’m innocent. You’d be back with your Aunt and Uncle and I’d be back in my cell before either of us knew what was going on.”

“And he knows you’ve got me?”

“If he doesn’t already, he will soon,” Padfoot said grimly.

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