Challenge: The Big Moxie – Q2 2022 – Sentinel Fusion
Fandom: Harry Potter Sentinel Fusion
Content Warning: PG-13
Warnings: Character Bashing
Genres: Alternate Universe, Fusion
Word Count: 6036
Author Note: Sentinels are known universe. This is rough and will be edited again but trying to get posted today. FYI…Part of Dumbledore’s start of term announcements are taken from canon.
Summary: The Dursley’s get a wake-up call when little Harry is left on their doorstep
2 November 1981
4 Privet Drive
Little Whinging, Surrey
Petunia Dursley heard the doorbell ring for the third time this morning. She fretted at the unseemliness of having someone standing on her front step making a spectacle of themselves. She wanted to race down the stairs and stop it, but she was in the middle of doctoring poor Dudley’s persistent diaper rash. She couldn’t just stop to deal with some nosy neighbor or salesman.
Her poor little Diddikins was in agony and had been all night. She and Vernon had alternated walking him up and down the hall half the night to keep him calm. Not even the oatmeal bath that usually soothed his rashes helped. He was just in agony, and these people were ringing her doorbell to disturb him more.
She finished with the ointment and secured a fresh nappy before wrapping him in a soft cotton blanket and heading down to give the offender a piece of her mind. It wasn’t even sunrise, and Vernon was trying to catch another hour’s sleep before he headed into the office for the day.
The ringing moved to knocking of all things, and a voice called out through the door that they were police. Tightening her grip on the screaming Dudley, Petunia brought herself to her full height and opened the front door.
“What is the meaning of this?”
“Ma’am, are you Mrs. Petunia Dursley?”
“I am.” Petunia glanced past the officer to the yard beyond. Two police cars were present, along with an ambulance displaying the large blue Sentinel-Guide emblem on the side. There was some activity at the back of the ambulance.
“We have a situation here and need to ask you some questions.” He motioned toward the ambulance. “Can you step this way?”
She looked between the ambulance and the officer while adjusting her grip on Dudley. “My son hasn’t been well, and I don’t want to take him out into the chill air.”
“I understand, Ma’am; it will only be a moment, then we can go inside to talk.”
Dudley started crying again, and there was an answering cry from the ambulance. A redhead suddenly whipped around and stared at Petunia…no, at Dudley. Then he was racing across the lawn and taking her baby from her hands.
“Stop!” Petunia shoved the officer out of the way and ran after Dudley. When she reached the back of the ambulance, he was laying her son out on the gurney beside another child and stripping him down. “What do you think you’re doing?”
“When did your son come online?” The redhead asked.
“I don’t understand.”
“As a Sentinel. When did your son come online as a sentinel?”
Petunia shook her head; this wasn’t making sense. “My Dudley is not a sentinel. He’s a baby with allergies.” She looked around at everyone who was staring at her. “He’s too young to be online.”
“I assure you, Mrs. Dursley, your son is online. It’s very rare, so he must be a strong sentinel. But he is online. When did this rash start?”
“He’s been having little rashes for a few months. Nothing out of the ordinary. The pediatrician assured me it was normal.”
“This rash is not normal.”
“That started on Halloween.” Her little Dudders couldn’t be a Sentinel…could he?
They pointed at the other child, “Have you ever seen this child?”
Petunia looked at the little dark-haired boy with an awful wound on his forehead. That was certainly going to scar…the poor thing. There was something familiar about him. “No?”
“Was that an answer or a question, Mrs. Dursely?” The officer was now standing beside her at the back of the ambulance.
“He seems familiar, but I’m certain I’ve never seen him,” She answered, confused by the feeling.
The officer traded a look with the red-haired man, then pulled an evidence bag out of a box and held it out to her. “According to this letter, his name is Harry Potter….”
Petunia jerked at the name and looked back at the boy, her heart in her throat. No. She reached out and took the letter from the man before he could protest. The words blurred together. Regret to inform…noble sacrifice…ongoing danger…protection while in your home….
She couldn’t bite back the sob that escaped, but she refused to cry in front of these people.
“My sister’s…he’s my nephew. I’ve seen a picture but haven’t met him before.” Her hand was shaking, and the officer pulled the page out of her hand.
“Do you know who this Albus Dumbledore is?”
Petunia froze. This was magic stuff, and it’s supposed to be secret. They have that law to protect this. Why would they leave it in a letter for anyone to read? She noticed they were all staring at her, and she shook her head sharply in the negative. Three of them gave her a look, and she realized they had the S&G pin on their collars.
“If you know who he is, it is important that you tell us. The man has committed a crime.”
She thought fast. The truth must tell the truth without revealing magic, or they might come for her. “My sister mentioned the name many times, but I’ve never been introduced to the man.” And that was the truth. He had stared at her in a very creepy way at Lily’s wedding, but no one specifically introduced him to her and Vernon.
“The children need medical attention in a shielded environment.” The redhead, who still hadn’t introduced himself, stated.
“We can escort you to the hospital.” The quiet officer started to turn toward his vehicle.
“No, it won’t be able to handle a special case like this. We need to take the boys to London. There are specialists at the Burton Institute that can help.”
“That’s not protocol.”
Petunia had enough of being ignored, “Excuse me, but since that’s my son and nephew, I believe I should have a say in what happens. Now, I’m not sure I believe that my Dudley can possibly be online as young as he is, but I am quite sure that he should have the best care available. So if that means going to London, then we are going to London.” She looked around at the nosey neighbors who were watching this show. Petunia raised her chin and squared her shoulders. “Now, you will wait here while I go in and get my purse and coat. I am going to wake my husband and inform him what is happening. Then, and only then, will I join you to travel to the Institute with them.”
She glared them all into submission, then turned and marched back into her house. Once she was out of sight, she gave herself a moment for some deep breaths to gain control and then headed up the stairs. It wouldn’t do for that sentinel to hear anything untoward. And he would be listening; there was no stopping that now.
Vernon was snoring loudly, sprawled on his back in his bedclothes. She huffed that he could sleep through everything that had just happened and resolutely reached over to shake him.
“Vernon. Vernon, wake up.”
He gave a choked-off snore and muttered, “Ten more minutes, Pet.”
“You need to wake up this instant. There is an ambulance out front, and I have to leave with Dudley.”
He jerked awake, eyes wide and confused. Well, at least that woke him up. “Pet?”
Petunia pulled at him and gave him a shake to focus on her. “Don’t say a word, Vernon. I don’t have time to discuss this with you now. I need you to focus on what I am telling you.” She waited as he blinked three or four times and finally nodded that he was awake enough to listen. “There is a sentinel and guide team outside with the ambulance. They say that Dudley’s rash isn’t a normal diaper rash. He’s come online as a sentinel. They need to get him to the Burton Institute in London because it’s unusual for a child to come online this young.”
Vernon sat up in the bed and started to open his mouth, but she covered it with her hand. Petunia grabbed her notepad from her bedside table and wrote on it, Sentinel is listening. Vernon’s eyes went wide, then squinted as he glared toward the front of the house. He nodded again.
“Also, Vernon, my nephew, Harry Potter, was left on our doorstep with a note of all things informing me that my dear sister is dead and we’re the only family left. How dare they drop that poor baby on our doorstep with nothing but a letter? What kind of person does that?”
She shook her head sharply negative when Vernon looked ready to erupt. She didn’t have time for this. “I know you are as upset as I. My sister and I may have not been close, but this just isn’t done. Regardless, the poor boy is injured and online as a guide. He may have come online in response to our poor Dudley’s suffering. I will ride with them in the ambulance. You get dressed and deal with the police who are investigating before you follow us. Don’t forget to call your work, there has to be some leave time available for your child coming online.”
She looked to the front of the house then back at Vernon pointedly and he nodded his understanding.
“You do whatever you need to take care of those boys, Pet. I will handle things with the authorities and follow you the moment I’m able. I’m not sure I believe our Dudley is online. Hasn’t been a Dursley online in generations. Marge will know when that was. Has the whole family history memorized.” He looked around, trying to stop his rambling. “You just go take care of our boy…s. Let the officer know I will be down as soon as I can get dressed.”
Petunia frowned and gave him a sharp nod before heading back downstairs to get her coat and purse. She reached for Dudley’s jacket and paused then grabbed a second one for Harry. She wasn’t certain of his size but she knew they were close enough in age.
Squaring her shoulders she lifted her chin and left the house. Petunia kept her eyes on the police and ambulance where everyone was congregated. She forced herself to march to that ambulance while ignoring the neighbors who were treating this like entertainment.
The officer stepped up to help her onto the ambulance. She took their hands and accepted the assistance before turning back to the man. “My husband, Vernon Dursley, will be down to answer any questions you have as soon as he is dressed. If you could give him directions to where we are going, that would be appreciated. If you need anything else from me you can follow us and I will be available to speak to you once I know the boys are ok.”
“Don’t worry about a thing, ma’am. I’m sure this is overwhelming for you. Given the situation, I’m certain the Institute will be helping you from here on out and that is above my paygrade. This case is sure to be reassigned.” The officer smiled and then closed the door and gave a knock on it before it started moving.
The ride took forever with morning traffic and the babies crying. Petunia was belted in on a seat to the side facing the gurney where both baby’s were strapped down for safety.
For the most part Petunia stayed quiet on the trip since she couldn’t reach Dudley and both children appeared to be getting excellent attention. She answered all of the health questions she was able, though for the life of her she couldn’t even remember when Harry was born. Honestly, she was a bit overwhelmed as a new mother herself. But she was certain she had written it down in her journal at home.
A full team descended upon them as soon as the ambulance stopped at the Institute in London. Before she knew it they were in the most soothing treatment room she had ever seen. The children seemed to calm almost instantly and wasn’t that a relief.
The staff treated her with respect and kept her informed every step of the way. They weren’t a thing like the pediatrician who dismissed her insistence that Dudley needed special handling. They listened and agreed with her, then changed their method to one that Dudley would respond to better.
After a morning of tests and treatments for the boys, she was finally willing to accept their conclusion. Vernon had joined her a couple hours in, looking completely shell shocked. When both of the boys were sleeping comfortably in a private room with two nurses present to attend them, they joined the specialists in a shielded conference room to review the findings. There were more than the usual medical professionals present.
“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, I am William Hempstead, Guide Director of the Burton Institute. It’s been a bit of a busy day I would say. Now, while I know you have been informed of this, let me officially state that your son has come online as a sentinel. While we cannot officially confirm it at their ages, I am confident once he is old enough to cooperate with testing that your son will be rated as at least an Alpha Sentinel. Quite possibly even a Prime.”
Vernon sat up straight and puffed out his chest. “That’s my boy alright. I knew he was meant for greatness.”
“Is it safe for him?” Petunia asked. She could care less about greatness, she just wanted him to be healthy and happy.
“Yes, he is perfectly safe. I know it will be an imposition but we will require a conservator for him that can assist with training and managing his senses until he learns to self-regulate. Given his rating, this will need to be a long-term posting.” Hempstead glanced over at a sentinel and guide team to his left. “I believe you met Sentinel and Guide Carstair earlier today when you gave approval for a home study. While they have not completed it in full, they did return with concerning news.”
Petunia turned to give her full attention to the pair. Vernon had signed approve for them to check the home for sentinel safety.
“We are very sorry to report that it appears the builders in your neighborhood used substandard materials for the construction. I’m honestly surprised your son wasn’t in worse shape after sleeping in that home while online.”
Vernon’s eyes blazed. “What do you mean substandard? I was assured that everything was properly upgraded when I purchased that home. How dare they allow their lies to harm my boy! I’ll sue, that’s what I’ll do. I’ll…”
Petunia felt like screeching herself but she just grabbed Vernon’s hand and gave him a warning squeeze. They needed to hear this. It was her Dudley’s life. “What needs to be done to make it safe for my son?”
“You would need to tear it down and start over. We still need soil samples and a host of other tests to determine if it’s even safe for him to live in that neighborhood.” Guide Carstair shrugged, “We will see a complete report is submitted for legal action, I assure you. But I feel it best to consider that it is not a appropriate home for your son’s sensitivities, at least not during infancy.”
Petunia traded looks with Vernon. What were they going to do? It wasn’t like they had unlimited resources to just purchase another house. Vernon was still building his reputation at Grunnings. It would be another year before he qualified for the position he was working toward and that raise that would smooth over everything.
Director Hempstead cleared his throat, “I know this is disheartening, but perhaps it is for the best. Frankly, we feel it is best if the boys are housed in a secured S&G community. It would be best, even with conservators, for the boys to be near others who can provide support and security as they grow.”
“That’s not exactly a normal childhood…”
“It is perfectly normal for S&G minors or children of active pairs.” Hempstead smiled at them and there was a sense of calm in that smile. “The parents of online children are pillars of the community. And, you will find there are many protections under the law for both yourselves and the children. We can work with you on relocation services and there will be a grant to assist with the purchase of the property. For now, we would like to provide you with a three bedroom suite in our onsite housing. It will take a little time to find the appropriate conservators and you will need training yourself in how to properly care for the children.”
Petunia sighed as she thought about that word, children. She hadn’t given herself time to come to terms with the message in that appalling letter. “You haven’t mentioned much about Harry.”
Everyone in the room shifted and they were exchanging looks. “Mrs. Dursley, how aware are you of where your sister lived and recent events involving her life?”
Petunia stiffened a little, “I’m not certain what you are asking.”
“Let me approach this another way. There is very little that can be hidden from sentinels and guides. There are however those who would have their way of life hidden from the general populace, for their own protection. You might say they have even created Statutes to protect their privacy.” Hempstead raised his eyebrows and just stared at Petunia.
She met his gaze squarely then raised her chin before meeting the eyes of every person in that room. She traded looks with Vernon who was looking a little like a fish out of water then just huffed. “So you are aware of magic.”
Hempstead released his breath and everyone in the room relaxed. “Yes. There is a longstanding agreement between Sentinels and Guides and the magical government. We assist them where we can to protect the Statute of Secrecy. Sentinels and Guides appear within the Magical World less frequently than our own, but then their population is much smaller than ours. We do keep open communications with our magical brethren and as such are aware of current events in their world.”
Two young men stepped forward and sat down at the table. “Hello, my name is Sentinel Nobu Ishikawa and this is my guide, Antoni Wesolowska. We are part of the International Confederation of Wizards Task Force that arrived yesterday to assist with cleaning up the mess left behind by revelers.”
“Revelers?” Petunia asked, confused. Then she was suddenly very angry as she realized what that meant. “My sister was murdered and they are celebrating the day?”
“They are celebrating the defeat of the Dark Lord who murdered your sister and brother-in-law, yes. They are also celebrating the survival of your nephew. Your tragedy is their victory, so the situation is understandable if distasteful,” Ishikawa replied with a look of disapproval on his face.
His guide took over, “Let them have their moment of release. It will distract them from the importance of what is happening now. Your nephew was placed with you illegally. We are checking on many irregularities with this situation. Earlier today the child’s godfather, one Sirius Black, was arrested for murder. Word is that he betrayed your sister and family resulting in their deaths.”
Petunia flashed back on an introduction to the man. He was a strange man. One of those wizard’s of course. But she had been lead to believe that James and the man considered themselves brothers. Her stomach churned at the thought of him betraying them. “He will be questioned? Do I have any rights to know what they learn in his trial? I know Lily mentioned there was a way to ensure people told the truth during a trial.”
The men traded looks. “Honestly you wouldn’t normally be informed of anything, but we promise you that we will attend the trial ourselves to make sure you get the answers you desire.”
She just gave them a nod, too overwhelmed to continue. “So, what of Harry?”
Hempstead opened up a file. “The boy is healthy overall. We are concerned about the wound on his forehead. We do have a magical Healer on staff, but he was in danger and temporarily relocated for protection. We have contacted him, but he can’t be here before tomorrow. I promise you that we will have him thoroughly evaluated to make sure there is no lingering damage.”
He leaned back and looked at them a moment. “He is online and a guide. He is also highly magical though I have been informed there are blocks on his magic. Until the Healer arrives we will not know if these were applied by his parents while they were in hiding or if this was something done by the person who left him with you. What we need to know is if you are going to have a problem raising a magical child?”
Petunia glared at Vernon when he started to open his mouth. Then she turned back toward Hempstead but instead addressed her answer to Wesolowska. “Magic took my sister from me. She was my best friend, then she received that letter and practically disappeared from my life. She did reach out to me, but any time I tried to meet her in her world I was treated with contempt. The one time I took Vernon with me, it was a disaster. So everyone is right to be concerned that we would have a problem with this. But, Vernon will deny me nothing and I will not lose the last link I have with Lily. Lily was a true light in the dark and if her son carries that spark, then I will love him for it.”
Wesolowska smiled at her, “Well said. High Level Sentinels and Guides are considered international citizens since their territories don’t follow lines on a map. Magical or Mundane, that remains true. I think it is best if we keep young Guide Potter’s status confidential. The current magical government here is in shambles and it is best if they remain unaware so that they do not try to interfere with your guardianship. We will arrange for conservators who can also teach him to control his magic as he ages.”
Vernon shifted in his seat and sighed. “I won’t pretend to be comfortable with that magic stuff, but I also won’t allow my own issues to get in the way of what Petunia wants. If we’re to raise the boy, then it’s best if we have someone on hand that can handle that and part of it. I just want to be sure…” Vernon shifted again, “There’s no chance they are a matched pair?”
Everyone jumped in with a chorus of “No!”
Director Hempstead leaned forward over the table, “Based on the timing, we believe that young Harry came online in response to his parents’ deaths. That trauma triggered a cascade in the psionic plane. We’ve had sentinels and guides coming online all over the country due to the empathic event. Young Dudley was just uniquely sensitive to it because of his blood connection with Harry and of course Dudley’s own potential.”
Vernon teetered between relieved and proud.
“We will keep the nature of the event classified,” Hempstead continued. “But it appears we have several children in their age group as peers to the boys. Their bond mates may very well be included. Perhaps we can group them for schooling so they can get to know one another.”
Petunia shook her head at that. “That is all well and good for the future. All I care about now is that they are happy, healthy, and safe. I demand all the training I can get to make sure I keep them that way. If the house isn’t safe then we need movers to pack up everything and store it someplace safe until we find a new home. I won’t go back if I might bring something back on me that could hurt my children.”
“Mr. and Mrs. Dursley, what we start today is a long and hopefully happy partnership. We have the same goals in mind. You are now all part of our community, so please allow us to help you while you focus on the children. They are our future and it is our place to protect, train, and love them so they can grow in service to the tribe. We will all work together to make sure neither will face that future alone.”
1 September 1991
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore watched from the towers as this year’s first year students crossed the Lake. It was such a charming introduction to the school and a memory the children would carry the rest of their lives. Even the most jaded pureblood couldn’t help but be captivated by this tradition.
The carriages were transporting returning students through the front gates where they would all rush to find familiar seats in the Great Hall and await the beginning of term remarks before the feast. But for the children below, this was the beginning of a most marvelous adventure.
And for one very special boy, it was finally time for Albus to step in and become his mentor. He had second guessed himself many times over the years. The repeated requests by Sirius Black for access to his godson had reduced but not disappeared over the years.
Luckily for him Sirius had chosen to travel abroad with Remus Lupin as a constant companion. He returned only for Wizengamot sessions. Arcturus Black had insisted his heir be properly trained to take his place, but most of his time was spent on the Continent living in one Black property after another.
Sadly Albus had lost his sway over the young man. He had been briefly incarcerated after the defeat of Voldemorte, but the ICW had sent teams over to stick their noses into the Ministry’s business and had demanded to attend the trial. It had taken some fast talking to calm them when it was learned that there had not even been questioning of Heir Black before he was locked away. Sirius had included Albus in his blame for that situation and grew sullen when his demands for Harry had not been met. He had fought and then suddenly dropped the suit when it became clear that Albus would not budge on Harry’s location.
Unfortunately the man had expressed an interest in meeting young Harry once he settled into his studies. Dumbledore considered how long he could put that meeting off. Harry must be firmly under his thumb before he allowed that kind of distraction. It wouldn’t do for either party to see the other as some kind of salvation.
Perhaps he should have found a way to insinuate himself into Harry’s life. Dumbledore shook his head, of course not. It was for the best that the lad had no contact with the magical world until Dumbledore could sweep in and rescue him. Soon Dumbledore could play the kindly, doting grandfather who would take young Harry under his wing and give him the attention he had craved his whole life.
It was truly too bad he had been unable to insert his watchers into Harry’s life over the years. First the purchase of a house had fallen through for Arabella Fig. He had thought the squib could be of some use to him. Then a series of teachers and others could never pass whatever background checks the muggles were using these days.
Dumbledore turned from his view and began to stroll towards the Great Hall. He shouldn’t be late tonight. He was excited to see the results of the charmed letter he left with young Harry. The moment Petunia Dursley touched it her entire world must have shifted. It was too bad he couldn’t stay behind to watch it happen, but he had been forced to get Minerva as far from it as possible because that witch would have noticed the spell in an instant.
But that spell had been a masterpiece. Compulsion to keep and care for the child. Protection against permanent injury to the child. Mixed with resentment, anger, and disgust at having to raise her hated sister’s spawn. And most importantly, a fear and hatred of magic for anyone living in that house so that they would force him to suppress most of his magic. And now Dumbledore would be the one to open that door and give him a safe place to explore the most basic part of all magicals.
Whistling a happy little tune, he made his way to the Great Hall and nodded greetings to the professors that had already taken their normal seats. The decorations were perfect. The floating candles under the charmed ceiling. House colors covering the walls. The Sorting Hat sitting upon his stool, ready to initiate the first years. And all…humpf…five tables ready to receive the students.
Dumbledore gave himself the briefest moment to glare at that fifth table. Two years prior the Sorting had been a nightmare. For the first time in almost one hundred years, the Sorting Hat had sat upon a student’s head and declared them for the House of Dragonholm. Magical Sentinels and Guides were rare in Great Britain, so it had been a complete shock to learn that five of the first years were online.
He had tried to argue that with so few of them they should be integrated into the other houses, but the damage was already done. Hogwarts automatically adjusted to insert the new table and open the dorms for the Dragons. It also generated the magical notification to the Protectorate of Magic since all sentinels and guides have international citizenship. It is mandated that they supply certified teachers to provide instruction to the online about their gifts.
Glancing toward the end of the table where the pair, Professor Nobu Ishikawa and his guide, Professor Antoni Wesolowska, waited patiently for the students to arrive. They jointly stood as Head of House while teaching Sentinel and Guide Studies for the students of the House and combat magic for the upper years. Against his better judgment he had allowed Flitwick to talk him into allowing them to assist him with a dueling class that allowed Sixth and Seventh years the opportunity to learn team dueling which was a requirement to obtain a Mastery.
Albus settled into his chair and gave a nod to Minerva to bring in the First Years. They entered in two perfect lines, side by side. Their eyes were alert, taking in the room and decorations. Just a hint of nerves about them but not as bad as it could be. The Sorting was a tradition steeped in secrecy so that the children off balance and excited about what was to come.
The Sorting Hat launched into one of his many confusing songs, hinting at the attributes that would be tested to find their place at the school. Albus ignored it as usual, because this was the part he had been waiting for.
Minerva read from her scroll, “Abbott, Hannah.” And just like that, the Sorting had begun.
Well, not completely unexpected. After all, there had been guides in the Abbott line in the past. Too bad Albus was no closer to learning how to permanently suppress that in bloodlines. Sentinels and Guides were a complication the world just doesn’t need.”
He watched as the Sorting continued and just became more and more agitated. “Dragonholm!” “Gryffindor!” “Slytherin!” “Dragonholm!” “Hufflepuff!” “Ravenclaw!” “Dragonholm!” “Dragonholm!” “Dragonholm!”
Where were they all coming from? Well, ok, so the Longbottom and Malfoy heirs were no surprise there. Everyone had heard how the Longbottoms had raced young Neville to St Mungo’s the morning after the Potters died. Neville was the first documented magical sentinel to come online in response and they had left the security of their estate to get him help.
Just two days later Narcissa Malfoy brought young Draco in as the boy had been screaming nonstop for days. His diagnosis of guide was astounding. But only half as much as the sudden bond that had flared into being when the boys were brought into the same room by accident. The two families had been forced to share custody of the bonded pair which had caused Lucius Malfoy no end of grief. Especially when it became known that young Draco was intensely sensitive to the corruption of anyone with a Dark Mark. He could not stand their presence and became distraught when anyone with the mark approached. His own father had not been allowed in a room with the boy since he had bonded.
Albus leaned forward slightly, anticipating this one. There was really only one acceptable house for Harry.
What? No. It can’t be. There were absolutely no sentinels or guides in the Potter line. He barely noticed the child running to the fifth table and wrapping himself around one of the girls there who had been saving him a seat it seemed. The Weasley twins were leaning over the table to congratulate him while their own brother was assigned to “Gryffindor!” like they should have been. It was just surreal and it took Albus precious moments for his mind to catch up. The Sorting was over and he had missed his opportunity to protest the sorting. There had to be a way to fix this.
Minerval removed the stool and hat before joining the head table. Albus forced himself to remain in character and start the Feast. It was best to keep the children occupied while he determined the best course of action. The House of the Dragon was the worst possible place for the boy. They would fill his mind with romantic notions of finding a perfect match that would never leave him. Someone he could live for and that just would not do. Would not do indeed.
He lost track of time as his brain turned over idea after idea. Discarding each when flaws were easily discernible. Eventually Minerva nudged him and Albus stood for his start of term Announcements. He barely thought as he gave the normal reminders to the students. Well, he had time to think of something. But, he still had a plan and better to bait the trap now.
“And finally, I must tell you that this year, the third-floor corridor on the right-hand side is out of bounds to everyone who does not wish to die a very painful death.”
Before he could even conclude all the sentinels at the Dragonholm table shifted in a way that was intensely threatening. Professors Ishikawa and Wesolowska stood. Wesolowska’s hand on Ishikawa’s shoulder as the sentinel cocked his head to the side to listen. Sentinels at the Dragonholm table copied the movement as guides reached over to make skin contact.
“Well, that’s not going to happen.” Ishikawa stated as if from a distance. He shook his head and glanced at his guide before turning to glare at Albus. “All students are to remain in the Great Hall until we determine it is safe for you to travel to your dorms. Sentinels, protect the tribe by maintaining security within the Hall. A clear threat to the tribe has been issued and we are calling in the authorities to assist us in containing the threat.”
Albus stood and glared at the pair. “There is no reason to cause this kind of fuss. It’s really no concern of yours.”
Wesolowska’s voice dripped with disdain. “A threat to minor sentinels and guides is a threat to the international community. Any competent adult would seek to remove the threat instead of warning children to avoid it. It is the duty of us all to protect the tribe. And it is the duty of every adult at Hogwarts to ensure the children have a safe place to live and learn.