Harry's Island Realm

                                             Chapter   09

 Grinning as his four guests were awe struck as they ran around the gazebo to see another view, Harry set the boxes down and started to disrobe. Hanging up his robe on the coat rack he called out, “Guys,” seeing everyone look at him he told them, “I told you on the invitation that this was extremely casual and I meant more than our language. Within reason, I do not want us to devolve into speaking like drunken sailors.” Seeing them move over and nod at him he told them, “And on that note,” he pointed to the coat tree where his robe was hanging, “Robes can be left here, so they can be freshened by the sea breeze. And once I show you to your rooms, you can change out of your warm clothes.”

“My first secret,” Harry chuckled as he took his shirt off showing his upper body was completely tanned, “is, that I do not wear clothes while on my island home. You of course may do as you feel comfortable. I did provide in your room, loin cloths to protect your modesty if that is your desire.” Seeing wide shocked eyes staring at him he laughed.

“I thank you for the guesting gifts,” Harry said formally. “It was not expected as I did say extreme casual, but it is appreciated. Do I need to attend to them before tonight?” He asked as he looked at each of them and saw them nod. “Really? Okay, um, now I’m afraid to ask?”

After they had a good laugh, George pointed to their gift and said, “Fred and I built a small containment habitat. Our dad showed us how to enchant it. Inside is one rooster and five hens. For your chicken house.”

“Thank you,” Harry whispered in delight. Looking at Neville who was grinning he flicked a finger at the boxes and caused them to float by willing it, “If we are going to do this now, I am going to be comfortable.” Removing his shoes, socks and pants he folded them neatly and placed them on the lounger and stretched as he felt relief of getting out of the warm clothing.

“Come on,” He said as walked towards the stairs after giving everyone a chance to remove some of their heavy and warm clothes. Stopping after starting up the stairs he asked, “Did you guys remember your sunscreen potions?”

“I did,” Neville and Draco said together then laughed.

“Our mum, who we do love in a strange way, denied us the opportunity to brew the potions we needed,” Fred said with a scowl. “I think she was hoping if we did not have the one thing you asked us to bring we would stay behind. She was not pleased with the talking to our dad gave her.”

Nodding and hiding his anger for the twins, Harry just did not understand how their mother could be that petty. He told them, “When we get to the pool, which is at the top of these steps, I left four doses of the potion under the terrace, in the shade, on the table. Snag one each and down them. I don’t think you want the pain of a sunburn.”

“Thank you Harry,” George said quietly. He was glad Harry was not making a big deal over this, they had the ingredients and could brew the potions just fine, they should have brewed it the day before they left Hogwarts, but they wanted to get their homework done before they left.

“Harry,” Draco said as he looked up as they entered the deck area to the pool. Staring at the mansion above them he said, “I thought you said you lived in a mansion, not a,” he paused and Neville finished for him, “Palace.”

Looking up at his house, Harry shrugged, “Its home.” Going by way of the terrace, he pointed to the table, “Fred George, the potion is on the table. Drink it up quick.” Once they had and he had slipped into his sandals that he left by the pool, he continued walking up the short flight of stairs and into the grounds where the garden was. Seeing Neville’s eyes light up he laughed, “Sorry Neville, but this is the food garden. From what I found in one of the journals my grandfather wrote, the magical plants are on another island. We won’t be visiting them this trip.”

Setting the boxes down under a shade tree, Harry went over and picked up the smallest box that the twins had brought and walked around the corner of the tree.

Following behind Harry, Draco was stunned and blurted out, “You built that?” he pointed at the chicken house, “By hand?”

“I did,” Harry beamed as he opened the door and set the box down inside the pen. He asked, “How do I open the box without damaging it, Fred, George?”

“Twist the knob on the front until you hear it click, after that the doors can be opened and the chickens should run out,” George explained as he thought he had better close the door to the pen behind him.

Grinning as six chickens ran out of the box and started to cluck as they rushed around, Harry closed the doors to the box and followed the four out of the pen. Latching the door, he watched the chickens exploring for a moment before looking at Neville and asking, “Am I going to have to chase down animals from your gift Neville?”

“NO, thank Merlin,” Neville chuckled, “I may have a green thumb, but when it comes to animals they leave me with a bloody thumb, they don’t seem to like me much.” Moving to his box he pulled his wand and almost started to levitate it before asking, “is it safe to do magic here?”

“It is, we are not in Britain's jurisdiction and besides, the wards don’t allow magic use to be detected,” Harry agreed it was safe quickly.

“My gift is based off of the refrigeration enchantments that the cool rooms have,” Neville said as he tapped the box and tapping it so it fell apart. Moving several of the plants out and to the side with a quick leviosa spell he pointed to the four rods, “Gran helped me enchant these, if you put them in the four corners of your greenhouse,” looking up at Harry he asked, “You do have a greenhouse don’t you?”

“I do, it was for potions ingredients I think, but everything is long since dead inside,” Harry confirmed that he had an empty greenhouse. “My family wanted ingredients close at hand but not able to get out of control or infest the island.”

“Then later, I will install the rods in the greenhouse and clean it up so the starts I brought you can be planted. I took them from the spring greenhouse we have,” Neville told him.

“Wait,” Draco said as he pointed out, “It’s winter time, are you telling me you keep greenhouses so they mimic all four seasons?”

“Yes, we always have a greenhouse in spring and summer,” Neville said with a nod. “That way we can always have fruit in or near enough to being in season so it’s fresh.”

“We need to talk Neville,” Draco said pointedly. “Mother is always complaining on how hard it is to get fresh fruit and vegetables.” Looking at Harry who was smiling he said in a teasing voice, “Do you by chance have a barn on this palace estate of yours?”

“I do,” Harry said as Draco levitated his box and looked at him, “Follow me.” Walking around to the front of the house, he led them down the brick lined lane, he had to use magic to clean them up and repair them a month ago, but it was done. Walking into another grove of large trees that hid the barn from the house he led them through the gate and into the barn.

My gift is in two parts,” Draco said as he removed the panels from the crate to show a large stall in miniature. “Before I resize this to normal, is your fence finished?”

“For the section in front of the barn,” Harry confirmed as he leaned over the miniature stall so he could look inside, “Cattle?” he asked as he looked up in surprise.”

“Six, and I researched the breed that would do best in a tropical environment,” Draco grinned at being able to shock Harry. Levitating the stall over to a corner by a side door he asked, “Can I block this door, that way the stall can be accessed from outside too?”

“Yes,” Harry said slowly as he was intrigued.

Moving the stall in place, Draco un-shrunk it and beamed, though no one could see it, as the spell work held, he could see the enchantments power up and told everyone, “This, I created from a passage my mother found in an old Black family enchantment book. The stall is designed to treat sick or injured livestock, there is a place for vialed potions to be inserted and it will administer the potion and if need be, place the animal in stasis until a proper creature healer can be brought in to deal with the problem. It took me three tries to get the enchantments right, but I got them in the end.” Looking back at Harry he told him, “You were right, the feeling I got when I did this with my own hands was incredible.”

Seeing the cattle were not happy being squashed in the stall, Harry waved his hand and willed the door to slide open and barely noticed the cattle as they rushed out into the lush pasture and start grazing so intent was he on examining the stall. Standing up as he picked up on Draco becoming nervous he smiled at him, “Thank you, the gift is more than thoughtful. Lets return to the house and I can show you to your rooms so you can get more comfortable. We can have a swim before lunch and just relax and talk until dinner.”

Leading the four back to the house and through the front doors, back doors, he wasn’t really sure what to call them, Harry took them upstairs and told them after stopping at the first bedroom to the right of the stairs, “My bedroom is down the hall at the end,” he pointed to the end door, “these four are for your use and if you return, they can be yours.” Opening the door and missing the twins look to each other he said once everyone was inside, “Each of the bedrooms are the same, standard queen size bed, closet,” he pointed to the door in the corner, “and bathroom,” he pointed to the other door on the wall. Moving to the bed he said after picking up the loin cloth, “As I said, if you are not comfortable being totally without clothes on, this is a loin cloth, it will cover the dangly bits and I wear mine when I am doing chores that would see me get scratched or injured. Otherwise I wear nothing.”

Looking out the window to the ocean he told them, “The two rooms on this side face the ocean, the opposite rooms, the windows face the pasture and woods. So chose which room you want, it does not matter much. When and if I host a day here with girls, shorts and shirts will have to be worn, I’m afraid. But as we don’t have any girls here,” he smiled as he said, “Let me show you how these are worn.” Placing the loin cloth over his undershorts he made sure the flaps were in the front and back position before taking the long thongs and wrapping it around his waist twice before tying it. When he saw their nods he quickly untied it and set it aside, back on the bed before pointing at the sandals next to the closet door and saying, “Island standard foot wear, is sandals. They will resize to your foot size once. I’ll meet you at the pool in ten minutes, that gives you time to unpack if you brought things with you. Lunch will be finger type foods on the pool terrace.”

Stopping Harry before he walked out, Fred told him, “Harry, this is the family wing.”

“Yes it is and yes I know,” Harry said as he patted Fred’s arm before walking out of the room and heading to his own so he could finish undressing.

Choked up, George said after looking at his brothers face, he said, “Fred and I can share a room and bed, we do so at home so it is not a bother to us. Neville which room would you like?” He asked as he noticed Draco unpacking his belongings from a shrunken pouch.

“I’ll take the one with the view of the woods,” Neville smiled as he walked across the hall.

As the four came out of the house and around the corner to the pool, they spotted Harry setting trays on the table that earlier held their potion, eyes widening as they saw Harry was tan all over and all over meant everywhere, their eyes went wide again.

Hearing the tell tale clop of sandals on the pool deck, Harry ignored their shocked stares and waved them over. Telling them as he backed away from the table, “When I escaped slavery, the only clothes I had were a set for school. Since I did not want to ruin them as I tamed the estate that had overgrown, I went without. Plus the sun hitting your skin allows your body to create certain nutrients that you can’t get from food. And I needed every bit of help my magic could get as it repaired years of damage.” Ignoring their shocked looks and anger he waved it off by saying, “I’m free and they are paying the price of their treatment of me and will be as they are slowly tortured for the rest of their lives, however short it might be.”

“Anyway, once I started going around without clothes, I found I like the feeling,” Harry told them as he gestured for them to follow him, “If you get dirty doing chores outside, or playing around and need to rinse off first before going inside or before swimming, there are showers here by the pool,” he explained as they went around a wall and entered an open air shower room. Tapping the wall as he turned the shower on, he said, “there is an opposite shower for girls and a set of bathrooms between them.”

“The food is out and so are drinks, so if you get hungry or thirsty help yourself, we are not going to stand on formality and set times of meals being between this and that times,” Harry said as he rinsed off. Turning off his shower he smiled and told them, “I’ll meet you in the pool.”

The twins after holding a silent conversation were the first to untie their loin cloths and place them to one side, so they could rinse off. Picking them up and carrying them out of the showers after rinsing off.

“Unreal,” Draco whispered as Neville hesitated to untie his loin cloth so he could rinse off.

Later, as everyone sat around eating, Harry brought up a point he was thinking about, “your gifts got me thinking,” he said and got everyones attention. “What you did by hand, with your enchanting, can make you a lot of money.”

“How,” Fred quickly asked as he looked at his brother and saw he was interested too.

“Fred, George,” Harry pointed to them one after the other, “Your woodwork is terrific, you could make a lot of money by creating habitats for peoples pets, to move their livestock or even with Draco’s help, for creature healers to move wounded animals to a safer place to treat them.”

“Neville, with his gift,” Harry pointed to him and then to Draco, “You already have your first customer for your seasonal greenhouses. I think it was ingenious to combine the refrigeration enchantments with a greenhouse to provide seasons so you always have a spring and summer rotation of fruits and vegetables. Also, certain potions ingredients require four seasons, so you can always have fresh, hard to get ingredients.”

“And, Draco,” Harry looked at him, “your invention, even if it was just by researching the old family enchantment books, could and would be useful for healers and explorers. To always have on a hand a means to heal minor things that could keep you from getting help. Curse breaking teams alone would be banging down your door. And how many other things can you repurpose and create.” Looking at the twins he said, “Don’t think I did not notice how your design to make the woodwork stand out hid the enchantments. For any other person, who does not do magic my way, they would not notice.”

On a roll, Harry looked at Neville and told him, “You don’t only have climate control greenhouses to offer, but set up service, initial planting or selling of the plants to be planted and even a service contract where you send someone around to make sure everything is stocked and working correctly.”

“Fred, George, we all know your dream is to open a joke shop and put Zonkos out of business,” Harry said as they stared intently at him, “You have been inventing and saving up your money to put your dream into reality. Think how much more interest you will garner if you are already known as inventors that are in demand. People will flock to your joke shop just to see if you can carry through on being more inventive than Zonkos.”

Seeing all four really thinking about what he was saying he added one last part to help make up their minds. Harry told them, “as first years and third years, you are in the back of your mind thinking, between school and obligations I don’t have time for this. But I have two words that covers that,” seeing he was being stared at again he smiled, “Secrecy contracts. You hire help come fall. That gives you time to create a few to half a dozen or if you can, more working models of your first products to sell. The money you make will pay the workers you hire under contract to continue building your items, leaving you time to invent and go to school with the occasional family obligation thrown in.”

“You really think we can make a fortune?” Draco asked before allowing his Slytherin nature to ask, “Why us?”

“Yes I do,” Harry said positively. “There are no enchanters left in Europe thanks to Dumbledore removing those classes. None of the other major magical schools held Enchanting classes, and now it is to late, we don’t have any enchanters willing to pass on their skills or even many left alive. What we have is a few families here and there passing down the knowledge within their family. Family that never gives it a thought of what they could achieve by using it for things other than replacing what has worn out or fixing damage when an enchanted family object fails.”

“And as to why you four, why I am giving you ideas instead of stealing them from you and making more money,” he said in a tone that implied Draco was a fool for asking that. “The first thing you overlooked is I don’t need the money.” Seeing Draco’s sheepish look he grinned at him to show no hard feelings. “You four wanted to be friends with Harry, not The Boy Who Lived, or the Atlantean Mage, plain old simple Harry who hates wearing clothes.” He chuckled at their grins. “And I told you at the beginning, before you accepted the invitation that this was a test of sorts.” Thinking about the dozen blood and flesh focus’s, he told them, “Lets just say, so far you have passed the test.”

“Now,” Harry said as he picked up his glass to finish his drink. Once he had he said, “I’m off to do a few chores and move Neville’s gift to the greenhouse. You may of course continue to swim, explore around the estate or if you want parchment and pen I can set you up on the terrace. You also can spend time relaxing in your room or join me, I should only be an hour or so then I can give you a tour of the mansion. Tomorrow I thought we could just take it easy and explore the island.”

“What kind of chores?” Draco asked before Fred or George, he was not sure how Harry could tell them apart.

“I need to check on the animals you brought me,” Harry said, “To make sure they did not get hurt or in trouble from being somewhere strange. Then I need to pick some fruit to go with supper, then a trip to pick some vegetables and greens for a salad, weeding while I’m at it. I’ll probably move Neville’s gift as I walk to the barn, it’s on the way.”

“I would like to go,” Neville said quickly.

“Count us in,” Fred said for him and his brother.

Standing up Draco grinned, “If we all go, it will get done faster, I can’t wait to walk through the mansion to see the way to the library.”

<<>>

“Harry,” Fred called out softly after Draco and Neville had gone to bed. George right behind him, they joined Harry on the terrace as he gazed into the night sky, the sounds of the ocean and birds filling the night.

“Is there a problem Fred, George?” Harry asked without turning away from the view. Creating another two hammock style pod loungers, he told them, “Climb in and tell me what is on your mind. Something is bothering you if you are not in bed asleep.”

Climbing into the pod carefully, George stared up at the night sky, “this is comfortable. Relaxing,” he said in a whisper as he joined Harry in gazing at the ocean.

“We need to make sure you know what you’ve done by inviting us into the family wing like you have.” Fred said as he sat and joined George into gazing at the moon rising over the ocean.

“I hardly get tired of falling asleep in a hammock on the terrace,” Harry told them. “I do know what it meant when I gave you both a bedroom in the family wing Fred,” he told him. “I don’t think you understand what you did in your guesting gifts. I understand your intent, you wanted to give me something I would appreciate that the two of you made with your own hands and enchanted using your magic.” Pausing as the moon broke the waters surface to watch it rise in the sky he said after a few minutes, “All four of you gave me gifts that are meant to be given to family members as guesting gifts. Not as friends. By the very fact you crafted those gifts, you were proclaiming me as family. Did I misunderstand your intent?”

As his twin was silent in thought George spoke up, “No. You are our friend and over the past few months we’ve gotten to know you, you have supported our dream more than our family does.”

“Except Bill and Charlie,” Fred added in before Harry could get the wrong idea. “But even then, Bill and Charlie had to flee England to get away from our mother and her demands that she knows what is best for us.”

“She can’t even tell us apart,” George said sadly. “But you do. Somehow you know which of us is which, even when we try to trip you up.” It was peaceful here he thought, as he asked, “Do you understand what this will mean for the Weasley family, you taking us in as family?”

“Not the Weasley family,” Harry said firmly. “Not directly. I take you two, you are mine,” he said with a tone of finality. “Sure, your family will rise in prestige because of it, but it is the two of you who will most benefit. And I can’t stand your brother. Ron and his crusade to save me from everything Slytherin, because only they are evil is wearing thin. If he keeps it up I am going to get angry.”

To choked up to speak, Fred wiped away his tears.

George told Harry, “We talked to dad about that before we left, he will get better or he will be pulled from Hogwarts and sent to Aunt Muriel’s to be home schooled. Dad even invoked family law on mum. She was filling Ginny’s head with notions of snagging her The Boy Who Lived as a husband. Even going as far as to start to teach her to brew love potions.”

“Which she no longer remembers, as dad modified her memory,” Fred said quietly. “Right after invoking mums marriage vows to get her to obey him. At least we will not be getting anymore howlers in the great hall.”

“Is there room for two more,” Neville asked from the darkness of the corner of the terrace.

“There is,” Harry said as he created two more pods.

“Anything you want, no matter what, even if it is ourselves,” George said as Draco and Neville climbed into the pods, “All you have to do is ask.”

Not about to enter the emotional roller coaster that Fred and George were on, Neville looked out over the ocean and said, “It’s beautiful here and so peaceful.”

“It truly is,” Draco said as he leaned back and let the sounds lull him to sleep.


 

 

 

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