Author's Note: I read a fic by SmallBurnyThing called 'The Reluctant Lord', which I thought was quite good. Sadly, he discontinued it.
This fic was born from the inspiration I got while reading 'The Reluctant Lord', but it is in no way connected to it.
Unlike my other four stories, this is just a side project that I will update when I have the time and inspiration, so no clamouring for updates.
Also, this is a Harry/Multi story. Who is in it? Wait and see.
Disclaimer: Harry Potter is not mine. He, and all the characters, etc, etc, belong to JK Rowling.
/Bill\ -Foreign/Non-human Language
Chapter 1 - Laws and Ladies
Gryffindor Common Room, Hogwarts School for Witchcraft and Wizardry, Early June 1993
Harry James Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, sat in a comfortable armchair near the fire and read the book in his lap with a frown. He was a small, scrawny boy of twelve, with raven black messy hair, emerald green eyes, glasses and a lightning bolt scar on his forehead, which he covered up with his long fringe, because he hated it when people stared at his most famous feature.
With an exasperated snort, he closed the book and set off out of the Common Room for the Library to return the book, which was a copy of 'Hogwarts: a History' he had borrowed on the sly, so his two best friends, Ron Weasley and Hermione Granger, didn't find out about it.
The Boy-Who-Lived snorted. Ron would look at his as if he was mad for borrowing the book for anything but whacking Draco Malfoy over the head with it, while Hermione would be ecstatic that he had read it and start bombarding him with questions on what his favourite sections were.
Thinking of Hermione, Harry's face drew slightly taught as he navigated the Grand Staircase. His female best friend had almost been killed earlier that year by Slytherin's Monster, a sixty-foot Basilisk that came far too close to killing her with its deadly killing gaze. Only the fact that the first person she ran into, a Ravenclaw Prefect, Penelope Clearwater, had happened to have a compact mirror on her person had spared Hermione from dying.
Harry shook his head as he walked into the Library and returned the book to the irascible Madam Pince before wandering the shelves to look for a book on his favourite subject, Defence Against the Dark Arts. Thanks to the idiot who had been hired for that post this year, Gilderoy Lockhart, a sham of a wizard who stole the fame from other witches and wizards and erased their memories with the Memory Charm, Obliviate, who had taught Harry only one thing in the entire year.
Narcissism in a teacher is the least desirable quality to look for.
He had learned several other charms, hexes, curses and spells from other teachers this year, including the Disarming Charm, Expelliarmus, from Professor Severus Snape, the Potions Master and Head of Slytherin House. Snape was Harry's least favourite teacher by far at Hogwarts, but Harry had felt like cheering like an idiot when the hook-nosed, greasy-haired git had sent the arrogant, foppish popinjay Lockhart flying with this particular spell.
A book caught Harry's eye. It was titled 'When Words Aren't Enough: Spells and Charms for Self-Defence' by I.N Cognito.
"Incognito? Geh, wizards have no imagination." Harry muttered as he pulled the book from the shelf and sought a table so he could read the book and actually learn some DADA this year.
This year's adventure of Basilisk slaying, he felt, didn't count, as he wasn't likely to get the Sword of Gryffindor every time he was confronted with a Dark Creature like a Basilisk, so spell research it was.
Several of the spells in the book were already known to him from his first year book, 'The Dark Forces: A Guide to Self Protection' by Quentin Trimble, but there were the odd spell that caught Harry's eye and he marked them down on a piece of parchment with a quill.
One of the spells was the Curse of the Bogies that Peeves the Poltergeist had used on him last year. Harry already knew the counter-curse from his efforts researching it, but Peeves had somehow cast the spell silently, so he hadn't known the actual spell up until now.
'Mucus ad Nauseam. At least I can tell Ron about it now.' Harry thought as he scribbled the prescribed wand movement, which resembled a teardrop, next to the curse's incantation.
"Studying at the end of the year, Harry?" a soft voice asked from his side. Harry looked up to see Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts regarding him over his half-moon spectacles with a soft smile.
"Professor Dumbledore?" Harry said in surprise, "Is something wrong?"
"No, no my dear boy." Dumbledore reassured him, "I have merely been informed that the Goblins of Gringotts Wizarding Bank wish to speak to you, although they have not specified the reason."
Harry was confused. He had been in Gringotts before school started with the Weasley Family and they hadn't said anything then.
"Er…OK." Harry took out his wand waved it at the parchment and muttered, "Aresco." and dried the ink instantly. The Ink Drying Charm was a very useful tool when dealing with quills.
"A well performed charm there Harry." Dumbledore commented, "Doubtless, you have had quite a bit of practice with it."
"Yeah." Harry admitted as he replaced the book on the shelf, "The ink at Hogwarts takes a long time to dry. When I next visit Diagon Ally, I think I'll invest in some Quick-Drying ink."
"Most ink is quick drying because we use quills, but then as it gets older, the quick drying portion of its makeup fades." Dumbledore explained as he led Harry from the Library, "I think your idea is an excellent one though. I can point you towards my favourite brand, Wicker's One Wipe. No sooner do you write it than it is dry, a marvellous ink really."
"Thank you sir." Harry replied politely, thinking to himself that it sounded more like a brand of toilet paper than ink.
"Sherbet Lemon." Dumbledore told the gargoyle standing guard outside his office, making it spring to one side to reveal the stone escalator leading to his office. Once they were safely ensconced in the room, Dumbledore walked over to the fireplace, which was blazing away merrily, and pulled a pot from the mantelpiece.
Scooping out a pinch of the green powder, which Harry recognised with a flinch as Floo Powder, and threw it into the fire, turning it green.
"This way Harry. Say, 'Gringotts Wizarding Bank' and you'll be taken straight to the main Lobby." Dumbledore directed, "Regrettably, I am not permitted to accompany you, but the Goblins will provide you with Floo Access for the return trip. Simply say, 'Hogwarts, Headmasters Office' in order to return here once your meeting is concluded."
"A-Alright…" Harry said while he eyed the green flames nervously. The first time he had travelled by Floo Powder, he had ended up in Knockturn Ally, the Darker, seedier cousin to Diagon Ally and he did not wish to go there again if at all possible. He had worked out that he should have spoken as an exhale, rather than doing a big inhale as he had done the first time, so resolved to not make the same mistake this time.
Taking a deep breath, Harry stepped into the green flames and shouting, "Gringotts Wizarding Bank!" and vanished.
The travel was just as nauseating as it had been before, making Harry wonder if all the other methods of wizarding travel, broomsticks aside, were as uncomfortable as Floo Travel.
He fell out of the fireplace at the end, ending up arse-over-teakettle somehow and fought his way to his feet, muttering expletives about the Floo Network under his breath.
He looked around once he had recovered sufficiently. It was a fairly large room with a modest desk in the centre and a chair on either end. A goblin was standing next to the desk, looking rather amused at Harry's difficulties with Floo travel.
"Mr Harry Potter, I presume?" the Goblin enquired politely.
"Er…yes. I was told that the Goblins of Gringotts wished to speak to me…?" Harry replied nervously.
"Indeed we do, Mr Potter, indeed we do." the Goblin replied, "Your Account manager will be along momentarily. I am Bludbank, and I am here to greet you. Do you wish refreshments?"
"Will it offend your hospitality if I don't have something?" Harry asked, "I ask because I don't really know a lot about Goblin etiquette."
"Most wizards assume we have none, but yes, it would be offensive." Bludbank replied, looking a touch impressed, "It would imply that you do not trust us not to poison or potion you, which we would never do, as it is bad for business."
"OK then, can I have some pumpkin juice please?" Harry asked.
Bludbank lazily waved one hand and a jug of pumpkin juice appeared on the table, accompanied by a silver goblet. Harry swore to look up silent casting when he got back to Hogwarts.
"Is there anything else I need to know for the meeting?" Harry asked, "I'm afraid I'm muggle-raised and know very little about the Magical World as a whole."
"Hmmm… a scion of the Most Noble and Ancient House of Potter who doesn't know about etiquette…" Bludbank mused, "Very well then. Do not sit until Account Manager Rockclaw sits. Do not drink while he is speaking and address him as 'Account Manager' or 'Master Goblin' at all times, unless he invites you to call him by his name. Moreover, above all else, do not make mention of your History of Magic Professor Cuthbert Binns. Account Manager Rockclaw cordially detests the ghost professor and has petitioned the Ministry to have a new teacher installed in the History of Magic class at Hogwarts for the past sixty years, ever since his death."
"He'd have my support." Harry remarked, "Only one of my year mates keeps awake in Binns' class."
"Doubtless." Bludbank said dryly, "Now, I must take my leave, Mister Potter. Time is Galleons, after all."
"I hope your endeavours are successful then." Harry said with a nod.
"And may your coffers never run dry." Bludbank replied with a small bow, before exiting through the only door.
Harry trotted over to the jug and poured himself a goblet of pumpkin juice. When he sipped it, it was nicely chilled, exactly as he liked it.
"Mister Potter?" a voice said from the direction of the door, startling Harry slightly. Placing his goblet carefully on the table, Harry turned to see yet another Goblin standing at the door, carrying what looked like an old-fashioned doctors bag.
"Account Manager Rockclaw?" Harry asked cautiously.
"Indeed I am, Mr Potter." Rockclaw replied, "We ordinarily would not have met until your thirteenth year had begun, but circumstances this year have…altered schedules somewhat."
"I…see." Harry said in confusion. The Goblin was deliberately speaking in riddles now, he was sure.
"Let us sit down so we can get to the matter at hand then." Rockclaw said and walked towards the desk and sat on his chair. Harry hastily sat down as well and took another sip of pumpkin juice.
"Now then…the reason you have been called here several months early, Mr Potter, is because a pair of ancient and rarely used laws have been invoked in your name and by your actions."
"Invoked because of something I've done? What laws have I broken this time?" Harry asked with an eye roll. The last law he had supposedly broken (the actual culprit being a certain excitable House-Elf named Dobby) had been the Decree for the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Sorcery, earning him a warning from the Improper Use of Magic Office and virtual imprisonment in Number 4, Privet Drive by his Uncle.
"Broken laws?" Rockclaw raised one whitened eyebrow, "You are labouring under the misapprehension that you are in trouble for some reason, Mr Potter. Rather, the situation is quite to the contrary."
The Account Manager paused for a moment before continuing, his voice solemn.
"You see, the way things work in Magical Britain is, by muggle standards, backwards. Perhaps a better word to use would be 'antiquated' instead." Rockclaw explained, "The ancient laws are bound to magic, which is ruled by intent, rather than to the whims of men, who would twist them to their own devices. In this case, one law detected that you fulfil a series of conditions for its activation. This in turn, because of some other conditions, activated the second law."
Harry considered this for a moment. What Rockclaw had told him thus far jibed with what he currently knew about the Magical World. Old traditions, old technology and etiquette from long before the first car were thought of.
"OK, I am following you so far." Harry said slowly, "So you're saying these laws that have been invoked by my actions are completely autonomous from control by the Ministry or Gringotts?"
"Quite." Rockclaw replied, "They were created when the Wizards Council, the predecessor to the Ministry of Magic, was founded. The particulars are not up to me to tell you, so I would advise asking your Headmaster Dumbledore, as your Magical Guardian, about that situation."
"Right." Harry nodded.
"I must confirm however: have you, in fact, faced and defeated the wizard styling himself as 'Lord' Voldemort three times in a row?" Rockclaw asked, eyes intent.
"Well…twice in person." Harry replied, uncomfortable with the scrutiny he was under, "This year I fought a…a memory of him of when he was sixteen."
"That would be the incident that triggered the laws." Rockclaw mused, "However, it must have been Voldemort, otherwise the law wouldn't have activated."
"The…memory…was draining the life of a First Year student in order to be reborn as a person." Harry explained hesitantly. Dumbledore hadn't told Harry to keep the happenings in the Chamber of Secrets, but he suspected that it would be a bad idea for the entirety of the truth to get out.
"Hmm…most perplexing." Rockclaw frowned, "Well, regardless of what we do not know, the Line and Lineage Conquering Act was activated, so it must have been Voldemort is some shape or form."
"The what?!" Harry asked sharply.
"The first Law that invoked itself on your behalf, Mr Potter, is called the Line and Lineage Conquering Act." Rockclaw explained, "To be precise, Clause Two was invoked. There are a number of different clauses for a number of different situations, but the L.L.C.A. is intended for one unifying purpose: reward those who have successfully defeated wizards of immense power.
The L.L.C.A. has not been invoked in well over five hundred years now, but it is one of the laws tied into the magic of the country itself, so will exist as long as Magical Britain itself does."
"I-I see…" Harry said faintly, "So, by defeating the Dark Tosser three times, I get…what, exactly?"
"By defeating him three times in a row." Rockclaw corrected, chuckling to himself at the casual insult given to the most evil wizard of all time, "That is Clause Two, which is sadly not as generous as Clause One or Clause Three.
'In that when any Witch, Wizard, Sorcerer or other Magical Human, with the exception of Squibs, does defeat a Lord of Britain three times in succession, that person she then receive the rights, responsibilities, titles and monies belonging to that Lord's family title for the rest of their natural life, returning the title to its rightful owner, along with the rights and responsibilities, upon their death. Any monies left over are considered forfeit to the one who won thrice and cannot be reclaimed by the original possessor. So Mote it be.'
That is Clause Two."
"So…wait…you can't mean…!" Harry asked, pale as a ghost.
"Indeed. You defeated LORD Voldemort thrice, the self-proclaimed Heir of Salazar Slytherin, so you are now Lord Slytherin until the day you die." Rockclaw confirmed, sealing Harry's fate, "Congratulations, my Lord."
"When the Wizarding population hear of this…" Harry shuddered, "People are going to call me the next Dark Lord! Merlin, this is awful!"
"Now, now, My Lord, there is no reason to panic." Rockclaw appeased Harry, "An automatic Fidelius Charm is cast upon activation, with the Magical Guardian (if applicable) and Goblin Account Manager being the Secret Keepers. Until and unless either I or Albus Dumbledore choose to divulge it, no-one else will know about you Lordship."
Harry sagged slightly in his seat in relief and took another sip of pumpkin juice before speaking up again.
"I've never heard of the Fidelius Charm before. And if Professor Dumbledore knows, why didn't he tell me, rather than you? No offence intended."
"None taken." Rockclaw replied, "As to the charm, it conceals a secret within a person. No one can learn the secret unless the one who conceals it, the Secret Keeper, chooses to reveal it willingly. As to Headmaster Dumbledore, I decided that it would be in your interest if you spoke with me first, so I put a Fidelius on the fact that he was a Secret Keeper."
"Bloody hell." Harry muttered. This was giving him a headache. "So, to return to the matter at hand, what does becoming…Lord Slytherin…mean for me?"
"Sadly, not very much." Rockclaw shrugged and pulled a portfolio from his black bag and flicked through it, "Salazar Slytherin lived and died long before the Founding of Gringotts in 1474, and therefore you have no monies to receive from Gringotts. You are allowed to become a member of the Hogwarts Board of Governors upon your graduation from school, taking the Honorary Slytherin Founder's Seat. There are no responsibilities that go along with the title, nor are there any rights aside from the seat on the Board of Governors. All in all, it is merely a title."
"That…is actually quite a bit of relief." Harry said, "The whole 'Heir of Slytherin' thing this year was very stressful on me."
"I'm afraid that the news isn't over, Mr Potter." Rockclaw said, "You see, unknown to you, you are also Heir Apparent to the Most Noble and Ancient House of Potter, as well as the Most Noble and Most Ancient House of Peverell, from which was created the House of Potter. When you were bestowed with the Lordship of Slytherin, the Bloodline Legacy Continuation Act was invoked on you."
Feeling a pit of dread in his stomach, Harry asked, "And that is what exactly?"
Rockclaw sighed. "As you are muggle-raised, there is every chance that you will find what I am about to tell you distasteful and wrong. I would ask that you allow me to finish speaking before you say anything. Alright?"
Harry nodded, his wariness suddenly sharply increasing.
"Very well. The B.L.C.A. or 'Blica', as it is nicknamed, is a law that was passed as more and more Pureblood Wizarding families died out, or as in the case of House Prewett as a result of Voldemort's War, extinct in the male line." Rockclaw started, "As most Pureblood families are interrelated to some degree or other, it was and is quite possible for a single person to become Family Heads of different bloodline simultaneously, this law states that any wizard who is in line to become head of three or more Houses are to marry one witch for every bloodline that he is due to inherit."
Harry gaped at Rockclaw in shock as the Goblin continued to speak.
"Now, as the Wizarding World has borrowed from a fair few pieces of Muggle legislation, it is technically illegal to marry more than one person at the same time. The sole exception is, of course, a person under the aegis of this law."
Rockclaw regarded the young man sitting as if petrified on his seat. The look he wore on his face was a mix between horror, bewilderment, incredulity and disbelief. Quite understandable, considering the boy is Muggle-raised, Rockclaw considered.
"Is…is there no way to get out of it?" Harry asked at last, "This is…I just…"
He seemed to be driven to near incomprehensibility by his shock, making Rockclaw chuckle.
"I'm afraid not, Mr. Potter. The law is ancient, going back to shortly after the founding of Hogwarts, to the time of the wizard Merlin or Myrddin if you prefer the Welsh version. It was his spells and enchantments, his magic that bound this law to the Sovereignty Magic of Magical Britain." Rockclaw informed Harry soberly, "The only way that you could escape it is to destroy the Sovereignty Magic itself, which is…inadvisable in the extreme."
Harry slumped down in his chair, defeated by the Goblin's words, his mind racing at the ramifications for him that the two laws combined entailed.
"Now, there are a number of deadlines and safeguards on the law to ensure your compliance." Rockclaw continued once Harry had recovered himself somewhat, "The deadlines are thus: First, you must at least be engaged to marry three witches by your seventeenth birthday. Second, by the time you reach your twenty-first birthday, you must be married to all three.
Should you not meet the first deadline, magic will inform the Wizengamot, who will assign you witches as your wives. As most of the Wizengamot are of the old, Pureblood families, it is doubtless that some of them are former Voldemort supporters, meaning you will have to be on guard day and night for fear of assassinations, mind control and manipulations."
"So, you're basically telling me that either I choose my wives myself or I'll be marrying a nest of snakes?" Harry asked, reasonably certain that he was correct.
"Almost certainly, Mr Potter." Rockclaw replied, "Most of the, shall we say, questionable, members of the Wizengamot are former members of Slytherin House. Unfortunately, the second Law is not subjected to the Fidelius Charm, so the Ministry no-doubt already knows about it as well."
"Hang on!" Harry said in alarm, "If the Charm is working properly, then why did the second Law kick in?"
"The magic interwoven into the laws by Merlin is one of the finest examples of Wizarding spellcasting in existence, Mr Potter." Rockclaw informed him, "Any Charm has a weakness and Merlin anticipated the Fidelius Charm when he cast his spells. It is said that somewhere in Britain is Merlin's Keystone, his direct link into Britain's Sovereignty Magic. It supposedly allows the user to alter the very fabric of the spells governing the Sovereignty Magic. Merlin made all the ancient laws immune to a Fidelius Charm cast by pure magic or in other words, by themselves. A very tricky bit of spellwork beyond any living witch or wizard today."
Harry took this in as par for the course. "So…what do you suggest I do then?" he asked, "I can't imagine any girl willing to share a single guy with two other girls!"
'Ah, to be young again.' Rockclaw thought wistfully. He had a mate he had taken back in his younger days and he had never been happier.
"Well now, that just depends on the person, Mr Potter." the Goblin said expansively, "Unfortunately, there are the different Family rules to do with marriage to consider as well."
"Now what?" Harry groaned.
"Each House has…rules that dictate who you may or may not marry." Rockclaw explained, "I am fairly certain that you can guess a condition of marrying into Slytherin's House, can you not?"
"She has to be a Pureblood." Harry recited dully.
"Just so." Rockclaw said, "Other than that, the only consideration is that she be a virgin until her wedding night."
Harry flushed red at the bluntness of the Goblin's reference, to which Rockclaw paid no mind and flicked through the portfolio in his hands.
"Moving on, the Peverell Family has surprisingly few conditions as well, only specifying that the witch in question be magically powerful, that she not have 'unsightly blemishes upon her countenance' -that's bad spots or boils on her face to me and you- as well as that her family being at least an Ancient House, so Pureblood again, I'm afraid."
"Of course." Harry sighed, "Come on; hit me with the final blow. What conditions do the Potter Family have?"
"Just the one: that you love her." Rockclaw gave a toothy Goblin smile at Harry's surprise, "The Potter Family was always one of the more liberal and forward thinking families, similar to the Ancient House of Weasley."
"Can I ask about these…Houses you keep speak of?" Harry asked, "I have no idea who is in what position."
"Ah, well, that is rather easy." Rockclaw said with a smile, "At the bottom, you have regular pureblood families that have either been cast out of their families and disinherited or have left them for philosophical differences, muggleborn families and squibs.
The next step up are the Noble Houses, who are relatively new, seldom more than a centaury old, but have wealth to distinguish them from their contemporaries.
Then there are the Ancient Families, such as the Weasley Family, who actually used to be Ancient and Noble, but suffered a great deal of fiscal hardship in the past two centuries, so lost their status as 'Noble'. Nevertheless, the length of time a family has existed counts for much, so the Weasley's remain an ennobled family.
The Noble and Ancient Families are the next step in the ladder. They are families who have both been around for a considerable length of time and have considerable surfeit of wealth. The Malfoy Family would dearly love to be given this status but alas, they are still considered foreigners despite the fact they have been in Britain since 1066."
"Since William the Conqueror?" Harry asked in amazement, "They've been here for just under nine hundred and thirty years and they aren't considered Noble and Ancient?"
"Mr Potter, the headmaster before Dumbledore lived to be three hundred and twelve." Rockclaw informed him, "Wizards live for longer than Muggles, so they tend to take the long view. In another five centuries or so, they might be considered for Noble and Ancient status. For the moment, they are merely Noble.
Above the Ancient and Noble Families, politics tends to make the waters somewhat murky in determining who are the next step up, but we in Gringotts tend to agree that the Most Noble and Ancient Families are next, mainly because, again, money is far easier to accumulate -for wizards that is- than time.
Next, the Noble and Most Ancient Families hold their heads high as the second most powerful and influential of the Purebloods in Britain, especially the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black.
Finally, at the apex of the system, are the Most Noble and Most Ancient Houses, of which there are currently only one with a possibility of being resurrected. All others died out through war or inbreeding many, many years ago."
Head reeling from the amount of information he had had to absorb, Harry made a mental note to ask Professor Dumbledore for a book about all this.
"It is very important that you plan your marriages carefully, Mister Potter." Rockclaw told him pointedly.
"…Because they have to be suitable for the position?" Harry hazarded a guess.
"No, although that is true." his Account Manager allowed, "The true reason is because, barring the Slytherin line, your Families all hold seats on the Wizengamot, which acts as both the governing Legislature of the Ministry of Magic and the Highest Judicial Court in Wizarding Britain.
Noble Houses and Ancient Houses, if they sit on the Wizengamot, get one vote each.
Ancient and Noble Houses get two votes each.
Most Noble and Ancient Houses get three votes each.
Noble and Most Ancient Houses get four votes each.
Finally, Most Noble and Most Ancient Houses get five votes each."
Harry did some quick maths and didn't like what he got.
"So you mean I get eight votes when I assume my seat?" He asked in astonishment.
"No, no, no; you get fifteen." Rockclaw corrected, "Various families have died out and, if they have a seat on the Wizengamot, must designate to whom their voting power goes. Your grandfather, Charlus Potter, was a well respected member of the Wizengamot, and several families who died out during the war left their voting power to him before his own…death…at the hands of Voldemort's Death Eaters."
"His what?" Harry asked in bewilderment.
"The name the followers of Voldemort took: Death Eaters. Their Mark was a skull with a snake emerging from the mouth." Rockclaw explained.
Harry had a flash of the Basilisk emerging from the statue of Salazar Slytherin in the Chamber of Secrets.
"Creepy." he muttered with a shiver.
"That, I believe, was the general idea." Rockclaw pointed out dryly, "So, do you now understand why I insisted on speaking to you first? That many votes in one person's hands could make or break any piece of legislation in the Wizengamot. Many will seek to use and manipulate you for their own ends and I would see them fail."
"Why?" Harry asked curiously, "From everything I have heard, the Goblin Nation and wizards…cordially despise one another?"
"Very true, Mister Potter," Rockclaw acknowledged with a dry chuckle, "But I...I was a good friend of your Grandfather's. He was one of the few wizards who earned the right to be called a Goblin Friend, and while your own father was not like Charlus at all, in just this short meeting, I have seen quite a bit of him in you."
"Thank you." Harry was astonished that someone would do him a favour because they had been friends with his grandfather. Then again, he still wasn't used to people treating him like he wasn't a complete and total waste of space either.
"Well then, Mr Potter, that seems to be the sum of all of the business I have for you today." Rockclaw said, returning to a professional manner again, "Is there any business that you would like to bring to me?"
"Er…" Harry thought for a moment, and then remembered something his Uncle Vernon had said to his wife Petunia after watching a BBC news story about a corrupt official in a bank.
'Bloody Man thinks he can pull a fast one on me, eh? Not likely! I've kept records of all my finances, incoming and outgoing since I got my first job. No snotty nancy-boy in a pinstripe suit is going to cheat me out of my money! No sir!'
'Me either, Uncle. Me either.' Harry thought with a small grin.
"Master Goblin, I would like an inventory performed on all Vaults belonging to Houses Potter and Peverell, so I can accurately use my finances once I come of age." Harry said formally, "I would also like a list of assets owned by either House, both properties and investments, so I can determine what to get liquidate and what to further invest in."
Rockclaw made a couple of notes on a pad he had pulled out of his bag. "Very well, we can have them owled to you tomorrow. Anything else?"
"I would like to talk to Professor Dumbledore about this whole situation, so if you could remove the Fidelius Charm that prevents him from knowing he is a secret keeper, I would greatly appreciate it."
Rockclaw nodded and reached into his pocket, pulling out a thin stick.
"If a Fidelius is only needed temporarily, a special Goblin version of the charm can be used, binding the charm's existence to an object like this, which is enchanted to only be nigh indestructible and can only be destroyed by a certain action." he explained to Harry, "In this case…"
He grasped both ends of the stick and snapped it in half, releasing a flash of gold light.
"Your headmaster is now fully aware of the secret. Is that everything, Mr Potter?" Rockclaw asked politely.
"No, thank you, Account Manager Rockclaw. That is all of the business I have to bring to you today." Harry replied formally.
"Very good…oh yes, before I forget…" Rockclaw dipped into the black bag yet again. Harry suspected that the interior was magically enlarged to fit a portfolio that was longer than the bag was deep.
"Ah, here they are." the Goblin withdrew a pair of ring boxes from the bag and passed them to Harry. One had an unusual triangular sign on the box that resembled an eye; the other had a gold lion rampant on a red field with a sword clutched in one paw.
"Those are the Heir's rings for both House Potter and House Peverell. You are permitted to wear them from your thirteenth birthday onwards." Rockclaw explained, "Please do not try to put them on before hand, as there are spells on the rings to detect the age of the person trying to wear them and will not permit someone under thirteen to wear them."
"Understood." Harry nodded as he pocketed the boxes, "I'm afraid I should get back to Hogwarts, as I think Professor Dumbledore will be eager to have a conversation with me about what we have discussed."
"I can imagine." Rockclaw said dryly, "In which case, I bid you good day Mister Potter. May your gold overflow."
"May you be successful in your own endeavours, Account Manager Rockclaw." Harry replied solemnly and he turned to look at the mantelpiece to look for the Floo Powder.
"The jar on the small table next to the fireplace contains the Floo Powder, Mister Potter." Rockclaw called over his shoulder with a chuckle as he walked out the door.
Harry flushed in embarrassment and reached in to the jar for the familiar green powder. Obviously, the Goblins wouldn't put the powder where they couldn't reach for it physically!
He tossed the powder into the flames, turning them green, and stepped forward shouting, "Hogwarts, Headmaster's Office!"
He fell into the network, thinking how much he hated this method of travel.
Next Chapter: Friends, Lords and Foes