Disclaimer: Not mine

Chapter 11

Lucius read the letter, his anger growing. How dare he! He tossed the parchment down on his desk and picked up his glass of wine, fighting to calm down. Black was meant to die in Azkaban, leaving his son as the next Lord Black. Oh, he knew the Potter brat was also in line to inherit, some may say he had the stronger claim, but the boy was ignorant of their ways and no one would tell him to even attempt to claim the title. And then everything had fallen apart due to Bones, she was one of the few at the Ministry he was wary of, if only she was on their side… but now Black was free and had claimed his title as Lord Black. He had the nerve to try and dictate to him! but the goblins, horrid creatures that they were, would enforce Lord Black's command. The Black accounts were some of the oldest at the bank after all. Some thought there were massive, ancient accounts within, placed by the Founders or even Merlin himself but this was impossible as the bank had not been formed until a good six hundred years after Hogwarts was founded. No, the most important accounts were those of the Blacks, Flamel, Peverell, and Greengrass. He had been planning on access to the Black accounts to help refill the Malfoy ones. Abraxas had drained them considerably in helping to finance the war and Lucius had continued to do so to support his Lord. They were far from poor but they acted richer than they were realistically. Which meant he could not afford to lose Narcissa's dowry. There was no choice, he would have to divorce Narcissa and disinherit Draco. Losing his heir would be a blow but he was still young enough to father another. There were few pureblood witches of his status and age but he could look to the continent for a new bride as well.

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Harry smiled as Errol flew through the window. Obviously the house elf was no longer able to intercept his mail and he would have news of one of his friends. Errol landed hard and Harry relieved him of his letter, opening it quickly only to stare in shock. He was still staring at it fifteen minutes later when Sirius came to work on his lessons with him.

"Pup?" He called gently and Harry looked over at him, tears welling but being stubbornly pushed back. He gently took the letter and almost growled at the short missive. "Come here kiddo." He pulled the unresisting pre-teen into a hug. "He's just lashing out. If he's a true friend he'll come round." He glanced again at the angry scrawl telling Harry not to bother writing since obviously he was too busy living it up to answer Ron's letters all summer. If things didn't sort out within a week of school going back he'd speak to the Weasley's himself about why Harry hadn't been corresponding. Surely with the mess court cases they knew Harry hadn't been able to write? "Come on, time for more lessons."

"More politics?" Harry asked warily and Sirius chuckled.

"Family tree actually." He summoned the parchment he had copied both Black and Potter family trees on over the last week. He'd had to go to Grimmauld in order to make the Black one and he had no plans to repeat the trip. He'd handed the property over too Moony with strict instructions to gut the place and turn it into the proper place for them to raise Harry next summer. The Potter properties needed even more work to be liveable and the Ministry had claimed the cottage, not that any of them wanted to live there after what had happened within those walls. At least Harry now wore both heir rings and had limited access to the properties while Sirius worked with the Goblins to sort out the Potter accounts as well. He smiled sadly as Harry instantly stared at his parents' names on the parchment, so they would start with the Potter family. "You've spotter your Mum and Dad. Above them are Charlus Potter and his wife Dorea Potter nee Black. Then there are George Evans and Marigold Evans nee Porter."

"My grandmother was related to you?"

"That's part of why you're my heir, you carry Black blood. Dorea was the last Lord Black's direct cousin. That leaves you as only two generations down the tree, same as me. Draco is another level down; his great grandfather was Pollux Black. So even though the two of you are the same age you sit at different levels in your relationship to the Black Family Lordship. Arcturus Black was my grandfather, making your grandmother my great aunt. The Potter family is a little trickier to follow back, it's an old family, no doubt but most agree the name was changed at some point, from what we're not sure. Some people think the Potters are descended from Godric Gryffindor since ninety-five percent of Potter's end up sorted into Gryffindor, others say one of the Peverell brothers. "

"Peverell?" Harry looked at the parchment that only went back five generations from his parents' names.

"Ah, guess you never heard the tale of the three brothers?" Sirius asked and Harry shook his head. "it's a fairy tale although most agree the brothers did exist at some point. I think it showed up around the 15th century or so but set in about the 13th. Let's see if I can remember it." Sirius closed his eyes, concentrating. "Three brothers, travelling along a lonely, winding road near night reached a deep river where anyone who attempted to swim would drown. The brothers conjured a bridge with their wands and proceed to cross.

Halfway across the bridge, a hooded figure stood before them. The figure was the enraged spirit of Death, cheated of his due. Death cunningly pretended to congratulate them and proceeded to award them with gifts of their own choosing.

The eldest brother, a combative man, asked for a wand more powerful than any in existence. Death granted his wish by fashioning the Elder Wand from a branch of a nearby elder tree standing on the banks of the river. The second brother, an arrogant man, choose to further humiliate death, and asked for the power to recall the dead from the grave. Death granted his wish by crafting the Resurrection Stone from a stone picked from the riverbank. The third and youngest brother, who was the most humble and wise, did not trust Death and asked for something to enable him hide from Death. A reluctant Death handed over his own Invisibility Cloak.

The three brothers took their prizes and soon went on their separate ways. The eldest brother travelled to a village where a wizard whom he had quarrelled lived. He sought out a duel and fought the wizard using the wand, instantly killing the latter. Leaving his enemy dead upon the floor, the eldest brother walked to an inn not far from the duelling site and spent the night there. The eldest brother boasted of this wand gifted by Death and his own invincibility.

That very night an unknown murderous wizard crept to the inn as the eldest brother slept, drunk from wine. The wizard slit the oldest brother's throat for good measure and stole the wand. That was when Death took the first brother.

The second brother returned to his home where he lived alone. Turning the stone three times in his hand the figure of the girl he had once hoped to marry, before her untimely death, appeared at once before him, much to his delight. Yet she was sad and cold, separated from him as by a veil. Though she had returned to the mortal world, she did not truly belong there and suffered. Finally, the second brother, driven mad with hopeless longing, committed suicide by hanging from his house' balcony so as truly to join her. That was when Death took the second brother for his own.

Death searched for the youngest brother as years passed but never succeeded. It was only when the third brother reached a great age, he took off the Cloak of Invisibility and gave it to his son. Greeting Death as an old friend, they departed this life as equals." Sirius finished the tale, amazed he had remembered it so well. "There are graves marked with the name Peverell in Godric's Hollow lending strength to the theory the Potter's are descended from them but then so are Gryffindor's."

"That's a kids' story?" Sounded rather creepy to him and Sirius chuckled.

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Harry grinned as he and Susan shut their books. They were done. All summer work, including the new potions essay, were done, reviewed and edited. And they had almost two months left till school went back. With Susan there he had actually pushed himself to do his best at his homework, unlike when he was with the Dursley's. He'd never been allowed to do better than Dudley there. And Ron never wanted to study while Hermione took all the fun out of it. "So what do we do now?"

She grinned. "Relax and have fun. We've still got lessons with Auntie and Sirius too." Sirius had finished family history so he had moved on, with Susan joining in the more general lessons. Then Aunt Amelia had decided she could teach them on Sunday afternoons, working with them on defence and estate management. "Plus you're birthday at the end of the month."

"When's yours?" he asked curiously.

"October 8th, I celebrate at school. What do you usually do for yours?"

"Nothing." Sirius had talked of his first birthday party but he didn't remember it. Every birthday he remembered had been filed with loneliness, chores and taunting from the Dursley's…until Hagrid had come. "Hagrid gave me a cake last year but it was a bit squished." That made them both laugh.

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Harry smiled as Hedwig went to work trying to tame his hair even as he looked down at the envelope from Hermione. After Ron's letter he was scared to open it but he wanted to see what she thought of everything. She nagged a lot and always trusted books and teachers but she was his friend, wasn't she? He took a deep breath and opened the envelope.

TBC…