Disclaimer: I own virtually nothing in this fic, it is all owned by people with more money then me.
Lord of Caer Azkaban
Dear Mr. Potter
In accordance to the last will and testament of Sirius Black you are requested and required to present yourself to the Diagon Alley branch of Gringotts Wizarding Bank for the purposes of performing the Inheritance Ritual. Please note that according to Statute 42924A failure to present one's self within two months of the receipt of this letter will result in loss of the right of inheritance and possible forfeiture to the Ministry.
Snaphook, Senior Solicitor Gringotts Bank
Harry stared dully at the letter in his hand; it had come in just minutes before a post Owl carrying a letter from Dumbledore.
He didn't know what to think, the thought of profiting off of Sirius's death turned his stomach and the thought of walking away from any legacy that Sirius had cared to leave him was equally unpalatable.
After a few moments of contemplation he resolved to write Dumbledore and ask for his counsel since even after all that had happened between them at the end of the school year he did still respect the old Wizard's opinions.
Placing the letter from Gringotts to one side he opened the letter from Dumbledore.
It has come to my attention that Gringotts has ignored my urging to leave you in peace this summer and has contacted you in regards to your possible inheritance from Sirius. I am writing this letter to inform you that at this time it is impossible to risk a trip to Diagon Alley. Their will be plenty of time for such things when it is safe but at this time it is not safe even with an escort from the Order. Harry it is imperative that you remain with the Dursleys this summer. I find that I must also inform you that it will be impossible for you to leave their care this summer due to Voldemort's increased activity.
You didn't like it when I kept things from you last year so I decided to trust you with this, please don't betray my trust by going off on your own Harry it really is too dangerous.
Reading the last line of the letter filled Harry with a rage that made his little outburst in Dumbledore's office seem like a minor show of annoyance.
How dare he, Harry was shocked by the audacity shown by the old bastard in his letter by filling a letter about truth with lies one would think that the old man learned nothing about Sirius's death.
Firming his resolve he pushed down his first impulse to send a letter explaining just what he thought of the old wizard's actions and he completed half of his angry reply before logic was able to reassert its control over his actions.
Tearing up his first draft he took out another parchment and started anew, resolving to adopt Dumbledore's own methods in dealing with the old man.
Though I am disappointed I cannot help but be heartened by the fact that you have chosen to be honest with me, as you said their will be time for such things when it is safe. With this in mind I have chosen to respect the trust you have placed in me and remain at my present location.
Your Obedient Servant
Harry James Potter
I understand the necessity of your statement in light of my attitude last year but I feel that I must assure you that I could no more allow myself to betray your trust then you could allow yourself to betray mine.
Harry smirked, turnabout is fair play and he just wished that he could see the look on Dumbledore's face when he realized the significance of what had been written.
Calming Harry had to admit that in hind sight he had to thank Dumbledore for helping him to make the decision to accept what Sirius had left, without his letter he may have decided to stay at number four.
It took him two days to plan his escape, something that appeared on the surface to be quite difficult but something that he found to be in practice to be painfully simple.
Wizards, he had found relied overly much on their magic, so that while he would never be able to sneak past them under an invisibility cloak his muggle upbringing provided him with other options.
He awoke early and dressed, making sure to be out of the house before his 'Family' could demand that he make them breakfast or do some bit of meaningless busy work.
As he walked to the movie theater he imagined that he could feel the eyes of his invisible watchers, buying a ticket to the soonest show he picked out a spot in the theater and carefully counted to five hundred.
Upon reaching his goal he stood up and walked out of the dark theater towards the bathroom, hearing the steps of his invisible watchers on the tile floor he washed his hands and returned to the dark theater.
Picking a new seat he carefully counted to one thousand, got up and went to the snack bar once again tracking his hidden watchers by the sound of their footsteps.
Returning to the darkened theater he chose yet another seat before beginning his count.
He repeated this cycle five times before he stopped hearing the footsteps of his hidden watcher and he repeated the cycle another three times before he felt confident that they had been lulled into complacency by his routine.
Walking out one of the side exits he took a quick left turn and headed to the nearest tube station figuring that while the Knight Bus or some other means of magical transportation may be monitored and controlled muggle methods would be ignored.
It took him almost an hour to travel the branch line from surrey to the station nearest the Leaky Caldron and before he entered the portal to Diagon Alley he expended the last of his meager savings on a new hat and jacket, picking a Deer Stalker hat (like Sherlock Holmes's hat) and a garish pink jacket with green lace.
Harry figured that his rather odd attire would suggest to any hidden watchers that he was a pure blood wizard that had been out for a stroll in the muggle world.
Taking a deep breath to calm and prepare himself he exhaled and entered the wizarding world.
Somewhat surprised that no one bothered to give him so much as a second glance Harry walked through Diagon Alley to Gringotts.
Pulling down the brim of his hat he approached the nearest free teller. "Excuse me sir but I need to speak with Senior Solicitor Snaphook."
"Of course sir and what may I tell Solicitor Snaphook is your business with him?"
"Tell him that it is a confidential matter involving my inheritance."
"Yes sir, would you care to wait in a private room or stay on the main floor."
"I would prefer a private room please."
"This way sir," the goblin said motioning for Harry to follow.
The room they came too was painted a stark grey, containing only a table and two chairs.
"I shall tell Solicitor Snaphook that you are waiting and he will join you at his earliest free moment, if you desire some reading material to pass the time you need only tap your wand on the table three times and a selection of magazines will appear."
Tapping his wand on the table Harry was slightly surprised at the sheer selection and slightly disappointed to find that the majority of them made 'Witches Weakley' look like a respectable literary journal.
Looking through the stack he despaired at ever finding something to read until at the bottom of the stack he found a magazine with the odd title of 'Modern Combatants' in it he found articles debating the use of one curse verses another, new spells designed especially for combat, and best of all equipment reports.
So engrossed was he in an article on the best of the new combat robes that he did not notice the door open to admit a goblin carrying a small valise.
"Ahem," the Goblin cleared his throat noisily and watched bemused and Harry nearly jumped out of his chair. "I am Solicitor Snaphook; I'm told that you have some business with me."
Wordlessly Harry pushed the letter he had received from Gringotts across the table.
"Ah, Mr. Potter I am glad that you decided to show up," the goblin said with a smile, "quite frankly after that mess with Albus Dumbledore I was afraid that you wouldn't show."
Placing a small crystal decanter on the table the goblin continued, "the reason you are here Mr. Potter is to perform the 'Inheritance Ritual' so that you may claim the Black fortune as stipulated by the last will and testament of Sirius Black."
"How does it work?" Harry asked curiously.
"The way it works is you will be required to place a small sample of your blood into this crystal decanter, you will then hold the decanter allowing it to draw power from your magical core, after the blood turns black you will hand it to me, I will place it on this sheet of parchment and the parchment will record which blood lines you will inherit from."
"If it's based on blood then how will I inherit from the Black family?"Our intrepid hero inquired.
"You were added to the Black register as Heir Primus when Sirius Black became your Godfather and since he died without issue then you became heir to the Black name and fortune." Explained Solicitor Snaphook. "Now if we could start."
Pricking his finger, Harry allowed several drops of blood to fall into the crystal glass before Snaphook was satisfied by the amount.
Picking up the glass Harry was struck by a thought, "Snaphook, if this project requires my magical core to power it then how are Squibs or muggle relatives able to claim their Inheritances?"
"The short answer to that is they are not," pausing as if unsure he should continue. "Curiously, every time Gringotts develops a way to do this ritual that does not require the magical core of the solicitor it is outlawed by the Ministry of Magic, and it is my belief that this ritual is just another tool by the Ministry to insure that non-magic peoples are unable to gain control of the great families."
Handing the glass of now black liquid to his Solicitor, Harry watched in fascination as the goblin placed it on the parchment.
Within minutes the first name began to appear on the parchment, it was soon joined by another and another and another, soon their were twelve names on the parchment and counting.
Finally, after nearly two hours of waiting the twenty fifth and last name burned itself onto the parchment.
"Why so many?" Harry asked in shock. "How can I be the sole heir to so many families?"
"Mr. Potter, You must understand that the last seventy five or so years have not been easy for the magical community, with Grindelwald and Voldemort several families were almost completely destroyed, leaving those with the most tenuous of relations to inherit."
Taking a quick glance at the parchment, Snaphook reached into his valise and withdrew from it a thick file.
"The first name on your list is the Black family; from it you have inherited several properties including a residence at number 12 Grimwald's place, Black Manor, a shop called 'Rare and Unusual Books' in Knockturn Alley, and a pub named 'The Dog Star' outside Hogsmead."
Sorting through the papers the goblin continued "liquid assets are fixed at about 30 million Galleons with one million annual revenue from investments minus a monthly allowance totaling eight thousand Galleons."
"Allowance, to whom?"
"Let me see, three thousand to Narcissa Malfoy and three thousand Belatrix LeStrange, with a further two thousand going to Draco Malfoy."
"Can it be canceled?"
"Of course sir, you are the head of the Black family, if you wish I can revoke it right now." Upon receiving an affirmative gesture the goblin made a note and continued, "the Black family investments include controlling interest in a large casino on the Island of Fata Magana, 25 percent of a silver mine, and controlling interest in a Magical Creature Farm."
Once again reaching into his valise Snaphook pulled out another file. "Your next family if the Potters from whom you inherited a house at Godric's Hollow since destroyed 300 thousand Galleons, and half of a brewery jointly owned by your cousin Martin Potter."
"I have a cousin?"
"Yes sir apparently your great great great grandfather had two sons, one magical one muggle and he divided the Potter family business between them, Martin Potter is the descendent of your great great grandfather's brother."
Reaching into his valise the goblin pulled out a small stack of files, taking a moment to flip through them the goblin continued, "the next twenty two families are rather routine, you receive a total of two million Galleons and several residential properties. The last name though, the last name is different."
"How so?" Harry enquired.
"The last family is quite shocking, it is a very old and honorable name and I can tell you very little about your holdings." At this the venerable goblin paused as if to gather his strength. "The last name on the list is Azkaban, from it you inherit the Island of Azkaban, the title Lord of Caer Azkaban and all the rights and privileges that it entitles."
AN: I chose to put Harry on the Subway because of the fact that in so many other fics he uses the knight bus or Mrs. Figg's flue, it seemed to me that Dumbledore who is regarded to be one of the greatest wizards of the age, and the Order of the Phoenix who has several members in magical law enforcement, would be able to track such methods of transportation but might have difficulty in tracking a more mundane method. I think that I may have made that last bank scene a bit long but I was trying to convey just how bad the degradations of the Dark Lords were. As for Harry getting so little from the Potters, well I have a hopefully original way of explaining that.
As always, comments are welcome flames are not.