Disclaimer: I do not nor will I ever own the Harry Potter story, characters, villains, heroes and creatures. I also sadly do not make any money off this story. Trust me; my bank account cannot lie about that.
Summary: Harry Potter finds out that he owns something very special. What will he do when he finds out what it is?
Warnings: AU, Independent Harry, Slight Hermione and Dumbledore bashing, Snarky Snape.
WHAT HARRY POTTER OWNED
Harry was sitting at the breakfast table in the Great Hall when a large golden eagle landed in front of him. In his claws was a large gold envelope. He stuck out his foot, and cried out impatiently. Bemused, Harry carefully took the envelope, and handed the eagle a piece of sausage, which the eagle eagerly ate. With a cry, the eagle flew off the table, and out the window.
Harry gazed at the large gold envelope suspiciously. He turned it over, and found a large golden seal of an outspread eagle on it. Around the edge of the seal he read, Golden Eagle Law Firm, circa 896.
"Whatcha got there, Harry?" Ron asked, his mouth full of food.
Harry shrugged. "Not sure," he replied. "It's from a law firm."
"Really? Which one?" Hermione asked eagerly.
"Uh...Golden Eagle," Harry said cautiously.
"Blimey Harry, are you serious?" Ron asked, his eyes bulging in shock.
"Yeah, why?" Harry questioned, concerned.
"Harry, the Golden Eagle Law firm only handles large estates. You know the Purebloods, Gringotts, and the Ministry of Magic. You have to have a lot of money to be able to afford their services," Hermione explained.
"Open it, Harry. Let's see why they contacted you," Ron said eagerly.
Harry paused a second, trying to decide if he should be annoyed with Ron's nosiness or not, then shrugged it off. Ron was his friend, and he would tell him about it later.
Harry turned the envelope over and opened it. He pulled out the note inside, unfolded it, and began to read.
Dear Mr. Potter,
We at the Golden Eagle Law Firm congratulate you on your seventeenth birthday. We are sorry for the delay in sending you this letter. It's now September, and we are aware that your birthday is in July. Your family has an old account with us that needs to be settled. We are updating our files, and found that your family account has been sadly neglected for whatever reason. As you are the sole survivor of your family, it falls to you to help us out with these matters. We need to know what you want done with your account.
If it is agreeable, we would like to meet with you on Saturday at eleven in the morning. We appreciate your help in this matter, and look forward to doing business with you.
Partner of Golden Eagle Law Firm
"It looks like they want to meet with me on Saturday," Harry explained.
"Do they say why?" Hermione asked.
Harry shook his head. "No, just something about an old family account that needs to be settled."
"You know you need to let Dumbledore know that you need to leave on Saturday," Hermione replied sternly.
"I know. In fact, I think I'll do that now. See you guys in class," Harry said, and got up from the table. He walked up to the Head Table. He could see Snape glaring at him. Harry just sneered at the man. He saw Snape start in surprise, and then glared at him even harder. Harry stuck his tongue out, and saw the man's expression go livid. He smirked at the man and walked up to the Headmaster. Dumbledore looked at the two, and smiled, his eyes twinkling at his antics. "Now you two, don't start," he said cheerfully.
"Surely you will not let him get away with such disrespect, Headmaster?" Snape asked with a glare.
"I'll respect you when you respect me, you greasy-haired bat," Harry said casually, picking non-existent lint off his robe. He hated Snape with a passion, and he refused to let the man bait him. He knew that Snape got enjoyment out of making him angry. His new attitude of ignoring the man's snide remarks and glares was pissing the Potion's teacher off. Harry enjoyed every minute of it, and if he could, he would get rid of the old bat.
"Now, Harry," Dumbledore warned kindly.
Harry stared at him, his gaze sharp. He didn't say a word. Harry just stared at him quietly. The Headmaster began to squirm under Harry's even gaze, and he cleared his throat nervously. "Is there something I can do for you, Harry?" he asked.
"I need to floo somewhere on Saturday," Harry said calmly.
"May I ask where?" Dumbledore asked curiously.
"You can," Harry agreed.
Dumbledore waited, and then realized that Harry wasn't saying a word. "Harry?" he asked, frowning at him slightly.
"I said you can ask, I never said I would answer," Harry retorted smugly.
"POTTER! You are being rude to the Headmaster. Apologize!" Snape roared, and the Great Hall became quiet.
Harry slowly turned and looked at Snape. His gaze was intent and sharp, as he slowly looked the man up and down. He gave Snape a look of contempt, and turned back to the Headmaster. Snape's face turned red with rage as he realized that Potter had just let him know that he thought Snape was nothing.
"As I was saying, I need to floo somewhere on Saturday. Legally, there's nothing you can do to stop me. I'm an adult now, and as such, I have the right to leave this school on the weekends. If you try to stop me, I'll owl the Ministry and let them know of your violation of the law. I'm sure you don't want it to get out that the Headmaster of Hogwarts isn't a law abiding citizen, would you?" Harry questioned with a small sneer.
Dumbledore looked at him sadly, realizing that he had lost the young man's trust. His manipulations of the boy's life may have won him the war, but it killed any trust between the two of them. He could see the barely disguised contempt for him in Harry's gaze. He sighed and nodded his head. "Very well," he said softly. "When do you need to leave?"
"Around ten-thirty in the morning. I'm not sure when I'll be back," Harry replied.
Snape rose to his feet and glared at Harry. "You arrogant brat! You think because you killed the Dark Lord last year, you can act however you want? You are nothing more than an attention-seeking adolescent whose only claim to fame was killing Voldemort. You are nothing. You will never be anything. You are worse than your father ever was!" Snape said bitterly.
The Great Hall was silent; no one dared to breathe lest they draw Snape's enraged attention. Dumbledore opened his mouth to say something, but Harry held up his hand. "It's all right Headmaster, I don't need you to defend me. I think everyone here knows that Snape is nothing more than an embittered, old, washed up has been. His only claim to fame is the fact that he will be remembered as a Death Eater. No one cares that he was a spy. They know he's just jealous of my fame, and the fact that I will be remembered, and the fact that I am liked. I find it a compliment that you compare me to my father. I thank Merlin that I am. Because if I had been any different, with the life I had, I could have become you. I would've killed myself before I did that. You're nothing to me, Snape. Your comments mean little to me. I don't need you in my life and I could care less if I ever saw you again. Once I'm gone from this school, I will never think of you again. Can you say the same for yourself? You're nothing but a sad, pathetic little man," Harry said quietly.
Harry turned and walked down to the Gryffindor table. He tapped Hermione and Ron on the shoulder. They shook off their shock, got up from the table, and walked out of the Great Hall without another word. They never saw the enraged look on Snape's face, or the fight that began between him and the Headmaster.
Harry knew that Snape would make him pay for his humiliating comments and he was correct. Snape took points every time Harry breathed, every time Harry even looked funny. Harry took it calmly, never raising his voice, never protesting. He just looked at Snape, and shook his head in disappointment when Snape showed his immaturity. The whole school watched in disgust as it became apparent that Harry was actually acting as the mature one of the two. Even the Slytherins were becoming ashamed of their Head of House. They had thought it funny at first, until they realized that Snape was being childish. They realized that he was acting like the bitter, pathetic man that Potter had accused him of being. Snape seemed to realize this, and it just made him angrier. Harry thought the man needed a vacation before his had a break down.
Ron had congratulated him on putting Snape in his place while Hermione nagged at him, trying to get him to apologize for his behavior. When he refused, she began to harp on the fact that he was a teacher and Harry shouldn't have treated Snape the way that he had.
Harry had just looked at her, contempt in his eyes. "That's right Hermione, he's the teacher. He's the adult, and yet you find it ok with how he treats me, and every other student in this school? If you find that acceptable, then I have serious concerns for your mental state," he said seriously. Hermione had flounced off in a huff, but eventually she had agreed that Snape was being rather childish.
Saturday rolled around and Harry decided to fly to Hogsmeade. He had decided against using the Headmaster's fireplace since he knew the man would be nosy. For some reason, he loathed the idea of letting the Headmaster know where he was going. Harry reached the edge of Hogsmeade and landed. He shrunk his broom and stuck it in his pocket. He walked to the Three Broomsticks, and walked in. He nodded towards Madam Rosmerta, and walked over to the fireplace. He placed some money in the box, and grabbed a handful of floo powder. He threw into the fire, and called out, "Golden Eagle Law Firm," before disappearing in a flash of green light.
He stumbled out of the fireplace and brushed off the soot. He looked around and found an older matronly woman looking at him warmly. She held out her hand and asked, "Harry Potter?" Harry nodded and shook her hand. "My name is Demona Gentry. If you would follow me, Mr. Sutton will be with you momentarily."
Harry followed the woman down the hallway, past several offices. Many of the employees nodded to him, or gave him a kind smile. They didn't seem overwhelmed by seeing him, and there were no squealing fan girls chasing after him. Demona stopped in front of the last office and motioned him in. "Is there anything you would like? Tea? Butterbeer? Pumkin Juice?" she asked kindly.
"I would like some tea if it's not too much trouble," Harry said with a smile.
Demona smiled back at him. "It's no trouble at all. I'll be back with it in a few minutes." She nodded at him and walked down the corridor.
Harry entered the office and sat down at the large round table that was in the middle of the room. He glanced around idly, noticing the pictures on the walls of various purebloods and Ministry workers. He glanced at the window. He saw that it had been spelled to show a mountain range. He admired the view for a moment, then looked around some more. The room was quite large, and the chairs were made of leather. There was a large mahogany desk in the corner. It was covered with paper and various other office materials.
He heard a noise and saw Demona coming in with a tea set. There was a large man following her. Harry glanced at the man curiously; he was tall, around 6'5' and weighed around 300lbs. Harry believed that it was probably all muscle. The man had dark brown hair and sharp, blue eyes. He gave Harry a once over, and seemed to nod in approval.
Harry was startled by a cup being placed in front of him. He had been gazing at the man so intently that he never saw Demona getting his tea ready. Harry thanked her and poured some milk in his tea. He took a sip and sighed in satisfaction. Demona gave him a pat on the arm, and left the room, shutting the door behind her.
"It seems Demona likes you," the man said in a deep rumbling voice. "She's usually a good judge of character."
"That's good I guess," Harry replied, his brows furrowed in confusion.
"My name is Michael Sutton. I sent you the letter about your family account," the man informed him.
"It's nice to meet you, Mr. Sutton. If I may ask, when did my family get an account with your firm? I went over my family estate when I turned seventeen, and there was nothing in it about an account with your law firm," Harry said.
Mr. Sutton smiled and him and replied, "There wouldn't be. This account is very old. It was opened several years after this firm was started in 896."
Harry eyes widened in surprise and said, "That long ago?"
Mr. Sutton nodded his head. "I have to say Mr. Potter, that this is big. I'm quite astonished at how neglected this account is. When we came across the paperwork, we had to make sure that it was correct and not some prank," he said, his expression bemused.
Harry looked at him anxiously. "What is it, Mr. Sutton? What's the big deal about my family account?" he asked.
"First, I have to ask, did you know that you are Godric Gryffindor's heir?" Mr. Sutton asked softly.
Harry's eyes narrowed warily. "Yes, I did. It's not common knowledge for obvious reasons, but yes, I knew," he said cautiously.
Mr. Sutton looked relieved and replied, "Good, then it won't be shock to you."
"Mr. Sutton, I don't want to seem impatient, but what does that have to do with a Potter account?" Harry asked.
Mr. Sutton shook his head and said, "Oh no, Mr. Potter, it's not a Potter account. No, this account belonged to Godric Gryffindor."
Harry stared at him, his mouth open in shock. "Godric Gryffindor," he choked out.
Mr. Sutton nodded his head and replied, "Yes, and since you're the heir to Gryffindor, everything in the account goes to you."
"So, what does that mean exactly?" Harry asked anxiously.
Mr. Sutton walked over to the desk and pulled out a file. He walked back to the table and sat down. He opened the file and pulled out a piece of paper. "It looks like you own several houses, a lakeside property, and some monetary inheritance, which will be transferred to your vault."
Harry slowly relaxed. "That's not so bad. I don't really need any of those things since my family estate is so well off. You made it sound like it was something shocking," he said with a relieved laugh.
Mr. Sutton smirked at him and said, "I might have forgotten to mention that you also own Hogwarts."
Harry laughter caught in his throat, and he stared at Mr. Sutton in shock. He didn't blink, he didn't move, and he didn't breathe. He just stared at Mr. Sutton. After a few seconds, he took a deep gasping breath, and choked out, "I'm sorry, I thought you said that I owned Hogwarts."
"I did," Mr. Sutton replied with a smile.
Harry blinked at him and asked, "How?"
"When the Founders decided to build the school, each founder contributed some money to have it built. They put in an equal amount of money and built the school. After it was built, they filed the deed to the castle, and each Founder got a fourth of the property. This was to allow for equal ownership. They also agreed that if for some reason, one of the bloodlines were to die out, the deed from that particular bloodline would be transferred over to one of the other bloodlines. This was to make sure that none of the bloodlines ever lost control of the school," Mr. Sutton explained.
"Generations passed and control of the school was taken over by the Ministry, and the deeds were forgotten. When Voldemort rose to power before you were born, he killed off the last of the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff bloodlines. The control of their deeds were transferred to you and Voldemort, though neither of you ever knew it. Once you killed Voldemort, all four shares of the deed belonged to you, giving you full ownership of Hogwarts. The castle is yours to do with what you want. There is also a vault that the Founders had set up for running the school, should you decide to take it out the Ministry's control. Money is always being added to the vault, so it should never run out. The money comes from various wizarding businesses and such. It was set up with Gringotts, and money is always being invested in profitable wizarding businesses," Mr. Sutton explained.
"Does the Ministry of Magic know about the vault? I heard some of the teachers complain about how they wished they could have an increase in pay," Harry said.
"No, the Ministry doesn't know about it. The vault can only be accessed by one of the heirs since they are the true owners of Hogwarts," Mr. Sutton informed him.
Harry sat there in silence for a moment, trying to understand everything he heard. He owned Hogwarts. The one place he thought of as home and it was his. "What does that mean exactly? I mean about me owning Hogwarts? What does it mean?" he asked.
"It means that you can bypass the Ministry and the Board of Governors in the running of the school. In fact, they no longer have a say in what you can do with the school. You may do whatever you want with the school. You can kick everyone out and live there if you want."
Harry shook his head. "No, Hogwarts is a school and it will always be a school. It's one of the best things that ever happened to me. I don't want to take that experience away from another child." Harry thought a moment then began to grin maliciously. "Does that mean I can fire any of the teachers that work there?" he asked.
Mr. Sutton gave him a wary look. "Yes, actually it does. They are technically on your property. You have the right to evict them."
Harry sat back and looked pleased. "When can I take control of Hogwarts?" he asked.
"I need your signature on the paperwork. Once that's done, then I have to file it with the Ministry, and talk to the goblins. After that, Hogwarts is yours to do with what you will."
Harry nodded. "I would like it if your law firm kept the account then. Hogwarts is large piece of property, and I want it to stay a school. I'll admit I have no knowledge of how to run a school, but as a student, there are several things I want to change. There are several teachers that need to be fired simply because they cannot teach at all. There is a ghost that needs to be gotten rid of because he simply doesn't teach anything worth while."
"Once the paperwork is done, I need you to find me several candidates for the Potions, DADA, Divination, and History of Magic positions. The teachers we have now are either ineffectual or downright malicious. I'll no longer have them in that school, teaching those children. The only reason they were hired is because of the Headmaster. I'm tired of his lack of good sense getting in the way," Harry said firmly.
"Do you want to get rid of Dumbledore too?" Mr. Sutton asked.
Harry paused then shook his head. "No, I don't. While I personally can't stand the man, the kids at the school love him and he loves them. I won't take that away from him, yet. If he tries to interfere in the way things are run from now on, that might be an option to take later. I don't want have to fire the teachers, but those particular teachers are getting paid for services they're not giving," Harry explained.
Mr. Sutton nodded in acceptance. "Very well then, if you would sign these, I'll get things rolling." He pushed the papers towards Harry and he signed them. Mr. Sutton took them, and looked them over, nodding in satisfaction. "I'll owl you when everything is ready. It was a pleasure to meet you, Mr. Potter," the big man said, holding out his hand.
Harry grabbed it and shook it. "You too, Mr. Sutton. I'm still a little dazed by the news. It's going to take several days for it to sink in," he said with a rueful smile.
Mr. Sutton chuckled. "I can only imagine," he replied.
Harry stood up from the table. With a nod towards the man, Harry said, "I look forward to your owl. Have a pleasant afternoon, Mr. Sutton."
"You too, Mr. Potter," Mr. Sutton said with a smile.
Harry turned and walked out of the office. He passed Demona and gave her a nod and a smile. He walked over to the fireplace and flooed out of the law firm.
Demona walked over to Mr. Sutton and asked, "So, how did he take it?"
Mr. Sutton grinned at her before replying, "He was a little dazed, but he you were right. He decided to keep it running as a school. He's going to fire some of the teachers though. If my daughter is correct, then the teachers he's going to replace are very ineffectual."
Demona shook her head and said, "Told you he wasn't going to kick everyone out and use it as Den of Iniquity."
Mr. Sutton just laughed as she walked away.
Harry walked into Hogwarts and made his way up to the Gryffindor common room. He uttered the password to the Fat Lady. The entrance way opened and Harry went inside. He saw his two best friends sitting on the couch, waiting for him. He rolled his eyes, but waited patiently for them. They jumped off the couch, and hurried over to him.
"So, what was it about?" Ron asked eagerly.
Harry sighed, annoyed. "Nothing much really. It was an old family account. I inherited some money and some property. Nothing major. I had to sign some papers. The firm was going to file it with the Ministry. I just happened to be the only heir to the family so everything passed to me," he explained.
"What kind of property?" Hermione asked.
"A lakeside property, several manors and some money. I'm not sure where the property is at though. I didn't really look into it. The money will be transferred to my family vault. I didn't ask how much it was since I have enough already," Harry said with a thoughtful frown.
"That's it? That's all?" Ron asked, disappointment shining on his face.
Harry looked at him, confused, and asked, "Yeah, isn't it enough?"
Ron looked down in disappointment. "It's just that it's the Golden Eagle Law Firm. They never deal with anything small. It's a very high priced law firm. Only the richest people use them. Hell, they're the only ones who can afford them," he said.
Harry shifted uncomfortably, and he felt Hermione's sharp gaze on him. He looked around the room, trying desperately not to look at her.
"What else happened, Harry?" she asked sharply.
Harry grimaced, annoyed at Hermione's tone. "Nothing I'm going into right now. You'll have to wait like everyone else."
"Harry," she said, exasperated.
"Enough, Hermione," Harry snapped. "You're my friend, not my mother. I don't have to explain every little thing to you. You'll have to wait just like everyone else."
Hermione's eyes widened with shock then anger. "Fine, if that's how you want to be. See if I care," she huffed and walked off.
Harry sighed, irritated, and looked over at Ron. The redhead was giving him an intent look. "Is it going to be big?" he asked softly.
"Oh yeah, Ron, it's going to be big, and when it happens I want you to have a front row seat. You are so going to enjoy it," Harry replied with a mischievous grin.
"Excellent!" Ron exclaimed, grinning. He lost his smile and grimaced. "You know Hermione is going to be angry with you for this."
"Maybe, but I'm tired of always having to always explain things to her. I need to keep some secrets. I don't want Dumbledore to know what I did today," Harry whispered. "If she knew, she would tell him. I'm not stupid, Ron. I know she tells him every little thing I do. It's why I don't tell her everything."
"What about me, Harry? Do you tell me everything?" Ron asked quietly.
Harry smiled at his best friend. "Most of it. Sometimes I have to keep things secret, like this, for various reasons, but if I can, I usually tell you first. You know that even if I didn't want Hermione to know, I would still tell you. You know things that she doesn't, that Dumbledore doesn't. In fact after this thing happens, she probably won't speak to me anymore," he said thoughtfully.
Ron's eyes got big and asked, "Is it bad?"
Harry shook his head and chirped cheerfully, "Oh no, it's good! Its just Hermione won't think it is. I'll be going against her ideals, and we know how small minded she can be about that."
Ron snorted before replying, "Yeah, so when does this thing happen?"
"Not sure, within a week or so, I hope," Harry said.
"Well, I can't wait for it," Ron replied eagerly.
Harry grinned slyly. "Oh yeah, it's going to be a riot."
A week later, Harry received a letter from the firm. All the paperwork had been filed. The goblins were made aware of the situation, and the vault was active. Mr. Sutton also had a list of teachers that he wanted Harry to look over.
Harry looked over the list, and decided that he would let Mr. Sutton pick out the candidates. He just wanted someone who wasn't too harsh, and who actually knew what they were doing. He wrote a note to Mr. Sutton and explained to him that he needed a couple of Aurors to be present when he confronted the Headmaster. He also wanted a copy of the deeds to show as proof. He knew that Snape wouldn't be a happy man, but personally, the man needed to get away from the school. Voldemort was dead and Snape was no longer needed as a spy. Snape hated children, and he hated teaching. Harry knew the man didn't need the money. Harry just couldn't understand why he was still here. The only thing he could think of was that the Headmaster was somehow keeping him here.
A few days after his letter to Mr. Sutton, he got a response back that the teachers had been picked, and they were ready to take their new positions. Harry smiled happily. He wrote back that he was ready to take over Hogwarts the next day at lunch. Everyone would be in the Great Hall. Harry wanted there to be no doubt as to who owned Hogwarts. He would meet Mr. Sutton and the Aurors at eleven forty-five in the morning, outside the Hogwart gates. He didn't want the Headmaster to know that they were there until he was ready. Harry smiled in satisfaction. He would finally be rid of Snape.
The next morning rolled around, and it was a sunny day. Harry was in a good mood, even when Snape yelled at him for looking at him. Harry gave him a smug smile, and Snape looked at him, confused. After Potions class was over, Harry waved Ron, and a still angry Hermione, out the door. He walked up to Snape, and stood there, waiting for Snape's attention.
Harry stood there, quietly, waiting. He knew that Snape would eventually get tired of him standing there. After a few minutes, Snape finally snapped.
"What in the hell do you want, Potter?" he asked icily.
"I was wondering, why are you still here? Teaching, I mean? Voldemort is dead, you're no longer a spy, you hate kids and teaching, so why aren't you somewhere you can brew potions until your heart's content?" Harry asked seriously.
Snape glared at him at moment before snarling, "It's none of your business, Potter. If that's all, leave! If you don't, I'll take points from you."
Harry waved away his threat. "Yeah, yeah. No, seriously, why? Is it the Headmaster? Is he keeping you here? I know the old man is manipulative, but why would he keep you here?" he pondered thoughtfully.
Snape glared at him. "I told you to leave, Potter," he snarled.
Harry put his bag on the floor, placed his hands on the desk, and leaned forward. "If you had a chance, would you leave? Would you put Hogwarts behind you? I'm asking you seriously, do you want out of teaching?" he asked, his gaze intent.
Snape looked at him and opened his mouth to yell, but something in Harry's eyes must have made him realize that Harry was serious. He looked at Harry intently for a few seconds before answering, "Yes, Potter, I would. The Headmaster has a contract that will not allow me to leave. If I try to get out of it, I can go to Azkaban."
"What if you were fired?" Harry asked.
"The Headmaster won't fire me. He needs me to much for the Potions position," Snape said with a sneer.
"Can the contract be cancelled?" Harry asked.
"If the Headmaster so desires it, but as you see, he doesn't."
Harry nodded thoughtfully. "Very well, I'll take care of it then. By lunch time you'll be able to leave," he told him.
"Oh, and how are you going to do that? Beg the Headmaster for his compliance?" Snape sneered.
Harry smirked at him. "Oh, I don't need the Headmaster's permission. Later, Snape," he chirped cheerfully. He turned and walked out of the classroom, ignoring Snape yelling his name.
He found his two friends waiting for him outside the classroom. Ron looked at him curiously, and Harry shook his head. Hermione didn't even glance at him. She was still mad that he hadn't told her what was going on. Harry tried to care, but he just didn't. While Hermione was his friend, he didn't owe it to her to tell her everything he did in life.
They walked away from the classroom. Harry looked down at his watch. It was eleven-thirty, and he needed to get ready to meet Mr. Sutton. He grabbed a hold of Ron and stopped him. He leaned over to whisper, watching as Hermione kept on walking. "Make sure you get a front row seat at lunch today, Ron. The closer to the Head table the better," he whispered softly.
Ron looked at him, excitement shining on his face. "Today?" he asked lowly.
"Today," Harry confirmed then grinned. "But try to keep your excitement level down please."
Ron gave Harry a grin before replying, "I'll try."
"I have to go meet some people and get ready. I'll see you later," he said.
Harry walked off as he heard Hermione asking Ron what was going on. He felt sorry for Ron, but knew Ron would keep his secret just a little longer.
He walked out of Hogwarts and toward the gates. He slipped past them and leaned against the wall, waiting for Mr. Sutton to appear. He looked at his watch and smiled. It was eleven forty-five, and Mr. Sutton and the Aurors should appear anytime now.
He watched as three people apparated in front of him. He smiled at Mr. Sutton, and walked forward to greet. He held out his hand, and the large man grabbed it and shook it.
"Ah, Mr. Potter, right on time," Mr. Sutton said as he smiled at Harry.
"Yeah, I'm a tad bit anxious to do this," Harry replied, a smile on his face.
"Harry? What's going on?" a voice asked him and Harry turned. He smiled when he saw Kingsley and Tonks looking at him with confusion.
"Tonks, Kingsley, good to see you two again. As for what's going on, I might need your help in um…escorting some people out who may not want to leave," Harry said with a naughty grin.
"Who?" Kingsley asked in a deep voice.
Harry smiled gaily and said, "Ah, that's for me to know and you to find out. If you'll follow me, its time to make an entrance."
Harry turned and walked away with Mr. Sutton, Kingsley, and Tonks following him. They went past the gates, then up the steps to Hogwarts. They entered the castle and came upon the large closed doors that led to the Great Hall. Harry turned and smiled at Mr. Sutton. "Are you ready?"
Mr. Sutton smiled at him before replying, "I always wanted to be there when something amazing happened."
Harry grinned and put out his hand. It glowed briefly and the doors to the Great Hall slammed open. He heard several screams, and noticed that the teachers had their hands on their wands. Even with Voldemort gone, people were still jumpy.
Mr. Sutton looked at Harry in surprise and Harry grinned at him before asking, "What? You thought I killed Voldemort by luck alone? Please, I had the power to back it up." Mr. Sutton laughed softly and followed Harry as he walked into the Great Hall.
Harry walked towards the Head table, aware of Mr. Sutton beside him and Tonks and Kingsley behind him. He walked slowly, looking around serenely. It was just hitting him that the castle was his and his alone. He looked down the Gryffindor table and saw Ron grinning at him in excitement. Harry couldn't help but grin back at him. Hermione looked at him in disapproval, and he just ignored her. He had a feeling she wouldn't be his friend after today.
Harry walked up to the Head table and stopped in front of the Headmaster. He glanced at Snape, and saw the man glaring at him, but with a look of confusion and hope deep within his eyes. He nodded his head and Snape's eyes widened. He turned his attention back towards the Headmaster and waited.
Dumbledore looked at Harry, confused. "Harry, what's going on?" he asked kindly, his eyes no longer twinkling.
Harry gave Dumbledore an icy smile. "I'm so glad you asked. I, Harry James Potter, by decree of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff, am sole owner of Hogwarts. As owner and master of the castle, I now ask it to do my bidding." Harry took a dagger out of the sheath that had been resting on his hip and slashed his hand. The blood spilled down on the stone floor of the castle, and the room began to glow. "As heir to Gryffindor, I ask the castle to reclaim its rightful master." Harry watched as the room glowed brightly, and the castle began to hum. He could feel the magic in the castle reaching towards him, searching, and finding what it needed. With a gasp, he felt the wards fall to him, embracing him like a blanket. He was aware of everything that was happening in the castle; the children, the grounds, even the edges of the Forbidden Forest. With a final pulse, the magic pulled back and sat in the back of his mind, waiting to be called forth.
Harry took a deep breath and looked around. Everyone was staring at him in shock. Dumbledore stared at him stunned silence. "Harry? What have you done? What happened to the wards?" he asked, shocked.
"Simple Dumbledore, I've taken back what is mine by birthright. I now own Hogwarts and I alone control the wards," Harry said calmly.
"You what?" Dumbledore asked hoarsely.
"I know you're old, but you're not deaf. You heard what I said. Since I own Hogwarts, I can do with it what I want."
"The Ministry won't allow you, Harry," McGonagall said in a disapproving tone.
"The Ministry has no say in it. I own the castle, not the Ministry or the Board of Governors. If I so choose, I can throw everyone out of this school, and use it as my home. I also have control of the wards, which allows me to let anyone I want to enter the school or keep them out. The Ministry can't get to me if I don't allow it. If for some reason I'm killed in a pathetic attempt to try to control the castle, the castle will disappear, and then no one will get it. I'm the last of the Founder bloodlines, so unless I designate an heir, the castle disappears after I die."
"How did you become the owner?" Dumbledore asked.
"When the Founders started the school, they divided the property evenly. The deeds to the school were passed down the generations. Once all the lines died out, the deeds passed to the last surviving heir, me. I own all four deeds, making me sole owner of Hogwarts and as such I have the right to say who stays in this school or who doesn't. Now, for my first order of business," Harry said cheerfully.
He looked at Head table and at the shocked and stunned teachers who were sitting there. Harry felt a sense of rightness in what he was about to do. While he hated to fire some of the teachers, he had to think about what the students needed.
"Would Professor Trelawney stand, please?" Harry asked kindly.
The woman looked at everyone in confusion, but stood up. Harry walked over to her and smiled. "If you were any kind of teacher you would have Seen this coming. As ineffectual of a teacher as you are, you're fired and hereby replaced. Please gather your things and leave the castle. I'll give you a couple of days to get yourself together, but if I find that you have stolen or broken anything that belongs to the school, I'll have your arse in Azkaban faster than you can say crystal ball."
Professor Trelawney looked at Harry in shock then started to cry. She gave a loud wail and ran out of the Great Hall. Harry smiled in satisfaction and called out the next name.
"Professor Sherbert, please stand."
The mousy-haired, quivering man reminded Harry too much of Quirrell. He was just as ineffectual as a teacher as the stuttering man had been. He couldn't teach anything worth a damn in the DADA classes. Harry thought Dumbledore just hired him because of his name.
"You're fired. You're incompetent at best. You faint at the mention of Dark Arts, how can you even teach the students anything?"
The quivering man fainted at the mention of Dark Arts and Harry looked at Mr. Sutton and rolled his eyes, exasperated. "And people wonder why we've had seven DADA teachers," Harry told him wryly. Mr. Sutton chuckled.
Harry turned around and smiled at the shocked teachers. He looked at the ghost Binns and smiled. "Professor Binns, I'm sorry, but as a ghost you can no longer teach here. Please move on or be exorcised. There is more to history than the Goblin Wars, and frankly, you aren't teaching us anything we need to know. It's time for you to rest."
Professor Binns looked shocked then thoughtful. "You know Harvey, I think you're right. I am awfully tired. I think I will rest." With that said, he disappeared into a bright shiny light.
"Professor Snape, please stand," Harry called out.
Harry watched as Professor Snape stood. "You're contract is hereby dissolved. It was signed by the head of this school and since it's no longer Dumbledore, I'm dissolving the contract. You can leave anytime you want to." Harry looked at Dumbledore. "If I find out that Snape has been thrown into prison for a breach of contract, you will find yourself in a world of hurt," Harry said coldly. He leaned forward, "Don't think I don't know how you forced him to stay here when he wanted to leave."
Harry looked at Snape and noticed that the man was finally happy. Harry gave him a nod, and to his surprise, he got a nod of respect back. Harry watched as the man turned and stalked away.
"As owner of Hogwarts, I will be giving all the teachers a raise that shall be discussed at a later time. The Ministry no longer has say in what the teachers are paid, or even what they teach. In fact, they have no say in this school whatsoever. I'll be the one to choose the new teachers. With the help of Mr. Sutton, I have found suitable replacements for the newly opened teaching positions. Since they can't be here until Saturday, classes have been postponed until matters can be settled. Since the children like you Dumbledore, you may stay in the position as Headmaster, but if I find you manipulating one child, I will throw your arse out so fast your head will spin," Harry warned with a glare.
"I would like to talk to the teachers in the staff room in one hour. Until then ladies and gentlemen," Harry said with a nod then turned and walked out of the Great Hall. He heard chaos erupt behind him.
Harry stopped by a wall and leaned on it. He let out a deep calming breath before saying, "Whoa, that was fun."
Mr. Sutton chuckled and replied, "I quite enjoyed it."
Harry smiled and looked at Tonks and Kingsley. "Sorry guys, I guess I didn't need you after all. I wanted you to be here in case someone decided they didn't want to leave."
"Yeah, I was figuring Snape would've fought it," Tonks said, still in shock.
Harry shook his head and said, "Oh no, Snape was the one who wanted to go. Dumbledore had him locked into a contract he couldn't get out of without going to Azkaban. Merlin knows, he hates children and teaching. I thought there had to be something keeping him here."
"Is it true, Harry? Do you really own Hogwarts?" Tonks asked.
"Yep, and I thank Mr. Sutton here for letting me know it too."
"I should have known it was big if a partner from the Golden Eagle Law Firm was involved," Kingsley stated. "I was wondering why he was asking for the presence of two Aurors.
Harry was distracted out of his thoughts by sounds of footsteps hurrying into hallway. He looked around curiously and saw Snape stalking towards the door of Hogwarts. Snape stopped and looked at Harry.
"That was fast," Harry said.
"Something about the way you said I would be gone by lunch made me believe it. I was already packed. I don't want to stay a moment more in this prepubescent hellhole. I wish I could say that it was a joy to teach you, but I would be lying. My debt to your father has been paid in full. May your life be as miserable as it can be," Snape said with a sneer and stalked out of the castle.
"Yeah, I'm going to miss you too, you old bat!" Harry called out. He chuckled when Snape flipped him off, never slowing down.
"Harry!" a voice yelled and Harry turned. He saw a laughing redhead running his way. Ron caught up to him, and pounded him on the back, "Oh, that was bloody great! No more Snape, no more Trelawney, no more Sherbert, and no more Binns! When you said it was big, you weren't kidding. It was great! Did you see the looks on the teacher's faces?" he asked with a laugh.
Harry chuckled and said, "I'm glad you enjoyed it."
"HARRY JAMES POTTER!" a voice yelled. Harry and Ron sighed then grimaced. Harry gave Ron a look, and the redhead rolled his eyes. Harry snickered and faced the enraged Hermione.
She stomped up to him, put her hand on her hips, and glared at him. "What do you think you're doing firing those teachers? You should show some respect! They're teachers damnit!" she said with a shout and stamped her foot.
Harry looked at her and scowled. "They may have been teachers, but they weren't very good ones. Name one person who learned anything half way decent in their classes Hermione, and I don't mean you. If you would get your nose out of a book, and look around, you would notice that not everyone is like you. Not everyone lives their life stuck in a book. We actually do other things, have a life. I'm sorry if you don't like it, but that's too damn bad. It's my castle, and I will do with it what I want," Harry said coldly.
Hermione stared at him in shock, then anger. "Why you…you…?"
"Yes, Hermione?" Harry drawled.
"Oooohhh!" she said in a huff. She turned around and stomped away. Harry shook his head, "Merlin, there is more to life than school."
Ron snorted and said, "Says the man who owns one. Does that mean you're going to live here?"
Harry perked up at the comment. "Hey, I hadn't thought about that. Do you think I should take Dumbledore's room?" Harry asked slyly and Ron cracked up.
Mr. Sutton smiled at them. "Well, Harry, if that's all you need of me, I'm off." He handed Harry some papers. "These are copies of the deeds you requested. You do know the Ministry won't be happy about this don't you?"
Harry shrugged. "The Ministry is never happy with me. Let them come. I took care of Voldemort, I can take care of Minister Fudge."
Ron chuckled. "I'd pay to see that."
An hour later, Harry was getting ready to go to the staff room when the castle warned him that Fudge had crossed the wards. Harry quickly grabbed Ron and dragged him along.
"Oi, Harry, whatcha doing?" Ron asked.
"Fudge is on his way here. I just thought you would like to see me deal with him," Harry said with a cheerful grin.
"Bloody hell, yeah!" Ron exclaimed.
Harry walked towards the castle doors and waited. He saw Fudge and Percy walking up the steps, along with some Aurors. Harry smirked and raised his hand. A barrier was thrown up against the doorway and Fudge bounced off.
"Minister Fudge, since this is your first visit since I reclaimed my property, I'll give you one warning. Do not come here again without a prior appointment. Hogwarts is no longer under the Ministry or the Board of Governors control. I own it, lock, stock, and barrel to quote a muggle phrase. As you can see, as owner of the castle, I can stop who ever I don't want from entering the castle. Try to breach my wards again and you won't like the consequences. Trying to take over, or having me killed, will result in the loss of this school. It will lock up tight and disappear. You can do nothing. If you have concerns about my claims, then I suggest you get in contact with my solicitor, Michael Sutton at Golden Eagle Law Firm. He'll be happy to explain everything to you. Now, get yourself and your pet dog off my property," he said with a growl. Harry closed his hand and a light surrounded Fudge and Percy and they disappeared. Harry set the wards to no longer let them in. He had made his point.
Harry looked at the shocked Aurors. "Since you were only doing your jobs, I'll let you go the easy way. Step foot on my property without good reason, and you'll suffer the same fate as Fudge and Percy."
"What did you do to them?" a brave Auror asked.
"I dropped them into the middle of a lake. I wasn't too harsh to them this time, but the next time will be different. This time you've been warned. Good day, gentlemen," Harry said firmly.
Harry and Ron watched as the Aurors walked away. Once they passed beyond the wards, they apparated. Ron was laughing hysterically. "Oh, that was great! Did you see the look on Percy's face?" he exclaimed, tears rolling down his face.
"Percy? How about Fudge?" Harry asked with a snicker and Ron began to laugh harder.
Harry entered the staff room and the teachers looked up at him. He gave them a strained smile and sat down. He sighed deeply and looked at Dumbledore. "Interrogation may now begin," Harry said calmly, his eyes hard.
"Why did you fire the teachers?" Dumbledore asked.
"You know as well as I do that they couldn't teach anything worth while. Snape wanted to leave, but you wouldn't let him. Don't think he didn't tell me about your contract Headmaster. Snape wanted to leave after Voldemort's death, but you refused to let him go. He hated teaching and you knew that. You forced him to stay here; a place that he hated, doing a job that he hated," Harry said with disappointment. He watched as the Headmaster squirmed.
"Trelawney couldn't See her way out of a paper bag, and Sherbert isn't a teacher. He faints at the word Dark Arts, and you expected that man to teach us anything? Binns is a ghost who was stuck in the past, and can't see past the Goblin Wars. Students need to learn more than that, Dumbledore. You were neglecting your duties as a Headmaster and I'm tired of it. If you don't like my changes, you can leave, and I'll find someone else to take your place. You're not irreplaceable," Harry said in a hard tone.
Dumbledore looked old and worn. "Harry, where did we go wrong?" he asked sadly.
Harry stared at Dumbledore, a look of disbelief on his face. "It was when you became more concerned about yourself and your prestige than you did about people and the school. Don't think I've forgotten how you tried to control my life, Dumbledore. You had no concern for me, or my welfare beyond what I could do for you."
Dumbledore frowned slightly as he gazed at Harry. "I care for you, Harry. I always did. I did what I thought what was right."
Harry snorted. "No, Dumbledore, you did what you thought was right for you, no one else. Now, make your decision before I make it for you.
"I would prefer to stay the Headmaster of the school. It's all I have now," Dumbledore said quietly.
"That's fine. I hadn't planned on getting rid of you unless I had to," Harry told him. He turned towards the other teachers, looking them over carefully. Most had looks of disapproval on their faces, but Flitwick seemed to be excited. "Since I'm now owner of the castle that means neither the Ministry nor the Board of Governors have a thing to say with how it's run. There's a vault that was set up by the Founders that will see to the daily expenses of the school and the teachers pay. The school expenses will be gone over by the Golden Eagle Law Firm and the goblins at Gringotts. We will be getting rid of all the extra fees that the Ministry has been taking from this school. That means that teachers will get a raise, the books can be updated, school things can be updated, and new school brooms for Quidditch. Also, since the school is not run by the Ministry, I can hire whoever I want as a teacher. Therefore, Remus Lupin will be back as the DADA teacher." Harry could see smiles and happiness at that news. "The new Potions Mistress has agreed to make the Wolfsbane for him each month."
"The Potion Mistress is Aimee Fabrice from France. She is quite qualified and her personality is pleasant. The History teacher that was chosen is Marcus Alton from London. He is a very cheerful man and should make History class lively. The Divinations teacher is from America. Her name is Mary Evans, no relation. She is stern, but fair. She is also a genuine Seer. The students will actually learn something from her. From what Mr. Sutton tells me, they are all anxious to teach, and will be here on Saturday. They'll be ready to teach by Monday," Harry explained.
"Hagrid, I will also be giving you money to rebuild your cottage. I would give you a room inside the castle, but I have a feeling you're happier outside, near your creatures. You may also build more stables to house your animals as well." The large man gave Harry a blinding smile and Harry chuckled. "I'm also working on getting your name cleared for the Chamber of Secret incident when you were a student. Once that's done, you can get a new wand and you may finish your education if you so choose. This should have been taken care of long ago," Harry said with a glare to Dumbledore.
"You're a good man 'arry! A good man," Hagrid said, tears running down his face.
Harry gave him a smile. "You're my friend Hagrid, I do what I can." Harry turned back to the others in the room. "Are there any questions?"
"Are you going to change anything else?" McGonagall asked.
"You mean with the running of the school? No, not unless I have to. I don't want to disrupt school any more than I have. If you would, I need a list of things that each of your classes need that the Ministry wouldn't let you have. I can't guarantee that you will get everything, but I can try. I want the school to continue to run smoothly. In fact, I want it to run even better than before. This is the place I called home, and I don't want anything to mess it up."
"Do you plan to live here?" Dumbledore asked softly.
"Actually, yes, I think I am. It's mine now, and frankly, I've been dreading leaving Hogwarts. Plus, it's easier for me to keep on eye on things if I'm here."
"What about Minister Fudge?" Sprout inquired.
Harry snickered. "He has already been by, and I have warned him not to cross the wards uninvited. He won't like the consequences. The castle has been warded against outside interference. The castle will disappear if something happens to me. You had better hope that I name an heir before that happens. Now, is there anything else?" he asked looking around. "All right then, I'll take my leave." Harry stood up and walked to the door then stopped.
He turned around and looked at the teachers seriously. "I don't want to ruin Hogwarts, but
some of the teachers needed to go. I've had seven different DADA teachers since I started Hogwarts, and all of them, except for one, were terrible teachers. I had a Potions teacher who did nothing but berate me and others for being alive. I didn't learn anything worthwhile from him. I had a ghost who couldn't teach current affairs, and I had teacher who was always predicting my death. I learned nothing from them, and if you ask most of the other students, they hadn't either."
"I want this school to be known for its education, not for its pathetic teachers. Some of you may think I'm arrogant for doing this, but it needs to be done. I just find it sad that a child, as some of you think of me, has to wind up being the one to make the changes that should've been done a long time ago. You don't have to like me, just do it. If you have a problem with it, let me know, and we can discuss your concerns or you can leave. I won't keep anyone here that doesn't want to be here." With that said Harry left, leaving the thoughtful teachers behind.
Harry walked around the grounds of Hogwarts and smiled contently. He knew that the Ministry would not be happy, and they would try to take control of Hogwarts, but he would be ready. He also knew that some of the teachers weren't happy with him taking control, but once they saw that he didn't plan on changing things too much, they would settle down. For now, though, he was content. He didn't have to leave his home when he graduated. He could stay here and help run the school. He wanted to make Hogwarts a place to be proud of. He wasn't afraid of the fight he felt coming on with the Ministry. He took on Voldemort and defeated him, he could defeat a power-hungry rat just the same.
He watched as the sun sat and the glow reflected off the lake. He heard someone walk up behind him and sighed.
"I never meant to hurt you Harry, or lose your trust," Dumbledore told him quietly.
"Maybe not, but you did. You placed me with a family who didn't care about me, and you never bothered checking up on me. You had me face Voldemort time and time again. You tried to control me by controlling my godfather, and it got him killed. You made me promises then broke them, Dumbledore. How can you expect me to trust you?" Harry faced the Headmaster. "You hired ineffectual teachers, and forced one to stay. You weren't running the school like you cared about it; you were running it to make yourself look good. When Mr. Sutton told me I owned Hogwarts the only thing I could think of was, holy shit," Harry said with a grin and the Headmaster smiled. "The second was that I could finally get rid of the bad teachers. It was one of the first things I made sure of before I had Mr. Sutton draw up a list of candidates."
Harry turned around and continued to walk. "I want this school to be great. I want this school to be the one everyone wants to go to. Haven't you notice the decrease in students over the years? It's because no matter what you say, this school isn't safe. You never looked past the facade of a teacher, you never checked out their backgrounds, you never tested them for polyjuice, or to see if they were lying. You just hired them on the spot and each on of them, except for Sherbert and Lupin, tried to kill me. It's not safe, but it will be."
They walked together in silence. "I think you would make a great Headmaster, Harry," Dumbledore stated.
Harry glanced at him, his expression surprised. "I hadn't thought about being the Headmaster. Maybe someday, but I have a long ways to go before I get there. I would like to trust you again, Dumbledore. You were my mentor and friend before I realized how little I meant to you," Harry whispered sadly.
"Harry, you mean the world to me. I'm an old man and I've failed at many things. I honestly thought I was doing the best for you, but I realize now that I wasn't. I can only apologize, and ask that you give me another chance," Dumbledore told him quietly.
Harry looked at him for a moment. "You get one more chance Dumbledore, only one," Harry said.
Dumbledore nodded in relief, and the two men continued their walk around the grounds. The setting sun cast a red glow over the land and the birds sang in the background. The wind was gentle, swaying the trees and making them whisper. Two men, one old and one young, began anew.