Staring Death in the Eye
People have described his eyes as Avada Kedavra eyes. What if it was real, in the most literal sense of those words? Post OotP, 6th Year AU. Independent! Harry, Harry/Fem! Blaise pairing. (Heir of Founders- Harry). To Hell with Dumbledore.
A/N: To all those reading my story, I've replaced the contents of the previous chapter quite a few days ago. It now contains chapter 1 as well. I guess most people didn't see it. Can't blame you really, seeing as doesn't release email alerts regarding content replacement. To those who have indeed noted it, please go back and read it all the same, as I replaced its content twice. Enjoy the chapter!
Harry searched through the things in his trunk, having not bothered to unpack much. He was looking for the all black dress robes Sirius had forced him to buy. Now, he could only thank him for his insight. While he did not usually care about his image, he did not want to make a poor impression upon the goblins. So much he wished not to make a poor impression, he had actually chucked off his glasses and found the courage to finally drink the eye correction potion Sirius had given him. It was very painful, as Sirius had promised, but it was worth it.
A bee flew in his window and buzzed around his year, annoying him. Turning on the bee, he stared at it hard, willing it to drop dead. Surprisingly, it did. Harry just shrugged and turned back to his search.
Too bad he didn't see himself in the mirror, or he would have noticed his eyes glowing.
Finally finding his dress robes, he hurriedly changed into them. Luckily, he had bought it a few sizes bigger, or else he would never have been able to fit in now, seeing as he had actually hit his growth spurt and grown in ten days.
Given the fact that Harry's fashion sense was close to zero most of the time, he hadn't noticed that the dress robes actually glimmered when caught at the correct angle, giving its wearer an image of etherealness.
Making sure he had his wand, vault key, money bag, invisibility cloak and as a last minute decision, his parents' will, with him, he actually bounded down the stairs to the door. These past few days, the Dursleys had pretty much ignored him, and when he was going out, he hadn't bothered to say goodbye. However, today, he was so excited he actually shouted, "I'm going out now! Bye!" before donning on his cloak.
If it wasn't for the fact that if he jumped, his cloak would have slipped off, thus enabling the Order to see him, he would have skipped down the road to somewhere deserted to call the Knight Bus. He reflected that he was like a child waiting for his parents to wake up so he could open presents on Christmas.
He smiled somewhat evilly under his Cloak. And what a huge present this would be for Dumbledore when he finally finds out I've broken free of his manipulations.
Elsewhere, Blaise had just put the finishing touches to her image. She too was wearing black dress robes, for the ladies of course, and a simply necklace had just been clipped around her neck. Half her dark brown hair was up in an elegant knot, the other half just let free. Her fringe fell at the sides of her face. The full lips curved up in a smirk and her sapphire blue eyes gained a distinct frozen quality.
Today, had finally came. She had waited ten patient days for the death of her parents to quickly blow over, and for the public to cast their eye off her, especially the pureblood society. With Narcissa Malfoy at the helm, many of the rich purebloods had sent owls to ask after her, wondering if there was anything they could do to help, and remarking that she must be grieving.
A few purebloods, who were most surely Death Eaters, even went as far as to outright ask if she was going to follow in her parents' footsteps and join the Dark Lord. She had not replied these letters, and to the rest of them, she had sent a simple "Thank You for your concern. I am fine and I'm sure my parents will be glad to know so many of their friends are worried about their daughter." She had been tempted to put inverted commas on the word 'friends' but had managed to curb it.
She supposed she was lucky, that the Dark Lord himself had not asked after her, but she knew it was only in a matter of time. After all, no doubt the Dark Lord would want the full backing of the Zabini Estate. But who wouldn't? The Zabinis were rich and had power, and many wanted some of it, even purebloods who were already rich. After all, who was going to say no to more money?
Exiting her room, she turned a couple of corridors and descended the great marble staircases. Upon reaching the hall, she snapped her fingers. "Twinky!"
"Is Mistress calling Twinky?"
"I'll be going out for a while. If they are any visitors, just turn them away. Don't bother admitting them."
Blaise Zabini smiled, and with a swift turn, Apparated.
To say he was frustrated was an understatement. Before tapping the bricks that would open to Diagon Alley, he had made sure his bangs hid his scar, and he was still sure. That did not mean that he had been able to blend into the crowd. It wasn't his attire, he was sure, since a few others were also dressed in all black. So what was there left to gawk at?
He inwardly sighed. That was a mystery he was never going to solve. Now though, he narrowed his eyes and cursed the goblins for building their bank so far away from the Leaky Cauldron.
While Harry's instincts had often helped him in battle situations, they weren't helping him now. If they were, he would have noticed that most of the staring people were teenage girls, and once he passed them, they would turn to their friends and start giggling and gossiping.
He started to scale the white marble steps up to Gringotts, and if he looked back, he would have saw a girl going through the exact same situation he had just emerged of shortly, only that it were men who paid attention to her.
Harry emerged into the Gringotts' Lobby and got in line to see the head teller. Around him, he observed the goblins as they measured precious stones and metals using scales Harry himself used when dealing with potion ingredients. Thinking about potions, Harry couldn't resist a scowl. Snape was without doubt, one of the world's most childish adults, seeing as he kept clinging on to his hatred of the Marauders. What was there to hate? Sure, they pranked him and everything, but Harry was willing to bet Snape paid them back somehow as well.
"Next!" pulled him out of his thoughts. Checking to make sure no one was near, he leaned over to whisper to the goblin. "Harry Potter, here regarding his emancipation and the execution of his parents' will."
The goblin looked at him suspiciously and asked, "Identification?" Harry sincerely wished he wasn't talking about showing him his scar. When the goblin saw Harry reaching for his hair, to flip it up, he shook his head and said, "Vault key?"
Harry took it out and laid it out on the counter for the goblin to see.
The goblin grunted and reached for something that looked suspiciously like an ancient telephone behind the counter. He said something in (goblin language) and then put the phone back on his cradle. "Bloshkin's coming up right now. You'll wait for him there." and he pointed a finger at a spot a few feet away from his counter.
Bloshkin did not take long to come up from wherever he had been. He grunted at Harry and then gestured for him to follow. Leading Harry down a corridor, he turned and led Harry down a hallway filled with doors. Stopping at the fourth one down the left, he opened the door and entered, clearly expecting Harry to follow him, which he did.
Gesturing for Harry to sit down, he sat himself behind the desk. "Mr Potter," he bared his teeth, "what can I do for you?"
Harry reached for the will kept within the folds of his robes and slid it across the desk to the goblin. "The execution of my parents' will and I think, if I'm not wrong, also the execution of Sirius Black's will."
Bloshkin turned to pull open a drawer and produced a sheaf of parchments and a pair of spectacles which he placed lightly on his nose, nearing the tip. "I'm not sure of the extent you know regarding your finances Mr Potter, but I can tell you that from your parents' will, which you have no doubt read, they are to be put in the care of your guardian, which is Sirius Black. But since he was sent to Azkaban, control should have been given to the next guardian your parents appointed for you, but it was not.
Instead, Albus Dumbledore stepped in and wrested the position. Thus, your finances were placed in his care. But while they were indeed in his control, that would be handed over to you once you turn seventeen or your guardian deem you mature enough to take control, which ever comes first. I'm not sure if you know it, even though an owl was indeed sent to your residence but the will of Sirius Black has been read, five days earlier in fact."
"An owl was sent?" Harry asked somewhat incredulously.
"Yes it was, but I have no idea if you actually received it, though judging by your reaction, you didn't. The owl however, had returned without the letter it was entrusted with. Nevertheless, the will was read, and I think you yourself have seen a copy of the late Mr Black's will."
"Yes, I have. That was what prompted me to come."
"It so happens Mr Potter, that Mr Black and your father were such good friends that they had actually allowed their different estates to be managed by the same goblin."
Harry raised an eyebrow.
"I have controlled both their estates starting from 20 years ago, and that means that I am both their executors of wills. However, before I had the chance to execute the late Mr Potter's will, Albus Dumbledore had already whisked you away and placed you under wards, meaning I couldn't find you. This is of course, highly illegal. Nevertheless, this time round, I have learnt my lesson regarding Albus Dumbledore, and only released to each of the beneficiaries the parts of the will relevant to them. Albus Dumbledore has no idea of what Sirius Black left to you, and I think never in his wildest dreams would he suspect exactly what."
"Also, there is the problem of the Evans line. Parts of the estate can only be inherited by a male heir, which the late Mrs Potter most definitely wasn't. You, however, will be able to inherit it.
Anyway, the main overview of both wills is that you inherited mostly the entire estate except for a few thousand here and there given to others, as well as 2 million galleons from both wills to be given to one Remus Lupin.
The Potters have 1 family vault, which is placed under high security, three medium security vault which is mostly used to store gold. There is of course, also your own trust vault which you have been using these few years. The Potters have always invested heavily and in many successful businesses. Some of the more well known ones are Madam Spitfire's Apothecary, which had branches worldwide, as well as Nimbus' Fine Brooms. The liquid assets under the name of Potter amount to at least $337 billion. You also have various properties all over the world.
The Blacks have one family vault and similar to the Potters, three other medium security vaults which is also used to store gold. The have few shares in businesses, even after I invested their money over the years, and the liquid assets amount to at least $403 billion. They too have various properties all over the world.
As per Mr Black's will, I have been made aware that the Evans line has not ended as was previously believed and after some strenuous digging, I have found the family file. The Evans line have few shares in businesses, and no goblin manager has been appointed so far. Their liquid assets amount to at least $489 billion, and they have few properties, though that can be remedied." The goblin finally took a breath and looked up at Harry.
Leaning back on his chair, he removed his glasses and put them on the table. "Any questions?" he asked the shell-shocked Harry.
While Sirius had made him aware that the Potters and Evans were very very rich, he had thought it like ten thousand galleons or so rich. He had not thought that they were actually that rich.
He smiled weakly at the goblin and asked, "Those numbers are in Knuts, aren't they?"
The goblin did not share in his joke. Instead, he raised his eyebrows and asked, "Would you like me to convert those galleons into Knuts for you, Mr Potter?"
Harry shook his head, and instead, asked, "What decisions have Dumbledore made when he was in control of my finances anyway?"
"Even though he had control, he could not make decisions without me. I would have to make sure whatever decision he makes is in the benefit of you. That of course means that few decisions have been made, if at all. "
"Okay, I guess. That's all I have to know right?"
"Actually, there's more. How much Mr Potter, do you know about the Wizengamot?"
Harry grimaced. They had been the bane of his existence once, during his underage magic trial, and another time, during Christmas of all times. Why did they have to be so bloody complicated? If they had been easier, Sirius would have let him off quicker! But nooooo he had to study the three different types of people who had votes, and the main factions in the Wizengamot.
"Enough." was all he answered.
"Well, the Potter, Black, and Evans line all hold 2 votes each. That means you control 6 votes in the group commonly referred to as the 'Old Purebloods'. Currently there are 14 lines, not including the Evans line, which is believed to have ended." The goblin leaned forward.
"Six votes Mr Potter is a lot. Many aspiring politicians would kill to have just one, and here I am in the presence of someone who controls six."
Harry blinked and looked away. When he turned his gaze back, they were with a definite frozen quality. "If the goblins are thinking of using me to get to the Wizengamot, they can stop thinking right now."
Bloshkin looked slightly shocked. He had not expected the Boy-who-Lived, rumored to be under Dumbledore's wing, to catch on until he had been baited and reeled in.
"If Binns was useful for anything, it was his passion and love for goblin rebellions. I know what the goblins are thinking and while you may be sly and cunning, I am far from the rash and impulsive child the world knows me as."
Harry stood, and his power was evident in his stature and in the seemingly bottomless pits of his eyes. "I have came a long way and far be it of me to fall under the manipulations of a few goblins," he said scathingly.
"If you would hand over my Family Rings as well as the documents I have to sign to finalize the transfer of control from Dumbledore, not to mention my emancipation papers, I would get going and Gringotts will be spared from my wrath for even daring to think of getting me to sign a blood contract." Harry's eyes narrowed as he spoke of the last statement.
The goblin had leaned back at Harry's show of power, and knew that there was no way Harry Potter would allow the goblins to take control of his votes in the Wizengamot and control them, and if they pressed it … Goblins had survival instincts too you know.
Bloshkin handed Harry three sets of documents, its only difference being the Family Name, for him to sign, confirming that he was indeed the rightful heir and transferring all previous properties to his name.
He also handed him another set of papers to sign, which would confirm his adult status in both the wizarding world and the Muggle world.
Harry sat down once more and without question picked up the long, thin clack quill with an unusually sharp point and started signing.
The goblin was once more surprised. As goblins they didn't have much humour in their life, though most of them found it pleasing to see purebloods go bankrupt since at some point of time, those purebloods had lorded themselves over the goblins.
They too took pleasure in watching unknowing people take up the black quill and dip it in ink and start signing. Not Harry Potter though. He had known exactly what the quill did as he had took it up and start signing away, without dipping his quill in ink. He had not even flinched when the quill cut into the back of his writing hand. Not even certain purebloods who had known what they were dealing with could act that composed.
Harry paused in his signing, and looked at the goblin, still sitted across the desk. "Aren't you going to collect my Family Rings?" He raised an eyebrow.
Bloshkin hurriedly got up, and excused himself.
Arriving at the chamber commonly known among goblins as the Chamber of Rings, he spotted his fellow colleague, Ginttung.
Ginttung and he had been in the same predicament. Ordered by their boss, they had been told of the circumstances their respective clients were in and were told to trick them into signing a blood contract stating that their votes in the Wizengamot be transferred to their goblin manager.
At Ginttung's dejected look, he too had not had much luck.
Bloshkin sighed. How were they going to answer to their boss?
Blaise could not believe the nerve of certain people. Don't they know it's rude to stare? However, she was a Pureblood, and she was not going to act like some common coward and attempt to shy away from attention.
Instead, she strode forward purposefully, and confidently. She hitched up her long robe slightly to not trip over them, and started to walk up the white marble steps to Gringotts.
Walking past the open doors, she made sure to keep her eyes averted and not to read the goblin inscription upon the walls. People cast the spell on them as they read it. Clever bit of magic really, but it made stealing easy for those who knew its magic.
Not noticing the Boy-who-Lived who was just leaving with another goblin, she asked for the head teller's assistance in locating the account manager for the Zabini family. Blaise's eyes narrowed at the definite scheming gleam in the goblin, though when the goblin looked back, her face was impassive as ever.
"Ginttung will be coming up shortly. Wait there." and he pointed at the exact same spot he had directed Harry too.
Blaise frowned, but otherwise did not show any reaction. Ginttung came up and showed the exact attitude Bloshkin had showed Harry.
When Blaise was showed to Ginttung's office, she sat down without asking, and without wasting time, said, "Hand over my emancipation papers as well as the documents to finalize my position as Heiress of the Zabini, Kirk and Tambre lines and I'll be gone."
She glanced at her watch, signaling she was in a rush and wanted everything to be settled quickly.
Ginttung handed over the needed documents obediently. As Blaise picked up the blood quill and started signing, something her father had told her about, she still kept an eye on her goblin manager. She wasn't about to trust those cunning creatures anytime soon.
Ginttung narrowed his eyes. It wasn't going to plan. The Zabini heiress was supposed to start asking all sorts of questions about her estate, as well as the Kirk and Tambre lines.
When she had owled ahead of time, telling Ginttung about how she had been related to the other two lines as well, Ginttung had not believed her. If she had been, why was it that her father had not claimed those lines.
Only after directing him to her great uncle's will, Ginttung had believed her.
Her great uncle had been related to the two lines, and in his will, he had given the two estates, along with the titles, to the 'child of his nephew'. Which happened to be her.
The goblin after having discovered this, had rushed to inform his boss, where he found his good friend and fellow account manager, Bloshkin, there as well.
The two had been in the same predicament, and they had been ordered by their boss to trick the young and unknowing heirs into signing over their votes to the Wizengamot. Ginttung had lamented to his friend that Bloshkin had the easier job, seeing as he was supposed to be tricking a Gryffindor. Slytherins were more cunning.
Bloshkin had just shrugged and told him that both were 16 year olds who most likely had no idea what their estate included. He eyed the young heiress and soon-to-be Lady in front of him. She seemed to know her stuff.
Well, let's see. The sly goblin thought.
"Miss Zabini, as you probably very well know, the Zabini estate includes various shares in businesses, including Borgin's and Burkes, and every other shop in Knockturn Alley, seeing as you own the title deed. The Zabini's liquid assets amount to $311 billion, galleons of course, and also have various properties all over the world. You have four medium security vaults, I family vault and one trust vault I believe you have been using for your schooling.
The Kirk line has only 3 medium security vaults, and 1 family vault as well. Your liquid assets amount to at least $497 billion galleons, and you have few shares in businesses, I understand they were quite secretive. They too have few properties and no goblin manager as their line was thought to have ended with the death of your great uncle. However, this has been rectified, and I am currently the goblin manager. The Tambres too have few shares in businesses, preferring to keep their money in their vaults. Their liquid assets amount to at least $402 billion galleons and have various properties all over the world.
All three lines are part of the 'Old Purebloods' and all three are entitled to two votes each, total six. I have no doubt that Miss Zabini you are in perfect understanding of the Wizengamot votes you hold but seeing as I have been in charge of the Zabini family estate for so long, pardon me for being concerned about what you are going to do with the votes."
He leaned back. "A child has no business in politics."
Blaise paused and looked up at the goblin. "And you have no business in my life. If you would please get my Family Rings?"
Ginttung hurriedly excused himself and outside, he sighed. He wondered if Bloshkin had better luck.
Harry handed the signed documents to Bloshkin and snatched up the box holding his Family Rings. Without another word he left the office, only to meet a certain Blaise Zabini heading out the office directly across his.
Looking at the box she cradled almost protectively just below her chest, she seemed surprised as she eyed the triple line Heir. "Potter? Fancy meeting you here."
Harry couldn't help but wonder if it had been Malfoy standing in front of him right now, would he whip out his wand and start cursing?
"Zabini," he acknowledged. "So sorry to hear about your parents, is there anything I can do for you?" Harry asked, managing to put a sliver of sincerity in his words. Too bad the sarcasm outweighed it though.
A cold smile graced her lips. "If you would consider popping champagne for me something, then yes." and she turned and swept down the hallway, disappearing around a corner. Harry slowly smirked before following.
I wonder what type of an ally Zabini would make.
To say Blaise was shocked as she eyed Potter. Only the long exercises of hiding her emotions turned the shock to outward surprise. She shouldn't be really. After all, even if Potter was a half-blood, his father was born of one of the richest and wealthiest families.
"Potter? Fancy meeting you here." she said, and wondered how the rash and impulsive Gryffindor, or as he was known to be, would react. Besides, if it was Malfoy here, he would have no doubt whipped out his wand and started cursing away.
"Zabini." Potter said, and then asked, "So sorry to hear about your parents, is there anything I can do for you?" if a Slytherin had said that to her, she would have blasted him into the next century. But Potter wasn't a Slytherin, and managed to sound a little sincere.
So she just smiled her cold smile and said, "If you would consider popping champagne for me something, they yes." and she turned to disappear down the hallway, fighting the urge to see if Potter was looking.
With luck, he got her hint.
The above story is written by daght-lote. All characters are taken from Harry Potter, which is written by the esteemed author J.K. Rowling. As the character Blaise Zabini is almost never mentioned in PS, COS, POA, GOF, and OOTP, save for during said person's sorting, whether daght-lote wants to make her a boy or a girl is strictly her business.