A/N: There are a few translations for the words in Latin and other languages used in this chapter at the end of the story so that you know some of the definitions and meanings of a few names I chose. Thank you all for the reviews, and I hope you like this chapter.
Spells don't kill people, people kill people
"A man's home is his castle. At least that's how it seems when he pays taxes on it."
Harry awoke with a start. He knew by the huge bed he was in that he wasn't at the Dursley's. After a few moments of apprehension he remembered that he was at Potter Manor, and that he was safe. He had spent most of the night before making the necessary repairs to accommodate himself and his group of bodyguards. The house elves had been a great help. The manor had a couple of dozen of them and they were very eager to please and happy to have work after many years without a master in the house.
The manor house was huge. The grounds of the property were several times larger than Hogwarts' grounds. The dining room was larger than the Great Hall. The sheer size of the house and grounds made Harry feel quite small. The portraits greeted him with enthusiasm, since they were all his relatives, even if they had never before met. He found the library on the fourth floor, and knew Hermione would have a field day in it. The sheer size of the library meant it could put Hogwarts' library to shame.
He tried to put those thoughts aside, since he would not be able to meet his friends until the end of the summer. He missed them very much, but he was also worried what their reactions would be to his meddling in the Wizarding world's politics. They were too reliant on Dumbledore's influence for his comfort.He reached for the robe the elves had put aside for him to wear at breakfast. On the right breast of the beautiful black velvet robe sat the Potter crest, embellished with a wand on its right side. Below the Potter crest four other, smaller, crests rested. He recognized that one of the crests was that of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black (also embellished with the wand on the right side), but the other three emblems consisted of only the crests with no wand. Wondering what would this mean in political terms in the Wizarding world he called for Tippy, his personal elf (as he had been informed the night before). "Tippy," he said while snapping his fingers as he was instructed the previous evening. A second passed and a loud pop sounded to his right. He turned, only to be confronted by the most hilarious scene he had ever seen. His dignified head house elf had its head inside what looked like a sock with holes for the eyes, and wore an all black robe that was tight for his small frame and hugged him like a second skin. "What in Merlin's name… Tippy what is going on?" he asked, after he successfully stopped laughing. "Master, we've seen the great wizards that help the great master. They all wear this so I decided to try this uniform, to see if I can be of more service to you, master." The small house elf seemed hopeful that the new uniform would help him serve Harry better and his eyes were wet with unshed tears of joy for getting the clothes right. It seemed that he had seen the bodyguards in some sort of training and decided that all Harry's employees should wear similar garments. "Tippy, you should wear the usual uniform that you all wear. I'm very satisfied with you wearing those." "Yes, master. Thank you. The others weren't very happy with the new clothes. As soon as the new clothes are ready they will use it." The Potter elves wore proper uniforms and spoke proper English, a tradition that dated to before Harry's grandfather's time. He was a kind wizard even if bound by the old traditions of elf slavery; he always wanted to keep the elves as inconspicuous as one could with small magical creatures. He enjoyed freaking out the other pureblood families by presenting their elves in the most luxurious clothes while serving others, while the other pure blooded families continued to let the elves use nothing but pillowcases. The elves were provided with a healthy income for work expenses, including the purchase of their uniforms. The elves all knew that the uniforms were part of working at Potter manor, and did not consider them to be the type of clothes that would dismiss them from service.
"Good." Harry was suddenly very relieved. He wouldn't be able to stop laughing if all his house elves wore ninja outfits.
"Now let's see. The reason that I called you is to know if you can tell me what these crests on my robes mean." he asked as he interlaced his fingers, reflecting his pensive mood.
"Master Potter, these are the houses that owe you allegiance. Those with the wand to the right are the ones that you are the Family Head; those without it are the houses that owe you fealty by an oath of vassalage." The elf seemed a bit off after he said that and Harry noticed.
"What is it, Tippy?" He was suddenly worried he had done something to upset the small creature.
"Nothing, Master. Tippy is very ashamed that I presumed to teach master in wizarding politics and blood oaths." He hung his head in the most abject manner he could muster being the Head House Elf.
"Don't be upset. You did me a service by telling me, and I dare say that I'd rather you always explain things to me so that my understanding of the wizarding world may get better in time. I know you served my father and grandfather so you should have a lot of useful information for me. Thank you."
"Thank you, master. I also served your great grandfather. I will abide by your wishes." He smiled to his master.
"Do you know these houses that owe me allegiance?"
"Yes master, the day you accepted the mantle of Head of House they sent to your Head House Elf, me, their Oath of Vassalage. I have those documents filed with your other family documents." As he said this he reached into nothingness and retrieved what Harry deduced were the Oaths.
"The Houses are Black, Strauch, Calmar and Tasten. They are all pureblood families of great importance. The house of Black is the most important but since you are the Head of House and the sole survivor of that House it is of little matter to you. The others owe you their obedience." The small house elf had an instructor expression on his little face; he was fully concentrating on the parchments that he was examining.
"In the main study there is a replica of the crests, and if you touch it you will see the current Head of House for each Family," finished Tippy.
"Great. I'll go there right now and check it out." As he stood to go to the study, he heard the soft pop indicating that Tippy had gone to resume his chores. He then headed straight to the study to see what the small Head Elf had mentioned.
When he reached the study he realized that he hadn't known where the study was, but seemed to know automatically how to get there. He made a mental note to try and find out how was this possible.
The master study was enormous. Huge book cases were displayed on both sides of a great desk made of a black wood he did not recognize. The chair was more like a throne than a desk chair. Behind the chair were the crests the elf had mentioned as well as something else Harry had never seen: the Potter family tree.
He stretched his arm holding his wand until it touched the Black crest. The crest enlarged itself and then black lustrous letters appeared, hovering in the air:
Lord Harry James Potter Black
Harry was interested in what the other crests would tell him, so he waited for the letters to fade and repeated his actions on the second crest. The crest enlarged and he read:
Scott Matthew Strauch
"Wissen ist Macht"
He guessed that what was appearing under the name was the family's motto, and they were obviously in the language of the family's origin. He made another mental note to find the meanings of all the mottoes.
Touching the third and fourth crests he got the following responses:
David Trey Tasten
"Le Pouvoir corrompt. Le pouvoir absolue corrompt absolument."
Adam Cadman Calmar
"Gehorsam ist Glückseligkeit"
He shrugged since the only useful information it gave him was the first name of the Head of the families that were supposed to owe him allegiance.
The huge Potter crest was there above the others. He decided to touch it to find out what his family motto was. As he touched the crest, a blinding light came from his wand and then his name appeared and under it a phrase.
Lord Harry James Potter Black
"virtus est res solus unus quisnam teneo vos es vereor"
Harry frowned since he was sure that his family motto would be in English. He dismissed his concerns once he remembered that Hogwarts' own motto was in Latin. He shrugged and left the study; today was going to be a busy day. He wondered how the old coot had received the news of the Wizengamot. He went straight to the fireplace; he had to get in touch with the Minister and tell the incompetent puppet to schedule an auction for the items the Ministry had seized with his new law against known supporters of Voldemort. He intended to buy everything, especially Malfoy Manor. He intended to do something outrageous with the Malfoy ancestral home (at least Draco and Lucius would think so).
Dumbledore was absolutely flabbergasted. How the Wizengamot had voted him out in a single session was beyond belief. The fact that he had received the news by owl was outrageous. The news that the cause of all of this was his supposed attack on the Goblins, destroying the credibility of the Wizengamot, was simply absurd. He would get in touch with his supporters on the Wizarding High Court and try to undo this. Certainly this had been some maneuver Fudge had concocted and manipulated Harry into agreement with. There must be a way to circumvent this. The Wizengamot must have done something wrong.
He was still seated with the parchment in his hands when his deputy headmistress entered his office. He was so completely absorbed by the enormity of this situation that he did not hear Professor McGonagall asking him what was wrong. After she asked him what the problem was for the fourth time, she decided that he was in some kind of trance and fire-called Madam Pomfrey so that he could get the medical attention he surely needed. After the Medi-Witch had cast all the diagnostic spells she knew on the old Headmaster, they decided that he might be under the influence of a potion. They immediately called Severus Snape, Hogwarts' potions master. After a few minutes he came in.
"What seems to be the problem?" He drawled.
"Severus, can't you see that the Headmaster is in some kind of trance? He may have been drugged with a potion and could now in great trouble. Please help us wake him." McGonagall almost screamed at the potions master.
"Calm yourself, professor. Have you tested for known concoctions used for mind control and deep sleep?"
After a smirk from both he knew that they were right. If something had put the Headmaster in this state, it was probably a very strong potion. Those strong potions only he and the Headmaster would be able to detect. He took the old man's pulse and was disturbed to find that the pulse was regular. Almost all potions strong enough to cause this sort of reaction had a severe effect on the subject's heartbeat.
Snape began to wonder if the Headmaster was in shock and not a victim of a potion as he had first thought. He noticed the piece of parchment in Dumbledore's hands and reached for it.
It was the notes of the meeting of the Wizengamot, along with a notice to the Headmaster that he had been removed as Head of the Wizengamot, and instructing him to refrain himself from presenting himself as their representative. Severus Snape froze in place. The only one with enough power to pull something like this off would be Voldemort, but he had heard nothing about any plans to this effect. What had caused something like this to happen to the most powerful wizard in Wizarding Britain? He wondered if he was still safe from the Dark Lord under the protection of this man who was obviously losing power in the Wizarding world.
After a few minutes passed he felt a nudge, and turned to see two very concerned witches. He had completely forgotten that Poppy and Minerva were there with him and since he had probably been frozen in shock for more than a few minutes, he decided to explain.
"Madam Pomfrey, Minerva, the Headmaster is in shock from this correspondence he received. As you probably noticed I was frozen in shocked as well. Brace yourselves, this is most disturbing news indeed."
At this both witches suddenly looked nervous. Minerva didn't know if she was more nervous by the description Snape had given them or that he used her first name, something he had never done before.
"Come, Severus, speak up. Surely this couldn't be that bad."
He smirked and drawled his answer.
"Sure it wouldn't be as serious as the Headmaster loosing his position as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot…"
Both witches smiled at the potion's master antics. That was something they didn't even imagined, but it was as impossible as a dragon being hired as seeker for the Chudley Cannons. After a moment they noticed that he was not smiling, so they figured it was something about the Headmaster position in the Wizengamot, but surely it couldn't be the loss of his office.
"Severus, I'd be very grateful to you if you didn't fidget around with the information. What in Merlin's name happened?" a frantic McGonagall asked.
"Yes, that was what happened. He was booted. He got the pink slip. He was fired. He was asked to leave. His job was terminated." He finished his own recitation with a sigh.
"Oh my god! How has this happened!" Madam Pomfrey was the first to recover from the shock.
"Not a clue. All they said was that he had lost his position as Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot and that now the former Secretary General has that position. He has also been forbidden to present himself as a representative of the Wizengamot in any place."
Had anyone entered the Headmaster's office just then, they would have seen two witches and two wizards in what appeared to be a collective state of catatonia.
The flames of the floo network were very strong and red, after asking why this was different from the other floo connections he saw he was explained that this connection had defense curses and that was what made the colors red instead of green. He had just contacted his solicitors and custodian about the Malfoy assets, and was very pleased to learn that the face value of their assets had lost almost ninety-two percent after the seizure. He was going to destroy the Malfoys the muggle way and it was not going to cost very much to do it.
"Minister for Magic." After saying these words he threw the floo powder into the fire.
"Yes, Lord Black, what can I do for you?"
"Cornelius, I want you to schedule a public auction of the assets you confiscated with the new law. I want it to be within the next week; I intend to buy everything."
"That will be a good sum! Especially the Malfoy assets as they are estimated at over 120 million galleons"
"Actually my custodian estimates their assets at about sixteen million galleons. You know how it is, with the Prophet saying that everything they have is evil, and that all these companies are siding with Voldemort…"
"I see. Very well I'll do what you ask of me. Have a good day, Lord Black."
"You too, Minister." With that, he closed the connection.
Satisfied with himself, he decided to get some sleep and wait for Kyle Verzinsel, the proprietor of Magical Innovations, to arrive. He had received the floo call earlier making the appointment, and he was looking forward to it.
As he was going to the master bedroom he noticed Hedwig flying in his direction with a red envelope in its talon and a very annoyed expression on her face. It seemed someone had sent him a howler and his owl didn't seem to agree he needed to receive one. He smiled in spite of the annoying wizarding mail.
As he reached for the envelope the red letter suddenly became pink with its red tinge fading smoothly.
"What happened?" He said to no one in particular, but as soon as these words left his mouth a soft pop was heard from behind him and an answer was provided.
"Master, the Manor has some very powerful and ancient protections, and it covers howlers. Whenever you receive a howler it will simply be lessened in its annoyance. You will hear as if someone talked to you on a clear voice but only the recipient of the letter is able to hear it."
"This is brilliant! I could get a fortune if I sold these charms to Hogwarts students. Just kidding." He said quickly, when he noticed the elf was taking him literally.
"What kind of protection spell was made to do this? I don't see why a howler is any kind of threat."
"One of you ancestors, your great, great, great, great grandfather I think, was on the cover of a witch magazine when he decided to marry. After thirteen-hundred howlers he decided to do something about it."
Harry laughed so hard that he fell on the floor. Even after ten minutes, he was still snickering at the memory of his elf's expression as he related the tale of the former Lord Potter and his fans.
He turned his attention to the former Howler, and was instantly very annoyed since he recognized the voice of one of his supposed 'best' friends:
"HARRY JAMES POTTER, HOW COULD YOU PUT EVERYBODY IN DANGER? DON'T YOU KNOW THAT THE HEADMASTER KNOWS BEST! WHAT HE SAYS GOES! DON'T BE A SPOILED BRAT AND KEEP THROWING YOUR MONEY TO MAKE WAVES IN WHAT COULD BE A VERY DANGEROUS SITUATION. YOU KNOW WE LOVE YOU BUT YOU CAN'T EXPECT TO DISREGARD DUMBLEDORE AND NOT RECEIVE ANY REPRISAL. HE IS THE BASTION OF LIGHT; HE IS THE LEADER OF THE ORDER. YOU MUST LISTEN TO HIM. GET IN TOUCH THIS MINUTE WITH DUMBLEDORE ASKING HIM TO FORGIVE YOU AND TO GET YOU SO THAT YOU CAN BE PUT SOMEWHERE SAFE. HERMIONE."
When the letter finished reading itself it ripped itself up like any other Howler. Harry was very annoyed with the letter, but then he decided not to dwell on it. He had more important things to care about than what a child, even one as bright as Hermione, said. He shrugged and simply decided that as punishment he would only get in touch with Ron and Hermione when they were back in school.
He decided it was time he prepared for the rest of his summer. He contacted his custodian and asked for the best researchers in the magical community. He told him to make sure and hire the best – he needed information and money was no object. Shortly thereafter, Harry was requesting information magical education. As soon as he got the results, he read them, and between the recommendations made by the researchers, and those of several of his employees about where he could get the best education that money could provide, he determined that, for Transfiguration at least, Hogwarts was the best choice because of Professor Dumbledore. Although he had not wanted to return to Hogwarts, he did want to work with the best. Suddenly, he had an epiphany. He would convince the board of Governors to let him have tutors while in school and would also contact his solicitors to determine if any old Wizarding laws would benefit him while at Hogwarts, since he was the Head of his House. Maybe he would have enough time to study the other subjects this summer. He would have to travel but that didn't matter to him. Maybe it would even be fun; he had never traveled outside Britain.
Harry decided to ask his custodian to help prepare for a learning trip immediately after the auction of all of the seized assets of the Death Eaters. He knew the man would know where he should go and which people he needed to meet. After several consultations with his custodian he had the names of several prominent figures in the magical world. The most important wizard in the transfiguration field was Dumbledore, who was seconded by his deputy headmistress Professor McGonagall, so he resigned himself to the inevitable: he would indeed have to go back to Hogwarts if he wanted to get the best education he could have.
He decided that he would learn whatever he could in this summer with the best in their fields out of the country and during the school year he would learn what he needed from the teachers that were already teaching in Hogwarts. He could at least revise what he already learned in the summer.
Other than the transfiguration teachers, Hogwarts lacked the quality of professors Harry's money could provide him access to. With that in mind he decided to hire the best of the best to tutor him, so he could reach the level of the greatest wizards in the world.
He started planning his travels based on the list of masters he had compiled. The potions master was called Huang He Shang, a great wizard from China. He had made breakthroughs in the field of Potions that were beyond the wildest dreams of most potions masters, but he did not teach anyone other than his own apprentices. The charms master was named Rahotep, a well-known Egyptian wizard who taught at the most famous magical graduate school in Egypt. The Dark Arts master was known as Abelone Birthe and he was as the Dark Arts teacher at the most elite school in Europe; Hekserier Magisk Skolen, the location of which is only known by their Alumni. The History of Magic master was a Vampire named Danut Mihai. He taught in the same school. Jackson Jace was known as the best at Magical Business Administration. He was a former Slytherin that taught on a private basis only. There was something about a type of magic that use the body as a focus instead of the wand and the teacher was a Japanese wizard named Daichi Katashi Nori, who taught at the Sora Ryo Susumo Magical School. The last prospective instructor listed was an American witch named Kady Stonewater. Her area of expertise was Interchange which was a subject offered only at Salem Witches' Institute on a trial basis. It taught the interaction of muggle technology and magic, as well as everything related to it. He was lucky the Institute had just opened its doors for wizards this summer; prior to the last year only witches were allowed in.
Harry was excited about planning his trip, so he fire-called his advisors and arranged to meet with them on the day of the auction. After all, that would kill two birds with one stone.
"What do you mean!" Voldemort asked in a deceptively meek voice to one of his Death Eaters.
"Master, it says so in the paper. Is it true? Are you a Half-blood?"
Voldemort didn't believed his ears the first time but there was no mistake when he heard it the second time. He swiftly picked his wand and cast his signature spell:
As the green light rushed toward its target several gasps were heard from his other followers. He distributed the Cruciatus curse as if he were giving candy to children, but he usually didn't use the killing curse on his followers. The reason was that his strength was in their numbers and if he started killing his followers soon it would get more and more difficult to recruit new Death Eaters. This last batch was already very small and the quality of the recruits simply was not the same. They usually ran at the first sign of trouble and knew only the most basic spells a Death Eater should know - the AK and the Cruciatus - other then the usual spells learned at school.
"Let all know that this is the destiny of all who believe and spread such lies." Lord Voldemort said in his deadliest voice.
"Yes, master," they echoed in unison as their master finished speaking.
"I want a group to attack this publication's office. You four, go there and kill them all." He pointed to the four highest ranking Death Eaters in front of him. They rushed to do his bidding.
Edward was finishing the last touches of the next edition of the Prophet when he heard the faint sound of battle from outside. As he rushed outside he was passed by almost two dozen security wizards that were there for the newspaper's protection. Harry Potter, the owner, had insisted in reinforcing the already large security detail of the most famous Wizarding newspaper. The twelve-man force had been increased by another two dozen making the building one of the most secure buildings in the Wizarding world with nearly forty security wizards.
When he finally reached the door, he saw scorches on both the door and the front of the building, but other than that there was almost no damage. The four men involved in the attack had been killed almost instantly by the security force. The only thing Edward could see was a very smug chief of security waiting for him with his arms folded.
"So, Mr. Edward, is everything ok?"
"Sure thing. Make sure nobody messes with the scene, I want our reporters to take pictures before we fix it. Ok?"
"Ok. You heard the man," he said, as he motioned for two men to flank the remains and another two men to flank the scorches.
The new editor of the Daily Prophet smiled as he was entering the building. How in Merlin's name had his boss guessed Voldemort would do this? He didn't really care. All he cared was that he was in the winning side. He would have to send an owl to his boss to relate the new development of the war.
The week flew by. Harry had made some astounding discoveries about the manor. It seemed that the whole Potter estate had a spell on it that provided the head of house with information about where everyone was located inside of it, as well as a complete knowledge of every part of the estate and the location of anything inside its boundaries. Harry found that he knew where all the secret passages were and he also knew how find anyone within the grounds just by thinking about them.
At the beginning of the week of the auction, Lord Black, or Lord Potter as he preferred to be called, had already gotten in touch with almost all the magical schools he wanted to visit while on his trip. All the schools were very exited about accommodating him. He was even more excited to be able to visit the different schools after realizing that they were eager for him to visit. He had very discreetly mentioned that he was going to Hogwarts only to receive further instruction in Transfiguration and that he would welcome any other teaching that these schools could offer.
He was particularly interested in the Hekserier Magisk Skolen, which he now knew to be in Norway. Everyone he had spoken to declared that it was better than any other magical school, although they also pointed out that it was extremely expensive and only a select few were invited to attend, since the school was about one-tenth the size of Hogwarts. What impressed him the most was that in the small list of the masters of magic his researchers had put together, this school had two of their professors on it. Even though one of the subjects was Magical History, he still was excited, for one of the reports he received mentioned that this subject focused more on the history of magic itself rather than the history of the magical world, and part of what was taught was a group of ancient spells. The teacher of the class was a Vampire who was supposed to be very, very old. It would be very nice to actually stay awake during a History class.
The day of the auction finally arrived. Harry couldn't believe how much he had achieved in the last few days. All that he had left to do was destroy the Malfoys by buying up their former assets, and then he could take off on his trip around the globe. He was sure that after he came back he would have accumulated enough magical knowledge to put Voldemort, Dumbledore, and any other nosy wizard in their place.
Black Family Motto Translation – Always pure;
Strauch Family Motto Translation – Knowledge is power;
Tasten Family Motto Translation – Power corrupts, absolute power corrupts absolutely;
Calmar Family Motto Translation – Obedience is Bliss;
Potter Family Motto Translation - Courage is being the only one who knows you're afraid;
Sora Ryo Susumo Magical School – Magical School of Excellent Advancement in the Sky;
Hekserier magisk skolen – Sorcerers Magical School
Thanks for the correction I received by the native speakers reviewers that shed some light of knowledge on the translations which I had done thru an online translator. I'll mention them in the next chapter since I don't have their names here.