Co-written with Stormypup
Disclaimer: Harry Potter and company belong to JKR and all the various businesses that now have a greedy share of the profits and own control over the character names and likenesses. This sadly means we make nothing from this except our own enjoyment...and possibly yours too!
Warning: This story will contain m/m relationships mainly between Severus Snape and Harry Potter. If this offends, I apologize.
A/N: Written for Round 5--Royalty & Nobility at thematic hp: Harry doesn't know that he's royal. He also doesn't know that one of the teachers at Hogwarts is his bodyguard.
I'm posting both the prologue and chapter one today because I will be gone for the rest of the weekend so enjoy!
Beta'd by Rakina
"You must understand me, Thelonious. We have to leave, but if you disappear too..."
Thelonious kept his head bowed. His knees ached, but he didn't dare stand. He could sense the eyes of the only onlooker boring into the back of his head in sheer disbelief. "I understand, my lord."
Strong fingers curled in his lank hair, and Thelonious shuddered. "Do you?"
"Yes. I swear."
"Swear on your magic, Thelonious, or I will not believe you."
The dark haired man raised his eyes to meet striking green and extended his hand, clasping his king's.
"Do you swear on your blood and the blood of your descendants, Thelonious Prince, that you shall protect my family in any way possible, now and down through the next generations, even if it results in your own death."
Thelonious' fingers curled tightly around Carlisle's hand. They were no longer king and steward; they were the two little boys who had befriended each other at the tender age of six, who swore they'd do anything for the other. "Yes."
A shot of glowing orange flame surrounded their hands from Helena's wand and it tingled beneath the surface of his skin, before vanishing. Hands still clasped Thelonious waited for more demands to be made of him, but none ever were.
Harry couldn't wait to get out of the Dursleys' house. As soon as he was seventeen he was leaving and never going back. His things were all packed: everything he owned, which wasn't much, was shoved into his trunk. When he was seventeen he could do all the magic he wanted, and the first order of business would be casting a featherweight charm on his trunk.
At the stroke of midnight Harry stood and grabbed hold of his trunk, preparing to activate the Portkey that would take him to the Burrow. But before he had a chance to do so, a goblin appeared, holding a sheaf of paper.
"Now then, you are one Harry James Potter, are you not?" the goblin asked.
Harry lowered his wand, but didn't pocket it. "Yes?"
The goblin looked at the topmost piece of paper and began to read. "In accordance with the laws of inheritance, Harry James Potter shall inherit the wealth of the family Potter, kept in Gringotts Bank until the aforementioned Harry James Potter reached the age of his majority. Please sign at the X's here, here and here," the goblin said, shoving the papers into Harry's hands before producing a quill.
Harry took the quill after a moment's hesitation and scrawled his name where indicated. The scroll vanished immediately, startling him.
"Thank you, sir." The goblin adjusted his vest and looked ready to leave, but Harry had so many questions.
"Where is it now, if it's not in Gringotts?"
The goblin looked at him speculatively. "The Potter Manor."
"Good day, Mr. Potter."
"Wait!" Harry cried, reaching out for the goblin. "I don't know where that is!"
The creature gave an annoyed huff. Snapping his fingers, the scroll that had just vanished returned. "Read it this time."
Harry took the scroll and opened it, reading it very carefully. He had no idea what was going on, but he wasn't going to blow it by not reading the fine print.
His eyes swept over the neat print, widening at points when it outlined just how much gold was now in his parents' vault and the Black vault combined, before finally reading the clause talking about land. He scanned the numerous properties and then: "Where's Breyvath County?"
He briefly contemplated that this might be a work of Voldemort, but why would the Dark Lord care about his financial gain?
"You are Harry James Potter?" the goblin asked again, studying Harry carefully.
"Yes, but...look, just tell me where it is."
"It is Unplottable so I cannot give you precise directions. But as far as rumors have it the county is in the Southeastern portion of Scotland and was owned exclusively by your family. Why don't you know this?"
"Nobody bothered to tell me," Harry said, staring at the parchment. "So this other stuff, at Gringotts, I can just use the key I've got already?"
"Of course, it's all been transferred to your vault."
Harry handed him back the scroll feeling faint. "Thanks, I think."
"Good day, Mr. Potter," the goblin said, before disappearing with a crack.
Harry sat down heavily on the bed. "Inheritance? Potter manor? What the hell is going on?" he muttered. The Weasleys were expecting him to show up despite the fact it was the middle of the night. He could figure this all out there. With any luck, Hermione would be there already as well.
Still shaking his head, Harry rose to his feet, grabbed his trunk, and activated the Portkey.
Mrs. Weasley patted his cheek the moment he could stand up straight again. He would have preferred the Floo system rather than a Portkey which dropped him on the ground every time. "Happy Birthday, dear."
Ron was sniggering over Mrs. Weasley's shoulder and Harry glared at him. "Come on, mate, your bed's all made up in my room," Ron told him, still grinning.
"Harry, can I get you anything? Are you hungry?" Mrs. Weasley asked, already fussing over him.
"No, I'm fine, thank you," Harry said, smiling at the Weasley matriarch.
"Alright then, if you're sure, go on up to bed, and don't forget – you'll both be getting up early tomorrow! Hermione will be arriving early as well, and I need you to be awake and ready."
"Can't forget, you keep reminding us," Ron muttered. "Come on, Harry."
Harry grinned and gave Mrs. Weasley a soft goodnight as he and Ron took to the stairs.
"What are we doing in the morning?"
"Mum's on a cleaning spree for the wedding. We've got to get the yard perfect and the house perfect and everything bloody perfect for them."
Harry snorted. "You sound so happy for Bill and Fleur."
"I am happy for them, I'm just not happy about being a ruddy House Elf until then," Ron groused, opening the door to his cramped room. Harry shoved his trunk to the foot of his bed.
"Ron, listen, I've got to go to Gringotts tomorrow, do you think your mum will mind?"
"She'll smother you and insist someone, not me, goes with you. You know my mum."
Harry grinned and nodded. "I thought as much. Actually, is Hedwig here yet? I'd like to send an owl to Remus to see if he can come with me. I want to ask him some questions anyway." Harry didn't know why he wasn't just blurting it all out to Ron, but he wanted to sort it out first. And he didn't want to rub it in Ron's face that he might be even richer than he thought.
"Yeah, she showed up about an hour ago. Can't this wait until morning though?"
"Not really," Harry said. "I want him to be able to answer by morning, and I'm not sure where he is, so I don't know how long it will take. So I figured if I get it sent off tonight he'll get it sooner."
"All right then, but don't expect me to still be awake after you've sent it," Ron warned as he crawled into bed.
Harry smiled. "Thanks for the warning. I'll make sure to make as much noise as possible when I come back in."
"Prat," Ron said good naturedly, rolling onto his side.
The smile was gone from Harry's face as soon as he left the room. This whole business with an inheritance made no sense to him at all. He'd inherited all of his parents stuff already hadn't he? He figured if anyone would know what it was all about, that person was Lupin.
He headed down towards the kitchen and went out into the backyard and called for Hedwig.
Hedwig came swooping down from a nearby tree and landed on Harry's outstretched arm. "Good to see you, girl," Harry said, stroking her downy feathers. "I need you to deliver a letter for me, but I thought you might like a bit of a treat first," he said, carrying her back into the kitchen.
Hedwig, who had moved to perch herself on his shoulder, nipped at his ear in an affectionate manner. Harry reached up, stroking her white plumage. He blundered about Molly's kitchen, finding a bit of food left over from the Weasleys' dinner and held it up to Hedwig to take.
She hopped to the back of a chair and waited while Harry wrote the note to Remus.
A goblin from Gringotts came to visit me tonight. He told me that I had inherited the family fortune and Potter Manor and a bunch of other stuff. Do you have any idea of what he was talking about? I thought since you knew my parents, you might know. I'm supposed to go to the bank tomorrow to check my vault, and if you can get away, I was hoping you could come with me. Please send a reply back with Hedwig letting me know.
He folded the note and sighed. "Take this to Remus, would you Hedwig?"
She hooted, took the letter, and took off, flying out the open window in the kitchen. Harry slumped back in the chair and stared up at the ceiling.
It was all probably some ploy of the remaining Death Eaters to draw him out into the open. What else could it be? If there was a manor house somewhere and vaults full of money someone would have told him by now.
Sighing, he made his way upstairs and shucked off his clothes before crawling into bed. Ron's snoring was oddly comforting as he drifted off to sleep.