The Guardian of Magic
A lean figure of average height sat comfortably on a majestic arm chair. A roar from the fireplace beside him, ignited with golden-yellow and silver-white flames of magic was the only source of sound and light in the gigantic hall. Reflected by mountains of gold, gems, crowns, silver and rich armor, a dazzling spectrum of light heightened the aura of magic and yet failed to distract the sole living creatures in the hall, the Guardian and his faithful companion.
Vacant emerald eyes were fixed on the wall in front of him, as the man patiently waited. On his shoulder slept a silver-white phoenix, his sole companion in the timeless Hall of Magic. The Guardian - born as Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, the Man Who Vanquished, had come to accept his fate as the Guardian of Magic. He had accepted the mantle, when offered to him, as the only way in which to defeat the Dark Lord who threatened to destroy the very fabric of humanity in his original world. Since then, he had often regretted his choice. Immortality was a bitch, as he often declared to Hedwig the phoenix, especially when it came with the loneliness and responsibilities that being a Guardian brought. However, it also brought many perks.
The Guardian had felt a ripple in Time which in itself was not an unusual occurrence, except this time it was personal. The ripple would allow him to return to the living world, though in a different dimension of reality, in order to restore a balance that had been skewed.
This mostly occurred when the Chosen One of a Prophecy died or was rendered unable to participate in his tasks. As the Guardian of Magic, one of his responsibilities was to make sure that the prophecies ratified by the Fates came to pass. He could do this from his comfortable halls with a subtle push here and there, or he could himself enter the world of mortals and take the place of the person no longer able to fulfill his or her task. Usually, the Guardian plunged into such lives when it was a more personal situation. He had experienced his life in many other realities - some worse than his original, and some immensely better, and now he waited for the opening of the portal that would allow him to move into a dimension of reality.
Silently he stroked Hedwig, as the phoenix woke up with a trill of irritation.
"You don't want to miss the history of the world we're entering, do you girl?" the Guardian asked with a fond smile, which earned him an affectionate trill from the now alert phoenix.
Almost the very next instant, the wall started swirling in a vortex of shadows, swiveling layers of darkness entering inwards. The Guardian lifted a single finger and uttered a single word of power, "Expositus." And the shadows gave way to a whirlpool of colors, swirling to form a clear and distinct image.
The Guardian straightened forward on his plush armchair, which once used to be a magnificent throne of stone and marble. He had transfigured it to something more comfortable and less pretentious when he had accepted his fate from his predecessor. The sudden movement caught the magical bird unawares as she jumped up from his shoulders to the armrest of his chair with a trill of reproach. The guardian chuckled, gently stroking the bird's feathers in silent apology, as he took in the images flashing before him.
He sighed as he saw the self-titled Lord Voldemort enter Godric's Hollow with Peter Pettigrew at his heels. He was past his desire for revenge, having taken it many times already, in different realities. Whilst in the Hall of the Guardian, he had little desire for the base desires of vengeance and hate. He would be entering the portal to merely discharge his responsibilities and take a pleasant breather from his solitary existence. But once inside, his consciousness and essence would merge with the mind and heart of the Harry Potter in that dimension. That would charge the Guardian with the necessary fire to achieve his aims.
He snapped into attention, however, when he saw Voldemort kill not James and Lily Potter but, to his great surprise, Molly Weasley and Alice Longbottom, defending several young babies. The place obviously housed the babies of all those in the Order of the Phoenix. He frowned when an attempt to curse baby Harry backfired on Voldemort, and caused bits of the ceiling to collapse. He smiled when Harry's twin, Leila, caused accidental magic to heal herself and Harry. Beside them, baby Ginny laughed happily and crawled over baby Harry. The Guardian chuckled at that. And finally, he laughed heartily when Albus Dumbledore picked up baby Ron who had fallen from his crib with bruises from the fallen ceiling and declared him to be the Boy Who Lived.
The Guardian's good mood vanished with a flash when the scene shifted to an argument between Arthur Weasley, Frank Longbottom and James Potter. James Potter picked his son tenderly, and walked away to an inner room. The scene shifted to Godric's Hollow a few years later, and the Guardian smiled on seeing a pregnant Lily Potter with three kids around her. Their names came to his head with a mere intent, and he nodded appreciatively. A eleven year old Harry Potter, with his twin sister Leila, and five year old Kyle. With a subtle push, he knew the unborn child in Lily Potter's womb was a girl and would be named Leah. The Potters seemed fond of naming their women with an L.
He watched in silence as Harry Potter shouted at his parents and ran out of the house. Lily Potter tried to follow him but had a seizure. Identifying the first signs of a labor, James Potter instantly took out a portkey and shouting out some orders to a house elf, teleported his wife to St. Mungo's.
The Guardian watched as Harry Potter ran around heedlessly, crying over something. He did a subtle push and sighed. The boy was believed to be a squib and had a tough life, facing much scorn from people outside the family. The boy was unmindful of a snake whom he had just stepped on. The snake hissed in fear and anger, and bit the boy's exposed leg.
The Guardian shook his head as Harry shouted in pain and collapsed, slowly succumbing to the venom. He moved his focus to the other inhabitants of the house - Sirius Black emerged from the floo and was looking after Leila and Kyle. With a start, Harry realized that the godfather he once loved was distant to him because of his being a squib. Still shaking his head, he waved his hand and the images distorted into a swirling mast of shadows. Leaning back, he thought silently for a few seconds and turning to Hedwig, said, "I want you to come as a phoenix this time, Hedwig, regardless of what other restrictions I will face for my own use. I will need you with your full range of abilities, my dear friend."
The phoenix reluctantly trilled a note of acceptance. The more power she took, the more it restricted the Guardian's own abilities.
"Good. So Ron will get what he always wanted, fame and popularity. This is a unique world. Much will be different."
Thinking deeply, he muttered, "Much as I hate to admit it, in some realities, Tom's skills rival my own, especially with the restrictions imposed by the Fates. Metamorphmagus is a must if I want to accomplish anything." He sighed, prompting a trill of annoyance from Hedwig. "Don't give me that, my dear. I want you to be fully functional too. I don't fancy placing too much powers in the hands of a hormone driven young lad. All the power and knowledge of a Guardian, but the emotions and thoughts of a child… You know how I messed up that time… I mean, getting rid of Voldemort is all fine, but Harry Potter converting Hogwarts to his personal harem… though I must say, now that I think about it…"
In response, Hedwig flew away and transformed into a woman of dazzling beauty. She was fairer than the eye could behold with shining silver hair, and she returned to Harry's side.
"Don't! No harem! And you can't be serious about wanting me to retain my Humanimagus form," she said in a melodious voice. "The Fates will be most displeased."
"Yes, yes, I know," he said absently. "But I have the right to take a specified amount of power, and I choose to have you rather than go as a demigod myself, which I could very easily do. I know they have a good reason to prevent a relatively omnipotent being from entering reality as an integral part of it. A bunch of hypocrites." He frowned at Hedwig's amused look. "What? You don't think it is a coincidence that their rules allow a relatively omnipotent being to enter reality only without being an integral part of it, something the Fates alone are entitled to do?"
He closed his eyes momentarily, not noticing Hedwig retransform into a phoenix and take flight. After a few seconds of contemplation, he sighed, "Let's go, girl. The portal is ready to… "
He stopped at the sight in front of him. Hedwig had swooped down to a particular pile of the treasure and had returned with a brilliant silver ring. The Guardian looked at his companion in amazement as his lips curved slowly upwards, two simple words forming in his mouth, "Why not?"
With a start, Harry Potter woke up. It was cold and damp on the ground where he was sleeping. Sleeping? No, he didn't remember going to sleep. Frowning, he rubbed his eyes and sat up with a jolt. Looking at his hands, he turned around and saw a dead snake by his side. He grimaced when he realized how the snake had died, he alone knew the signs left by phoenix claws when attacking a foe in rage. Looking around, he found the phoenix in question sitting on a tree, regarding him with amusement.
"The antiquated beliefs of this world will not be glad to know the relentless manner in which you killed that poor thing, Hedwig. So much for being a creature of the light," he rebuked amusedly. Ignoring the phoenix's indignant trills, he stood up and brushed the dirt off his pants. "So I'm the Guardian of Magic," he said. Then grinning, he added, "Neat! At least I'm not a squib anymore."
Then he shuddered. "Mum," he uttered in horror and ran back to the house. It had been a few hours since he had left, and he could make out several raised voices.
"WHERE IS HE?"
Harry squirmed at the fear that highlighted his mother's voice.
"I WANT MY SON, SIRIUS!" she shouted. "WHAT DO YOU MEAN, YOU FORGOT ABOUT HARRY!"
"Lily," James Potter said anxiously, worried himself for both his son and his wife, but trying to maintain the peace in his house. "Lily, we will find Harry. He can't have gone too far."
"I don't care how far he went," she shouted again. "He should never have left! I should have gone after him, my poor baby!"
Sighing, Harry walked up to them and said, "I'm here, mum." Walking to the distressed woman with a newborn baby in her arms, he hugged her loosely. "I'm sorry I yelled at you. I'm sorry I made you scared." He noticed the surprised looks on everybody's face and ignoring them, he turned to the baby. "Can I hold my new sister?"
In surprise and abject joy, Lily Potter handed the baby to her son and said, "Harry! Where were you! Dolly said you hadn't returned since our argument earlier. I was so worried, young man. I hope you have a good excuse for frightening me like that."
Not answering his mother's question, Harry played with the baby for a minute. Then handing her to his father, he hugged his mother again, burying his head on her shoulder and weeping softly. He was the Guardian, but he was also Harry Potter. "I'm sorry I yelled at you… I'm sorry I ran away… I love you, mum."
"Harry," the woman said, greatly moved by her usually rude and reticent son's sudden show of affection. "What's wrong, sweetheart? What happened?"
Not answering for a while, Harry continued sobbing. He waited until Lily shooed away the rest of the spectators and asked again, "You can tell me. I wont be mad, I promise."
"I wanted to run away when you said I can't go to Hogwarts," he said amidst pitiful sobs. "I ran away."
"Oh, my poor baby," Lily said, feeling her own tears run in sorrow. "How I wish I could make things right for you!"
"I ran away and a snake was going to bite me, I thought I would die," Harry continued, causing his mother's eyes to widen in shock. As she instantly started fussing around her son, he continued "A phoenix made the snake go away. I don't want to leave you, mum. I never want to leave you again."
His words stopped Lily from checking his body for bruises and snake bites, and she kissed his forehead. "You just doomed yourself, young man. You're not putting one step out of my sight from now until you are thirty five.
"Mu-um," he protested in a mock whining, but happily settled in her embrace. They stayed like that for a while.
"H-Harry," Lily said after a few minutes. "There's a strange white bird in the living room, staring at us."
Harry chuckled and turned to the phoenix. "Sorry, girl, didn't mean to ignore you," he managed before the phoenix flew over to his shoulder, "Mum, this is Hedwig. She made the snake go away."
"Hedwig?" the woman asked in bemusement. "Did you name her?"
Harry nodded his head. "She likes it too," he added, turning to Hedwig. "Don't you, girl?"
In response, the phoenix nibbled Harry's ears affectionately. Ignoring Lily's amused reaction, Harry swatted the bird playfully, "It tickles."
After a few minutes of playful bickering, they joined the rest. The newly arrived member of the Human Race, Leah Potter, was the center of attention, though Harry noted that his mother kept glancing at him from time to time. He also noted that Sirius Black shot several guilty looks towards him from beside his wife, Jane, and stepdaughter, Hermione.
With a start, Harry realized that the reason for Sirius' aloofness towards him was his treatment of Hermione, a witch despite being born to muggle parents, while he was a squib. No more. He went to Hermione and sat down next to her, ignoring her startled expression.
"Harry?" she asked curiously.
Repressing a sigh, Harry regretted how rude and hard to get-along he used to be. Even his own twin was staring at him in disbelief. Shaking his head inwardly, Harry said, "Hey Hermione! Isn't Leah the most adorable thing ever?"
The befuddled girl eyed Harry for a few moments in confusion. But on seeing no ulterior motive, she smiled back. "She is! Both she and Dylan are the cutest things ever." Dylan was her brother, born only a year ago. "They'll be best friends when they grow up," she said eagerly.
Like we could have been, the thought remained unsaid. Harry repressed the urge to kick himself on recalling how he had shot down the girl's initial overtures towards friendship. Also, he was saddened that his lack of warmth towards Hermione translated in Leila also keeping herself a bit distant, to show her support to her twin. But he didn't really blame himself or Leila too much. Any squib would feel woefully out of place in a household dominated by the Marauders' foul ways, and he realized that was another reason why he kept a distance from his godfather. The Marauder had taken a special interest in training Leila and Kyle as the successors of the Marauders and only passively included Harry in pranks. Harry shook his head, in this reality he would not have a strong relationship with his godfather. The memories of childhood hurt would see to it.
Getting up, Harry announced, "Everyone! I want to say something." He gazed at the occupants of the room - Lily and James Potter, sitting closely with little Leah in their arms. Leila and Kyle playing with little Dylan. Hermione with a book in her hand and only partly interested in his speech. Jane Black, who had always faced most of Harry's tantrums, looking at him curiously but without any ill-feelings. Sirius Black with a raised eyebrow, and Remus Lupin with a smile.
"I'm sorry for the way I have behaved in the past. I really am," he said. "I've been rude to all of you and unappreciative of how lucky I am. I'm sorry, Hermione, I should have been a better friend and not been jealous of you because I was a squib and you were not. I'm sorry Mrs. Black. I have always treated you badly and…" He stopped when a strong pair of hands fell on his shoulder firmly. He turned to face his father, eyeing him proudly.
"Enough, Harry," his father said firmly. "You were a kid and don't have to apologize for being childish. You're growing up now, and that is enough." He pulled his son to an embrace and whispered, "I'm proud of you, son."
Then Hermione got up and simply said, "Apology accepted. Friends?"
Nodding, Harry hugged her too. "Friends."
Noticing his mother was crying again happily, he cleared his throat in a childish way, which instantly drew many chuckles from around the room. "There is something else I want to say," he said seriously and waited for his family to become silent. "I am a wizard."
There was a heavy silence following his proclamation during which James Potter sighed. "Listen buddy, I can understand how awful it must be for you, but being who you are makes you no different a person than any of us. In fact, I…"
"No, dad," Harry interrupted. "You don't understand. I am a wizard. I can do magic."
Placing his hand on his son's shoulder again, James said sadly but firmly, "Harry, we've been through this several times. The readings done by the Healers when you were five indicated a zero level of magical activity in you. You are a squib, Harry, but you are also my son, and that means more to me than anything else."
Sighing, Harry turned to Hermione. "You read a lot. Don't muggles have magical activity in them?"
In surprise, Hermione nodded slowly. "Everyone, muggle or wizard, has a certain level of magical activity. That is what creates life in the first place. A zero magical activity level should be theoretically impossible, Mr. Potter."
"Yes," Harry agreed happily. "And added to that I did magic today."
"WHAT?" several voices turned to Harry.
Chuckling, Harry pointed at his father's wand and said, "If I'm a squib, you shouldn't worry about me touching that."
Shrugging, James gave his wand to his son and watched in bemusement as Harry waved the wand around and said, "Abracadabra-gog! I want you to be a dog!" and pointed towards Sirius Black. Nothing happened.
Sighing, James said, "Harry, this is enough. You must accept…"
He was interrupted by a strange noise and all eyes turned to Sirius.
"Meeeeow," the Marauder said in disbelief and horror, pointing to his throat. "Meow! Meow! Purr!" Then he turned to Harry and rose an accusing finger. "Meowwww! Meowwww!"
Everyone turned from Sirius to Harry and then back to Sirius, who turned into a dog. The dog tried barking but all that could be heard was, "Meowoof! Meowoof! Purr!" In frustration and confusion, the dog ran around the room and leapt at Harry, who pushed him aside in mock sadness.
"I guess that wasn't the right spell," Harry said in mock dejection. By then Jane had started laughing uproariously and Lily was twittering with amusement. Hermione was staring at Harry in indignation. That ridiculous spell shouldn't have done anything at all. James was simply gobsmacked, staring at his best friend, who was purring pitifully at his son's feet.
"All right! All right!" Harry said and shook his wand at the agitated dog. "Kazzam! Be a man!" and the dog transformed into a man.
"I'm not a cat! I'm not… I can speak again," Sirius looked around in jubilation and turned to Harry with intent. "You! You! You were fantastic!" he said happily, grabbing his godson in an embrace. "And you were right. You are a wizard."
That statement caused another round of uproar among Harry's family, and in all the chaos, nobody noticed an owl flying in through the window. It went straight to Harry.
"Harry," Lily asked in wonder as everyone fell silent. "Is that… is that…"
"My Hogwarts' letter," Harry said happily, pushing it to his mother.
Lily's eyes widened and she hugged her son tightly as tears streamed from her face. "My baby's going to Hogwarts!" she said hysterically. "My baby's going to Hogwarts!"
Patting his mother's back awkwardly, Harry caught his sister's face scowling at him in anger. She glared at him in silence and stormed out of the room.
Nearly ten minutes later, when the fussing had subsided and the Blacks had left along with Remus, and Harry's parents were looking after the needs of their new baby, Harry walked to his sister's room and knocking, entered.
Leila was lying on her bed, her face pressed into the pillow and her fingers clutching the ends of her pillow. Harry had no doubt that she was highly upset over something.
"Leila," he called out, approaching the bed.
"Go away!" she shouted icily.
"Leila, what's wrong?" Harry asked in perplexity. "What did I do?"
"Do you really want to know?" she shouted at him, getting up in a flash. She whacked Harry with her pillow in fury and started crying. She whacked him again and again, and then threw the pillow across the room in frustration.
"Leila," Harry said softly and pulled her to an embrace. "What did I do?"
Sobbing, the dark haired girl squeezed her twin brother tightly. Instead of replying, she rested her head against his chest.
"What's wrong, sis?"
His words made her cry even louder and sniffing, she said, "That's the first time you called me sis in years."
Horrified, Harry stroked her long hair lovingly, and said, "I'm sorry, sis."
"You made up with Hermione, Sirius and Aunt Jane. You told mum you love her and dad. You even held Leah," she said accusingly, tearing out of her brother's arms and slapping him hard. "What about me? Your twin! You ignored me all the time! Even when you got your letter! I can tell when I'm not wanted! I hate you! Go away!" She slapped him again and returned to her bed, crying even more intensely. "I hate you!"
"Leila Potter!" a voice yelled from the doorway and both siblings cringed at the fury in their mother's tone. "Apologize to your brother at once!"
"No, mum," Harry broke in desperately. "Don't make her. She's right." He sat on his sister's bed and touched her arm gently. "I love you, sis. More than anyone else. We're twins! You're the only one who knew how I felt." He pulled her up and she buried her head against him once again. Patting her head gently, he continued, "I even heard you tell mum you wouldn't go to Hogwarts if I couldn't, when we were young. I pretended to hate you so you wouldn't stay back because of me." He paused when Leila looked up suddenly. Leaning forward, he kissed her forehead. "I wanted to speak to you alone, and not in front of everyone else. I love you, sis, we're twins. Don't hate me please," he pleaded sadly.
"I love you too, bro," Leila said after a while, throwing her arms around his neck. "I'm glad you're coming to Hogwarts too. I would hate it without you."
Sighing in relief, Harry caught the smile from his mother as she retreated from the room. Leaning forward, he kissed his sister's forehead again, lingering his lips for a few seconds.
"I have missed you dearly, Lei," Harry said softly and the two siblings smiled at each other. It had been years since Harry used his sister's nickname. "But once I start chasing all the boys that want to be with my beautiful sister, you'll be wishing that I was far, far away!"
"Never," Leila said emphatically. "I don't care about boys. I've got my brother back. Promise me you'll never hurt me like that again."
Harry lowered his eyes, regretting the amount of grief he had caused his sister. Stifling his thoughts, he allowed the Guardian to take charge. Finally, it wasn't the Guardian's intelligence that dictated but rather a brother's guilt, and he said, "I am sorry I allowed my lack of magic to hurt you like this. I promise you, Leila, on my magic and my life, that I'll devote myself to make you happy." He put his hand over her mouth to keep from protesting the seriousness of what he had just done, "I don't care about magic, sis, not anymore. I care about you, Lei. My life is at your service. Please forgive me."
"Harry," she said softly. "You didn't have to do that. I had already forgiven you."
"I had to, Lei. Not for you, for myself," Harry said quietly, kissing her cheek. "I'll do anything you want, anything you need, no questions asked, for the rest of my life. Just don't tell mum and dad about this. They'll be angry."
"So they should be," said Leila, frowning, slapping his head lightly. "You did a stupid thing. You gave someone else full power over your life. At least, it's just me." Leaning forward, she kissed Harry's cheek. "And I love you dearly. Every time I saw you look at me with anger of envy, I felt disgusted at myself for being magical when you were not. I felt as if a part of me had died when you stopped being friendly with me."
"It is I who should be disgusted with myself for treating you like I did, Lei," Harry said quietly. They were both sitting on Leila's bed. Harry's back was to the wall and Leila was crumpled against him, her head below his jaw. Harry tenderly stroked his sister's hair and she held tightly to his arm, as if afraid that he might suddenly disappear. "I missed you so much."
"Enough, Harry," Leila said quietly, kissing the side of his neck. "You were angry and scared and confused. Now you are not, and you are with me. I don't care about what has happened in the past."
Smiling, Harry said, "You are becoming a lot like dad."
"And you, like mum."
They were both interrupted by a chorus of, "Aww!" as Lily and James came up with Kyle behind them.
"Shut up," said Harry and Leila at once, gaining them another set of, "Aww!" and Kyle jumped between his older siblings.
James took a picture of the twins and of the twins with Kyle, and said, "It's been so long since you've done any of your cute twin-things," he said, by way of explanation.
"Cute twin-things?" Harry asked incredulously, but making no effort to let go of his sister. "You honestly didn't say that, dad. I mean, does that even mean anything?"
"Hush," Lily scolded lightly, and both Harry and James squirmed, as she joined her kids on the bed. "My family is healing again." Then looking around, she said, "I suggest a sleepover at Leila's!"
After a couple of hours of joking, laughing and board games, four Potters fell asleep while the fifth feigned to sleep. After another hour had lapsed, Harry Potter got up. Casting a mild charm to keep the family from waking up, he walked to his baby sister's room and cast a charm to keep her warm and cheerful through the night.
Then he disapparated.
The very next instant, he appeared in a dark alley. But not as a eleven year old kid. His appearance was that of someone in his early thirties, not very tall, but of average height. The man was of lean build and dark hair fell to his shoulders - the Guardian of Magic.
"I thought you would never appear," a melodious voice greeted him and a radiant silver haired woman walked into sight. The fairness of her skin and hair glowed like fireflies in the dark. Brushing her hair aside, against the wind, she walked to the Guardian and put her arms around him.
The Guardian greeted his faithful companion with a smile. He kissed her brows lovingly and said, "Night becomes brighter than the day when you're around, my dear. Your beauty grows beyond all measure."
"As does your flattery," the Phoenix said teasingly. She brought a silver ring out from a pocket and handed it to the Guardian, who wore it promptly. "Shall we proceed?"
"To Gringotts first," the Guardian nodded and gave his arm to the Phoenix.
Unlike wizards, goblins worked hard both at day and at night. While at daytime, their main function was to run a bank, at night, they were a civilization of miners, excavating deep within the earth, for not just gold and silver and other precious metals, but also in search of hidden and lost magical artifacts from civilizations long lost.
The Guardian and the Phoenix opened the great white doors of the bank and were instantly surrounded by several spears.
"Who are you and what is your business?" a goblin croaked menacingly.
"My name and business are my own. Ask instead what I would have of you," the Guardian responded without any show of intimidation.
But instead of replying, the goblins stayed silent, their spears still pointing menacingly at the Guardian and the Phoenix. Then one old goblin came running from within, with a walking stick. At his arrival, the other goblins drew back in hesitation and amazement.
"Ragnok," the Guardian greeted the goblin by his title. "Chieftain of the Gringotts Tribe, the hospitality of your halls is lessened of late."
The goblin bowed his head in shame. Looking around, he glared at the goblins who had still got their swords drawn and stammered an explanation, "I beg for your forgiveness, Lord Arkenstone…"
There was an instant ruckus of goblin voices at the proclamation of the title. The Guardian raised his hand and there was instant silence.
"I am aware of the hostilities between wizardkind and goblins," the Guardian said. "But you would do well to remember that I am not an ordinary wizard."
The goblins bowed deeply at the rebuke. Ragnok did something even more, he removed the cloak from around him and placed it at the Guardian's foot.
The Guardian smiled. "I accept your allegiance, Ragnok of Gringotts, but I insist you put your cloak back on, it is a cold evening. By this ring on my finger, I am revealed as the rightful lord of Arkenstone, formerly known as Atlantis, and now as Azkaban. Arkenstone will come under my dominion and provide the promised safe haven to the loyal ones. By your show of fealty, the Gringotts Tribe will be most welcome to dwell and dig in the extensive caverns in the recesses and hills of my land."
Then he beckoned Ragnok closer and said, "To the public, I will have no name, no identity, I will be invisible to all. But I name Harry James Potter heir to the Arkenstone inheritance. He will arrive with his family at Gringotts tomorrow, and you will show the Potters the greatest courtesy. You need not explain to him the true extent of the inheritance, that will be taken care of, but I do want you to impress upon him and his family the wealth and property at his disposal."
The goblin bowed and asked in a troubled way, "But, My Lord, what do I say as to the reasons for this inheritance?"
"Tell them magic has chosen a successor for Arkenstone, and that is Harry Potter. Tell them that Harry Potter was never a squib, his magic had been suppressed by the twin activities of Voldemort and Dumbledore, and magic itself rose to the succor of its wronged child. And above all, tell them to trust none other with this secret."
Soon, the Guardian departed from Gringotts and turned to the Phoenix. "Where are you staying, my dear?"
"In the Forbidden Forest, among the unicorns," she replied melodiously.
The Guardian nodded his head. "Tom will be headed there. See to the safety of the unicorns. Keep your mind open to me, in case…" then noticing the frown on his companion's face, he chuckled. "Dearest Hedwig, always the same. I apologize for assuming you would do otherwise." Leaning forward, he pecked her on the lips and disappeared.