Chapter One: What Dumbledore Didn't Want Them To Know
Ginny rolled over. A minute later, she flipped onto her other side. She just couldn't seem to fall asleep. She turned over, yet again, and glared at her alarm clock. 1:05 AM.
'What was that? That sounded like it came from the kitchen,' Ginny thought, and climbed out of bed.
Her curiosity aroused, Ginny crept slowly out of her room and down the stairs. 'Wait...Was that Professor Dumbledore's voice? But why would he be here the night we got home from school? Is he here for Order business?'
Ginny had made it to the second story landing, and, peering around the wall into the kitchen, she could just see her professor's back. She carefully lowered one end of her extendable ear into the room.
Dumbledore was saying, "Harry must stay at the Dursley's for the entire summer. I fear that if he comes here, the bond between him and Ginny will activate."
'What bond is he talking about?' Ginny was confused.
"But you told us that you were using a love potion on him, and as long as he believed himself in love with another girl then that couldn't happen?" Arthur said.
'No way! Harry's crush on Cho was because of a love potion!? Wow! And I thought my love life was complicated.'
"Alas, it would have, but he grew suspicious of his feelings for Miss Chang, and he secretly brewed the antidote to a love potion. In part because his feelings for Ginevra had begun to grow several months before I gave him the first dose of the potion."
Ginny's eyes widened. 'His feelings for me? What is this…an alternate reality? Harry couldn't…could he?'
"You never told us the prophecy, Albus. Are you certain that it refers to Ginny?" Molly asked in desperation.
'They can't mean the one that broke in the Department of Mysteries. That was only about Harry and Tom.'
Dumbledore sighed, "I am afraid that it is quite clear."
Dumbledore pulled a small stone basin from his pocket, and enlarged it. Then he placed his wand to his temple, and pulled out a long silvery memory. He lowered it into the pensieve and stirred it once with his wand. An image of Professor Trelawney rose from the misty liquid.
It spoke, The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…Born to those who have thrice defied him, Born as the seventh month dies…And the Dark Lord will mark the him as his equal, But he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives...This Power shall be his love…She will be one of seven, yet the only one…Faithful when others doubt, Faithful when faith is torture…She shall be the only one to know his pain…Bound by their love, Their love will save all…The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies.
The image sank back into the mist and Dumbledore replaced the memory in his head.
"The prophecy clearly refers to Harry, as he was born on July 31 and Voldemort marked him with his scar. The references to your daughter are simple enough to follow. She is your seventh child, and the only girl. She was faithful last year despite Umbridge torturing her for it. Ginevra was also the only other person besides him who has actually been in Voldemort's mind therefore she is 'the only one to know his pain'. The connection began the day they met at King's Cross, and it grows stronger every year. If we do not act now, I fear that it will activate, I have already had to distract Harry from her, and I won't be able to again."
"What did you tell Harry about the prophecy?" Molly asked.
"I had to tell him the fake prophecy that I made in order to appease his curiosity. Thankfully I gave the ministry the same version that I showed him. Apparently they label the prophecies, and, had the label referred to three people, he would have known that the prophecy I showed him was a fake," Dumbledore said quite calmly.
Ginny knew then that Dumbledore had just ensured that Harry would never trust him again. 'Harry is going to be furious when he finds out that the prophecy was a fake.'
Her mother began to speak, so Ginny began to pay attention again. "B-but Albus, what are we going to do about Ginny. You said yourself that Harry's feelings are getting stronger. If the love potion won't be able to distract Harry any longer then what can we do to prevent them from bonding?"
Dumbledore sighed, knowing that Molly Weasley was not going to like what he was about to say. "You must send Ginny to Beauxbatons this year. When she is seventeen we will bring them together again to activate the bond and tell them the true prophecy."
Ginny's face turned red. 'They are talking about sending me to a foreign country for school to keep me and Harry apart. They aren't even going to let us have a say in it. I'm definitely not going to let them do that. After all, it is my life and Harry's that they are messing with.'
A plan began to form in the red-head's mind. An evil smirk appeared on her face.
Arthur spoke up again, "I suppose we must. She is far too young for marriage. We will send her to Beauxbatons."
Her eyes went wide. 'Okay…so the bond is actually a marriage bond.'
"Good," Dumbledore said, "Now I must take my leave of you. I have to intercept an owl that's going to Harry tonight. Gringotts will keep sending him letters about his inheritance, despite his never responding. If he knew the truth of it, then I fear that he would run away. Now that Ginevra will be gone, it worries me more. I would not be surprised if he left and took her with him if he found out."
'Why would Gringotts keep sending him letters?' she wondered.
"What are you taking about?" Molly asked.
"He has four vaults at Gringotts: the trust fund vault (that he uses), the Potter family vault, the Gryffindor vault, and the Black family vault which he has just inherited from Sirius. He also owns four homes: Grimmauld Place, Potter Manor, Godric's Hollow, and Gryffindor Castle. No one has been able to enter Gryffindor Castle in about five hundred years though. It has such strong protections that only an heir of Gryffindor in spirit as well as family line can enter the castle, but I do believe that he can do it, though the last man to try died from the attempt. After all, he did pull the Sword of Gryffindor out of the Sorting Hat."
'NO WAY! Harry has four vaults! And is the heir of GRYFFINDOR!' She slid down the wall into a sitting position in shock.
"Yes, he is the only living heir of Godric Gryffindor. Rather a bitter irony isn't it: Gryffindor's heir must defeat Gryffindor's ex-best friend, Slytherin's heir?"
'Yeah, I'll say!' she thought to herself.
Dumbledore smiled benevolently and said goodbye.
As he left, Ginny snuck back up to her room, and lay down in bed, pretending to sleep. A few minutes later her parents checked up on her.
"Do you think she'll forgive us when she hears the prophecy?" her mother asked.
'Not bloody likely!' she thought furiously. 'Don't they know anything about Marriage Bonds? I mean, they should, after all they have five different books on them.'
Arthur sighed, "I hope so. We're only doing it for her." They softly closed the door and went to their bedroom.
'How can keeping us apart help? When the Bond is activated, our powers will grow. We'll need time to train and figure out exactly what we're capable of with that much power. Especially since we'll need every advantage we can get in order to defeat Tom.'
After about an hour, Ginny got up and crept into the hall to listen her parents' door. She waited until she heard her mother's wheezing snores, and her father's foghorn ones before going into action.
She slipped back into her room, thankful for the first time that the twins had moved into the flat above their shop. They were always light sleepers, on the alert for anything that could possibly be used as blackmail.
She got dressed except for putting on her shoes, and pulled her hair into a ponytail, securing her long bangs with a couple of hair pins. She went to her desk and wrote a short note to her parents.
Dear Mum and Dad,
I heard everything last night. I cannot believe that after this past year you are still treating us like children. I deserve some say in my future, and since you weren't giving me that courtesy, then I won't give you any say in it.
Do us all a favor and learn about the Marriage Bond. Maybe then you'll understand that what we're doing is for the best.
By the time you read this, Harry and I will be gone. Don't bother looking, because you won't find us.
We will keep in touch.
She also wrote down the prophecy before she forgot it, and slipped it into her pocket.
She piled everything she planned to take, onto her bed. This included all of her clothes that still fit, all of her shoes (not that she had very many), all of her books, games (wizard's chess, gobstones, exploding snap, etc.), prank items, jewelry (again, not much), potions ingredients, cauldron, ink, quills, and parchment.
Then, with a wave of her wand, she was packed. It was a little known fact that the ministry was only able to trace magic by location, and since there were adult wizards here, and no one saw her do magic, she couldn't get into trouble.
"Shrink," she whispered, causing her trunk to shrink until it was only about an inch long.
Hermione had placed a charm on it so no matter what she placed in it, it would never be full, and she had cast charms to make it shrink whenever she said 'shrink' and enlarge when she said 'grow'.
Ginny slipped her trunk into her pocket, and snuck downstairs to make some sandwiches. She knew enough from living with six brothers to make quite a few. She also grabbed some of her mom's chocolate biscuits, and a couple of bottles of butterbeer. She re-grew her trunk and packed the food on top. She quietly put on her trainers and went outside.
It was already 3 AM so she didn't have a lot of time to get to Harry before dawn.
She put on her disillusionment cloak, courtesy of the twins, and grabbed her Cleensweep. She climbed onto her broom, activated the cloak by pressing a button on the clasp, and took off for Surrey.
At night, she was as good as invisible.
Thankfully she had been to Mrs. Figg's house before, and knew that Harry lived near the batty old squib, so that's where she headed. It was a quarter to five when she arrived at Privet Drive.
She landed in the back yard and re-illusioned herself.
"Where is the damaged window frame that Fred said was Harry's?" she muttered to herself. Once she saw the damage, she was surprised that it had been so hard to spot. The place where the bars had been bolted was damaged beyond repair.
Ginny looked under the hedges for some pebbles to throw at Harry's window to get his attention.
- - -
Harry was having the worst summer of his life, which really was saying a lot, as his summers were usually the stuff of nightmares.
He hadn't been able to get any real rest between dreams of old snake-face, and Sirius falling through the veil. He could only hope that Voldemort was having the same problems getting any rest.
He rolled over, yet again, but he just couldn't sleep. It was nearly 5 AM, which meant that the sun would soon be up, and so would the Dursley's. Harry wondered if he should just give up on getting any rest.
He suddenly heard a clatter come from his window. That didn't sound like Hedwig. He jumped out of bed and opened the window to see what it was.
'Ginny!' He'd never been happier to see anyone in his life. He motioned towards the back door, and she nodded her head.
Half a minute later, he was opening the back door. "Hang on," he whispered, remembering the ministry pamphlet. "You have to prove that it's really you, and not a death eater in disguise."
Ginny sighed, rolling her eyes, and said, "I am the only person besides Dumbledore, who knows that the basilisk in the Chamber bit your arm, and Fawkes healed you."
Harry grinned, and then, to Ginny's surprise, he crushed her in a hug that rivaled her mother's.
Harry pulled back from her, and led her upstairs to his room, careful to miss the creaky step. There, they could whisper without fear of the Dursleys walking in.
"What are you doing here, Gin?" he asked. He ran a hand through his messy hair that looked as though it hadn't been washed in the past week. He looked pale and his hands were shaking.
Ginny sighed and said, "I can't explain here. You need to pack your things and then we'll go somewhere where we can talk."
He nodded and popped up the loose floorboard by his bed. He pulled out his photo album, the Marauders' Map, invisibility cloak, and some packages of snacks from the train.
"We'll put everything in my trunk. We can fit more in, and shrink the trunk thanks to Hermione's charms," Ginny said, pulling it out of her pocket. "Grow," she whispered, and her trunk went back to normal.
She quickly unlocked it and began to pack all of Harry's things. "Grab everything but the rags that your relatives make you wear." She snorted. "They certainly don't qualify as clothes."
Harry chuckled under his breath. He kept casting glances at the younger girl. Ever since the love potion had stopped working last week, he'd been hard-pressed to keep his eyes off of her.
The last thing he handed her was Hedwig's cage, which was empty because she was hunting. "Will this fit in your trunk, as well," he asked.
"Yeah, no problem," she muttered, and placed it next to the stack of clothes. She finally placed the food and drinks on top, and closed the trunk. "Shrink."
Harry led her back past the Dursleys' bedrooms, down the stairs, and through the kitchen to the backyard. They slipped out the back door, Ginny wearing her disillusionment cloak, and Harry wearing her spare. They climbed onto their brooms and flew away.
Thankfully Mundungus Fletcher was on watch duty that night, and not Mad-Eye, otherwise they would have been spotted. It was a decision that Dumbledore would later regret, especially knowing about Harry's invisibility cloak.
"Do you know someplace where we can talk without fear of being found and overheard?" Ginny asked.
Harry nodded. "Follow me," he whispered. He led her to an abandoned house on the edge of town.
Ginny glanced around, making sure that no one was looking and pulled a pin out of her hair and picked the lock. Harry kept lookout, it wouldn't do for someone to see a door open and close for no reason.
"Aha," she muttered. "Come one." She grabbed his arm and pulled him into the dusty, musty smelling house. The scent of cats was strong in the air, reminding Harry of Mrs. Figg's house.
She swiftly re-grew her trunk and handed him a sandwich. "You're much to skinny," Ginny complained, channeling her mother. She then began to explain what she had overheard.
"I couldn't sleep last night, and around one in the morning I heard Dumbledore. Me being, well, me, I slipped downstairs, and listened to their conversation using an extendable ear.
Harry grinned. "Can't tell that you take after the twins, nope, not at all," he said sarcastically, and grabbed a second sandwich.
"Dumbledore has been lying to you about a lot of important things."
"Like what?" Harry asked in confusion around his egg salad sandwich.
Ginny gave him a wry grin. "What do you know about your inheritance?"
"Not much," he said in confusion. "I only know about my vault. Why?"
"That's what I was afraid of. Dumbledore's been stealing the letters that Gringotts has been sending. You have four vaults," she explained, "and four homes. There's your trust fund vault which is what you've been using, the Potter family vault. The Black family vault." Ginny looked sad as Harry stared at his shoes. "And lastly, the Gryffindor vault."
"Wait! You mean that when Dumbledore said 'only a true Gryffindor could have pulled the sword from the hat', he was speaking literally!"
"Wow," Harry said, shell-shocked. "What about the homes you mentioned?"
Ginny smiled softly. "Well, there's Grimmauld Place," Harry paled, "Potter Manor," his eyes widened, "Godric's Hollow," he paled even more, "and Gryffindor Castle."
Gobsmacked was too mild a term for the look on his face.
"From the sounds of it, your wealth makes the Malfoys and Blacks, put together, look like paupers." Ginny nudged Harry's arm to get his attention. "There's more, but before I continue, you had better start eating again," she said, giving him a knowing look.
He began to eat a third sandwich. He hadn't eaten anything the day before.
Ginny continued her tale. "Dumbledore also told you a fake prophecy. The true one is," she pulled a slip of paper out of her pocket, "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…Born to those who have thrice defied him, Born as the seventh month dies…And the Dark Lord will mark the him as his equal, But he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives...This Power shall be his love…She will be one of seven, yet the only one…Faithful when others doubt, Faithful when faith is torture…She shall be the only one to know his pain…Bound by their love, Their love will save all…The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies."
Harry went over it, line by line. "The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…Born to those who have thrice defied him, Born as the seventh month dies…My parents defied him three times, and I was born on July 31. And the Dark Lord will mark him as his equal, That's my scar. But he will have power the Dark Lord knows not…Dumbledore says that it's love. And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives...That explains itself. This Power shall be his love…Which is apparently how he knew what my power was. The fake prophecy didn't have that line. She will be one of seven, yet the only one…You must be the 'love' that was mentioned. You are one of seven children but the only girl. Faithful when others doubt, Faithful when faith is torture…You've never turned against me. Ron did during the Tri-Wizard Tournament. And Hermione, well, she'd trust a book over me. She shall be the only one to know his pain…You were also once possessed by Voldemort. Bound by their love, Their love will save all…Okay…that must mean some sort of magical bonding. I'm not sure what. Love is my supposed power that Voldemort doesn't know, so that must be what'll save us in the end. The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies. This line is just repeated from earlier. Did I get everything?" he asked Ginny.
She nodded. "What made you think that the prophecy referred to me?"
"Erm," Harry began to blush. "You mean besides the whole 'one of seven, yet the only one' line?"
"Is there another reason?" she asked blushing.
"I like you…a lot," Harry whispered. After a long awkward moment, Harry asked, "I can't see you running away for the sole purpose of telling me about Dumbledore's lies, so what else was said?"
Ginny turned red in anger. "They want to send me to Beauxbatons to keep us apart. You were right; I am, apparently, the girl in the prophecy. They didn't want the bond to 'activate'," she made quotation marks with her fingers, "because it's apparently some sort of marriage bond and they think we're too young." She blushed. "Once it's activated, our powers will start to grow, and we'll need training time to get used to it."
"But that's just stupid," Harry said, beginning to pace. "We need to get rid of Voldemort as soon as possible, to prevent more casualties. To do that, we need to be ready. They're doing the same thing to us that the ministry did at Hogwarts. They think that we're too young to know this stuff, to learn to fight to protect ourselves." He shook his head in frustration. "What's your plan?" he asked, a Marauders' style smirk appearing on his face.
"What makes you think that I have one?" Ginny asked, though her smile gave away the fact that she did indeed have a plan.
"Come on, Gin. You and I both know that if you didn't have a plan, you would have told me everything in my room, and not made me pack my things." Harry grinned wider.
"You know me too well! You're right," she said. "I do have a plan, but I feel bad because we'd be using your money to do it."
"Who cares about that? It's only money…besides, it's not as if I don't have enough of it," he muttered.
"Okay then," Ginny said, "Here's the plan…"
- - -
Harry and Ginny took a muggle bus to the London bus stop closest to the Leaky Cauldron. Harry was thankful that he had exchanged some gold for Muggle money the last time he was at the bank. He knew it would be good to have some on hand in case of an emergency.
Once they arrived in London, they were pleased to find that it was only eight o'clock.
They ducked into a nearby alley, and Harry pulled his invisibility cloak out of his pocket. They had taken it out of the trunk before leaving the abandoned house.
Harry pulled it over them both. They slipped into the Leaky Cauldron behind an old witch that happened to be passing by.
They took off the cloak when they were at the entrance to Diagon Alley, and pulled out some cloaks from the trunk. The pair put them, on and pulled the hoods up to hide their faces.
They quickly moved through the Alley and toward Gringotts.
When they entered the bank, Harry led Ginny to the information desk where he asked, "Excuse me, but is Griphook in today?"
The goblin looked up from the ledger he was writing in. Surprise was clearly written on his face. No one had ever asked to speak to a specific goblin before.
"Yes," he said in a creaky voice before calling, "Griphook!"
Harry saw a familiar looking goblin come up to them and ask, "How can I help you today?"
"Well, Griphook, I have some business that I would like to discuss with you. Is there someplace private where we could talk?" Harry asked.
"Follow me," was all the response that they got.
They were led down a wide marble corridor and into an office the size of Courtroom Ten at the Ministry of Magic. Once the door was shut, Harry and Ginny lowered their hoods.
Harry smiled at the goblin and said, "Griphook, I was recently informed that I have four vaults here. Is this true?"
Griphook had been shocked when Harry revealed himself, but was far more surprised after hearing the question. "Of course you do…You mean you never received our letters notifying you of your inheritance?" he said, stunned.
Harry and Ginny exchanged glances. "No, I didn't," he said.
Griphook sighed in frustration. "Your parents left instructions that you were to be told about the vaults within a year of turning eleven. We waited to send you a letter about them until the summer after your first year at Hogwarts, but you never responded. Your trustee is Albus Dumbledore. He was to have control of your finances until you signed papers stating that you were informed of your vaults, and all investments. Then you were to take control for yourself."
"I have reason to believe," Harry said, "that Dumbledore has been intercepting my mail from you. Can I possibly see some bank statements from the time he became trustee of my accounts until now?"
"Of course, Mr. Potter, I'll be back in a moment." Griphook hopped off of his chair and hurried out the door. A minute later he came back with a small stack of parchment which he placed in front of Harry.
Harry looked at the first sheet. "Could you explain this to me, Griphook? I'm not entirely sure what I'm looking at."
The goblin pointed at a column, "That column is the dates of the transactions, the next is the transaction itself, and the third is the balance as of that day."
The goblin said, "This statement shows gold being placed into Minister Fudge's campaign vault starting in 1982."
"What!" Harry yelled. "Is Fudge still receiving money from my account?"
"Yes. Originally, your father had been backing Madam Bone's campaign, but after his death Dumbledore transferred the funds to Fudge."
"I read in The Prophet that Fudge is being removed from office, is that true?" Harry asked.
Griphook nodded. "Madam Bones and Madam Umbridge are running against each other. Fudge wants your financial support to go to Madam Umbridge, but Dumbledore has not agreed to anything yet."
"Well, I want to support Madam Bones. Can I do that, even though I'm not seventeen yet?"
"Due to your trustee's gross negligence…" Griphook said.
"What negligence?" Ginny asked in confusion.
"Supporting Minister Fudge was gross negligence in my opinion," Griphook said with a bloodthirsty grin, his eyes sparkling. "Anyway, due to his negligence, I hereby authorize your receiving of the Gryffindor-Potter Signet Ring." Griphook showed them a gold and ruby ring with the crest of a Phoenix on the left side of a shield and Griffin on the right side. He continued, "Placing this ring on your finger signifies your emancipation and acceptance of all the rights and responsibilities of the Head of the Potter-Gryffindor Family. Do you accept?" the goblin asked.
"Yes," Harry said, sliding the ring on.
Griphook continued, "Due to your emancipation, I hereby authorize your receiving of the Black Signet Ring." This ring was gold with a black stone in it, and the crest was of a rearing Unicorn. "Placing this ring on your finger signifies your emancipation and acceptance of all the rights and responsibilities of the Head of the Black Family. Do you accept?"
"Yes." Harry looked at the ring in confusion. "Why does the Black family ring have a Unicorn on it? Aren't they a predominantly Dark family?"
"They are now," Griphook explained, "but Toujours Pur means 'Always Pure'. When they made it the family motto they weren't talking about blood. They meant 'Always Pure' of heart. The majority of the family has turned dark since then but there's a real Black in every generation. Sirius Black was one of them."
"You know that Sirius was innocent!" Harry was shocked.
"Your parent's left a letter with us that said that Pettigrew was the Secret Keeper not Mr. Black. Unfortunately, the Ministry doesn't trust goblins, and Madam Umbridge wouldn't accept the letter. She said it was a forgery and that we sided with Voldemort." Griphook snorted in disgust.
"Now I'd better inform you of the details of your inheritance," the goblin said. "You have four vaults: your trust fund vault which you have been using, the Potter family vault, the Black family vault which you just inherited, and Gryffindor's vault. Please sign this parchment," Griphook slid piece of parchment in front of Harry, "for our confirmation that you've been informed of them."
Harry quickly signed.
"You have four pieces of property: Potter Manor in northern England, the cottage at Godric's Hollow in Scotland, the Black family home at 12 Grimmauld Place in London, and Gryffindor Castle in Scotland. Please note that no one has entered the castle, apart from the house elves, in five hundred and twelve years. Also, the Black family home is under the Fidelius Charm, but I don't know who the Secret Keeper is. The cottage at Godric's Hollow was destroyed, but, as per our contract with your grandfather (which stated that in the event that the home was damaged or destroyed it was to be returned to its original state); as such, it has been rebuilt. Please sign this parchment, confirming that I have informed you of all of your properties and their restrictions," Griphook said, handing Harry another sheet of parchment.
The goblin continued, "Your grandfather invested in The Daily Prophet, Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor, and Baggin's Bookshop in Hogsmeade. Your father invested in the Firebolt Company, Zonko's Joke Shop, and Gambol & Japes Joke Shop. Lastly, you yourself have invested in Weasleys' Wizard Wheezes. I find it amusing that both you and your father invested in joke shops."
Griphook didn't seem amused to Harry, but then again, how exactly was one to tell when a goblin was amused.
"Your investments in The Daily Prophet, Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor, Baggin's Bookshop, the Firebolt Company, and Weasley Wizard Wheezes are all gaining huge dividends. Zonko's Joke Shop and Gambol & Japes Joke Shop are doing poorly."
"Did my father know the owners of those two shops?" Harry asked. He wanted to withdraw his investments in them, but not at the expense of insulting a friend of his father's.
"No, he simply wanted to invest in jokes," the goblin replied.
"In that case," Harry said, "I'd like to withdraw my investments in them."
"Very well. Sign here, here, and here. The first parchment is for the withdrawal of your funds from those two shops as well as Fudge's campaign funds. The second is to approve your contribution to Madam Bones' campaign. The third parchment is the confirmation that you have been informed of your investments."
Harry signed the papers, and asked, "Is that all I needed to be informed about?"
"Yes," Griphook said, smiling, and picking up the parchments. "Would you like to go to your vaults now, Lord Potter?"
"Yes, please," said Harry, smiling.
Griphook hopped down from his chair. "Excuse me. I'll be back in a moment to take you to your vaults. I have to file these parchments first."
A few minutes later, he was back and leading them through a different door than the one they had entered. Rather than going through the lobby, they directly entered the caverns.
"This door," Griphook explained, "is for those customers who value their privacy. I believe I am correct in assuming that you are one of them."
"Yes, you are," Harry said.
A cart arrived and the three entered it.
"On my first visit here you told Hagrid that the carts only had one speed. Is that true or can you make it go faster?"
Griphook grinned evilly. "Hagrid is such fun to toy with. I can make it faster if you wish it."
"Ginny?" Harry said.
"I'm all for speed," Ginny said, grinning in a way that would make Fred and George proud.
Their first stop was the Potter family vault.
"Place your hand on the door, and it will open if you are a Potter. Friends may be keyed in to access your vault if they place a hand on the door with you. Upon death, anyone you have keyed in will automatically be removed unless they are your heir."
Harry walked up to the door, and grabbed Ginny's right hand in his left. He placed both of their right hands on the door, and it opened.
"Now you can access my vault even if I'm not here," he said. Ginny stared at him in shock. Harry grinned at her. "I trust you. Now come on, we have a lot to do today."
The two entered the vault and began to look around. The first thing they spotted was a mahogany entryway table sitting in the middle of the room.
They walked up to it, and began to look at what was on it.
Harry noticed that one of the items was a letter addressed to him.
October 1, 1981
If you are reading this, then Peter betrayed us and we are dead. Do not cry for us son, when we look down on you from Heaven we only want to see you smile.
As I am apparently not there to tell you this in person, a letter will have to do.
Your signet ring will allow you to travel to any of your homes. It works like a Portkey, but without any of the nastier side effects. You can take people with you, using this ring, but it will only take them along if they are loyal to you. If they aren't, they just get left behind. To travel, just say which home you want to go to. If you buy or inherit a new home, it will automatically be added to the locations the ring will take you to.
In the small box beside this letter you will find your mother's engagement ring; we decided to leave it here just in case the worst has happened. The box will only open when you are in the presence of the woman you love when she loves you back. It's a very good thing to prevent a marriage to someone who doesn't truly love you.
Also this ring will allow her to travel to your homes the same way that your signet ring works.
Do you see the crystal bottle with the ruby stopper in it? Good. That is a potion for you and your future wife to drink, just a sip each; it will allow you to learn things 10 times faster than before. I'm not exaggerating. It was an original potion created by your mother.
The other parchment in this envelope is a list of people who can floo into your homes. You can add or remove people by simply tapping the parchment with your wand as you say their names. People are automatically removed when they die.
When you first go to Potter Manor, if you haven't already, go to my old room and in my bedside table drawer you will find the Marauders' Map of Potter Manor. It uses the same code phrases as the original. I or Sirius should have already told you about it. Maybe you even stole it back from Filch.
I do know the prophecy about you, Voldemort, and a young lady. I assume that it is referring to the Weasley family's newborn daughter. 'One of seven, yet the only one' is rather revealing. I hope it is her; the Weasley's are good people and will treat you as one of their own.
Dumbledore may tell you otherwise, but do not avoid activating the bond with her. According to the library at Potter Manor, it will activate when you kiss her for the first time. You need to allow your powers time to merge and grow, this is usual for marriage bonds.
Once you are bound, you will both be able to do magic without being monitored even if you are underage; use this freedom wisely if it is granted to you.
No matter what happens in life, son, I am proud of you.
Ginny handed Harry another envelope.
October 1, 1981
If you are reading this, then we were betrayed by Peter and are dead. Do not cry for us, son. We went out fighting and protecting our son. The only better way to die would be of old age after watching you grow up into the fine young man that I'm sure you are.
Sirius is to be your godfather and I hope to Merlin that he raised you. I know he is prone to rash action, and, if Peter did betray us, then no doubt he went off to kill Peter and got himself thrown into Azkaban.
Harry smiled. "My mother knew Sirius well," he muttered to Ginny.
If he did go to Azkaban, then I can only assume that Dumbledore sent you to live with Petunia against our wishes.
If you did live with her, I hope that she has not treated you too badly, though I dare not hope that she loves you as her own.
Your father has already given you our advice on the prophecy, so I shall not bore you by giving it to you again.
I shall however, give you this advice: train hard, learn occlumency, legilimency, and become an animagus. Remus can help train you.
I love you, son. Be happy, that's all I ask.
Harry blinked back a few tears, but smiled. He handed the letters to Ginny to read.
As she read, he picked up the ring box and opened it. It had a single ruby surrounded by small diamonds in a gold setting. Harry couldn't help grinning.
Ginny finished the letters, and looked up at Harry who was holding an open ring box.
'The letter said that he could only open it in the presence of the woman he loves when she loves him back. He loves me?' Ginny began to blush.
"So, do you want to wear it?" Harry asked nervously holding out the ring box.
She didn't say anything, but smiled and held out her hand.
Harry slid the ring onto her finger; it fit perfectly.
He felt he should say something, so he said, "I do love you. A-and I was wondering…" his voice softened from nerves, "…if I could kiss you?"
She smiled up at him and asked, "We would be married if you did. Are you sure?"
"Yes," he said with confidence, while looking her in the eye.
Ginny paused and searched his eyes, and all she saw was love, "Kiss me."
Harry pulled her into his arms, and gently kissed her for the first time. The moment their lips touched it was as though a part of them that had been missing for their whole lives had just snapped into place.
Neither of them had noticed the flash of light that came from them when they kissed, but they did notice the sudden feeling of gold bands appearing on their hands; Ginny's fit snugly against the engagement ring.
They spent a few minutes just gazing into each other's eyes before beginning to look around some more.
Harry started by looking over the second parchment from his dad's letter; it had three names on it: Remus Lupin, Albus Dumbledore, and Harry Potter. Harry removed Dumbledore, but added Tonks, Ginny, Ron, Hermione, Fred and George.
Ginny found a seven compartment Auror trunk that was empty and began to put some of the books in it. She chose Moste Potente Potions, Olde and Forgotten Bewitchments and Charmes, An Anthology of Eighteenth Century Charms, The Invisible Book of Invisibility (which only remained invisible when closed), A Guide To Medieval Sorcery, and The Dark Arts Outsmarted. She also managed to find the Marauders' Book of Pranks, which was simply a journal filled with plans for pranks, how they did them, how they turned out, and ways they could have done them better. She also found The Marauders' Guide to Becoming an Animagus, and Lily's journals.
Harry found some dragon hide armor, rare potions ingredients, and quite a few bottles of even rarer potions. They carefully packed the trunk and locked it.
"Reducio," Harry said, shrinking it to place in his pocket. Just before leaving the vault, he filled a bottom-less bag with a small fortune of galleons. Griphook spelled it so that only Harry and Ginny could open it.
They left the vault, the door closing behind them, and climbed back into the cart to go to the Black family vault.
"This vault works the same way the Potter family vault did, you were automatically keyed in when you put on the Black family ring," Griphook said.
Harry again keyed Ginny in.
When they entered the vault they found it was filled with gold, silver, and dark objects.
They also found a letter to Harry from Sirius.
Sorry I died on you.
Odds are that I went against Dumbledore's orders and got killed by a Death Eater. It's my fault not yours. So don't blame yourself. If you do, I swear on Minerva's perfect-not-a-hair-out-of-place-bun that I will come back to life and ground you until you are as old as Dumbledore.
IT'S NOT YOUR FAULT!
Okay, now that we have that out of the way. ASK GINNY OUT! Dude, you love her, she loves you. It's simple. Say to her "Ginny, I adore you. Please, put me out of my misery and be my girlfriend." That's the line that your dad finally won your mom with.
Oh, and tell Dumbledore that, "Minerva is not going to wait around for another 800 years, marry her already. Three generations of troublemakers are betting on when it'll happen."
Sirius Orion Black
P.S. Do me a favor and set fire to my mum. Thanks.
Harry smiled when he finished this letter, it was so typically Sirius. He handed it to Ginny, who laughed through the whole letter.
They began to search the vault for anything of use, and surprisingly found something. It was a book that Harry could read, but Ginny could not. It was Parseltongue Magic, by Salazar Slytherin.
The left the vault and climbed into the cart for yet another rollercoaster ride to the final stop of the day, Gryffindor's vault.
Griphook said as they left the cart, "The last person to enter this vault was the last person to enter Gryffindor Castle. To enter, you'll have to place your palm on the door and answer a question."
Harry looked nervous, but placed his hand on the door, which asked, "What do you fear?"
Harry thought carefully and replied, "Rather than fearing my worst enemy who is trying to murder me, I fear dementors though I know how to get rid of them. A wise man told me that this means that I fear fear itself."
With a clank, the door opened allowing Harry and Ginny to enter.
"Welcome, Harry," said a familiar voice.
Harry looked around for the speaker, and after a minute found it. The voice came from a portrait hanging on the far wall.
"My name is Godric Gryffindor," it said. "You are truly my heir, in spirit and in blood. No one but my true heir would fear fear. All others said that they feared nothing, but that is a lie no matter who you are. Everyone has fears, even I did."
"Hello," Harry said, staring in awe at the portrait of Godric. He looked oddly like Harry himself, but with brown eyes, and neat hair. "Sir, how do you know my name?" he asked.
"We have spoken twice before."
Harry's eyes widened, "You aren't just a portrait; you are the sorting hat as well"
"In a way," replied the portrait. "The hat is also Rowena, Helga, and Salazar. It is a part of all of our minds. Because I put some of my mind in this portrait I can communicate with the other part in the hat."
"Wow, then you really did give me your sword in my second year."
"Yes, goodness, you are quick to catch on. Judging from most of the people I speak to through the hat, I would have expected my heir to be a little slower. Do you know why we considered putting you in Slytherin?"
"It is because you possess great cunning, and can be quite devious; however, you are more brave than cunning. I have noticed that you tend to avoid your cunning nature, to a fault in fact. It is one thing to have a personality trait, but another to let it take over you. You have let bravery take over your personality; it is why you rush in without thought or plan. You must use your natural cunning; combined with your bravery it will be crucial to your success against Tom Riddle. I was friends with Salazar once. Did you think that he and I had nothing in common?"
"I never really thought about it before."
The portrait then noticed Ginny, "Ah, this is your wife. What is your name, Madam?"
"Ginny Weasley…erm…Potter," she replied.
"Of course, a Weasley, I remember you from your sorting; you are a true Gryffindor's wife," Godric said smiling.
"What do you mean?" this came from Harry.
"I fell in love with a spirited red haired woman, as did nearly all of my descendants."
Harry thought for a moment then asked, "Sir, if you don't mind my asking, how are we related?"
Godric chuckled. "Good question. My only child was a girl. Because of this, she could not inherit anything from me. When she married a Potter, I named him my heir, and, as he had no title of his own, I gave him mine." The portrait sighed, "But now, I am afraid that it is time for you to leave me. I must confess that I shall quite miss the company. I know the prophecy about you. I believe you should go to Gryffindor Castle to train, it has a far larger library than Hogwarts, my wife, Gwendolen insisted on it. It was because of the Ravenclaw in her."
"You married a Ravenclaw?" Ginny asked in shock.
"Yes," the portrait said. "You mean that no one knows that anymore?"
"No, they don't," she said.
"Astounding," he muttered.
Harry spoke up. "I suppose we'd better be going then. We still have a lot to do. Do you have a portrait in the castle?"
"Yes, I do," he said delightedly.
"Then we'll see you in your castle," Harry said, smiling.
Godric smiled, "I look forward to seeing you in your castle."
Harry understood Gryffindor's meaning; he was dead so the castle belonged to his heir not to him. "Goodbye for now, sir."
Before they got back into the cart for the ride back to the lobby, Harry placed glamour charms on them both to avoid being recognized. He made Ginny look like Sirius' daughter if he had ever had one. He gave himself sandy-brown hair like Remus, blue eyes like Ron, and hid his scar.