A Harry Potter fanfic by Steven Jester
Chapter 1: Something is Strange about the House of Windsor
Notes and disclaimers: I do not own anything that is copyrighted in this piece. I also note that the depiction of the Royal Family of the United Kingdom, et al., is heavily fictionalized based on public appearances. Neither slander nor libel is intended. This particular fic is set slightly after Order so forget most of HBP and Deathly Hallows. Pairing… well it's not cannon but it's not easily guessed.
"I don't want many things just a chance to spread my wings
Don't know what the future brings but I want to be there" – Phenomenon by Threshold
June 30, 1996 – 15:32 BST
The Prince of Wales turned to face his mother, The Queen, staring out to the palace grounds below. "Time for what, mother?" he asked as the remark was a non sequitur to him.
"I am about to use some of the more strenuous powers derived from Our prerogative," Her Majesty said solemnly, "It is time that we put half of Our government firmly back into Our control."
"Ah yes. The Ministry of Magic, as Minister Major put it."
Her Majesty turned to her son and said in her most diplomatic and serious voice, "What I am about to say does not leave this room, it is something I should have told you prior to this date. Minister Major has been briefed on this as have my previous Prime Ministers but I kept this from you in case this went, to borrow a common phrase, pear-shaped."
"Plausible deniability," The Prince said smirking, "But I take it it's time that I'm brought into this little secret."
"Yes, Charles. I am about to tell you everything…"
Harry Potter, the Boy-Who-Lived, the Chosen One, et al., stared out the car window as him and his uncle passed through London suburbia. They had just gotten off the A24 just south of Mickleham en route to Number Four, Privet Drive. Harry had been sullen and down all day and had elected to stay silent. Uncle Vernon was as he was after last summer's escape, angry and volatile. However, in light of their mutually beneficial silence he decided to just stick with the disapproving glares.
As they turned onto Privet Drive they both noticed that two black government SUVs were parked in front of Number Four. Instantly Vernon's back straightened and his muscles
tightened. "Boy," he hastily whispered gaining Harry's attention, "just keep your yap shut and let me do all the talking or I'll have them take you understand?" Harry just chuckled darkly to himself before nodding.
As the two gentlemen stepped out of the car the doors to the first SUV opened revealing four men dressed in black suits and dark sunglasses. The four gentlemen walked over to the second SUV and faced Vernon and Harry. One of them stepped forward and asked, "Vernon Dursley?"
Vernon stepped forward and managed to stutter out, "I-I-I am Vernon Dursley."
Harry stepped forward and while ignoring the death glare that Vernon sent him he replied, "I am he."
Without hesitation the gentleman in black said in a loud and clear voice, "Prepare to receive His Royal Highness, The Prince of Wales."
Harry and Vernon instantly felt their eyes bulge and their jaws drop. Vernon was the first to recover and remembered enough protocol to go down on one knee. As the gentleman opened the door to the second SUV Vernon hastily whispered, "Keel!!" knocking Harry out of his stupor. Harry quickly took a knee just as the door was opened wide.
Out of the SUV came The Prince of Wales himself. As he walked over towards Harry and Vernon Harry noticed a small smile on his face. The Prince stood before the kneeling men and said "You may rise." As Harry and Vernon stood to their feet several of the more nosy neighbors stood on their stoops and watched as the Heir Apparent stood no less than a hundred yards away. The Prince, for his part, kept a diplomatic tone as he turned towards Harry. "Harry Potter, Her Majesty, The Queen has commanded me to summon you before her in Buckingham Palace on this day. Mr. Dursley, I am here to inform you that The Crown will be taking over the custody of Mr. Potter from this day forth and he will no longer need to reside here for reasons that will be explained in a letter to be written by Her Majesty herself. Rest assured you will be compensated for your gracious and generous care."
Harry cleared his voice and said, "Your Highness, if I may be permitted to speak?" Vernon sent Harry a death glare while The Prince just cordially nodded. "Your Highness, why is it that Her Majesty has summoned me?"
"That, my dear Harry, is something that will have to wait," The Prince said with a tender smile.
For the briefest of moments Harry wondered if The Prince was under the Imperius curse but dismissed it just as quickly.
"Now then if there are no more questions," The Prince waited and looked back and forth between Harry and Vernon. Harry shook his head and Vernon, whose mood was neutral about this, also shook his head. "Good. Harry if you'll get your trunk out of the boot of yours uncle's car my friends here will take care of it. Then meet me in my Jeep."
Harry did as he was told and moments later Harry found himself sitting next to the next King of England. "Now Harry, our time alone is brief so for now we may dispense with the formalities. You may address me as Sir or, as I prefer, Charles."
"Sir, if I may reiterate my previous question, why does the Queen wish to see me?" Harry asked with a curious tone.
"I don't exactly know myself, I'm finding out pretty much as you do. All I know is that she wishes to discuss the Magical World with you." Harry's eyes widened again and before he could ask The Prince said, "Yes, Mother and I are aware, as is the Prime Minister, that the magical world exists. This will be explained in your meeting."
"Are you aware of a man named Albus Dumbledore?" Harry asked.
The Prince chuckled before saying, "Yes and we also know that he has you with the Dursley's for certain reasons regarding your protection. Trust me, while this is still new to me, you will find that Buckingham Palace is the most secure building in all of the United Kingdom, both from Magical and Muggle means."
"Though I assume that he doesn't know about this?"
"If he doesn't he's in for a rude awakening."
Albus Dumbledore sat in his office reading the Ministry's reports regarding the Department of Mysteries incident, minding his own business when a roar from the fireplace removed his attention from the boring report. Out stood Alastor Moody, revolving eye, peg leg and all with a slightly worried look on his face.
"Ahh Alastor, to what do I owe this rescue from deathly boredom?" Dumbledore said cordially.
"When Potter arrived at Number Four there were two Muggle vans parked outside, and some bloke came and talked with Harry and Mr. Dursley before taking Mr. Potter with him."
"Did you try and stop him?" Albus said slightly worried.
"No, sounded official but rather odd. He called himself, or rather his aide called him, the prince of whales or something like that."
Instantly Dumbledore paled and his age showed through his visage, "The Prince of Wales, you said?"
"Yea that's what I said."
"Now remember, Harry, that you must be on your best behavior in front of The Queen. That means bowing when introduced, speaking only when spoken to, first referring to her as 'Your Majesty' then as 'Ma'am,' subtle formalities that are important," said Prince William as they walked down the corridor towards the Queen's chambers.
Harry, being escorted young Princes William and Henry of Wales, was a bunch of nerves as he hastily proceeded down the corridor. In the time since his arrival about half an hour previous he was introduced to The Duke of Edinburgh and the two young princes, taken to a private chamber and undressed and took a quick shower, dressed in his dress robes that surprisingly still fit (Harry was sure that a resizing charm was in the robes), and now was getting a crash course in court procedures.
"Also make sure you don't turn your back to her," Prince Henry admonished, "Grandmum hates it when people turn away from her!"
"If it's a choice between The Queen and my dad," Prince William said chuckling, "pick The Queen."
"Right," Harry said hurriedly as they neared the door.
"Oh, and one more thing," Prince William said absentmindedly, "No magic with three exceptions."
"Wait you know about magic?" Harry asked bewildered.
Both Princes chuckled before William said, "The only one of our family that didn't was my father."
"That is until today," rang in Prince Henry, "I didn't want to keep the secret from dad but Grandmum said we had to."
"But the exceptions then," Prince William said as they reached the door, "One, if The Queen asks you to perform magic you will. Two, I'm not sure what is going to happen regarding what The Queen and her other guest wish to discuss with you but if magic is required there you will perform it. And third and most seriously, if for some strange reason something should happen that threatens your life or the life of The Queen you are duty bound to protect The Queen at all costs."
Harry smirked slightly before saying, "I think that I can handle that."
"Good," Prince William said before turning to the usher next to him, "We're ready."
The usher nodded before opening the door and announcing, "Your Majesty and those assembled, announcing the presence of The Prince William of Wales, The Prince Henry of Wales, and Lord Harry Potter, Lord of the Magical Houses of Potter and Evans, Heir Apparent to the Magical House of Black, Heir Presumptive to the Magical Houses of Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, and Hufflepuff."
Harry steadied his breath as the full title was announced. As much of a shock that this new information was it was his intent not to make a fool of himself in front of The Queen. As formally as he could Harry stepped into the chambers that held the entire Royal Family including The Queen herself seated behind her Resolute Desk. Harry walked to the front of the desk and bowed politely.
The Queen stood and motioned for the usher to close the door. "Greetings, Lord Potter. We are pleased to have you as our guest. Please have a seat."
As Harry sat down he remembered his crash course and said, "The pleasure, Your Majesty, is mine."
While Harry got settled The Queen said, "Lord Potter, as my son, The Prince of Wales, should have told you, We are aware of your talents in, and the existence of, the magical world. What We are unaware of it the exact condition of our magical subjects. The Ministry of Magic, as you may have guessed, is autonomous of my government. Their branch of Parliament, the House of Lords Wizengamont, is also autonomous of both of the other two, the Commons and the Lords Temporal and Spiritual. This is for obvious reasons as the overall reaction by the public at large to the existence of wizards and witches would be unbeneficial to both worlds. However, your world has seen fit to forget that I'm still the head of all of the citizens of the United Kingdom, not just the non-magical ones."
Harry nodded before saying, "Your Majesty I would be happy to answer your questions to the best of my ability."
Standing aside The Queen, the Duke of Edinburgh moaned slightly while other members of the Royal Family chuckled at Harry's mistake. The Queen, meanwhile smiled broadly, "I will certainly take you up on that offer, Lord Potter. You will find out why family finds what you said funny as well. However we have pressing matters to attend to." The Queen turned to an empty space in the room and said, "You may reveal yourself, Director Mackrack."
The canceling of a concealment charm caught Harry's attention. He turned towards the source to see two goblins show themselves. One Harry recognized as the goblin Griphook and the other he didn't recognize but assumed he was Director Mackrack, as The Queen had said. Both young princes, standing by their father exclaimed, "Wow!" as Director Mackrack and Griphook walked up to the resolute desk and bowed.
Griphook opened the satchel he was carrying and handed a thick folder of parchment to the Director. "Thank you Griphook," the director said before turning to The Queen, "On behalf of the Goblin Nation to the Honorable Queen Elizabeth the Second of the Humans that inhabit the Realm of the United Kingdom, Greetings."
"On behalf of the United Kingdom and all of my realms to the Honorable Director of the Free Goblins of the Magical World, thank you for attending this audience this evening," The Queen said in her most diplomatic tone.
Mackrack turned to face Harry and for the first time in this meeting Harry saw the familiar flick of the eyes towards his scar. "Lord Potter, were it not for the humble request by Her Majesty we would be conducting this in my office back in Gringots. As you may have guessed it has come to our attention that Sirius Orion Black, the former Lord Black, has passed on to the next world. As we were reading Lord Black's will the instruction of giving his titles to you gave us pause. The Black Family charter, signed by King Edward the Confessor himself on June 24, 1044, allows a person to be brought into the family and for that person to be given the title of Lord Black regardless of blood line and age upon the death and subsequent reading of the will of the previous Lord. As such and in regards with the will of Lord Sirius Black, you are currently, baring the official reading of the will—"
"Pardon me, Director," The Queen said curtly, "but you will find by the end of this evening that particular hurdle will be cleared."
Mackrack smiled a cunning smile before saying, "Begging Your Majesty's pardon but I anticipated you might have thought of something to clear that hurdle and I approve of its use. Back to you Lord Potter, once the official reading of the will is preformed you will acquire the title Lord Black. You will find that the Potter and Evans lines take precedence."
"Is this because they are my parents? And also I thought my mother was from a non-magical family."
"On the contrary, the house of Evans is a very, very, old and noble line that in recent years has produced a line of squibs. Your mother, the late Lady Potter, was the first witch or wizard from that line in five generations. The precedence issue is not because they are your parents but because both lines are older than the Black line. As you may guess the Potter line is the senior line and therefore your current surname.
"Upon your acceptance to the title of Lord Black you will be emancipated and thus your inheritance to the Potter and Evans lines will fully take effect. You have already inherited the titles as there cannot be a gap in the Head of the House under both charters, but the power of both lines cannot be executed until your full inheritance."
"Who is the current Lord Black and do they know of this?" Harry Potter asked.
"The Black Family Charter allows an interregnum from the period of death until after the reading of the will with the Family Regent being the current British Monarch," Mackrack said with a Cheshire grin, "So no worries about Draco Malfoy usurping this decision."
"Yes and as you may guess, Lord Potter, I have the power to declare when the formal reading takes place. I remember doing so when the late Lord Black's father passed on," The Queen said solemnly.
Harry nodded before turning to Mackrack, mindful not to turn completely away from The Queen. "Director, another question." When Mackrack nodded Harry continued, "When I was being introduced earlier I was introduced as the Heir Presumptive to each of the four Founders of Hogwarts. What is that for?"
Mackrack's face turned solemn as he spoke, "Ahh, Lord Potter, you have a keen sense of observation. Yes well as you may or may not be aware of, most humans in the Magical World of pureblood status can claim that they are a direct descendent of at least one of the four founders and be able to back this claim up with the genealogical evidence required to prove it. The Weasleys for example are descendent of Lord Gryffindor. The Malfoys and the Gaunts, of whom Lord Riddle is a relation, are descendent of Lord Slytherin."
"Lord Riddle?" Harry asked.
"You may know him better as Lord Voldemort," Mackrack said unflinchingly, "The Bones family is most certainly descendent of Lady Hufflepuff and the Lovegoods are descendent of Lady Ravenclaw. These are just examples and some lines claim to multiple founders. However, the heir to the lines of the founders is the one with the purest blood of the lines, much like how Her Majesty is the one of purest blood to lay claim to The Crown, and the one whose magic and soul is pure. There is a chamber, back in Gringots, that will test these attributes as well as your blood claim. You needn't worry about the blood claim as we have through genealogical evidence that your claim is the purest by blood for all of the Four Founders that we've seen."
"How?" Harry asked bewildered.
"At a couple points on your father's side the main branches of the Gryffindor and Slytherin lines married into the main branch of the Potter Line. Also at a couple of points on your mother's side the main branches of the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff lines married into the main branch of the Evans Line. The main branch of the Evans line went magically dormant around the same time that the Hufflepuff line entered it, which was after the Ravenclaw one. The magic of the Evans, and by consequence the Ravenclaw and Hufflepuff lines, reappeared with the late Lady Potter."
"The Houses of the Founders have precedence in the non-magical world as well," The Queen said picking up the story. "You will find that once you pass this test, as I am certain you will, that you will receive instructions and a copy of a Letters Close that my predecessor, King Edward the Confessor, gave to the Founders cementing their relation with The Crown. In essence you will become an honorary member of my family and will be allowed to wear the magical signet rings of not only the founders and the lines of your parents and your godfather but also the signet ring of The Crown. My family since the early days of Merlin himself have been what you consider squibs, people of magical decent that have no magic. Our status as the ruling family of Brittan overrides our magical status and earns us a seat in the House of Lords Wizengamont that we cannot use due to the fact that we endorse all their laws anyway. So my predecessor decreed that our Magical House was to be held in council amongst the Founders of Hogwarts and their descendents. Should you, and quite frankly when you, pass all four tests the Magical House of the Crown will be merged within one person again."
"I'm afraid to ask, Your Majesty, but what will my full title be?" Harry asked.
"In accordance with the laws of the Magical People of the United Kingdom and the full laws of the United Kingdom proper you would be styled Duke Harry of Gryffindor, Lord of the Magical Houses of The Crown, Gryffindor, Slytherin, Ravenclaw, Hufflepuff, Potter, Evans and Black. You would be entitled to eight votes in the House of Lords Wizengamont and you will have authority to surpass the Governors of Hogwarts in matters directing towards the school."
"Financially Lord Potter your estates will skyrocket," Mackrack informed him.
Harry gulped before speaking again, "Your Majesty, Director, will I still have the surname Potter?"
"Harry," The Queen said directly to Harry in a motherly tone, "You would become part of my family, Potter would still informally be your surname but as a titled member of the Royal Family you would have no legal surname. I'm sorry if this is something you are not willing to do and if truly necessary I will publish Letters Close to remove this part of the stipulation, but honestly I would be honored to have you as a member of our family."
Harry looked around the room and watched the members of the Royal Family gathered smile sadly at him. "Your Majesty," Harry said uneasily, "Grandmum, I would be honored."
Everyone else in the room let out their collective breaths as The Queen eased back in her chair. "Good. Director Mackrack? The Last Will and Testament of the Late Lord Sirius Orion Black, if you please.
Director Mackrack opened the folder and handed the top sheet to The Queen. Harry sat as The Queen read the parchment before speaking, "Acting in my capacity as the Family Regent for the Magical House of Black, I request the Director of the Goblin Nation to recognize this as the Official Reading of the Last Will and Testament of the late Lord Sirius Orion Black, the primary benefactor and a sufficient amount of witnesses being present."
Mackrack straightened his back and said, "Acting in my official capacity as Director of the Goblin Nation, and having found that both the primary benefactor and a sufficient amount of witnesses being present I hereby consent to this being the Official Reading of the Last Will and Testament of the late Lord Sirius Orion Black."
"Thank you, Director," The Queen said putting on her reading glasses and reading from the will, "I, Lord Sirius Orion Black, Lord of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black, do solemnly swear that I am of sound mind and body at the time of this writing and that I declare this my Last Will and Testament. I also declare that all previous wills and testaments are hereby null and void. For the expedience of paperwork filling I decree my primary benefactor to be Lord Harry James Potter, Lord of the Most Ancient and Noble Houses of Potter and Evans. He is to keep whatever is not declared to other people listed in this will and is to be added to the Black Family by Clause 25 of the Black Family Charter and simultaneously made my Heir and Successor to the title of Lord Black." The Queen read ahead and said to the group aloud, "I think that's the relevant passages."
"Yes, I believe the late Lord Black anticipated this and put his will regarding Lord Potter to the forefront," Mackrack said as Griphook dug out a small box and held it in front of him. Harry instinctively stood and faced Mackrack and Griphook. "Lord Potter, by accepting this ring you will accept your inheritance, to be fully taken care of after a secondary reading regarding the remaining beneficiaries, and the title of Lord Black. Do you accept?"
Again instinct took over and Harry took out his wand and held it across his heart, "On my life and magic I accept this responsibility and swear fealty to The Crown." With that he slid the finger onto his left ring finger and a certain flow of magic soared through his body. The dull onyx ring instantly flared to life and the dark jewel in the center glowed brightly before it showed the crest of the House of Black once more on its façade.
"The Ring of the Family of Black has accepted you," Mackrack said, "You are now the new Lord Black. There is one minor paperwork glitch you need to take care of and that is to sign the will and endorse it with the ring."
Harry looked around and saw the quill on the desk, "Your Majesty, with your permission?"
"You may use my quill and ink, Lord Potter."
Harry took the quill and signed his name on the will. Again on instinct he flipped the ring to his palm side and placed the face on the ring on the parchment. Instantly the crest of the House of Black magically appeared on the parchment.
"Perfect," Mackrack said before Griphook pulled out two more boxes. "These, as you may have guessed, are the rings of the houses of Potter and Evans. There is no need for oaths or signing as you are already the lord of both houses." Harry slipped the Evans ring onto his finger and magic coursed through his body once again before the ring magically merged with the Black Ring. "I forgot to mention that signet rings of the magical houses merge when the owner holds more than one ring. The default ring is the ring of highest precedence, in this case the House of Evans. When you add the Potter Ring the default will be Potter."
Harry grabbed the Potter Ring and slid it onto his finger and felt a stronger magic pass through him before again the rings merged.
"And that is it for us until tomorrow, Lord Potter," Mackrack said before turning to The Queen and saying, "As always, Your Majesty I has been a pleasure."
"The pleasure is mine Mackrack, We shall see you tomorrow," The Queen said as Griphook and Mackrack bowed and popped away. "As for you Lord Potter, a guest chamber has been provided for you. William and Henry will show you to it. You have a busy day tomorrow."
"Thank you Your Majesty," Harry said recognizing that he had been dismissed. He stepped back a few steps before following Prince William and Prince Henry out of the room.
END OF CHAPTER 1
AN: Wow that was long! The whole thing was almost 4,300 words. Let's just say that I'd be really appreciative if you review this. I can't guarantee that the next chapters will be as long but I can certainly try. I'm working on the next chapter "Of Lords and Ladies" right now. So hopefully (crosses fingers) you won't have to wait too long.
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