A/N: I'm going to post the first five chapters of this story that I've been working on. I think that I'm up to around 14 or 15 by now. If I get enough of a response to it then I'll post a little more. Reviews, and constructive criticism are always welcome.
The moonlight flitted down along the darkened suburban street. As a cloud passed over the moon and gave its full light the sign could be seen as well as a single light on in the fourth house down on the right. Number Four Privet Drive, was a most unusual household, not for what it was but for whom lived there. At the moment the three people that would be considered normal by any other standards were curled up asleep in their beds, it was this fourth intruder that had disturbed their wonderful life and their idea of pristine and normalcy.
In the smallest bedroom, the one with the light on, sat a black haired lanky boy slumped against the windowpane. It was not his baggy appearance that his relatives took offense to, nor was it necessarily the way that his hair would never be laid flat; no it was the fact that the sleeping boy of fifteen was a wizard, and a most powerful one at that. At the moment however he was merely slumped against the window asleep, snoring lightly with his glasses pushed up his face and digging into his nose a little.
Scattered around Harry were newspaper clippings from both the magical and normal world. Several had pictures that moved proclaiming titles like He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named Returns: Potter tells Truth! Of course, these articles were overshadowed by others that proclaimed mysterious disappearances or odd phenomenon; most of the later occurring in the normal newspapers like the London Gazette.
Three particular pieces of parchment were stacked on top of one another, the bottom one being the most frightening that he had ever received. Not even two weeks into the summer he had gotten a rather long startling letter that were signed by all of his friends.
We hope that this letter finds you well and your relatives are keeping up their end of the deal that they're not hurting you very much. Unfortunately, we feel that we may do more harm than good with this, but it has to be said. We have all gathered together and made sure that this all sounds right, but here goes.
We don't want to see you anymore, not as a friend in the least regard. Being your friends over the past five years have put us in grave danger more times than any of us could count and while some of us, Hermione, realize that most of it was our own doing, we are still scared for our lives as well as the lives of our families. This being said, we do hope that you do well, but realize that we can no longer be close friends.
Luna LovegoodNeville LongbottomRon WeasleyGinny WeasleyHemione Granger (Reluctantly)
The parchment was stained with tears here and there that did nothing to smear the ink, probably a charm that Hermione was able to do, and Harry could tell that some of it wasn't all his own. It was devastating to hear that his friends were abandoning him, and even more so that they blamed him for everything that had happened to them all for the last several years. After the pain of the letter had diminished somewhat he had received another letter, this time from the goblins of Gringots.
Due to the unfortunate death of one Sirius Orion Black, his will reading will commence on July the 31st at 4 am. While we realize that this is slightly inconvenient, it is the only time that the department of inheritance is able to operate. As the primary beneficiary of the will, we cannot commence with the reading until you have arrived.
May your fortunes grow daily,
Head Goblin – British branch Gringots
This letter came as a small surprise to Harry; he knew that Sirius must have had a will, but he had no idea that he was going to get anything from him. Truth is told he didn't want anything that would remind him of his dead godfather. It would only hurt him more if he had to sit there and receive something that was more sentimental for the Marauders. It was the third and final letter that had given Harry a small glimmer of hope for the rest of his summer.
I have received notification of the will reading for Sirius. If you are up to going I will arrive at half past three to collect you in the most discrete way possible from your relative's house. I hope that you accept my invitation, for I think that you need to find closure in his death; please accept my condolences on this as well. Sirius was a good man, and even though he is dead he will never leave our hearts. Please send back a reply as soon as you are able.
Fawkes himself had delivered the letter in a ball of flame once Harry was alone in his room and the door had clicked closed. He had a feeling that Dumbledore must have made Fawkes wait until he was alone before appearing. The image of the phoenix appearing in the middle of the dining room table and scaring his relatives had made him smile for a moment before he had read the letter. He wanted to go, but he didn't want to hear about everything that Sirius had owned going to someone like Bellatrix Lestrange. Scribbling out a reply he had handed it to Fawkes and watched him disappear in flames from his bedroom.
That was what found Harry pressed against the windowpane in his bedroom at nearly half past three in the morning snoring lightly. His body shifted a little when he heard a whoosh of air and his watch started to beep from a preset alarm for the hour. Groaning he started to awaken when a hand touched his shoulder; his seeker reflexes going into effect he spun around and pointed his wand at the smiling face of Professor Dumbledore.
"Still as alert as ever, Harry, very good." Dumbledore smiled gently and handed over a small potions phial that would act as the portkey in a matter of minutes. "I believe that you were expecting me, oh, and Happy Birthday, Harry."
Harry lowered his wand and put a hand on his chest to calm his racing heart. The light from his bedside table showed just how shocked that he was that his Headmaster was standing in his bedroom so early in the morning. "Sir, I'm sorry, I guess I thought that you might be a Death Eater."
"Quite all right, my own fault for sneaking up on you I suppose. I'm only glad that you didn't start throwing out curses before seeing that it was me." The old man chuckled a little and touched the phial himself. "Are you ready to go, Harry?" At a nod from the younger man he touched the phial with his wand and felt the usual pull behind the navel of the portkey being activated.
After what seemed like ages to Harry, but couldn't have been more than a few seconds the port key deposited them on the marble floor of Gringots; Harry literally on the floor while Dumbledore was able to keep his footing and help Harry to his feet. Before both could say a word a goblin approached them and lead them through a set of marble doors down a long hallway and into a smaller conference room that was already bursting at the seams with various people.
Harry was livid when he saw some and saddened by the others that were in attendance. Off in one corner was a brooding Draco Malfoy with his mother Narcissa, whom appeared to be surveying the rest of the room with disdain; indeed it was because of some of the people in this room that Lucius was in Azkaban. Harry also noticed all of the Weasleys huddled together and talking in low tones, they didn't even look up when the door had opened. Hermione's bushy hair was among the sea of red and talking animatedly with the youngest of the Weasley clan. Sitting at the table on either side of each other were Nymphadora Tonks, Remus Lupin, and who Harry figured was Tonk's mother Andromeda. It was only the later that seemed to notice Harry come in and smiled reassuringly to him and nodded her head towards the boy.
It was the far end of the table that seemed to be set for the final guest and the goblins. Both he and Dumbledore took the last seats at the side of the table with Remus and the Malfoy's and directly across from the Tonks women. At the head of the table sat a rather surly looking goblin with white hair sprouting from his ears. Tapping his long claw on the glass top of the table to get everyone's attention he began to speak.
"Right, now that the primary is here." This elicited some stares and murmurings among the Weasley's. "We can start the will reading, as it is time is money." The goblin moved a large folder towards him and opened it slowly. "In the regards of one Sirius Orion Black, five hundred thousand galleons will go to Remus Lupin with the stipulation that he 'get a good woman and some respectable clothes.' You also receive the property at Grimmauld Place." At this a piece of paper appeared in front of Lupin, but the goblin made no note of it and continued. "To the collected Weasley's I leave seventy thousand galleons so that they might be able to do something good with themselves." Another paper appeared in front of Arthur Weasley and as he was reading it the goblin continued. "To Miss Hermione Granger, I leave the Black defense library in Grimmauld Place. 'My favorite cousin Andromeda is to receive five hundred thousand galleons with an apology as to reinstating her and her family into the Black house.' To one Narcissa Malfoy nee. Black, one knut so that 'your spoiled boy might learn something.'" This of course made the goblin smile and Malfoy fume, but he didn't interrupt. "Finally, to one Harry James Potter, everything that has not already been claimed is left to you along with the title Head of House."
This caused a complete uproar in the room and numerous people were trying to speak at once. Harry received his own piece of paper detailing everything that he had gotten from the will and ignored the voices of the others in the room. Smiling he leaned over to speak with Dumbledore. The old man chuckled lightly and nodded before leaning back to enjoy the chaos. Harry spoke briefly with the goblin and he too was smiling when he finished speaking. Talking to another the goblin sent someone outside to retrieve some more files.
In the chaos and utter confusion that reigned over the room Harry sat back and watched everything. Arthur and Molly Weasley were talking quickly about what the money could mean for their family; Narcissa was screaming at her sister about the money that she had not receive and threatening to contest the will; Hermione and Draco were screaming at each other over the usage of the Black library backed up by Ron. In fact only Harry, Dumbledore, Nymphadora, Remus, and the goblin seemed to be content with what was going on. The twins were egging everyone on, enjoying the complete spectacle that the will reading had become. Remus did eventually lean over the table to engage the young Tonks in a mild conversation, but it was nothing like the screaming around them.
A smaller goblin came back into the room unnoticed by anyone but the older goblin. Taking the stack of papers that the small goblin was trying to balance and setting them out on the table the older went through everything before sliding a piece of paper over to Harry. Having read it through he passed it to Dumbledore and after receiving a nod from the old man he signed it. Instantly the paper glowed blue, copied itself and then the original vanished from sight. This earned a raised eyebrow from Andromeda, but nothing more. Harry smiled and slid the piece of paper across the table to her, but was already on to the next by the time the paper had reached her.
Signing the second contract didn't seem to do anything, but he slid the copy off to the side and starting in on the third contract, but it was here that he was stopped. Andromeda had finished reading the paper and launched herself across the table and slammed into Harry knocking him backwards. It took a moment for him to realize that she was sobbing softly. It was this action that seemed to silence a good portion of the people there, Narcissa was stunned into silence and Nymphadora came around to pry her mother off of Harry.
"It's ok, Tonks, you should read this too." Harry patted Andromeda's hair gently and slid the contract out of her grasp to give over to Tonks herself. In the back of his mind he thought he could hear the twins snickering behind their parents. The silence in the room was again broken by sobbing, this time from Tonks whom hugged Harry and wrenched her mom off of the young man before sitting back down at the confused looks around the room Harry laughed and shrugged, looking down at the next contract, signing it and sliding the copy off to the side he looked up to see everyone's expectant looks.
"Well, come on Harry; don't leave us all in suspense. You just got a hug from two beautiful women." He could hear Fred, or George's voices ring through the silent room. Laughing the women in question blew the twins kisses that turned them as red as their hair. Harry for his part sat back and put his arms behind his head.
"It's quite simple really, as Head of the Black family, while not directly related, I have the power to accept Tonks and her family back into the Black family. Sirius was never able to do this because he was in prison." Narcissa seemed to pale slightly, but said nothing. "I have all the rights, privileges and problems of a full adult." This he directed at Hermione whose mind was already working on everything that had happened.
"Mr. Draco Scorpius Malfoy." The goblin spoke slowly from the contract that Harry had just finished signing. At this both Malfoy's seemed to pale and wait for the inevitable. "As per your family has no Head, the elder Malfoy being imprisoned, your mother's side has given the authority in the matters of your inheritance." At this both stared venomously at Harry, but he merely smiled and waited for the goblin to continue. "As of quarter after four in the morning on July the 31st, you are hereby emancipated and assume the title of the Head of the Malfoy family."
Clearly this was not what anyone had expected and Ron actually fell off his chair with a soft thump onto the carpeted floor. In a flash of green light a silver ring appeared in front of Draco, but he was too stunned to take it. Indeed, almost everyone was staring at Harry with their mouths wide open except for Dumbledore whom chuckled lightly. Leaning forward Harry took the final contract and gave it a flourish as he signed it and watched it duplicate. He then looked up pointedly towards Narcissa and saw the red glow around her before anyone else did.
No one noticed the glow but those at the end of the table, but they heard her scream and yelp. Draco rushed back to his mother's side just as the glow dissipated and she slumped sideways against her son. The wedding band on her left hand cracked and broke into pieces before falling to the floor and burning a hole in the carpet. Dumbledore raised an eyebrow but said nothing; it was Draco that broke the silence.
"Potter, what have you done to my mother!?"