Summary: The price of freedom always comes at a cost, including to those left behind to pick up the pieces. What if some of those left behind weren't as loyal as they appeared, would they reap what they have sown or get off scott free?
(AN: I got the idea for this while Lady Foxfire was writing her Sirius' will story. I hope you enjoy it. Also I don't own Harry Potter, JK does, and everyone she's dealt with in bringing him too us, nor do I intend to infringe on her rights to him. Don't bother suing since I have very little after the government collected and wasted my taxes this year, and I don't think you would want what I do have left.)
The Price of Freedom
It is done. Harry watched emotionlessly as Riddle slowly , almost comically collapsed to the ground. He found it strangely appropriate that the Dark Lord should die from a gunshot wound and that the gun was the Webley Harry's muggle grandfather had carried during WW II to defend his homeland and family. Harry was willing to bet that the last thing Riddle had expected was that the Boy-Who-Lived would use a muggle weapon on him.
As Harry collapsed to the bleeding from his wounds, he cried in a raspy voice. "It is finished! He is dead."
Removing his mask, Snape walked over and knelt beside the badly injured young man who had saved the wizarding world from Voldemort for a second time and agreed. "Yes, Mr. Potter, the nightmare is finally over."
Harry gasped weakly his face clearly indicating just how much pain he feeling right then, "Then I am finally free!"
Pulling a vial containing a pale yellow liquid out of his robe pocket, Snape helped Harry sit up and handed the vial to him.
Harry looked at the vial's contents and commented crudely. "It looks like someone pissed in there."
Snape just glared at him. ""Never the less you will drink it."."
"Probably tastes worse than it looks." Harry added as he quickly downed the contents without asking what it was supposed to do and his face briefly took on a sour expression. "Yep, I was right."
A look appeared in Snape's eyes that would have had many of his former students running as he helped Potter lay down on the ground with a rolled up cloak from a dead Deatheater as a pillow.
Snape watched as pain filled expression on Potter's face eased and his eyes closed; his chest rising slower and slower with each breath until it finally stopped moving. "Yes, Mr. Potter, you are finally free."
Cocking his head slightly, Snape listened to the sounds of spell fire coming from Hogsmeade. Judging by the sounds of it, it would be a while before they came they way so he should have plenty of time to take care of certain matters.
Celebrating the demise of You-Know-Who and mourning the loss of the wizarding world's saviour, Harry Potter, took several weeks. During that time Potter was posthumously awarded the Order of Merlin First Class for defeating the Dark Lord at the cost of his own life.
Also during that time those who had been injured during the Battle of Hogsmeade were recuperating and the dead were buried. Some of the Hogwarts students who had been disfigured at the battle were wearing their scars proudly as badges of honour and would tell anyone who asked that they survived and were able to hold their own against Deatheaters because of what they had learned from Harry Potter when he taught the DA.
Potter's mentor Albus Dumbledore and his closest friends had been strangely silent ever since the Boy-Who-Lived had been found dead a few feet away from the Dark Lord. Most of Wizarding Britain put it down to grief and let them mourn.
Reporters, though, wanted to know how Potter had vanquished He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named, but all they had gotten for their trouble so far was a wall of silence. The reporters were hoping that that would change today. Potter's friends were coming out of seclusion to attend the reading of the Boy-Who-Lived's Will. In expectation of this a number of reporters were hanging around Gringotts hoping to get a scoop on anything from; how Potter defeated You-Know-Who to learning what the Boy-Who-Lived left to his best friends and his girlfriend Ginny Weasley.
As Account Manager Bonebreaker walked into one of the larger conference rooms at Gringotts, he heard a pair of loud male voices and saw a younger redheaded wizard being pulled away from a blond wizard who he recognised as the Malfoy Heir.
"What is going on here?" Bonebreaker demanded as he moved to the head of the table.
"This slimy Slytherin," Ron Weasley gestured at Malfoy, "said he was invited here. There's no way Harry would leave anything to this snake."
Bonebreaker sat down and stared at the redhead. "All who are here today for the reading of Lord Potter-Black's will are here because they were named in his will. If you do not sit down and shut up, I will have you removed. And I should tell you young sir that other than one exception that is stipulated in Lord Potter-Black's will, if you are not present during the reading then anything left to you will be forfeited. So which is it to be: stay or go?"
Ron stomped over to a seat as far away from Malfoy it was possible to get and his family quickly joined him.
The others settled into the empty chairs around the table and along the walls. Dumbledore took the chair at the opposite end of the table from the goblin.
"I am Account Manager Bonebreaker. The goblin introduced himself. "We are here today for the reading of the will of Harrison Jacob Potter, Lord of the Ancient and Noble Houses of Potter and Black. This will along with the accompanying visual recording was made in my presence on January 1, 1997."
Ron grinned at the thought of how much money he would be getting since he was the best friend of the Lord of two Houses. That was even taking into account the money his family should be getting because Harry considered them as his surrogate family in the wizarding world and had said so many times. The best decision his parents had ever made was to help Dumbledore with Potter. True he had to wait to spend the money Dumbledore had given him to make sure that Harry was kept occupied and not able to question things too closely, but in the end it had been well worth it. He had 12,000 galleons of Potter's money for that little project and now he was going to get a lot more.
Dumbledore didn't allow a shred of the nervousness he was feeling to show on his face when he heard that Harry had made a will. He hadn't expected Potter to make a will. Most teenagers viewed themselves as indestructible. He had expected the will he had made on Harry's behalf would be the only one read today. Apparently being at the top of Voldemort's death list had made young Potter consider his mortality and make a will, without telling anyone, even his best friends, so that they could alert him so he would be able to take steps to counter it.
"If there are no questions, we will begin." Bonebreaker looked around the room and no one said a word.
Pulling a pensieve out of a cloth bag, Bonebreaker enlarged it and tapped a rune on the side several times. An image of Harry Potter appeared above the pensieve. He looked around the room before speaking. He was dressed in formal robes with the badges for both the Houses he was Head of on his outer robe.
"If this is being played, then I am dead." Harry's recording began calmly. "I hope that most if not all of those named in my will survived to make it to the reading. I have no doubt that there will be a few surprises today."
"Yea, Malfoy being here was one." Ron muttered, earning himself a glare from Hermione.
"I Harrison Jacob Potter-Black," the recording went on, "being of sound mind and body do hereby state under binding magical oath that this is my only will. If anyone presents another will before or after this one claiming it to be mine, it should be considered a forgery and those presenting it should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law."
There were gasps of surprise from some of those present. Why would Potter feel the need to go to such extremes? What would he have done if he survived and needed to change his will later?
Harry's recording went on. "Some of you may be wondering why I took such extreme measures. The answer is simple: I do not expect to survive my final battle with Voldemort, thanks to the lack of training I have received during my almost six years at Hogwarts and the fact that I have been under a sentence of death since before I was born, thanks to one of the few true prophecies made by batty old Trelawney. Ask Dumbles about it, maybe he will tell it to you now that I am gone."
Bonebreaker paused the recording for several minutes as Lord Potter-Black had requested to see if the Head of the Wizengamot would say anything. There were a few expectant glances in Dumbledore's direction, but he remained silent.
Once it was clear that the Supreme Mugwump wasn't going to speak, Bonebreaker touched a different rune on the pensieve to resume the recording.
"I'll bet the old meddler hasn't said a word. Looks like I'll have to." Harry announced. "Basically, the prophecy boiled down to a child born at the end of July in 1980 being the one with the power to destroy Voldemort. Only two people fit that description; Neville and I. Three guesses and the first two don't count as to who would up with the target painted on them courtesy of Trelawney… me. I just hope I took the dark bastard with me…"
"Harry! Watch your language!" Hermione and Molly spoke in unison and then looked embarrassed as they remembered it wasn't Harry, it was a recording.
"…Neville, you might want to start running now before Dumbles can try to force you into the mould of Saviour of the Wizarding world. Not that many of them are worth the trouble of saving from what I have seen of the ungrateful lot." Harry muttered.
"Voldemort is gone." Remus assured the image of his friend's son, hoping that he would hear it wherever his spirit was. "The wizarding world owes you a debt that it can never repay, cub."
Harry's image paused for a moment as if he'd heard Lupin's softly spoken words and then continued. "I learned about the prophecy the night Sirius died. Dumbledore was crass enough to drop that thrice damned prophecy in my lap while the pain of Sirius' death was like an open bleeding wound."
"Headmaster!" Remus stared at him aghast. "How could you do that? How could you be so cruel to Harry? You should have waited until after he'd had a little time to get over Sirius' death!"
"I had already waited too long." Dumbledore countered. "Sirius died as a result."
Bonebreaker stopped the recording. "Gentlemen, please save this conversation for after the reading ot Lord Potter-Black's Will."
"I apologise Account Manager Bonebreaker." There was a determined expression on Remus' face as he looked at Dumbledore. "You are right. My business with the Headmaster can wait."
"I apologise as well," Dumbledore told the goblin.
Touching the side of the pensive, Bonebreaker started the recording back up.
"…realised that unless I got very very lucky, I would not survive my final battle with Voldemort and what do you know, I was right. But you're not here to listen to me vent my anger against Voldemort, Dumbledore and Fate. You are here because you were named in my will. I think I can guarantee there will be a few surprises along with the dispersal of all my worldly goods."
Harry's image looked around as if he could actually see them. "I couldn't decide whether I should start with the big stuff and work my way down, or start with the small stuff and work my way up. After agonising about it for a bit, I decided to let Fate, the bitch who has screwed with my life so much, decide the order."
Taking out his wand, Harry waved it. A moment later a small table with a top hat appeared in front of him. He dropped slips of paper into it and stirred them up with his wand. Next he tapped the brim of the top hat and caught the piece of paper that shot out of it amid a shower of sparks.
"I got the idea from the Goblet of Fire." Harry's image told them smugly before turning his attention to the name on the slip of paper. "And the first to be given his due is… Neville Longbottom.'
Setting the paper to one side, Harry smiled a genuine smile for the first time. "Neville, I have no doubt that you were very surprised to be asked to come to this reading today, given that we didn't really become good friends until our fifth year. You were a real friend though. I can't begin to tell you how rare it was for me to have at least one friend who had no expectations good or bad of me. Someone to whom I was just Harry and not the Boy-Who-Lived. Because of the priceless gift you gave me, I am giving you something equally rare and priceless. Most of those present today probably wouldn't think that anything good could come out of the Black family, except for my godfather, but apparently a few centuries before they earned their reputation as a Dark family, one of the Blacks shared your love of Herbology. I am leaving you his journals and a trunk of carefully preserved seeds. Some of them are for plants, even professor Sprout doesn't have. I hope you enjoy your life, Neville and don't let anyone try to make you into something you are not."
"Thank you Harry," Neville murmured, touched by his thoughtful gesture. Even his grandmother didn't wholly approve of his love of herbology and his gift with plants. She kept trying to make him a carbon copy of his father, wanting him to be an auror, when he really didn't have the skills for it.
Tapping the brim of the hat again with his wand, Harry caught the next slip of paper to come out of it. This time the smile on his face was nowhere near as pleasant.
Ron was certain he had gotten Malfoy's name out of the hat and that Harry's image was going to let him have it, until Harry announced, "And our next contestant is Delores Jane Umbridge."
Harry's yearmates looked at the image projected above the pensieve in disbelief.
Harry's image smirked. "I bet everyone who knows about Umbridge's treatment of me during my fifth year thinks I've gone insane because I included her in my will. But I'll bet that's nothing to compared to the reaction Delores Jane had when she learned she was named in my will. She probably came in here all smug and certain that I had seen the error of my ways with regard to the Ministry. Well let me assure you Delores Jane that neither my opinion regarding that waste of space known as the Ministry nor has my opinion of you has changed in any way, shape, fashion, or form. She is here because I want to give her something to remember me by… for as long as she lives."
With an evil looking smile, he continued, "Imagine my surprise when I was told by the goblins that one of the oaths of fealty held by the Ancient and Noble House of Black, of which I am at the time of this recording the Head, belonged to none other than the Umbridge family, of which Delores Jane is the sole remaining member of. Julius Umbridge swore the Oath of Fealty to the Black family in 1534 and it was never withdrawn, which means that you Delores Jane violated that oath when you attacked the heir to the Black family… me."
Umbridge paled when she realised the implications.
Harry smirked as he went on. "This basically means that I get to decide what will happen with the rest of Delores Jane's life. And before any of you say I can't because I'm dead, please remember that right now when I am making this will, I am not and everything included in it is considered a magically binding contract that will be enforceable long after I am gone."
There was a long pause and then Harry looked to the left where Bonebreaker was seated. "I hope they kept their word and came."
"The current Lord of the Dementors is in a shielded room." Bonebreaker reported, even though Potter's image couldn't hear him.
The goblin's announcement had many gasping in shock. A Dementor Lord! Here in Gringotts!
"The contents of the Black vaults were amazing." Harry continued to explain. "There are some really old spell books in there. Imagine my surprise when I found a ritual that would destroy all the Dementors in one go, no matter where they were. Having that insured that the current Dementor Lord listened to me as we negotiated the marriage contract."
Those words were enough to enable Umbridge and a few others to figure out what he had done.
"NO!" Umbridge shrieked.
"… sure Dumbles would be counselling me if I were alive to live and let live. Stupid fence-sitting Mugwump never had the balls to do the hard stuff, always got someone else to do it for him while he lived off the reputation of being Leader of the Light." The contempt was very clear to hear in Harry's voice. "You really should look up what Mugwump means some time Dumbles, because you would quickly realize, it was an insult and not an honour. The original word was an Algonquian word mugguomp which meant person of importance or war leader. Neither of which fit our dear Dumbles. Mugwump is from an Indian derivation meaning that the person acted sanctimonious or holier-than-thou. Now that fits Dumbles as does the more political meaning: fence-sitters, choosing not to make a decision or that they have their mug on one side and their wump on the other. I am certain that right now Dumbles is trying to come up with a way to break the magical contract I have set up for Delores Jane despite how she screwed him over. Well, good luck Dumbles. I made sure there were no loopholes to exploit in the contract. She deserves everything she gets for trying to make me a vegetable before my fifth year because she and Fudgie didn't want to have their little delusion that all was right with the world destroyed. And lest we also forget, she also put me through many hours of torture with a blood quill. You do realize Delores Jane, those things are illegal for anything other than signing contracts that have to be bound in blood and magic? Any way, I did leave her an out. If she chooses not to marry the husband I have carefully chosen for her, she can lose her magic and become a muggle. Personally, I think I'm being rather generous cause since she injured the heir to the House her family swore fealty too, I could have taken her life."
"Miss Umbridge, what is your choice; the marriage arranged for you by Lord Potter-Black, or the permanent loss of your magic?" Bonebreaker asked after he stopped the recording.
"There is no way he can force me to marry a Dementor… or lose my magic." Umbridge screeched. "He is dead! He can't bind me to any such contract now!"
"You are incorrect, Miss Umbridge." Bonebreaker disagreed. "As the Lord of House Black and given that your great-grandfather freely swore fealty to that family and it was never withdrawn by the head of House Umbridge before Lord Potter-Black's death, he can arrange you marriage if there is no one left in your family to do so. As to you not being bound by the contract, I am pleased to say that you are. Lord Black arranged for it and since it is a magically binding contract not even the death of its creator can undo it. The only way this contract would be null and void is if you were dead."
"You are wrong. There is no way the Lord of a Noble house can marry me to a monster." Delores continued to protest. "Marriage contracts are supposed to be between equals."
Bonebreaker smiled a sharklike smile. "I do remember Lord Potter-Black saying it would be a step down for the Dementor. Am I to assume you choose not to marry the husband chosen for you by Lord Potter-Black?"
"Of course I refuse," Delores snapped. "There is no way this contract can be enforced."
Bonebreaker rose to his feet, holding a sheet of parchment up in one hand and intoned, "By the power invested in me by Lord Potter-Black, to insure that his wishes with regards to the contents of his will were carried out, I hereby dissolve the marriage contract for Delores Umbridge, thereby invoking the clause for dissolution."
A moment later the contract burst into flame. As it burned, Umbridge felt a tugging sensation and a moment later she let out a pain-filled shriek as a small orb of light left her body and flew into the burning contract.
"NO!" Umbridge wailed. She pulled out her wand and pointed it at the goblin. "What did you do to me?"
"I did nothing, muggle." Bonebreaker told her. "You chose to lose your magic rather than honour the contract made by the Lord of your House."
Ignoring the now sobbing muggle, Bonbreaker started the recording again
"Now that Umbridge has been taken care of and I bet she chose to be a muggle rather than accept the husband I chose for her, let's move on to the next person." Harry tapped the brim of the hat again and another slip of paper popped out. "And our next contestant is…. Hermione Jane Granger.
Harry paused for a moment looking thoughtful. "My choice of what to leave Hermione was easy. She values books and the information contained within them above all else… even those she claims are her friends. Why else would she chose to betray one of her first friends at Hogwarts by spying on him and helping to keep him in ignorance unless it was something Dumbledore wanted him to know and all for some old books on magic that the Headmaster promised her, which by the way didn't belong to him."
"Harry! How could you possibly think that." Hermione couldn't believe what she was hearing. How had Harry found out? "I never betrayed our friendship."
"I'm fairly certain that Hermione is protesting her innocence even now, but she forgets I have the Marauder's Map." Harry reminded the room at large. "I saw her go to the Headmaster's office once a week… after curfew and she stayed there for about an hour every time. So unless the Headmaster has a taste for young girls that she was feeding to get her hands on those rare books he had, then she was spying on me and telling him everything I was up to. There is also the fact that during the summer before our fifth year that she cut off all contact with me. I know why Hermione said she did it, but she could have used the regular non-magical mail to keep in contact with me. Do you have any idea how hurt I was, Hermione, by what you did and the only reason you ever gave me was Dumbledore told us not to. I know that even the Weasley's know how to use the regular mail, even if they put way too much postage on the envelope, so why couldn't you, Hermione Jane Granger a muggle-born, fully conversant with the ways of non-magical post use it. I am fairly certain that Deatheaters weren't going to be mugging every postman in Great Britain just to see if he had any letters for me. I needed someone to talk to, not to be completely ignored by those I thought of as my friends."
"I should've known you'd be the type to sell it, Granger." Draco's drawling voice came from the other side of the room. "I never thought the Headmaster would be the kind to need to buy it. I'm just glad he left Slytherin house alone."
"Why you…" Ron's face reddened and he got to his feet intending to beat Malfoy to a pulp, but the goblin guards got between them and then Hermione put her hand on his arm, pulling him back down into his seat.
"We will deal with him later." Hermione whispered.
"…I leave Hermione seven books." Harry's voice went on. "One for every year that I knew her. She will need the knowledge contained in these books if she is to make her way in life once she leaves Hogwarts, cause Dumbles certainly won't be there to help her, given she no longer has any value to him now that I am gone."
Bonebreaker stopped the recording for a few moments as he handed Hermione a thin bundle wrapped in brown paper. Hermione unwrapped the bundle feeling very annoyed at Harry for not understanding why she helped Dumbledore watch over him. The title of the first book How to Be a Friend (Dino Life Guides for Families), the next was The Unwritten Rules of Friendship and by the third book How To Make and Keep Friends, anyone who could see the titles could see the theme of the collection of books. "This can't be right," she sputtered. As she reached the last one, she threw it against the far wall in anger. "I was a good friend! Why would Harry dare claim otherwise? How dare he leave me this trash?"
Draco leaned over and picked up the book. Reading the title: How to Win Friends and Influence People, before handing it back to Bonebreaker to give back to Hermione, he commented, "This seems to be just about right to me Granger after all you don't have Potter to fall back on to so now you'll have to learn how to deal with people instead of use them."
Hermione looked over at Dumbledore wondering why he hadn't spoken up on her behalf. She refused to believe Harry's claim that she no longer had any value to the wizarding world or Dumbledore. She knew Harry was wrong. She was going to make her mark on the wizarding world and everyone would know who she was just like everyone knew who Dumbledore was.
Bonebreaker started the recording up again.
"Now that we have the first of my false friends taken care of, lets see who's next…." Harry tapped the brim of the top hat again and when he read the name on the piece of paper that popped out of it, the smile on his face was warm and full of life. "Remus, you are up next. While I didn't get to know you all that well, and I think I know who is to blame for that," Harry's face took on a sour expression for a moment. "I consider you a member of my family if only because my parents loved and trusted you. You were also one of the few good Defence teachers Hogwarts ever had and it's just a pity that the Board of Governors and the wizarding world are too stupid to realize that you only need to be careful around a werewolf a few days out of the month. Anyway, I know how hard life is for you because of your furry little problem, so I want to make sure you never have to worry about that again. I am leaving you 750,000 galleons from the Potter vaults and an island off the Cornish coast. It has a manor house on it and there are plenty of woods that you can run in during the full moon. I have also hired Dobby and Winky to take care of you and your home, so that you never have to worry about how you are going to put food on your table or any of the other necessities of life. It will leave you time to pursue other interests like the one Sirius mentioned to me. I wish you happy hunting if you do decide to go after that prize because I think it will be well worth catching."
"Thank you Cub," Remus murmured, then blushed as he glanced to his left where Tonks just happened to be sitting. Fortunately she didn't notice. "And I'll think about the other."
"And our next contestant is… Tonks." Harry had pulled another name from the hat while Remus was talking. "Hey Remus, I wonder if Fate might not be trying to give you a hint or maybe a hand. This is probably the only time I can say this and you can't hex me Tonks. I, Harrison Jacob Potter-Black, do hereby restore Andromeda Black Tonks and her daughter Nymphadora Tonks to the Black Family. I leave Andromeda Black Tonks the sum of 10 million galleons and a villa in Monaco. I also name Nymphadora Tonks as the new Head of the Black Family, with the family line to pass through her family from this point on. And if the gossip I heard is not mistaken, I think you already have someone in mind, don't you Tonks?"
Everyone in the room looked at Draco and his mother, wanting their reactions to this news. Narcissa looked as though she had just smelled or eaten something rancid, but she said nothing. Draco surprisingly had a resigned look on his face, as if he'd expected to be cheated out of being the head of the Black family.
George nudged his brother and whispered. "What do you want to bet that there will be a lot of broken china in the Malfoy household tonight?"
"That's a sucker bet," Fred countered just as softly. "Good thing they teach repairing charms in school or the Malfoy family probably wouldn't have anything to eat off of tonight."
"Boys," their mother hissed.
They both look slightly chastened but not for long.
"Our next recipient from the Black and Potter largesse is… Draco Malfoy." Harry seemed to stand taller and his face took on a solemn expression. "Malfoy, I have no doubt you were very surprised to hear that you had been asked to come to my will reading. You and I have never been friends, or even acquaintances. To be blunt we have been enemies. I sometimes wonder if it would've been different if your father hadn't made the choices he did. Remember what you once told me, Draco? A Malfoy bows to no one. But your father did. In fact he grovelled in front of a man whose father was a muggle; someone he would've normally used the Killing curse on in a heartbeat. You can check it out yourself, Malfoy. Voldemort's birth name was Tom Marvalo Riddle. Instead your father has brought your family to the brink of ruin because he bowed to Voldemort."
Harry paused and then resumed, "Going over this history does no one any good. We can't undo the past. I am determined though to save your future. If you Draco Malfoy are willing to swear upon your magic and your blood that the Malfoy family from this day forth will remain neutral in all fights between the Dark and Light, giving allegiance to neither side, then I will leave to you from the Black family vaults the sum of 10 million galleons. Understand this though Draco, if you swear the oath and then some member of your family in the future breaks it all that you have gained from this 10 million I bequeathed to you will be lost."
"I'm surprised you aren't asking me to swear eternal allegiance to the Light." Draco commented sarcastically.
And almost as if the recording could hear and answer him, Harry spoke again. "The reason I am not asking or expecting you to swear allegiance to the Light is because they just as corrupt as those on the Dark side, except they mask it under the heading of the "Greater Good". My whole life was made hell because of a corrupt old man with too much power and influence and who everyone thought could do no wrong and would always be on the side of what was just and right. Well he wasn't. He violated my parent's wills to mould the weapon he needed for that stupid prophecy of Trelawney's. He also saw to it that I got no training so that I could hold my own in a fight against Deatheaters and Voldemort. I don't trust the Light or Dark sides any further than I could throw Hogwarts, given they were both out to destroy me. I have no doubt that Dumbles hoped I would die so I wouldn't take his place as the Hero of the Wizarding world and Champion of Light."
Draco shrugged, "Dumbledore being that corrupt doesn't really surprise me. Father always said he was not to be trusted."
"I can't believe Harry would say something like that!" Molly sounded shocked. "I've known Albus all my life and he would never allow anyone to come to harm or violate a person's will."
Others who were firmly in Dumbledore's camp agreed and glared at Draco, until Remus spoke up, "There is an easy way to prove or disprove Harry's claim that Dumbledore violated the terms of James and Lily's will. Account Manager Bonebreaker, while I realise that your time is very valuable, would it be possible for us to get a look at the Potter's will once this reading is concluded?"
Bonebreaker gave a sharklike smile. "While I would be happy to comply with your request, we at Gringotts do not have Lord and Lady Potter's will. It was taken from Gringotts shortly after their deaths by Chief Warlock Albus Dumbledore."
"Well Albus, would you care to tell us where it is?" Remus asked. "That way after Harry's will has been completed, we can all go see it and clear up this little misunderstanding once and for all."
"I had it filed at the Ministry a few days after Harry was placed with his Aunt." Dumbledore replied calmly. "I wanted to make sure everything was taken care of for him, since his Aunt couldn't take care of legal matters for him in the wizarding world."
"So it was filed in the Office of Magical Wills at the Ministry around what November 10th, would you say, Albus?" Remus inquired.
"Around then," Dumbledore shrugged. "Things were rather hectic at that time given Voldemort's followers were all being rounded up and tried."
"Interesting," Remus looked thoughtful. "I went in around November 30th and inquired about their will, but the clerk in the office, said there was no record of the Potter's will being filed there."
"Gentlemen," Bonebreaker interrupted. "As fascinating as this conversation is proving to be, we need to move on. Mr. Lupin, we at Gringotts will be more than happy to help you track down what happened to the will of one of our major depositors, since it was removed from Gringotts by the Chief Warlock who was listed as its executor so that it could be carried out. It is possible that we retained a copy since we would have been responsible for any dispersals from their accounts."
Dumbledore didn't look too pleased at the news that the goblins were willing to help Remus track down the Potter's will, or that there might be a copy of it at Gringotts.
Bonebreaker looked at Draco. "Lord Malfoy, are you willing to swear the oath required for you to gain the funds Lord Potter-Black is leaving to you?"
Draco looked thoughtful. The oath Potter wanted was that the Malfoy would swear no allegiance to either the Light or Dark side, that the Malfoy's would become an inherently Grey family form this day forward. It was the wording of what he wanted that mattered and as long as the Malfoy family swore no fealty to one side or the other, they could meddle with both. He would have to get things set up so that none of his heirs would be able to make such an oath until they were at least seventeen and by then they would understand the cost to the whole family.
"Yes," Draco got to his feet and took the dagger Bonebreaker held out to him. Making a shallow cut in the palm of his wand hand, he took his wand and pointed it at his chest. "I, Draco Izar Malfoy, do hereby swear upon my magic and my blood that I and my heirs will remain neutral in all disputes between Light and Dark, nor will we knowingly swear allegiance to either side."
A deep purple glow engulfed Draco, almost obscuring him from sight. When it vanished, he looked exhausted and sank back down into his seat, his wand still in his hand. His mother quickly took the wand from him and checked his hand. The scar was healed, but very visible as a permanent reminder of the oath he'd just sworn.
Bonebreaker touched a rune on the pensive so the recording would continue and Harry resumed speaking. "I would like to think that Malfoy is not completely brain dead, so he took what I offered and made the oath, given his other option was to be totally broke after it was proven that his father was a Deatheater and a murder of innocent people. So let's see who our next vic… recipient is."
After reading the name off the paper, Harry smiled again. "Luna, while we were in different houses, you were a good friend to me, just like Neville. With what I am giving you I debated for a bit on leaving it to either you or Hagrid, given you both share a love of rare and exotic creatures, but finally decided you would be the best one to have it and arranged something more fitting for Hagrid. Among the Black family properties is a rare creature farm. It is now yours. I don't know if any of the creatures you are looking for are there, but I know that the ones that are there, will thrive under your care."
Luna said nothing, but her eyes were filled with unshed tears at the thought of what Harry had given her and the fact that he had even thought of her at all.
"Hagrid, since I have mentioned you, I will tell you what I have left to you without drawing your name." Harry went on. "You were my first friend with the wizarding world. Even though some people were afraid of you because of your size, I realised that you were so huge because your huge and loving heart needed a large body to contain it. You always had time for me, to answer questions or just shoot the breeze and gave me help me when I needed it. You were my first and best friend. I also found you to be very loyal to those you respect, even if those you give your loyalty too are sometimes not worthy of the gift you've given them. While I do not understand your love for the large and very dangerous magical creatures, I have made arrangements with the Romanian Dragon Preserve to teach you to be a dragon handler. I know that you also love your job at Hogwarts too, so they will either teach you over the summer holidays, or you can do it all in one shot. Live a long and healthy life my friend and tell Norbert I said Hi."
As Hagrid pulled out his tablecloth sized handkerchief to wipe away the tears that were streaming down his face, Harry was tapping the brim of the hat again.
A big grin appeared on Harry's face as he announced sounding like a game show host, "and our next contestants are… Fred and George Weasley!"
The twins stood and bowed extravagantly toward the image in the Pensieve.
"Deciding what to leave you two troublemakers wasn't all that hard." Harry announced with a grin. "I am leaving you one million galleons from the Black Family vaults. I know Sirius would be pleased to know that his family's money is going to help inspire countless new generations of rule breakers. I also leave you, Sirius and my father's prank journals. I'm sure you will find them very helpful."
Bonebreaker handed over the two journals and per Lord Potter-Black's instructions stopped the recording, since he had indicated there would be an interesting reaction to these books and he hadn't wanted the rest of the will reading to be missed if they went into hysterics.
Fred and George opened the journals not really expecting to find too much of use in them and stood there staring stunned at the names they saw on the inside cover. George's showed it had been written by Padfoot and Fred's had the name Prongs on the inside cover. The twins stood there like statues for a moment before switching journals to see if the other belonged to one of the Mauraders. It did. They stared in disbelief at the books as what Harry had said about them being Sirius Black's and James Potter's prank journals… that meant that… "Moony?"
"Yes," Lupin responded absently, his thoughts fixed on Harry.
Two young men suddenly on their knees in front of his chair, asking if they can bring him a cup of tea or a pillow jarred him out of his sad thoughts.
"Though we are not worthy,…"
"…Teach us, Moony, oh last of the Great Ones."
"One of those by whom all others are judged and found wanting."
"Help us to reach new heights of pranking glory." The twins begged as they bowed down repeatedly before him.
Tonks couldn't help giggling at the shocked expression on Remus' normally calm face, then trying to sound stern she said to the twins. "You will need to make an appointment, because he is going to be quite busy for a while."
Remus looked at Tonks, shocked, "Busy doing what?"
Tonks wrapped her arms around his neck and gave him a long and passionate kiss that had the twins doing wolf whistles in appreciation. When she released his lips, she whispered, "what do you think you're going to be doing?"
Remus looked at the floor and muttered, "You're forgetting about my little problem."
Tonks forced his chin up and looked into his eyes. "No I'm not. So you have a furry problem three days a month. If we are lucky it will coincide with the five days a month I am a true bitch and we'll both be safe."
Bonebreaker grunted, breaking the mood and causing a few laughs as the pair broke apart. "Congratulations to you both, but we need to move on."
When the recording resumed, the first piece of paper that came out, Harry read and set aside, saying, "That was Hagrid's." He tapped the brim again and this time after reading it, he looked solemn again. "The next person is Severus Snape."
Most of those in the room stared in surprise at Snape who was sitting in the corner of the room where he could see everything and yet still keep his back to the wall. He just gave them his trademark glare
"I have no doubt that everyone thinks that I am nuts, given the history Snape and I have had since I first started Hogwarts. Snape and I came to an understanding during the Christmas break last year and we managed to bury the hatchet so to speak, though not in anyone's skull. Professor Snape, I can say it now, where I couldn't before. I deeply regret the way my father and Godfather treated you. Bullying isn't right no matter what the provocation. I leave you something I know you will appreciate the way no one else will."
Bonebreaker handed a vial to Snape that contained a silvery substance, as Harry went on. "In the vial you are being given, Professor Snape, is a memory of me opening the entrance to Slytherin's Chamber of Secrets. I was down there last year and the Basilisk is still very much intact which surprised me. Since I was the one that killed it, I checked the laws and I am the one that gets to decide on its disposal. I leave it to you, to do with as you please. I would imagine that parts from a thousand year old basilisk would be pretty valuable if not useful in potions. May you put it to good use."
Snape looked down at the vial cradled protectively in his hands. If anyone could have seen past the curtain of black hair covering his face at that moment they would've seen that his eyes were glistening with unshed tears. A moment later he shook himself and then raised his head and all anyone saw was an expressionless mask.
Ron glared angrily at the man. His sister had almost died down there and so had Harry and now he'd just been given a very valuable prize and he was treating it like it was nothing. Who knew what else was down there. Surely Slytherin wouldn't have just kept that snake down there, so who knew what treasures Snape was going to find. Crossing his arms over his chest, he muttered "Cold hearted bastard."
While Snape had been studying his gift from Potter, Harry had pulled another name out of the hat and this time the smile on his face as he read the name was not a pleasant one.
"I have been waiting for this for a long long time." Harry announced, his voice sounding like a prophet about to pronounce someone's doom. "Our next winner or in this case I might say loser is Minister of Magic Cornelius Oswald Fudge. You probably thought I was going to leave you a lot of money because I respected you and wanted you to continue as Minister. Well Fudgie, I think it can be safely said and no one will disagree with me that you are an incompetent ass. How you ever managed to keep your office or even get into it in the first place, just goes to show that the majority of the British magical humans are sheep willing to be lead by someone who makes nice sounding promises that they know they can't keep. I spent a long time planning your comeuppance. I now own both the Daily Prophet and Wizarding Wireless, so that means I get to tell them what they should print and you can't stop it, because even as we speak a special edition of the Prophet is going out detailing all your crimes from the bribes you accepted from Lucius Malfoy and other now proven Deatheaters, to the fact that you were willing to have my godfather Kissed, even though both Hermione and I told you he was innocent and that Pettigrew was in fact my parents Secret Keeper, and let us not forget your crowning achievement: denying Moldyshort's return for an entire year and slandering me when I tried to get the truth out."
The image of Harry leaned forward. "I am also calling for a vote of No Confidence from the Wizengamot and have had my representatives present the evidence to Amelia Bones to get that session called. It includes the pensieve memories of every interaction you and I ever had, as well as those things I witnessed you doing, such as having Hagrid sent off to Azkaban without a trial and you appointment of Umbridge as Defence teacher solely to keep the students at Hogwarts quiet about Voldemort's return. You're goose is cooked Fudge if I have anything to say about it. And if the Wizengamot proves to be remarkably short-sighted and leaves you in office, I have made arrangements for both the Wizarding Wireless and the Prophet to print your crimes against the peoples of magical Britain over and over again until election day so that the people of Wizarding Britain know what an imbecile you are. Maybe they will finally wake up and smell the coffee as the Americans say."
Harry paused a moment as if to recover from the fit of anger he was going through. "I just have to add one final thing Fudgie. I am just glad I know longer have to be ruled by an incompetent jackass like you. I hope those in heaven are better at running things. I would hate to think heaven's government was like yours."
Fudge sputtered and stared at the image of Potter. He couldn't believe the boy would do this to him. He was a good Minister and he had done his best for the people of Wizarding Britain under very trying circumstances. He had kept the peace, but Fudge was quick to realise that wouldn't matter once those articles and reports started coming out. People would be after his blood. He needed to get out of here… now.
Getting to his feet, Fudge muttered something about being late for a meeting that no one really believed and scurried out the door like a rat leaving a sinking ship.
"Now I have no doubt that Fudge just left the room is his desire to try and keep as much of the money he was paid in bribes as possible and get out of the country before the people of wizarding Britain can put his head on a pike." Harry commented as Fudge was doing just that. Tapping the hat once more, Harry said, "let's move on. Our next contestant is… Arthur Weasley."
Harry paused for a moment and took a deep breath as if readying himself for an ordeal. "Arthur, I want to thank you and your wife for taking me in and showing me what a real, loving family should be. You have been the closest thing to a father I will ever know and I thank you for that. After I met you, I hoped that my dad might have been like you, by that I mean loving and always concerned for his family and friends and always having the time to help even a total stranger who needed it. Mr Weasley, I know how much you love electronics and so I leave you the sum of 100,000 pounds, which is equivalent to 20,000 galleons so that you can buy whatever electronics take your fancy. I also leave you two books to help you understand electronics in general and maybe help you figure out how things work in the muggle world a little better."
Bonebreaker handed over two moderately thick books and Arthur eagerly took a look at the titles: Electronics for Dummies and Science of Everything
"I went looking for these books in particular, because they explain electronics and science in simple easy to understand terms," Harry continued. "I hope you enjoy them and that you and Molly have a long and happy life together."
Harry set his wand to one side as his face took on a gentle smile. "I think I will continue with the remainder of the Weasley family. Molly, like Arthur you showed me what being part of a family really meant and what a mother should be. Merlin knows Petunia never was one, especially towards me. I know that having me in your lives placed you family in great deal of danger, but you did it anyway with an amazing amount of selflessness. I leave you 50,000 galleons to be used however you wish, may your life be long and happy. I also leave you and Arthur a magical painting I had done of you both at the Burrow, so that you will always be together in your home filled with love. You will find it in the Burrow when you get home. I asked Dobby to deliver it during the will reading."
As Molly sobbed in Arthur's arms, over Harry's generosity, Harry went on. "Bill, we didn't get to spend all that much time together, but I think it would've been cool to have an older brother like you. I am leaving you several books from the Black Family library on ancient curses and how to counter them. As a Cursebreaker, I think you will appreciate them, because they are all handwritten by one of the Black's who apparently was a cursebreaker over 200 hundred years ago. Charlie, what I said about Bill also applies to you. I think it would've been cool to have a brother who worked with dragons. I am giving you from the Potter Library several books on ancient dragons, I hope they will be of help in your work. I checked with Flourish and Blotts and these books have not been printed for over 300 years so they are rather rare. Percy you are next."
Harry's face took on an implacable expression as he addressed the third Weasley son, "Percy, there is nothing about you I like or respect. You threw away your family to becoming a brown-nosing, ass kissing political aide to someone who couldn't be bothered to remember your name. You threw away the one thing I would've given my entire family's fortune for… a family who loved me. I leave you a crate of muggle baby wipes so you can have something to clean your nose after kissing the asses of all those politicians you think are more important than you family. The crate is being delivered to your home by Dobby and you will find it there when you get home."
The other members of the Weasley family looked over at Percy to see how he was taking this rather insulting bequest. He looked somewhat resigned to it as if he had expected it after seeing what happened to Fudge. Percy saw the pitying looks on some of his family's faces and stiffened his shoulders, determined not to break down in front of them because of the barriers Harry's harsh words had cracked.
"Since Fred and George have already been taken care of, I will move on to Ron." Ron perked up at this news, certain he was going to be left something really good. He was Harry's best friend after all. "I'm sure he is expecting me to have plenty of complimentary things to say about him given he was the first friend I ever had who was my own age, but I'm afraid that his hopes are going to be dashed. You see Ron, I know about the money you have been getting from Dumbles to spy on me along with Hermione since your first year in school. I also know that money came from my vaults here at Gringotts. The 12,000 galleons you got from Dumbles is all the money you will ever have from me. I thought you were my friend, but you were just using me, like Hermione was."
As Ron started to protest his innocence to his mother, who was looking at him as if she couldn't believe what she was hearing, Harry went on. "Before you start to protest your innocence and claim you never met with Dumbles so how could you have gotten money for spying on me, you should know I've seen my bank records. Bonebreaker who became my account manager after the removal of my previous account manager, showed me the records of the 2,000 galleon transfers to your account at the end of every school year, by my supposed magical guardian Albus Dumbledore. Though I never authorized those transfers, I will not take that money back. It's not like I need it now. Ron, you should also know that yours and Hermione's betrayal of me is going to be printed in the next edition the Prophet. Good luck in trying to find a job in magical Britain, because you won't be able to ride on the fame of being the friend of The Boy Who Lived any more and your poor scores at school certainly won't be a help in your search for employment."
"Account Manager Bonebreaker," Arthur asked a shocked expression on his face. "Is what Lord Potter-Black said true? Has my son been receiving payments for the last six years from his vault?"
"And were those payments authorised by Albus Dumbledore?" Molly wanted to know.
"Yes," Bonebreaker didn't elaborate.
Turning to look at his youngest son an expression of cold fury on his face, Arthur said," Ronald Bilius Weasley, your mother and I will be discussing your behaviour with you when we get you home and don't even think about apparating anywhere else but the Burrow when we leave here."
Ron nodded without saying a word. He could tell his father was in an almost killing fury because of the way the arms of the sturdy chair he was sitting in were creaking as Arthur gripped and twisted his hands around them.
There was a long pause from Harry as if he had been expecting some kind of confrontation because of the bombshell he'd just dropped, but after a few minutes, he resumed speaking. "We are now down to the last Weasley, Ginerva Molly Weasley."
Ginny perked up at hearing her name spoken by the man she had wanted as her for most of her life, especially after he proved her loved her just as much during her first year by saving her form Tom Riddle and that basilisk.
"Ginerva, I know about your obsession with me." Harry's face held none of the passion Ginny expected to see in one who loved her and she certainly had not expected him to continue using her proper first name. She had expected him to call her what he did when they were talking together privately over the past year. His nickname for her had been Venefica, which he'd told her meant little Sorceress in Latin. "I would have thought after your experience with Tom's diary in your first year at Hogwarts you wouldn't have been stupid enough to write anything down that might be incriminating later, but like most in the wizarding world, you didn't learn from your mistakes. Winky was a great help to me after I told her about the potions that had been detected when I came into Gringotts to claim my inheritance last summer."
Harry paused for a moment before going on. "I must say I was surprised you didn't try a love potion, but then the help you were providing to Dumbles in exchange for the pending marriage contract to me was that you would get me to trust you over and above even your brother. But then again I suppose a love potion would've been a bit obvious, given I had never shown an interest in you before last year and you hadn't managed to be able to say complete sentences to me before then."
There was another pause as Harry looked angry. "You did manage to get me to trust you using some potions to lower my defences. I told you things, I'd never told another living soul and you turned around and told them to Dumbles so he could use them to manipulate me. I am fairly certain you are expecting to get the bulk of the Potter estate, given you think the contract was signed, by my guardian, but you won't be, given Dumbledore had no legal right to make such a marriage contract on my behalf. Some of you may be saying how can that be since I was sixteen last year and not an adult in the eyes of the wizarding world but when Sirius died a clause in his will was activated that emancipated me and made me Head of the Houses of Potter and Black. It seems that according to the rules governing the House of Black, they didn't want any one meddling in their family and so unless otherwise decreed in the previous Lord's will, the oldest male Black is the Head of the House and if they are a child they are automatically emancipated and with me being named the heir of the last Lord Black at Sirius' death, I automatically became the new Lord Black and by extension was able to claim the headship to the House of Potter as well. I may have been unaware of the Emancipation, but it was carried out. I was an adult in the wizarding world at sixteen and responsible for my own actions."
There was a large evil grin on Harry's face as he went on. "And in case you missed it Ginerva, what that means for you is that from the moment Sirius died Dumbles had no legal right to enter into any legal agreements on my behalf and the Goblins confirmed it for me, so you get nothing as a surviving spouse, especially since the marriage was never consummated. Also I need to tell you one other thing. You know that nickname I've been using for you for most of the past year: Venefica, it was a name given to Roman sorceress' who used drugs, potions and poisons to get what they wanted. It really means a female who poisons, which is just what you did do my little Venefica."
Ginny's parents looked at her not wanting to believe this latest accusation, but the expression on Ginny's face was all the proof they needed that Harry's accusation was true. Her face was extremely pale as if all the blood had drained out of it and her eyes were wide with shock and disbelief that all her plans could have come undone.
Arthur got to his feet holding his wand in his hand and his voice was icy cold as he spoke. "Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore as Head of the Weasley family, for the crime of corrupting two and possibly three of my children, if we find you had a hand in Percy leaving us, you are no longer welcome on any Weasley property and I hereby dissolve all ties between my family and yours. Do not ever come near us again."
A pale yellow glow covered Arthur from head to foot as he finished speaking.
Bonebreaker smiled and said, "Very entertaining, but you could've saved yourself some trouble. There is still Lord Potter-Black's bequest to the Supreme Mugwump to be bestowed."
Those words worried Dumbledore even more than what Harry had previously said.
"And now we come to the last and in my mind the least important person here, Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, holder of a lot of worthless titles and the one who I hold solely responsible for the fuck up my life has been up to this point, because he controlled me like a puppet, until I cut the strings last summer when I found out about my emancipation, that you neglected to tell me about Dumbles." The expression on Harry's face was one of cold fury. "Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, I charge you with deliberately interfering with the execution of a magical will that you had no right to interfere with. You overrode my parent's wishes and removed the executor of their estate when you had Sirius imprisoned. I know that their will indicated who was named as their secret keeper and that this will was placed in the care of Gringotts a few days before their deaths. I also know that there was a record of you accessing their will a few days after their deaths, so you knew it! You also knew that Sirius would never go along with your plan to place me with the Dursleys because he knew how they felt about magic, so he had to be removed and you had yourself placed on record as my magical guardian."
There was a pause and Harry seemed to recover a bit for the fury that had made the pensieve image shake. "I had the Gringotts goblins check a few things for me and found out something, I don't think you took into account. When you had yourself declared my magical guardian, in defiance of the will, you became obligated to carry out it's terms in full, which means you broke a magically binding will and caused harm not only to me but to the Head of the House of Black."
Dumbledore paled as Harry went on. "I, Harrison Jacob Potter-Black, Head of the Houses of Potter and Black do hereby charge Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore with interfering with the discharge of a magical contract, my parent's will, that led to the ultimate deaths of the Lords of two Noble Houses, that of Potter and Black. However because of your years of service to the people of magical Britain, I leave it to you to decide what your fate shall be. Behind door number 1 your option is to retire completely from every office you hold, including that of Headmaster of Hogwarts, and never appear in public again, grant interviews, or in anyway have any influence over anyone in the wizarding/magical world ever again. Or you can choose door number two and be stripped of you magic and lose everything your family possesses. I have had two magically binding contracts drawn up fro you to choose from. And don't think you can get away with not choosing. If you don't choose, then the choice will be made for you and I have made my instructions very clear to Account Manager Bonebreaker. So what will your choice be Dumbles?"
"How long do I have to decide?" Dumbledore asked Bonebreaker as he ignored the ugly looks being sent his way from Remus and Tonks among others. He knew protesting would do him no good, since it would be all to easy to prove he had accessed the Potter's will shortly after their deaths.
"Before you leave this room." Bonebreaker told him as he touched a rune on the side of the pensieve and Harry's image vanished. Then the goblin pulled two pieces of parchment out of a file and placed them on the table beside him. "If you do not choose then I have my instructions to rip up one and the other will immediately take effect. As for the rest of you, this concludes the reading of Lord Potter-Black's will."
"Hey what about the Potter estate?" Ron protested. "That was never mentioned in Potter's will."
"That's because it's already been dealt with." Bonebreaker glared at the brash young red head. "The person who received that, was notified of his inheritance earlier today by one of our muggle lawyers. All the Potter assets with the exception of those listed in the will you just heard were converted over to muggle assets within the past month with the instructions that they be given to Lord Potter-Black's only friend in the non-magical world."
As Dumbledore got to his feet and went over to read the two contracts that Harry had had drawn up, there were several conversations starting up wondering who this person in the non-magical world might be and why Harry had never mentioned him before. Dumbledore, could tell immediately that the contracts had been written by the goblins because there were no immediate loopholes that he could see. He signed the one that would allow him to keep his magic. He had acted as he thought best for the 'Greater Good' of all, but it took years of living, before someone else could understand why sometimes it was necessary to cause short-term harm to a few to preserve a greater number of people in the long run or to paraphrase the muggle author Dickens, sometimes a few must be sacrificed for the good of the many.
Severus walked into the room filled with the lengthening shadows from the afternoon sun. He looked around trying to figure out where his guest had gotten to. He found him standing in a shadowy corner on the far side of the room.
"How did it go?" He asked as Snape came closer. His attention didn't waiver from the scene outside the window. "Is it finally finished?"
"Yes, everyone has gotten their just deserts and I want to thank you for the basilisk." After handing over a vial containing a memory of the Potter will reading, Snape turned his attention to the scene outside as he stood beside his guest.
"I figured you would be the one to best be able to make use of it, not to mention you deserve it far more than my so called friends." His guest turned to face him. "I've made arrangements to get US citizenship and will be leaving in the morning. The American Department of Magic sent me a portkey to take me to the registry office at 6am Eastern US time tomorrow morning, that way I arrive when there are very few people there and so my arrival will not be noticed by that many people. I want to thank you for all the help you've given me. I never would've gotten away without your help. I never would've had my freedom. I either would've been expected to correct all of Magical Britain's ills, or else they would've viewed me as the next Dark Lord, because I took out the last one."
Severus nodded conceding that he was right. Very few in magical Britain were willing to fight for what they believed in and what was right. They much preferred to let others do the fighting for them. They were also very quick to see enemies in those who didn't live the way they thought they should and to try and get them destroyed by the government who was all to willing to go along since said individual might also be a threat to them. "What will you do now?"
"I don't know." Harry admitted. "I haven't really had time to give it much thought. I think a will veg as the muggles call it for a few months and try to catch up on muggle current affairs, since I have no intention of spending much time in the magical world, at least for a few decades. Maybe work on getting a muggle degree in something, once I figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life. I will definitely be doing some travelling though, see some of the places I've only read about."
Snape looked into the emerald green eyes that were now facing him. "Enjoy your life, Mr. Potter. And you may see me in America in a year or so, since I doubt that I will be the potions master at Hogwarts for much longer."
"Just send me an owl when you get there. And the name is now Damien Greenleigh." The young man standing beside him corrected the name he'd used.
Snape bowed his head slightly in acknowledgement. "
Enjoy your life Mr. Greenleigh, may it be a long and happy one."
"And may you have the same." Damien, formerly Harry Potter, returned the wish before heading out the door of the sitting room.