Harry Potter and the Legacy of Gryffindor
General Disclaimer: I make no claim upon ownership of the characters portrayed in this work of fanfiction. Copyright ownership of the characters is incumbent upon J.K. Rowling in the case of all Harry Potter characters, and in the case of historical figures, no claim of copyright exists. In the creation of this work of fanfiction, I seek to make no profits.
Summary: AU post-OOTP. Harry becomes leader of an anti-Dark group. But who are the Scarlet Knights, and will they lead to the downfall of the Dark Lord?
It was the end of the first day of August. Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived, sat in his bedroom, as he did most nights, studying.
His birthday had come and gone, leaving him with a heap of presents. Cakes from Mrs. Weasley, cakes from Hagrid, a small snitch from Fred and George (the note didn't say where they'd gotten it, and Harry decided he didn't want to know), a book about Quidditch from Ron and Hermione, and an obscure ruby ring from Dumbledore, along with a note from the Headmaster stating that he would explain soon.
He'd been studying, instead of schoolwork, the ring. It was a normal looking ring, if he simply set it on the table. It had a gold band, and a fairly large and thick ruby set into it with some sort of symbol etched in gold on the stone. But when Harry picked it up, the ruby began to glow red, like a flame had ignited within it somehow. He couldn't explain the cause of this, and none of his textbooks had any explanation either. He would apparently have to wait for the Headmaster.
His musings were interrupted by Uncle Vernon yelling up the stairs for him, and he pocketed the ring and walked downstairs to see his headmaster waiting in the hallway, with Uncle Vernon standing mute, shuddering with rage at the sight of the elderly man wearing lavender robes. For a brief moment, Harry wondered if Dumbledore had cast a silencing charm on his uncle, but since he hadn't been bombarded with owls from the Ministry threatening his expulsion again, that thought left his head just as quickly as it had entered.
"Professor Dumbledore?" Harry asked, though he knew full well who the man was.
"Ah, good evening Harry. Do come down, you and I have some things to discuss. I was just speaking with your dear Uncle and he has kindly agreed to allow us to do so in the parlor." The look on Uncle Vernon's face suggested he had done no such thing, but Harry just grinned and followed the Headmaster into the room, sitting in Uncle Vernon's recliner while Dumbledore chose the armchair.
"Do you have the ring with you, Harry?" Dumbledore asked, and Harry nodded, pulling it out of his pocket. As before, when he held it up, the ruby was glowing red.
"So it does glow for you..." Dumbledore said in a voice Harry normally associated with his musings. "As I suspected it would."
"I don't understand," Harry said. "Why does the stone glow when people touch it?"
"Ah," Dumbledore said. "Not people, Harry. Just you, your father, and all your grandfathers, dating back until the founding of Magical Britain."
Harry was still confused. "So it's like a Potter family heirloom?" The idea of a ring that was tied to blood seemed strange, but if it had originated so far back…he vaguely recalled Binns talking about Blood Magic somewhere back in his second year.
"Of a sort," Dumbledore replied. "And yet, it is much more than that. That ring, if it glows on the finger of the wearer, signifies that he is the Head of the House of Potter."
Harry was dumbfounded. "Head of the House of Potter?"
"Yes," Dumbledore said. "You may know, from the tapestry in Sirius' old home, of the 'Ancient and Most Noble Houses' of Wizarding families. Yours is, or was, one such House. And you are now its Head, Lord Potter."
"LORD!?" Vernon Dursley thundered from the kitchen. "The brat's a Lord!?"
"For services to the Magical community, a Viscountcy was conferred upon Edmund Potter in 1395 by the Wizard's Council, and confirmed by King Richard the Second," Dumbledore said. "As a symbol of his status, he was given that ring, charmed by the Council so that only those with Potter blood could make the stone glow, preventing its use by any usurpers seeking power using the Potter name. The engraving upon the stone is that of your family crest, Harry."
"What does this mean, sir?" Harry asked, in a rather meek voice. He would have preferred a more strong tone, one he would see as befitting of a Lord, but he was rather overwhelmed at the news that he was some sort of nobility.
"In the short term, it means you have a greater role in what happens in the Wizarding world than you do simply as the Boy-Who-Lived; influential though the name of Harry Potter may be in getting things done, the name and title of Lord Potter is doubly so. You have a seat on the Wizengamot's legislative arm, and as such can propose changes to the status quo, up to and including possibly replacing the Minister. I believe the Muggles call such a maneuver a Vote of No Confidence."
A slight grin came across Harry's face at this news. The opportunity to call for Fudge to be sacked?
"You are, of course, wondering why I am telling you about this now, when you are not yet of age," Dumbledore said, leading Harry to wonder if the headmaster had misread his expression. "The answer is in an event taking place in Gringotts Bank tomorrow morning. The reading of Sirius' will."
"What does that have to do with me being a Lord?"
"Everything, Harry. You need to know that you are a Lord, because in all likelihood you will become the next Baron Black tomorrow."
"But I'm not a Black, Professor," Harry reminded him. "Sirius was the last one."
"Technically true," Dumbledore replied. "Though there does remain a possible male heir with some Black blood, young Mister Malfoy, and I for one would rather him not acquire the Black heritage."
"But how is that possible?" Harry asked. "Inheritance goes to the oldest male heir remaining, doesn't it?"
"Heavens no!" Dumbledore said. "Wizarding nobility doesn't follow the Muggles' ridiculous Salic law. The Head of House chooses who inherits the title, and writes the instruction into his will, which has the effect of altering the letters patent if necessary. Blood relatives are preferred, of course, but not required. I'm sure if we gave Miss Granger time to pour over Wizarding genealogy texts, she could find a blood connection between you and the Blacks, but as I said, it is not necessary."
"So you believe I'm going to inherit the Black family title when Sirius' will is read?"
"It makes perfect sense to me, given that your family and Sirius were quite close. I do not know how recently his will was updated, but he will leave his titles to the Potter estate in some form, which means it will be yours."
"Next year," Harry said. "Even if it's left to me directly, I won't be able to use it until I turn 17, will I?"
"That's where you're wrong, Harry. It is expected that the heirs of the Ancient and Noble Families begin training to assume their responsibilities in the Wizarding world after graduation from school, thus they – in a sense – come of age a year prior to their fellows, due to their responsibilities and the extra training they require."
"You mean to tell me I'm of age now?" Harry asked, gobsmacked. "I can do magic and everything now?"
"As of yesterday, yes indeed," Dumbledore replied, smiling. "Though your case is a rather special one, since you come into you responsibilities immediately instead of many years down the road."
"I have no idea how to be a Lord!" Harry exclaimed.
"I shall help you as best I can," Dumbledore replied. "And I'm sure the current Heads of some of the other Ancient and Noble Houses would be more than happy to give you pointers as well."
"Am I going to have to buy a cape?" Harry asked, and Dumbledore laughed.
"Only if you so desire, Harry. Though you may wish to invest in some business-style robes."
"Wait then, sir, if the reading's not until tomorrow…why are you here tonight?" Harry asked.
"Well, I deduced that you may require more time to absorb the information about your new status, as well as that you may wish to escape from this home as soon as it is feasible for you. I'm sure Tom has a room available for you at the Cauldron."
"I'll get packed then!" Harry said enthusiastically, leaping from his chair and darting for the stairs, but was blocked by an extremely irate Vernon Dursley.
"You're not going anywhere until we discuss my compensation for dealing with your freaky self for the last fifteen years!" the overweight man shouted at Harry.
"You're not getting a damn Knut from me!" Harry shouted back, pulling his wand and with three swiftly muttered incantations, silenced, stunned, and levitated his uncle out of his way.
Making his way upstairs, he packed all the belongings he wanted to keep, which for the most part accounted for his robes, surprisingly few of his "Muggle" clothes – though most of them were either not his size, hideous, or both – his books and other "school supplies" and his Quidditch supplies. He shut and locked the trunk, waved his wand and it jumped up to hover beside him. Making his way back downstairs, he looked once more at his "family", who had congregated around the still-unconscious Vernon.
"I'm leaving," he stated flatly. "I won't be coming back. Please, forget to write." The looks on Petunia and Dudley's faces told him he didn't have to worry about them remembering to keep in touch with him. Looking to Dumbledore, he indicated that he was ready to leave 4 Privet Drive for good. Dumbledore smiled at him and opened the door, letting Harry walk out into the front yard before following and closing the door.
"How are we getting to London, Professor?" Harry asked. "I may be of age, but I've no idea how to Apparate…"
"No matter," Dumbledore answered. "I have prepared a Portkey to take us there, since I gather you would rather not avail yourself of the services of the Knight Bus." Harry shuddered with the thought of riding once again on that death trap.
"No, a Portkey's just fine, Professor," Harry said. Dumbledore pulled from his robe a yellow scarf and offered one end of it to Harry. Taking hold of his trunk with his right hand and the scarf with his left, Harry felt the jerk behind his navel and he, his trunk and Dumbledore disappeared from Privet Drive.
Their sudden reappearance in the Leaky Cauldron did not faze old Tom behind the bar in the slightest; indeed, he treated it as though this sort of thing happened all the time, and did not even look up for a moment from the tumbler he was cleaning.
"Professor, Harry, how can I help the two of you this evening?" he asked amicably.
"I need a room for at least the night, Tom," Harry told him. "I've got business in Diagon Alley tomorrow, and I'm not quite sure where I'll be going afterwards."
"Room 10," Tom said, plucking the key from its hook and tossing it to Harry. "I trust you know the routine by now, breakfast time and such?"
Harry grinned. "Quite well."
"Excellent. I'll see you in the morning then, Harry," the barman said. As Harry began his walk towards the staircase, he heard Dumbledore refuse an offer of Firewhisky from Tom, the Headmaster settling instead for peppermint schnapps.
While Harry settled down to bed, in Wiltshire an ancient scroll in a hidden chamber flashed for a moment, generating a separate piece of parchment and a token. An owl was summoned, and with the token secured to the parchment, secured in turn to the owl's leg, the bird flew off.
Lord Harry Potter
The Leaky Cauldron