Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or associated characters. I am not British or a Billionaire, though I wish I was both. Also, I have read a LOT of fanfiction, so if you read something you think might be similar, I apologise profusely.
Chapter 8: Snape, Snape, Severus Snape.
Harry apparated into Hogsmeade to the cave behind the shrieking shack. Various newspapers still littered the ground from when Sirius called the cave his home. Making himself invisible, he entered the shack, melancholy as the place brought memories both good and bad to the forefront of his mind. As he walked down the corridor towards Hogwarts, he thought back on his allies he had left back at the manor. Somewhere along the line, they had become more than a business alliance, more than a way for each of them to gain power. He knew he always had the loyalty of Neville and Luna at his back, but it was pleasantly surprising to note the comradery with Draco and Blaise as well. Harry had very few things as a child, but what he was given (or allowed to keep after finding) he cherished and never left behind. The broken toy soldiers he had saved as a child that got him through long nights in the cupboard had made it into his Hogwarts trunk. Somehow, his four comrades had become 'his' in his mind. His things to protect and cherish. If Dumbledore was ever right about something, it was Harry's ability to love. He could find a family in an escaped con, werewolf, seer, snobby elitist, aloof pureblood and a socially awkward herbologist and form alliances with dementors and giants.
Harry sighed, seeing the end of the tunnel in sight. He renewed his invisibility charm and approached the section of wall that lead onto the first floor corridor. He felt Hogwarts' magic wash over him, acknowledging his status as Lord Gryffindor, the sentience of the castle connecting to his magical core. He asked Hogwarts to transport him to the edge of the Forbidden Forest, and felt as he was apparated within the wards to the cool, quiet depths of the sentient trees. Harry conjured a few juicy steaks and waited in the small clearing, knowing it would only be a few moments before the thestrals caught their scent.
He was not left waiting long, as a thestral, with its skeletal frame and glowing eyes cautiously entered the clearing.
"Hello, Hogwarts Heir. What do you seek of my herd?" Harry bowed formally, choosing his words carefully before replying.
"I seek your alliance in an upcoming war, but know not what to offer you in return." The thestral pawed the ground beneath him, before replying,
"We are aligned to those who are loyal to magic above all else. We sense the power within you, and offer our assistance." Harry bowed once more in thanks, and when he looked up, he was once again alone in the clearing.
He could sense a life form nearby, somewhere off to the right of the clearing, so secluding himself in shadows he waited like a predator. Severus Snape walked into the clearing, perpetual frown on his face and mumbling slightly under his breath about "shortages of belladonna." So he was out looking for potions ingredients then. Harry did an aura reading on Snape, detecting the malevolent, but no longer intimidating aura of his mate Voldy, as swell as several layers of compulsions. Using his magic, he thrust his hands towards Snape, who was taken by surprise and forced the ground by an unseen presence. Harry stood up, making himself visible to Snape who noticeably doubled his glare (quite a feat). Harry kept a cool smirk on his face as he kneeled over the prone body of his potions master. Harry's mind filled with the knowledge bestowed upon him by Gryffindor, and reached into the man's magical core. Slowly, he began to unravel the bindings bestowed upon him by his two masters. The dark mark faded into nothing, long term aches and pains disappeared, and for the first time in many years, his eyes filled with an emotion other than spite. Harry continued to stare into the man's eyes, healing his deepest scars, removing the personality altering compulsion charms placed on him by Dumbledore, and the pain inflicting controlling spells that Voldemort had placed. Finally, Severus Snape was a free man. Harry pulled away from him, withdrawing his magical contact, awaiting the imminent questions. This was the first time Harry had ever seen the man speechless.
"Potter? Did you just- I think I- Does that mean I'm not…."
Harry just nodded calmly at the man, and sitting on the floor of the clearing, filled the man in on what he had placed on him. Snape's eyes filled with a familiar fury that was for once, not directed at him, when Harry told him of the bindings placed on him by Dumbledore. Harry thought that Snape would always be a snarky git in his own way, but would no longer be driven by his traumatic past to seek revenge, or by fear of his future if he would have one at all. Harry told him of his plans to overtake the Wizengamot and defeat Voldemort, his magic telling him that he could be trusted. Snape had no doubts in his mind that this young man in front of him could take down Voldemort in his sleep. The aura he exuded subconsciously was enough to send shivers down his spine, let alone when the magic was directly aimed at him.
"Well Potter, it would seem as though everything is already in motion. I myself hold a seat on the Wizengamot – the Prince lordship, though I have not previously claimed it. I agree to what you are proposing and will consent to cast my vote in your favour." Harry nodded in thanks, before standing up and brushing off his long leather coat. That made ten seats out of twelve on the Wizengamot. "Thank you, Professor, I will call upon you when required." Snape nodded his head once in ascent, realising that he owed his allegiance to the man in front of him. They shook hands, and Severus Snape, with the tiniest of smiles, walked back into the forest.
Harry watched the man leave the clearing, feeling excited at the prospect of his plans finally coming to fruition. He crossed his legs and pushed his hands onto the earth, feeling the soft moss beneath his fingertips. He took a deep breath and started pulling shadows towards him. The shadows from the trees stretched and warped until they coalesced in front of him into the shape of a huge black raven who appeared to be made partly of feathers and partly pure darkness. The raven opened its glowing crimson eyes and waited for his master's orders.
Harry had written a letter to the largest vampire clan's leader, knowing that to gain the alliance of all vampires, he only had to convince the highest on the food chain. His letter spoke of equal rights for vampires, allowing them to live, work and learn along side wizards. Vampires would be punished for drawing blood not willingly given or for turning a human against their wish, but would otherwise submit to the same laws as the rest of wizard kind.
Gamp's Law of Transfiguration states that you can not conjure food that is sustenant, but there is no restriction against duplicating it. Harry planned to turn Grimmauld Place into a blood bar and sanctuary for vampires once Dumbledore was taken down. All he needed was one drop of real blood and he could then duplicate enough to feed a clan for their whole lives. An extraordinary amount of power was required to pull the feat of magic off, but Harry knew he would be more than capable. This was what Gryffindor had wanted to him to do with his knowledge and power, and as his heir, he wanted to fulfill his task. Harry handed his raven summoning the letter and it disappeared into a cloud of shadow.
Hundreds of miles away, in the dark, torch-lit depths of Salvatore castle, Sanguini was sitting on a stone throne, staring into the depths of a rapidly cooling golden chalice of bland animal blood. A torch flickered, and out the corner of his eye, he noticed a dark shadow creep down from the arches of the ceiling. He watched as the shadows grew thicker, and take on the form of feathery wings. The raven appeared before him, and with a piercing look with its ruby red eyes ,dropped the letter at Sanguini's feet, before seeming to fade back into the shadows of the castle corners. The other vampires in the throne room watched cautiously as their leader read the letter bearing the crest of a multi-titled Lord. Seconds ticked by in silence. Then Sanguini smiled.
Harry lightly jumped down from his feathered ride, dismissing his raven summoning before assessing his surroundings from on top of the precipice of Azkaban prison. Harry summoned a patronus without a second thought, pleased to note it was still his protector, Prongs. The magical manifestation of happy memories; that one time with Luna in the library, that night in the forest…oh and that other time on the roof; was like a siren call to the Dementors, so he waited for them to appear. Within a few seconds, he felt the chill, felt the magic in the air change like a dark vacuum, but it did not affect him.
"Greetings, shadow-dwellers." Harry said. He noted the language of the dementors that rolled off his tongue was rasping and sibilant as he watched them pause in their descent towards him. He dispelled his patronus, but they kept their distance, cautious of this human that could speak their tongue.
"You speak, yet you are not of death and shadow. What is it that you seek, human?" The tallest dementor glided forwarded, his rattling words condensing the air around him into fog as he spoke. Harry reached into his own mind, projecting a memory into the air between himself and the dementor. It was an image of the veil from the DOM, the cloth that veiled its entrance the exact match to the cloak of the dementor before him. Harry could hear the faint whispers that it emitted, and noted that the dementors shivered in excitement and seemed to whisper to each other.
"You know the location of our portal, our sanctuary." The dementor reached forward one boney hand that passed straight through the image that Harry had conjured. Harry knew that the veil had another use other than to hold prisoners, the book he had used to save Sirius had hinted at the fact that it was a gateway for lost souls and memories, a literal feeding and breeding ground for the dementors.
"If I may have your alliance when I call upon you for one day, to fight against my enemy, then I shall return your sanctuary to you, and you may be reunited with the endless cosmos of time and space."
The chill in the air intensified as Harry stood calmly before the swarm of dementors as they communicated wordlessly with their leader.
A/N: Next chap: Wizengamot fun times and the Dumbles showdown!