A/N: I realize that most of the things mentioned by Remus to Harry as how the Potters made their gold is completely wrong but I wanted to portray the Potters as a family that, while they definitely have good business sense, they also like to help out their friends and families.
Harry giving his Tri-wizard money to the twins is a good example. He knows the twins want the money to start their business. He has no need for the gold and so decides to help them out. It is merely Fred and George's creative inventions that help to make the business do so well. Because Harry helped them to get started they decide to give him a portion of the profits which in turn increases Harry's wealth. He didn't set out to give them the money because he knew they would increase his wealth, he did it because they were friends. If James had lived long enough and Remus had an idea like the twins, James would have given him money also. I just see this as being a Potter trait. Thankfully it works out well for them!
Chapter 6 – Meetings (Part 1)
For the majority of the students who woke up that Friday morning in the castle known as Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, it was a day to celebrate. The last day of fall term was here and in just a few short hours they would all be boarding the Hogwarts' Express to go home for the Christmas hols. Classes were done for now, and while they did have some homework over the break, it was minimal. They just wanted to get home and get away from the mess that had been the term so far. Little did they know that changes were already in progress and when they returned in January, it would be to a completely different school from what they were leaving.
Harry Potter and sixteen other students however, woke up with a different attitude entirely. Theirs' consisted mainly of determination with a little apprehension and worry mixed in. Except for Harry, they had all owled their families last night, letting them know that they would be staying at the school for the foreseeable future. There were just too many things that needed to be done over the break for them to go home.
Harry was the most worried out the bunch though. He had spent last night trying to figure out what was the best way to tell Professor Dumbledore that he no longer held the position of Headmaster of Hogwarts and how he might react to the news. Harry had finally fallen asleep after deciding to consult with Hermione and Ron.
So when Harry woke up that morning his determination overruled his worry. He threw back the curtains on his bed and grabbed his glasses off of the nightstand. After putting them on, he looked around to see what his dormmates were doing. Seamus and Dean were in the process of getting up. Harry preferred not to focus on them as Seamus had been a problem this year due to the lies that had been printed in the Daily Prophet and him choosing to believe them. Unfortunately, this caused Dean to side with his friend although he had never actually come out and said he believed what the paper had been saying.
Harry noticed that Neville's bed was empty and figured he was in the loo getting his shower. Ron was of course, asleep. Harry smiled as he shook his head and got out of bed to make his way over to his best friend. After spending few minutes trying to wake him up, Harry decided to resort to drastic measures. He moved to the other side of the room and turned back to Ron's bed.
"Ron," Harry shouted. "Your brothers have eaten almost all of the breakfast! You better get a move on!"
Ron sat straight up and started to frantically untangle himself from his sheets while he tried to get out of bed at the same time. Unfortunately for him, the laws of Physics still can apply even with the presence of magic, and he fell on the floor to laughter from Harry and Neville who had reentered the room.
"That wasn't funny Harry," said Ron as he lay on the floor. "I could have killed myself!"
"It may not have been funny to you," Harry snickered. "But it was hilarious to us. Besides I've been trying to wake you up for about ten minutes now. You need to get a move on so we can meet Hermione down in the common room to go to breakfast."
"Yeah, yeah," grumbled Ron as he began to try and free himself from his sheets. "I'm going."
"Well hurry up," Harry said with a grimace. "I don't want to have to listen to Hermione lecture on the importance of being on time again."
Ron snorted his agreement as he finally managed to stand up after winning his daily morning battle against the sheets that, in Ron's mind, would like nothing better than to pull him back to bed to sleep some more.
After asking Neville to wait for them, Harry and Ron proceeded to the loo to get ready for the day. Once their showers were done they came out to get dressed and Neville gave Harry some advice.
"Harry," he said a little nervously after making sure that Seamus and Dean had left the room. "I don't know if you're aware but since you are going to be trying to meet with the Goblins about financial matters, it might be best if you dress a little more professionally than just school robes. The goblins might take it as a sign of disrespect if you show up in such casual attire for what could be an important meeting. At least that is what my Gran always said."
"But," Harry stuttered in his worry. "I don't have anything professional. What do I do?"
After pausing to think for a few minutes, Neville seemed to gather his courage before he started to issue orders. "Ron, you need to go and get Hermione and bring her up here. Make sure that no one sees you. Harry, you need to call one of the house-elves who can tailor and ask them to come also. I will start sorting through the clothing you do have and see what we have to work with."
Both Ron and Harry sent Neville amazed but thankful looks and hurried to carry out their orders. Ron ran downstairs to find Hermione as Harry concentrated on asking the castle to quickly send an elf up that could tailor.
Neville, meanwhile, had started pulling out all of the clothing that Harry had and separating it into piles. He was beginning to get a little desperate as Harry didn't seem to have anything other than school robes. Finally though, he came to Harry's dress robes from last year. He looked them over and decided that they would have to do.
Ron and Hermione came running into the room at the same time that an elf popped in. Neville started to speak before Hermione could ask what was wrong.
"Hermione and…" Neville said as he looked towards the elf to get its name.
"Silky, sir." The elf bowed.
"Silky," Neville continued. "Harry needs your help. The other purebloods and I forgot to mention it last night but when Harry shows up to meet with the Goblins he needs to be dressed appropriately or they might take it as a sign of disrespect. Unfortunately, all Harry has to work with are his dress robes from the Yule Ball last year. Hermione do you know of any tailoring charms that we could use? And Silky is there anything you can do to help?"
Hermione took a few seconds to get over this forceful Neville before she turned to the robes on display.
"Well," she said. "From what I remember reading, business meetings are usually conducted in formal but not dressy robes. So these are a good starting point but I am going to change the color to predominately black and leave the green as an accent color." She took out her wand and began to wave it around the robes which changed colors as she spoke.
"I also think that the bow tie is too dressy," she said with a frown of concentration. "So I am going to change that into a high collar. I don't know any lengthening charms though." As she finished the robes looked exactly like what she wanted. They were just too short for Harry to wear.
It was here that Silky chimed in. "Silky knows of ways to make robes longer. Silky can have done in hour." she said as she nodded her head firmly. "Will also make clean and pressed for Headmaster." She grabbed the robes and popped out.
Harry looked gratefully at the three still standing there. "Thanks guys. Especially you Neville. I never would have known if you hadn't told me! Now that the robes are taken care of, let's go down to breakfast."
The three students followed Harry down to the Great Hall. They spoke of trivial things being that they couldn't guarantee who was listening. Once they had sat down, Harry looked around the room and nodded to those students who were helping him. The four friends filled their plates and started to eat. After a few minutes Hermione put up a silencing charm so that they could talk.
"Okay guys," said Harry. "Here's the deal. I need to tell Dumbledore what is going on but I have no idea as to how to do that. I don't even know where the man is! Any suggestions?"
The table was silent except for chewing sounds when Hermione said. "Well, I don't think it would be really nice to tell him in a letter. For something like this you're better off explaining things in person. But if you don't know where he is then that could be a problem."
Ron shrugged as he finished chewing. "Just owl him and ask him to meet you at Grgrglbgle…" he trailed off in confusion.
Harry and Neville stared at Ron in amusement.
"Ron! Don't talk with your mouth full!" Hermione reprimanded him.
"But my mouth isn't full!" said Ron in protest. "Anyway, just owl Dumbledore and ask him to meet you at Graaghghlbgle… Okay this is getting ridiculous! What the bloody hell is going on!?"
"Oh," cried Hermione in realization. "Harry he's talking about that place we were at over the summer. You know… the one we can't speak of? That's why his words are coming out so jumbled. The magic is keeping him from saying the words since Neville here doesn't know them. Sorry Neville but we can't tell you either as evidenced by Ron trying to speak."
Harry and Neville were snickering as they watched Ron continue to try and say Grimmauld Place. Neville turned to Hermione and said "That's all right Hermione. I don't really need to know where Harry is going to meet the Professor," and went back to laughing at Ron.
"Anyway," Harry said as he finally managed to stop himself seeing as how Ron had given up. "I'll owl Dumbledore and ask him to meet me there sometime this afternoon if possible. Right now though, I need to go get dressed so I'll meet you in the Room of Requirement in about an hour."
Harry stood up and looked towards McGonagall. When he had caught her eye he nodded his head and pointed up as if pointing towards the Room.
She returned the nod and stood up to deliver the message that the professors had composed over breakfast this morning. "Students, may I have your attention please?"
She waited as the Great Hall grew quiet. "As you can see, Professor Dumbledore is not here right now to send you on your way. Unfortunately, he had some pressing business to attend to but wanted me to wish you all a happy yule time and we shall see you next year. The Express will be leaving in an hour so make sure you have everything packed and enjoy your holidays."
She sat down to applause from the students who then started to get up and make their way to their dorms to do any last minute packing. Harry's student advisors all made their way over to him to let him know that their parents had okayed them staying at Hogwarts for the break. The only exception was Draco Malfoy who managed to catch Harry just outside the Great Hall.
"Well Potter," Draco half-heartedly sneered. "It seems that you will once again be staying here seeing as you have nowhere else to go. I pity Professor Snape in having to put up with you over the break."
Draco shoved by Harry and as he did so, dropped a note in his pocket.
Harry held Ron back as Draco made his way down the stairs to the dungeons. "He gave me a note Ron," Harry said quietly. "Remember, I asked them to act as if nothing had changed so we don't give anything away just yet."
While Ron was still red in the face, he did manage to nod in acknowledgement. Harry pulled the note out once the students had all left and read it. It told how Draco couldn't stay over the holidays as it would be too suspicious and his parents would start to question what he was up to. Thankfully the other Slytherins would be able to stay and they could still owl him if they had any questions or concerns that no one else could answer and to give him updates as to what was happening.
Harry showed them the note and they continued on their way to the dorms where Harry met Silky who had his robes done. After changing into them he thanked Silky and made his way to the Room while Neville, Ron, and Hermione hung around the common room so it wouldn't look suspicious.
Harry requested the same room as yesterday including the physical manifestation of Hogwarts and entered to find everything as they had left it, notes included. Harry greeted Hogwarts and sat down to ask her some questions.
"Lady Hogwarts," he began. "As you know I am planning several meetings today including the Goblins of Gringotts. Is there any way that this physical part of you may leave the school to come with me?"
"Regrettably there isn't," said Hogwarts in a sad voice. "I would love to come with you but my magic only extends as far as the borders of the school. I can't even step outside to go to the Quidditch pitch let alone all the way to London."
Harry sighed in resignation. "I figured it was something like that. It will cause problems in helping me prove you are alive though, but if there is nothing we can do then there is no use whining about it."
"Next," Harry said. "I am going to ask you to run the meeting between the teachers and students while I am away. I don't want them getting carried away arguing or getting bogged down in the finer details if you can help it."
"I can do that Harry." said Hogwarts as she nodded.
"And finally," Harry said as he felt some anxiousness creep into his voice. "I was hoping that you might have some information on goblin customs that I can go over before I have to leave for the bank?"
Hogwarts screwed up her face in concentration before several books appeared. "That's all the school has currently." she said in an apologetic voice.
"Thank you," Harry said gratefully as he looked the books over. "This should be fine. I am going to read these and make some notes before the others arrive. Quick question. Can Hedwig get in here to grab a note from me to deliver to Dumbledore?"
"I can open a window outside to let her in and out temporarily, if that will help." Hogwarts said.
"Perfect!" Harry cried as he grabbed a sheet of parchment and started writing down his request to meet Dumbledore at Grimmauld Place later that day. He included some vague references to what had happened but made sure to mention that he needed to speak to Dumbledore in person as what he had to tell him could not be mentioned in a letter.
A few minutes later, Hedwig flew into the room just as Harry finished the note. He turned to Hedwig to tie the note to her leg and said "Here you go girl. Please take this to Professor Dumbledore as fast as you can. I am hoping for a response before I leave this morning."
Hedwig barked her agreement before running her beak over Harry's cheek and taking off. She quickly vanished out the window which closed behind her. Harry turned back to the books on the table and started to go over the information.
"Let me know if you need anything." Hogwarts said before she vanished.
Harry spent the next hour or so reading through the books and taking notes on the customary greetings, rules of etiquette, and other assorted things he felt he needed to know. He also wrote down some questions that he had concerning Hogwarts' finances. He was about done when Fawkes flamed into the room and settled on the table in front of Harry.
"Fawkes," cried Harry in surprise. "I didn't think Dumbledore would send you! I thought he would just send a reply back with Hedwig. How're you two doing?"
Fawkes crooned in reply before showing Harry his leg where there was a note tied. Harry spent the next few seconds scratching Fawkes head before reaching for the note. He unrolled it and read Dumbledore's reply.
I will be most willing to meet with you anytime this afternoon at our previous summer residence. Please let me know if you cannot manage to find a way here today and I will try and send Fawkes for tomorrow.
"Thanks for delivering this to me Fawkes," Harry said as he flipped the note over to write his reply on the back. "Can you deliver this back to him? And is he in Grimmauld Place right now?"
Fawkes crooned an affirmative as he shook his feathers out.
"Great," Harry said. "Would you mind also taking a note to Remus and Sirius without letting the Professor know? I am hoping they can meet with me at Gringotts and help me out but I am not sure as to whether Dumbledore would agree to it."
Fawkes paused his preening and seemed to think it over before bobbing his head yes.
Harry grinned his thanks and quickly scribbled another note to Moony and Padfoot asking them to meet him at Gringotts with Sirius in his Snuffles disguise.
Fawkes took the notes and flamed out just as the students and professors opened the door.
"Mr. Potter," said McGonagall curiously. "Was that Fawkes that I just saw?"
"Yes Professor," Harry nodded his head. "I sent Professor Dumbledore a note with Hedwig asking to meet later so that I can tell him what happened. Fawkes brought his answer and left."
McGonagall merely nodded and moved further into the room. Once everyone was settled Harry stood up to address everybody. "I was hoping that I could ask you to go over the classes with the professors and get started on a list of qualifications for the junior professors and possibly some recommendations for my adult council while I am gone. I asked Lady Hogwarts to be present for this meeting so that she can provide any answers to questions you might have."
"Where is Malfoy?" called Justin as he looked around.
"Malfoy had to go home for break seeing as how his parents would be to suspicious about why he would want to stay and start asking questions we don't need right now. He did say that we can owl him if we need his help." As Harry was explaining he passed the note he had received from Draco earlier that morning around to all of the people present.
"Ah." they said as they read the note that Malfoy had written. It made sense. Malfoy wanting to stay when he almost always went home for the hols was indeed something to question.
"So," Harry said as he rubbed his hands nervously. "I am going to leave you to it and be on my way. I have no idea how long this meeting will go or even if I will be able to see someone right away. I will tell you what happens when I get back. Good luck people and thanks for the help!"
Harry gathered a copy of the notebooks along with the questions that he had written down to words of encouragement from the students and professors and made his way out of the room. It took him a few minutes, even with the shortcuts that he knew of, but he managed to make his way to the Headmaster's office. Well, his office now he reminded himself.
He stopped at the gargoyle guarding the office and realized that he did not know the password. Before he could even start to become frustrated the gargoyle opened his mouth and said "Password?"
Harry jumped back in shock. He hadn't known that the gargoyle could talk! He hesitantly approached it again in time to hear it say "Password please."
"I'm sorry," Harry said uncomfortably. "I don't know the password."
If ever a gargoyle could look amused this one managed it. "No Headmaster. I need you to assign a new password for me to respond to."
"Oh," Harry said startled. "Oh! Give me a minute please."
Harry sat in thought. What could his password be? It had to be something that he would easily remember but that wouldn't be obvious and easy to guess like Dumbledore's passwords had been. Finally he thought of something.
"I have it now," Harry said as he turned to look at the gargoyle again. "I would like the new password to be Moony, Padfoot, and Prongs. Is that okay?"
"Password change accepted." stated the gargoyle and then moved aside.
Harry thanked the gargoyle and continued up the stairs. When he reached the top he opened the door to his new office. Inside he found it completely changed from when he had been in here yesterday.
While all of the portraits were still hanging, anything that had belonged to Dumbledore was now sitting in neat little boxes that were stacked against the wall. The room seemed empty and bland without all of Dumbledore's silver trinkets scattered around. The desk and chairs were gone along with Fawkes' perch. The only thing that seemed to have been left was the bookshelves and even they were looking a little bare.
Dobby popped in as Harry was contemplating what to do.
"Master Harry Potter sir," called Dobby excitedly. "What can Dobby be doing for you?"
"Dobby," Harry said in relief. "What happened here? Why is everything packed up?"
"Master Harry Potter sir new Headmaster," Dobby bounced in place as he spoke. "Elves be coming and packing up all of Dumbleydore sir's things so Harry Potter sir could move his stuff in."
"Oh," said Harry as he tried to think of any 'stuff' he had. "I don't really have any stuff to put in an office Dobby. Where do I get a desk and chairs and things like that?"
"Dobby can help Harry Potter sir," he shouted before slumping in realization. "But Dobby not allowed to make purchases in Harry Potter's name since Dobby is not Harry Potter's elf. Unless Harry Potter sir would like to bond with Dobby?" It was here that Dobby looked up hopefully.
"Dobby," Harry said in shock. "You want to be my elf? I thought you loved being free!"
Dobby hesitantly nodded. "Dobby does like being free from former bad master but Dobby knows that the great Harry Potter sir would never be bad master!"
"I am so confused," Harry said in frustration. "You like being a free elf but you want to bond with me? I don't understand."
Dobby seemed to think about it for a few seconds before nodding his head firmly. "Harry Potter sir must know that free elf not survive without bond. Bond is where house-elf gets magic. Keeps house-elf alive. Without it, house-elf go crazy and die. Former Headmaster Dumbleydore bonded Dobby to castle but is weak bond and already castle has too many elves for what little work there is. Dobby alive but not as happy as could be if bonded properly. Dobby would like to bond with Harry Potter sir. Much work to be done and Dobby happy again."
"Bloody hell," Harry said blankly. "Why didn't you tell me earlier? And does Hermione know this?"
Dobby shrugged. "Harry Potter sir so happy he able to help Dobby to be free, Dobby didn't have heart to tell Sir. Once Dobby got work at castle, things better. But Harry Potter sir now Headmaster and will have lots of work if Dobby allowed to bond and Dobby would be happy. Harry Potter sir's Grangy has good heart but doesn't know house-elves. Castle elves to scared to tell Sir's Grangy."
Harry sighed in resignation. This was going to kill Hermione. "All right Dobby. I'll bond you to me as my personal house-elf but the first thing you have to do is go tell Hermione what you told me. I know she probably won't believe you at first but you need to convince her okay? Ask the castle elves to help you and let them know it is for me."
Dobby bounced around the room in his excitement. "Dobby knew Harry Potter sir the greatest wizard in the world!"
"So what do I have to do to bond you to me?" Harry asked as he tried to calm the excited elf.
Dobby stopped bouncing immediately. "Harry Potter sir must take Dobby's hand and say 'I take into my personal employment the house-elf known as Dobby.' This will bond Dobby as personal elf instead of just Potter elf."
"Wait," Harry said dazed. "The Potters have house-elves?"
Dobby shook his head. "Dobby doesn't know but can find out later."
"Okay," Harry sighed as he moved to take Dobby's hand. "Here we go. I take into my personal employment the house-elf known as Dobby."
There was slight glow that only lasted for a few seconds as Harry felt a small tug at his magic and then it was over.
"Alright," Harry said as he rolled his shoulders. "I have a meeting to get to and you have some explaining to do to Hermione. Can you hear me call if I am in Gringotts?"
"Yes Harry Potter sir." Dobby said as he nodded frantically.
"Well that's useful," Harry mumbled to himself. "Okay. While I am at the bank I'll see about getting you added to my vault then I am going to ask you to go do some shopping for office furniture. So just be prepared."
Dobby nodded his head and popped out to go speak to the other elves about Hermione. As Harry was gathering himself, he heard one of the portraits trying to get his attention. He turned around and found himself looking at another portrait of Phineas Black.
"Yes," Harry asked, confused. "Can I help you?"
"Your godfather and his friend wanted me to let you know that they will meet you at the bank," Phineas sneered. "They thought I might be able to catch you before you left the school since you would have to leave via the fireplace in this office."
"Thank you," Harry said gratefully. "You won't tell Dumbledore what's happened until I can get there to explain it will you?"
"Of course not," Phineas smiled nastily. "I want to be there to see the reaction on his face when you tell him."
"Um," Harry mumbled. "Thanks. I think."
Harry grabbed some floo powder out of a jar on the mantelpiece and threw it into the fire. "Diagon Alley!" he called as he stepped through the flames. After a few minutes of the nausea producing spinning, the flames spat him out into the Leaky Cauldron. It took Harry a little bit to recover before he left to make his way towards Gringotts. He walked with his head down and hair covering his scar. He did not want any recognition this day from the populace. He had enough to deal with!
He nodded his head at the goblin guards as he finally made his way through the large doors and entered the bank. Once he was in the lobby, he decided to wait for Padfoot and Moony before trying to speak to any of the goblins. He placed himself next to an alcove and waited. He had seen a few goblins looking at him curiously but making no move to confront him. After about twenty minutes, Harry saw Remus enter the doors with Sirius in his Snuffles disguise.
"Professor Lupin," Harry called out. "Over here."
Both Remus and Snuffles turned to see Harry standing in a corner and waving them over. Snuffles bounded over and pounced on Harry, licking as much of his face as could get to. Harry laughed as he tried to shove Snuffles off of him. Remus arrived and managed to pull Snuffles off of Harry with some effort.
"Hello Harry," Remus said with a smile before turning a confused frown in Harry's direction. "Snuffles and I got your message. But what do you need help with that you don't want Dumbledore to know?"
Harry looked around the lobby before replying. "Let's get somewhere private and I'll tell you. I need to meet with the goblins anyway so wait just a few minutes, okay?"
Remus, although still looking confused, nodded and followed Harry to the nearest available teller.
Harry, with Remus and Snuffles standing beside him, politely waited for the teller to waive him up. Once standing in front of the desk Harry asked the goblin "Excuse me. May I please speak to someone about possibly opening an account?"
Remus and Snuffles exchanged confused looks. Harry already had his trust vault and the Potter vaults beyond that. Why would he need to open another account?
The goblin was also confused. All of the tellers are made aware of whom the bank's major clients are and one of the biggest was standing here in front of him asking to open an account instead of speaking to his account manager. He shrugged and decided not to try and understand wizards. It just gave goblins a headache. "Mr. Potter, all business you have with the bank may be conducted through your account manager Rockaxe." he stated firmly.
Harry looked startled. Account manager? What account manager? He turned to get an explanation from Remus. "Why would I need an account manager Professor Lupin?"
"Call me Remus, Harry," Remus said slowly in confusion. "Or Moony if you prefer. And the Potter accounts have always had an account manager. They are one of the biggest estates in Britain. You won't be able to access them until you are seventeen though."
"Oh," Harry sounded startled. "I didn't realize the Potters were rich. I thought I just had my trust vault."
"No," Remus smiled. "That is, as its name implies, a trust vault. It's there for your schooling and any small extra purchases like brooms you might need until you are recognized as an adult and can take over the main vaults."
Harry looked thoughtful for a few minutes at these implications before shrugging them off. He turned to the teller again. "What if my business is not Potter business? Should I still speak to Rockaxe or do I need to see someone else?"
The goblin, werewolf, and dog all looked at Harry. Eventually, the teller replied "It's probably best if you just start with Rockaxe. He will be able to point you in the right direction once you explain what you need. I will have a goblin show you the way."
He waived a goblin over and spent a few seconds speaking in Gobbledygook before turning back to Harry. "Spearthrust will show you to Rockaxe's office."
Harry nodded his thanks and they followed Spearthrust into a hallway filled with doors. The goblin stopped at a door with Rockaxe's name on it and opened it to let them in. He closed it behind them as Harry took a quick look around the office.
Once he was done, he faced the goblin sitting behind the large desk, bowed and said "May your wealth flow like a mighty river and your enemies be crushed as easily as an insect Account Manager Rockaxe." Harry hoped he had said that right. He hadn't had much time to memorize the greetings in the books that Hogwarts had provided for him.
While Remus and Snuffles looked amazed, the goblin Rockaxe looked pleased. "And may your wealth build like the mountains and your enemies fall before you like leaves in a storm Harry Potter. So mote it be."
Rockaxe waived for them to sit down. "Mr. Black, you may go ahead and transform back for this meeting."
As Harry and Remus exchanged frantic looks, Sirius changed back into his human form. He bowed and greeted Rockaxe before they could say anything.
Rockaxe noticed that Harry and Remus were becoming increasingly worried and so tried to calm them. "Do not worry Mr. Potter and Mr. Lupin. Lord Black is perfectly safe while he is in Gringotts. Until he receives an actual trial from the ministry declaring him guilty, he is presumed innocent here at the bank. I am guessing from the fact that he is here with you two and you are not worried, that he is in fact innocent of what he has been accused of." He sent them looks of amusement when the three humans nodded their heads energetically in agreement.
Rockaxe allowed them to sit down again and then said "So on to business. What can I do for you today Mr. Potter?"
Harry settled himself down and started to speak. "I have some questions that are not related to the Potter family but before I get to them I need to give my personal house elf Dobby access to my trust vault. Would that be allowed?"
Rockaxe started reaching for parchment in his desk. "That would be acceptable Mr. Potter. Please call your elf as I prepare the paperwork."
Although Harry knew that Dobby had told him he would be able to hear him even in Gringotts, he was still a little hesitant when he called, "Dobby?"
There was a pop as Dobby appeared before Harry vibrating with excitement. "The great Harry Potter sir called for Dobby?" It was then that he noticed the other two men sitting next to Harry. "Hello Harry Potter sir's Dogfather and Wolfie!" he said as he waved at them in greeting.
Remus and Sirius both had smiles on their faces as they waved back at the funny little house elf. It was amusing the strays that Harry managed to pick up throughout the years.
"Dobby," said Harry as he tried to calm the elf down. "Manager Rockaxe is going to give you access to my vaults. Once that is done I need you to go shopping for the items we spoke of earlier. Please make sure that try and get everything you think I might need. But no flourishes! I detest them." Harry grimaced as he was reminded of his Aunt Petunia and the Dursleys who were of the mindset that 'the more elaborate things were, the richer you were.' "I prefer a more modern style. Just make sure that it is comfortable and functional as I am going to be using it quite a bit please."
Once again Remus and Sirius exchanged looks, only this time they were ones of confusion at their godson's orders to his elf. What in the world was Harry wanting the elf to buy for him?
Just as Harry finished giving Dobby his requests, Rockaxe looked up from his paperwork. "Dobby, you will need to give us a sample of your magical signature for our records. This will let us know you are who you say you are when a request for payment comes in." He handed the document over to the elf.
Dobby took the sheet of parchment in both hands and screwed up his face in concentration. The parchment glowed slightly before returning to normal. He then handed it back to Rockaxe and firmly nodded his head. "Dobby is done!"
"Thanks you Dobby," Rockaxe said with a sharp-toothed smile on his face. Harry could only assume it was amusement.
Dobby turned back to Harry and said "Dobby be off now Harry Potter sir to begin shopping. Please call Dobby if sir needs anything!" and vanished with a pop.
"Thank you Manager Rockaxe," Harry said with a small bow of his head. "I will move on to the business I came here for but first I must explain the story behind the questions I have if that is okay with you Manager Rockaxe?"
Rockaxe looked intrigued. "Very well then, proceed."
Harry gave Remus and Sirius a worried look but began to tell the story. He told them of Umbridge and her deplorable teaching, how the DA came about, what Marietta had done, and the meeting that had taken place in Dumbledore's office yesterday.
When he went over the fact that the Ministry had tried to arrest Dumbledore for treason and his subsequent escape with Fawkes, even Rockaxe looked amazed at the audacity. Harry moved on to explain how the castle woke up which caused everybody in the room to make noises of shock. Harry allowed them time to recover from those implications. He was really nervous about how Remus and Sirius were going to react over the next part.
When they had finally settled down, Harry told them what Hogwarts had said and how she had chosen Harry as the new Headmaster. He cringed as he waited for their reactions.
After a few seconds of quiet shock, Sirius burst into laughter. "That's got to be the best prank ever pulled Prongslet! I can't believe we fell for it!"
"Um… Sirius," said Remus as he looked over at Harry and watched the way he had reacted to Sirius' statement. "I don't think that Harry is joking."
"Well of course he is joking," Sirius waved him off. "As if a thousand year old castle would make a fifteen year old student, who is still in school by the way, the Headmaster of the same school! It's a great prank though Harry. Really had us going there for a few minutes."
Harry finally gathered his nerve and looked up. "I am not joking Padfoot. The castle really did make me the new Headmaster."
Sirius stopped laughing immediately. He knew that tone of voice from James and Lily. It meant that they were completely serious and were not laughing any more. He exchanged looks with Remus and then turned back to Harry.
"But… why?" Sirius asked in confusion.
Harry blushed a little as he told the two of Hogwarts' requirements and how she had gone through the professors and then worked her way down through the students until she found him.
Sirius and Remus could be seen nodding their heads in agreement with Hogwarts' requirements and how Harry definitely fit them.
"Well Prongslet," Sirius said in amazement. "Remus and I will definitely help you however we can. I am assuming you have already thought of some things since you are here to speak to the goblins?"
"Yes," Rockaxe finally spoke. "Please enlighten me as to what you need from Gringotts."
Harry went over his student advisors and what they had come up with. He passed his notebooks around for the other three to look at. He mentioned that he was here today because they were going to want to hire a bunch of new professors and needed to see about the finances and how they were handled.
Rockaxe shook his head. "Unfortunately, that is not something I can help you with. The Hogwarts accounts are looked after by Ragnok, the Director of Gringotts' London Branch. You will need to speak to him when discussing those matters."
Harry was disappointed. This meant that he would most likely not be able to handle the financial aspects for a while seeing as how Ragnok would require an appointment and not be able to meet with him today.
"Do not look so disappointed Mr. Potter," Rockaxe stated with a smile. "I believe that once I go explain things to him, he will be happy to meet with you today. I am going to request that you lend me those notebooks you have so that I can show them to the Director though."
Harry quickly agreed and asked Remus to duplicate the notebooks which he then gave to Rockaxe. The goblin left the office to speak with the Director and Harry was left explaining some of the things that he and the students had come up with. He was going over some of the possible new classes to Remus and Sirius' jealousy when Rockaxe came back.
"The Director has agreed to meet with you this morning," Rockaxe said showing no emotion on his face. "If you'll follow me please?"
Rockaxe took them through a maze of tunnels until finally they came to a large double-door entrance that was made of gold and decorated with scenes of goblin battles while flanked by two goblin guards. Rockaxe nodded at one of the guards who proceeded to knock on the door and then open it.
Harry and company walked into a large opulent office. It had paintings and tapestries of goblins hung on the walls and shelves full of books and what seemed to be trophies of some sort. There was a large desk with several comfortable-looking chairs situated in front of it. Behind the desk was the largest goblin Harry had ever seen.
Harry immediately bowed and said "Director Ragnok." He kept his head down as according to the books he had read, he was supposed to wait for an acknowledgement from the Director before lifting his head.
"Mr. Potter, Mr. Lupin, and Lord Black," said the goblin in a voice that sounded like gravel grinding together. "Please be seated and we can get started on why you came to Gringotts today."
Harry sat down in one of the chairs and was joined by Remus and Sirius. He placed his notebooks down in his lap and waited for the Director to speak.
"Now," Ragnok said with a stern look at Harry. "Rockaxe has explained your story to me and while normally I would not have believed it, I checked your file and it has updated to show that you are in fact the new Headmaster of Hogwarts. This is a good thing seeing as how if had not shown that information I would never had agreed to meet you. Most likely, I would have had you thrown out of my bank. Only the Headmaster and Deputy Head have access to the Hogwarts accounts or we would not be discussing this right now."
Harry paled in shock and relief. He had known that there would be problems since Hogwarts could not leave the school to prove what he was saying was true but he hadn't thought that it might cause him to not be able to access the accounts. Thank Merlin for the goblins' self-updating files!
Ragnok got right down to business. "I have been told by Rockaxe of a few of your plans but first we need to go over what is already in the account and how the budget for the school works."
Harry nodded as he pulled out a fresh notebook and got ready to take down what the Director told him. Remus and Sirius also asked to make copies of the notebooks so that they may take their own notes and questions they might have.
"Currently," began Ragnok. "Hogwarts School takes in around two million galleons each year in tuition from the four hundred or so students. A student's tuition is 5,000 galleons for each year. That number does fluctuate when the student population does but generally stays constant. This is the gold that provides the professors their salaries, purchases any supplies the school might need including potion ingredients, food, and other assorted items, and also keeps the library and hospital up to date with what they might need."
Harry and the others were frantically scribbling this down in their notebooks. Harry wanted to make sure he understood how many galleons it costs to run a school like Hogwarts and what it was going to cost for him to make the changes they had already discussed.
"This budget does cover everything but it does not leave any gold left over for improvements," Ragnok said with a pointed look at Harry. "For you to be able to create the new classes and hire all the new professors, you are going to have to come up with a way to take in more galleons. Granted, you said that you had a plan for bringing in new students but at most, that gold won't start coming in until at least next year. Another thing you are going to need to look at is the professors' salaries. If they are not competitive with the other schools out there then they will not be willing to transfer to Hogwarts to teach and that may add even more gold needed on top of what you already don't have."
Harry sat back in his chair. He couldn't think of anything that would allow him to bring in more gold for the school. It wasn't like the school could sell anything for a profit. He looked at Remus and Sirius to see if they had thought of anything.
"Sorry Prongslet," Sirius said with a small shrug. "I have no idea as to how Hogwarts can come up with that amount of gold."
"The only thing I can think of," said Remus with a thoughtful look. "Is to start asking for donations now. The problem with that is Hogwarts would still have to wait for the galleons to build to a significant amount and that could also take a while."
Harry slumped in resignation. He would have to wait until next year to even begin to try and make any changes. Who knew running a school required so much gold?
Ragnok interrupted Harry's musings. "There is a way that you can get the money now."
Harry perked up. "How?"
"You can loan yourself the galleons needed." Ragnok said with a sly smile.
While Harry looked confused, Sirius and Remus had looks of dawning enlightenment on their faces. "The Potter accounts! Of course! Why didn't we think of that?"
"Huh?" Harry asked the obviously excited men.
"Harry," Sirius said excitedly. "The Potter vaults! You can take the galleons you need for the school out of your own money. It's brilliant! This way you won't have to worry about waiting for the gold to accumulate from donations and other things. You can get started right away."
"But Padfoot," Harry said in worry. "You said I had to be seventeen to access those vaults and that is an awful lot of gold. Are you sure the Potter vaults have that much? I don't want to completely empty them in case there is an emergency later on."
Everybody in the office except Harry laughed.
"What," asked Harry confused and a little irritated. "What are you laughing at? It's a legitimate concern!"
"Actually Mr. Potter," snorted Ragnok in laughter. "It's not. The Potter family holdings are one of if not the largest estate in all of Europe. A measly loan of a few million galleons to Hogwarts will not even make a dent in your vaults."
"Wh… what," stuttered Harry in shock. "I have that much gold?"
"The Potters have always had a knack for making money." Ragnok agreed.
"And the sad thing is," groaned Sirius as he recovered from his bout of laughter. "Is that most of the time, they don't even mean to do it. It's been driving the other noble families, including the Blacks, crazy for centuries."
"I don't understand." Harry said as he looked at Remus for an explanation.
"Well you see Harry," Remus settled back down in his chair. "It's like this. The Potters have never really set out to make a lot of gold. They just had friends of whom they gave them some gold for starting a business. They didn't do it because they thought they could make a profit out of it, they did it because they're friends with the inventors."
"And that is where the knack for making money comes in to play. The majority of the time their friends ended up making a tidy profit of which they gave some to the Potters. A few times their friends ended up becoming huge and making millions of galleons if not more and, once again, they gave a portion to the Potters in payment. That's where they got the Potter family motto of Fortuna Comes Virtutis, or fortune the companion of virtue, came from. They were just trying to be nice and it paid off exponentially."
"Look Harry," Sirius said as he finally sat up straight again. "Let me give you an excellent example. I heard from the twins how you gave them the gold you won from the Tri-wizard Tournament which they are going to use to open up their Weasley's Wizarding Wheezes shop. You most likely gave them the money full out without expecting a return from them correct?"
Harry nodded his head yes in confusion.
"Well seeing as how you are a Potter," said Sirius as he stifled a snort of laughter. "What will most likely happen is that the twins will hit it big with their shop and they will set aside a portion of the profits to give to you. If you don't take it from them outright then they will have their account manager just move the money into a vault set aside for you or even just throw it into the main Potter vault. That's the way these things tend to work with your family." Sirius finished his explanation with a shrug.
"But… but I just gave that to them," Harry protested in shock. "They're supposed to use that for their store not to pay me back!"
"Sorry Pup," said Sirius with a grin. "But I'll bet if you checked with the twins you'll find that they have a budget for their new store which includes a portion of their profits set aside to be sent to you."
"Can I refuse to accept the money?" Harry asked with some desperation.
"You can," Remus said with an amused smile. "But all the twins would need to do is set up a vault in your name and then just put the money in there instead."
"Harry," Sirius gave him a pointed look. "The twins want to do this. Setting it up this way allows them to make you a silent partner and they don't have to feel like they accepted charity. Take it in the spirit it is given."
Harry opened his mouth to protest more but after glimpsing Remus and Sirius' faces, closed it once more as his shoulders slumped. "Fine." He grumbled.
He turned back to Ragnok who had been watching the argument with some bemusement. Harry flushed a light pink when he realized that he had been arguing in front of the Director.
"I apologize Director Ragnok," Harry stammered while bowing his head. "I did not mean to get into a disagreement with my guardian and take up your valuable time."
"That's quite alright Mr. Potter," Ragnok waived him off. "It is merely more evidence that you are in fact a member of the Potter family." He finished with a small laugh.
"I have to agree with the Director Prongslet," Sirius joined in the laughter. "I've never met anyone outside of your family that would argue against being given money."
"Well the Weasleys would due to the fact that they would consider it charity." Remus said with a fond smile on his face as he thought of the red-headed family.
"Let's get back to business," Ragnok said after he had finished laughing. "The Potter vaults are immense. You would have no problem covering the cost for the changes you have mentioned so far."
"I thought I couldn't access that money until I was seventeen?" asked Harry in confusion.
"Normally that would be correct Mr. Potter," said Ragnok with a nod. "However, your guardian is allowed to authorize the transaction and sign for you in this case."
"Oh," said Harry in stunned realization. "So Sirius could sign the loan papers for me. That's great! So how much should I loan the school?"
"That's a hard one Harry," Remus looked down at the notebook in his lap. "I think we need to go over a few things first and get an idea as to how much money the school may need."
"Good idea Moony," Sirius grinned. "No point in doing a loan for a certain amount of money and then later on find out you don't have enough."
"Why don't we set up a tentative budget?" suggested Ragnok. "We should be able to get an idea of what might be needed and go from there."
"The only thing is that I have no idea as to what costs what." Harry exclaimed in frustration. "I don't know how much the professors make in salary! I don't know what we pay for in food and other supplies! I just don't know anything about running a school!" Harry bent over when he realized that tears had gathered in his eyes.
Sirius and Remus exchanged worried glances and then moved to crouch down on both sides of Harry's chair.
"Hey Cub," Remus tried to calm Harry down as he looked so miserable. "It's okay. You aren't expected to know this information. That's why Lady Hogwarts wanted you to get help. She doesn't want you doing everything by yourself. You've got me and Sirius, the students on your council, the professors, and probably many more people once this gets off the ground."
"Poor Prongslet," Sirius ran his hand through Harry's hair. "Don't put so much pressure on yourself. Yes, you are the new headmaster, but you are only fifteen years old. We know that you are going to make mistakes, in fact everybody knows that, but you're human and mistakes are going to happen."
"If you don't know something, find someone to ask." Remus said while rubbing Harry's back in a soothing manner. "I was a professor so I can give you an idea as to salaries and Sirius was trained to negotiate contracts for the Black family from an early age. I am sure the Director has a record of what Hogwarts has paid in the past for things. Just remember, you don't have to do this yourself."
"Okay." Harry mumbled in a quiet voice.
Remus and Sirius got up from their crouched positions and moved back to their seats. Sirius sent Ragnok a pleading look, asking him not to mention what had just happened.
Ragnok gave a small nod and cleared his throat. "Now, I have the budget for the previous years that we can use for a baseline. Although I do need to mention that most of these figures will change drastically as you improve things."
Harry pulled himself together and said "Why don't we start with salaries? I think that is going to be the biggest jump in numbers. Remus, what was your salary during my third year?"
"I made about 15,000 galleons that year," Remus said with a thoughtful look on his face. "I think that is what most of the professors make but I could be wrong."
"You are very close Mr. Lupin," Ragnok said while looking over the papers in front of him. "The Heads of Houses do make a little more with Professor McGonagall making the most since she also holds the Deputy Headmaster position. I can tell you that you will need to increase these numbers if you are going to want to lure so many teachers here."
"Based on what we've seen so far, I would put the four Heads of House at 25,000 galleons along with the Department Heads. For the junior professors, I would create an ascending system; 15,000 galleons to cover first and second years, 17,500 galleons to cover third and fourth years, and 20,000 galleons to cover fifth year and OWL review. The department heads will cover the sixth and seventh years since that is the NEWT studies." Sirius called out as he went over the students' notes.
"I would put the sixth and seventh year specialty elective professors at 25,000 galleons. It's going to be hardest to get those professors so you will need the incentive." said Ragnok with a small frown as he looked at the list of classes.
"As for the Administrative staff like the assistant heads, I would put them at 15,000 galleons. It's a good salary for a clerical assistant in Britain as they will mostly be dealing with paperwork and not the students." Remus nodded his head in confirmation of what he was saying.
"Do you think one person can hold more than one position?" questioned Harry. "I mean look at Professor McGonagall. I just feel that if we end up with as many students as we are hoping than she is going to be completely overwhelmed."
"That's a good point Harry." Remus had a small frown on his face as he thought it over. "My recommendation would be no but you need to speak to Professor McGonagall first. Let her know your concerns and see what she says."
Sirius shuddered. "I would hate to see what McGonagall would do if you went 'behind her back' so to speak and took away her jobs without talking to her first."
"So what are the total number of teacher and staff we have so far?" Harry asked as he tried to calculate the numbers.
"Moony?" Sirius questioned with a grin. He knew better than to even try and figure it out.
"Okay, so the Headmaster, Deputy Headmaster, their assistant, the four Heads of House each with an assistant puts us at a total of eleven staff so far which equals 250,000 galleons in salaries. I put the Deputy Headmaster at 35,000 galleons and Harry at 40,000 galleons." Remus recited as he looked at the ceiling while doing the math in his head.
"I don't need a salary," Harry protested. "I'm a student!"
"You are also the Headmaster who will get paid for doing his job." Sirius stated firmly as he gazed sternly at his godson. He was not going to allow anyone to cheat Harry including Harry himself.
After one look at Sirius, Harry grumbled but kept quiet. Remus and Ragnok exchanged amused but exasperated glances. They had never seen anyone so unwilling to accept money before.
"I have no idea as to what a guidance counselor should receive but based on the details of their job that you've described, I would put them at 20,000 galleons. Have you decided how many you are going to have?" Remus looked over at Harry in question.
Harry nodded. "I thought that we could have seven per house; a counselor for each year. They could be assigned to the students in first year and follow them through the years until they graduate. At that point they would go back and pick up the next first year class. This seems like it would be easier on both student and counselor as they wouldn't have to be constantly going to a different person in the students' case and the counselor would already know the student and their history if there are any problems."
"Makes sense to me." Sirius shrugged. He had no experience with guidance counselors and so couldn't really offer an opinion.
"So that is twenty-eight counselors at 20,000 galleons for a total of 560,000 galleons." Remus looked at Harry in concern. "That is an awfully big portion of the budget Cub. Are you sure you need that many?"
"I'm not really sure," Harry said with a small frown of concentration. That was a lot of money! "But we can always change it later. And who knows, we may not need that many counselors once we get the program running."
"Good point Mr. Potter," nodded Ragnok in agreement. "It's better to plan for more and have excess than not and come up short."
All three humans nodded their heads in thoughtful silence.
"So now we come to the hospital," Remus said with a look at the others. "I have no idea what Madame Pomfrey currently earns." He turned to look at the Director. "Are you allowed to discuss that with us in the room or do we need to leave?"
"Hmm," Ragnok steepled his fingers in front of his face. "I am only supposed to discuss actual numbers with Mr. Potter. However, I believe that he would immediately tell you?" he asked as he looked towards Harry fro confirmation, who nodded his head yes. "So I am not opposed to discussing this with you. But please be aware that this is confidential information and is not to be discussed anywhere you please." he finished with a stern look at all of them.
"We understand Director." chorused the three humans.
"Very well then," he harrumphed. "Currently, the hospital matron is earning 20,000 galleons. I would suggest increasing that to 25,000 if not maybe even 30,000 galleons. For the other two healers, I would recommend 20,000 galleons or so."
"I would go 25,000 galleons for Poppy and 20,000 galleons for the healers." Remus responded to Harry's questioning look. "It's competitive without overpaying and puts her in the same bracket as the Heads of House."
"Are you sure we shouldn't start at 30,000 galleons instead?" Harry asked in concern. "I don't want Madame Pomfrey to think I am not paying her enough."
"25,000 galleons is already a significant increase Prongslet," Sirius said with a reassuring smile. "Plus it allows for you to increase it more down the line if there is a need to."
Harry nodded his head hesitantly. "So the only thing left before the new teachers are the maintenance staff. I was thinking two groundskeepers and two caretakers. Maybe 20,000 galleons each or is that too much?"
"I think it would be too much Mr. Potter," called Ragnok. "Those jobs outside of Hogwarts only earn around 10,000 galleons. I think you should compromise at 15,000 galleons but no more."
"He's right Harry. A groundskeeper does not make much because it is considered a menial job. So you paying that much money would be just wasting it. Not many people are going to apply for these jobs as most people are trying for the higher paid skilled jobs."
Harry lit up as he had a thought. "Maybe we could hire out-of-work werewolves!"
Remus started and almost fell out of his chair. He sent Sirius a helpless look.
"It's definitely something to consider," Sirius beamed at his godson. "But first you need to make sure that you will be able to provide the Wolfsbane potion to them. Otherwise it wouldn't be an option."
"Do you think that some of the professors we will be hiring would be able to brew the potion if we provided the ingredients? I was hoping that we could lure some of the younger werewolves to school if we can promise wolfsbane." Harry anxiously gazed at Sirius.
"You would need to speak to Professor Snape about that Harry." Remus tried to sound calm as he lowered himself back into his chair again. "He is the one that invented the potion and so would know whether or not the younger professors would have the experience needed."
"Definitely something to check in to," Harry mumbled as he scribbled a note to himself. "Okay we need to break this down and see what we have for the budget so far. I think we should group it by position. There are a few things we are still unsure of like the Sports Department, so we'll leave those blank for now but this should give us a good idea of where we are."
(Salaries are in Galleons)
Head of House (4 x 25,000)...100,000
House Assistant (4 x 15,000)...60,000
Groundskeeper (2 x 10,000)...20,000
Caretaker (2 x 10,000)...20,000
Healer (2 x 20,000)...40,000
Guidance Counselor (28 x 20,000)...560,000
1st Junior Professor...15,000
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
1st Junior Professor...15,000
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
1st Junior Professor...15,000
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
Offensive/Defensive Magics Department
1st Junior Professor...15,000
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
1st Junior Professor...15,000
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
1st Junior Professor...15,000
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
Muggle World Studies (Stops in fifth year)
1st Junior Professor...15,000
Wizarding World Studies (Stops in fifth year)
1st Junior Professor...15,000
Herbology Department (Starts in third year)
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
Astronomy Department (Starts in third year)
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
Arithmancy Department (Starts in third year)
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
Runes Department (Starts in third year)
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
Magical Creature Studies Department (Starts in third year)
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
Arts Department (Starts in third year)
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
Music Department (Starts in third year)
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
World Magic Studies Department (Starts in third year)
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
Item Creation Department (Starts in third year)
3rd Junior Professor...20,000
Specialty Elective Professors (20 x 25,000)...500,000
Department Heads (18)...450,000
1st Junior Professor (8)...120,000
2nd Junior Professor (17)...297,500
3rd Junior Professor (15)...300,000
"Whoa," Harry said with a pale face. "That's a lot of money for just one year. And we haven't even gotten to the supplies yet!"
Although Remus was not as pale as Harry he was looking a little shocked himself. "Just remember Cub, you are loaning yourself this money to get the programs going. Once everything is up and running, you'll have a lot more students coming in which will provide tuition money to offset the costs."
"And you never know," Sirius chimed in. "We may be able to get the supplies at a really good price once we mention how much business we expect to be providing in a few years. So those costs will probably not be as high as your thinking. What you have to realize is that without good teachers, you don't really have a school."
Harry looked at Sirius blankly. "Who are you and what have you done to Padfoot?"
"Oi," Sirius yelped. "What is that supposed to mean?"
"I think he means that we all know that Padfoot is the funny one, not the wise one." Remus said with a smirk.
"Excuse me," sputtered Sirius. "But I can be wise."
Remus and Harry exchanged laughing glances and then turned to Sirius. "Uh-huh."
Sirius slumped down in his chair and pouted as Harry and Remus laughed at him. Eventually, once the laughter had died down, Harry turned back to the list of teachers and staff they were going to require.
"The problem is finding all of the teachers and staff. I don't think that they keep a main list of all of the qualified people handy." Harry said with a frown.
"No," said Remus. "But the professors most likely know quite a few people who would fit the positions needed. You could also have them check for people going for their masteries. They do have certain qualifications they need to fulfill in order to receive them and I believe teaching would work well."
"Would there be enough people to do that?" asked Harry. "I really like the idea of helping the older students in achieving their masteries."
"You might not have enough candidates for some of the electives that you are planning on but I bet that you would be able to get teachers for a majority of the classes." Sirius piped in.
"I would speak to the professors when we get back to Hogwarts and see if they know of any former students who might be good teachers for the lower years and then use the mastery candidates for the upper years." Remus explained.
"The specialty electives positions will be harder to fill immediately so that may cause you to have to hold off until next year to start those classes." Ragnok informed him. "Unfortunately, most of the people who would be willing to teach those classes are in the middle of fulfilling contracts and so would not be available for at least a few months if not more."
"Well at least we could get started with most of the classes." Harry sighed in relief. "I was hoping that we would not have to wait until next year for all of them."
"And as for staff," Sirius said after he had gotten over his pouting. "You could probably advertise for them in the Daily Prophet. Just make sure you don't mention where it is going to be. I have no idea as to where you will be able to find those counselors though."
"You could try advertising for people who are good with teenagers and maybe organization, but otherwise I have no idea either." Remus said with a shrug.
"At least we have an idea now," Harry said with a grin. "Now what doe we do about the supplies? Do I need to do that or can I ask someone to do it for me? I have no idea as to how to go about negotiating those kinds of things."
"Mr. Potter," called Ragnok. "While normally a person would either take care of this themselves or designate a financial officer, I am willing to assign a junior account manager who would work with Lord Black and anyone else you deem necessary to the negotiations. All I would need you to do is send a letter telling me who all you will be assigning so that I do not discuss anything without your permission."
"Thank you Director Ragnok. May your generosity be reflected in the growth of your gold." Harry said with a small bow of thanks.
"So mote it be. You will need to send a list within the next few days of contracts you want re-negotiated. These things can take time so both I and the new junior account manager will want to get started as soon as possible. Lord Black," Ragnok turned to Sirius, who sat up straight in his chair. "Will you be available next week to go over everything?"
"Of course Director," Sirius stated firmly and then cracked a sardonic smile. "It's not like I can go many other places without being caught and thrown back into Azkaban."
Both Harry and Remus looked frustrated that there was nothing they could do to get Sirius cleared and then Harry had a thought. Maybe he could request that Madame Bones be one of his adult council. That would get her to Hogwarts without Minister Fudge and he could speak to her about what had happened. Plus, she was supposed to be a very fair and law-abiding department head in the ministry and would be beneficial to his counsel.
Harry managed to bring himself back to the present and the meeting that was going on. "Thank you Director. Once the contracts have been re-negotiated I will be able to send the new budget to you. From there we will be able to determine what the tuition will be for the students. I will also send notice if I would like to add anybody to the account to help Sirius take care of the finances. I would like to request that I may owl you any questions I may have concerning the finances in the future?"
"Of course Mr. Potter," said Ragnok with a nod. "I would prefer that you ask questions instead of assuming the answers and possibly getting yourself and the Hogwarts accounts in trouble."
"Then I thank you for agreeing to this meeting on such short notice Director. May your gold grow like an oak tree and your enemies fall before your blade like wheat in a field." Harry said as he bowed.
"And may your enemies fall like grains of sand in your hand and your gold grow like unwanted weeds in a garden. So mote it be." Ragnok said as he stood to escort them from his office.
All three humans stood up. As Harry and Remus gathered their notebooks, Sirius transformed back into Padfoot for the trip outside. They turned and walked out of the office; by mutual agreement, Remus and Harry both kept quiet until they were outside the bank. It was here that Remus turned and said "I will need to apparate you to Grimmauld Place. Unfortunately, it is not hooked up to the floo so it is our only option for travel unless you would like to take the Knight Bus?" he finished with a grin.
Harry quickly shook his head. There was no way he was riding the Knight Bus unless there was no other option available!
"Very well then," Remus said as he turned serious once more. "I will take Snuffles first. It should only take a minute or two so if I do not return in a few minutes I want you to get to the Leaky Cauldron and floo back to Hogwarts." Once he had received Harry's affirmation, he grabbed the scruff of Snuffles' neck and disappeared.
Harry moved back along the wall and into a shaded area. Hopefully the darkness would help mask his identity and keep people from looking to closely at him. As he waited for Remus to return, Harry went over what all he was going to say to Professor Dumbledore. He basically had to tell the man that he was out of a job permanently! He was so deep in thought that Remus calling his name from right in front of him caused him to jump.
"Are you ready Harry?" asked Remus as he held out his arm.
Harry sent him a nervous look and slowly nodded his head.
Remus gazed at Harry sympathetically and gently told him "Harry, don't stress yourself out so much. Professor Dumbledore will not be angry at you. He will most likely think it is the greatest adventure ever. He will be pleased that Hogwarts chose you to help fix the problems at the school, okay?"
Harry took a deep breath to calm himself down. Remus was right. He couldn't see the Professor getting mad at something that wasn't his fault due to such extenuating circumstances.
"Thanks Moony." Harry said with a grateful smile as he grabbed onto his arm. Both man and teenager then disappeared with a loud crack.