Disclaimer: J. owns Harry Potter and everything related. End of file.
Well, this is pretty much just a story for fun, without worrying too much. Just some random stuff that was hanging around my head.
Harry Potter was not in a good mood.
It all started when he received that blasted Gringotts letter, merely a month after finally managing to get Voldemort (may Hell burn his bits to a crisp) killed once and for all, no chance of return... 'Wait a second, actually, it started waaaaaay before that,' he thought to himself, while holding a glass with three fingers of firewhiskey in it.
Turns out that his father, being a mix between eternal prankster, concerned father trying to get a future for his son, and someone that had some friends with daughters around Harry's age, decided to create some marriage contracts. Apparently, those concerned parents were approached by some shady characters from the oldest pureblood families, asking for the hand of their daughters. 'Well, at least I can relate to that,' he mused, checking that one of shady characters was no less than old dear Lucius Malfoy, 'I'd rather have my daughter try her luck with a son of a friend of mine than giving her to a prat like Draco.'
In Harry's opinion, his father had either tempted fate or he had taken a Luck Potion that day: the Marriage Contracts were signed one day before the tragedy at Godric's Hollow, making them the final one-finger salute to some Death Eaters. The green-eyed wizard pinched his nose. 'Yeah, and he got me right to the neck with this stuff. And TWO marriage contracts? What The Hell, Father?' He took a swig of his drink, grimacing as he felt the burning liquid going down his throat. By morning he would be with a massive hangover. Oh well, it's not like he couldn't afford to get drunk.
"So Harry, mind to share that bottle of firewhiskey with an old man?" Harry turned towards the source of the question. He grinned as he saw his mentor and friend Albus Dumbledore. "Feel free to sit down, Headmaster. I guess one entire bottle is too much for me right now."
As the Director of Hogwarts sat on another sofa near the fire, Harry called out for his House Elf. "Kreacher, could you please bring a glass to Headmaster Dumbledore?"
Said elf appeared with a pop moments later, delivering a glass to the guess. "Here you have Headmaster."
"Thanks Kreacher." As he took the bottle and started filling the glass with it, Albus turned to the new head of Houses Potter and Black. "Having problems with the whole Contract stuff?"
Harry grumbled. "Yeah, waking up and realizing I had to deal with that really ruined an otherwise perfectly fine day." he took a sip of his drink, before pressing on. "I mean, I try to have a quiet, nice life now that I'm finally free from the prophecy, and suddenly I have to deal with two Contracts that are legally unbreakable. Not only that, but the names of the betrothed will only be revealed to anyone apart from the Goblins that are keeping it when we meet next Friday!"
Dumbledore's eyes twinkled. "Come on now Harry, it is not so bad. You have grown wise way faster than your peers. There was no way I'd have proposed you to a full emancipation if I didn't see it for myself. You are not that..." Albus dared not to finish that sentence. The twinkle in his eyes vanished in an instant. It was his greatest shame.
His friend gazed sternly at him. "Now... Albus," he said, "do not go down that road again. We talked about it already."
The older wizard nodded, remembering bitter moments of the past, and all that came after it, both bad and good.
Memories from the Past...
That day, Albus had decided to visit one of his long-time friends, Arabella Figg. It was a nice, sunny summer day, and he was peacefully talking with his friend when he stared at Harry's house from the window, noticing Vernon Dursley in one of his 'special' moments with his nephew, hitting his head against the fence and breaking his arm in the process. Of course, Dumbledore was horrified. He has expected the Dursleys to treat him at least with some semblance of respect and care. Well, reality decided to hit him like a charging Bludger and knock his face into a pile of steaming dragon dung. Overcoming his shock, he eventually went directly to the Dursleys, asking to see Harry.
What happened next was a serious show of why Albus Dumbledore was regarded as one of the greatest wizard ever. After kindly knocking at the door, and being received with Vernon's normal reaction to the wizardry kind, he frowned and asked Fawkes to send a request to the ministry.
Moments later, Fawkes returned with a positive response. The old wizard decided that now, instead of knocking at the door, he would knock the door down. With a flick of his wand, the door flew out of his hinges, allowing him to enter with an attitude that showed his as someone you don't want to mess with.
"I will ask, and you will answer. Where. Is. Harry?" he asked on a cold tone. Two fingers pointing as the cupboard at his side were the only reply. Frowning, the old wizard opened the door, revealing a bleeding, crying boy.
Albus glared at the Dursleys, who took that at a hint to soil themselves. The old wizard shook his head, and carefully took Harry out of his 'bedroom'. Looking at his phoenix, he only gave a silent nod before leaving the house.
Several hours later, Vernon and Petunia Dursley were in prison, formally accused of child abuse. Harry, on the other hand, was now sleeping peacefully at the Hogwarts infirmary, his injuries healed. But Albus wasn't a happy man. His neglect on checking out thoroughly his foster family cost him several scars and some severe issues, not to mention he was way too small for his age. Although Harry was a part of his plan to bring an end to the Dark Lord, he noticed he was enjoying his paper of grandfather to the kid, meaning that this episodes gave him a whole new perspective in his usual strategy.
To avoid the possibility of Harry turning into some sort of arrogant brat, the Headmaster decided to spend the summer vacations with him in Hogwarts, entertaining him and at the same time teaching him about the ways of the wizardry world. Surprisingly, Harry proved to be quite the smart kid, both in Muggle school and vacation with the Headmaster.
These small changes had significant impact on the war against Voldemort. By the end of Harry's second year and the destruction of Riddle's diary, Dumbledore suspected the Dark Lord created Horcruxes, and spent most of the following year studying and finding clues about the whereabouts of the other pieces, after a rather serious conversation with Horace Slughorn.
That summer, after the Release of Sirius Black, Albus told Harry about the Horcruxes, getting a special license to allow Harry to cast spells outside of the school period. The reason? Hunting. That summer, Harry had the displeasure of meeting the Inferi during their attempt to retrieve one of the Horcruxes. That expedition was a partial disaster, since the locket was a fake, but Dumbledore remember seeing that fake locket before. Turned out that Regulus Black swapped the lockets to destroy the Horcrux, but was killed before finding anything that could damaged the cursed item. With some help from Sirius, Harry managed to discover the current keeper of the locket, allowing Dumbledore to destroy it and establishing a friendship between him and Kreacher, that finally saw his master's final wish fulfilled. Despite the success of the operation, they ended up making less progress than they expected to do.
Harry's fourth year was filled by the Triwizard tournament. Dumbledore tried to investigate, but his investigation of the remaining Horcruxes' whereabouts led to his second great mistake:
He failed to predict the trap on the third task.
As he looked sadly at Cedric Diggory's body, he realized his rather successful year hunting left a bitter aftertaste. After all, he he only paid more attention to the signs... Suffice to say, that Summer was rather somber regarding the conversations between the Headmaster and the Boy-Who-Lived, marked by a grim determination in ending the war.
In fact, despite the interference of Ministry, their hunt was almost complete, with Helga Hufflepuff's Cup being destroyed after Harry and Dumbledore offered some rare Goblin artefacts kept in the Potter safes to Gringotts.
And then Voldemort decided to make use of the connection he had with the Boy-Who-Lived. To the old Headmaster's despair, the theory that Harry might be an accidental Horcrux made more and more sense, and, watching Harry from afar, he knew that the boy suspected that something was very wrong with him.
He watched Harry sneaking around to give Defence lessons to his little club, and that both amused him and made him proud. Amused because Harry was managing to do that despite Umbridge's actions, and proud because he was doing it to help others to defend themselves. When Harry's little project was denounced, Albus decided to go with the game and made a grand exit, taking the chance to take Rowena Ravenclaw's diadem and destroy it with the last poison that remained on the fang that was recovered by Harry in a visit to the Chamber of Secrets.
He then kept watch on Harry, jumping into the fray just in time to help Harry in his fight against the Death Eaters. He successfully restrained all Death Eaters save for Bellatrix Lestrange, who was still fighting Sirius Black. To his horror, he saw Sirius being thrown beyond the Veil before he could do something to avoid it. Harry immediately pursued Bella, and Dumbledore followed, arriving in time to save the boy from getting killed by his nemesis.
The duel that followed, and what happened, are what the Headmaster calls 'a miracle'. During the duel, Fawkes had the strangest idea: It started to sing. Only later the Headmaster was told by Harry that the song of the mythical bird allowed him to know the whereabouts of Nagini and pass them to the phoenix. Meanwhile, Voldemort had the upper hand in battle he had conjured a snake and the veteran wizard was having trouble getting rid of it. Sensing victory, the Dark Lord launched the Killing Curse...
… only for Fawkes to come in and drop Nagini on the path of the spell, sending it flying until it fell, dazed but not dead, next to Harry. Dumbledore could not protect Harry, as Voldemort was still there, but Fawkes had other plans, and one unexpected ally: Somehow, the Sword of Gryffindor decided to lend its power to Harry once again! Voldemort tried to break from the duel to deal with Harry, but his opponent would have none of it. With a vicious Expelliarmus, Dumbledore kept his enemy's focus into combat, but both of them could see Harry spinning gracefully and beheading Nagini's head in one graceful cut. He could hear the shrieks of a destroyed Horcrux, and the screams of despair of Voldemort, before the Dark Lord vanished with a shockwave that threw him down.
Just when the headmaster thought that the worse had passed, Voldemort showed his last card.
"Kill me and the boy. Do it!" Dumbledore heard Harry hiss. He knew what happened. He knew that victory was at hand, too. Just one curse, and Dark Lord would have no souls left. But the price was too high. He could see the strain on Harry's face, see the boy trying to fight back valiantly, but failing to retake control.
And for the third time, Fawkes sang.
If the first song was one of hope, and the second one of courage, then this one was all about love. 'The power that the Dark Lord knows not,' the headmaster recalled the line from the prophecy. Maybe this battle could be one. "Fight on Harry!" he shouted, trying to let him know that he was there. His shout was joined by all the members of the DA who had come with Harry, who had managed to finally arrive at the hall. As he learned later, Fawkes even allowed Harry to feel the strength of those who were already on their way for the next adventure, breaking for some precious seconds the boundaries between life and death.
Those seconds were all that Harry needed to bring an end to the possession. With a howl, his scar flashed and he was projected backwards, his scar emitting the unmistakable sound of a destroyed Horcrux. Still, he saw Harry getting on his feet again after some mere seconds had passed, staring at a certain spot just outside Dumbledore's vision, and gripping the Sword of Gryffindor tight.
Turning his head, the old man saw that Voldemort was back, pointing a wand at Harry. Not his wand, though. Voldemort's wand was now nothing more than a charred stick at his feet.
Somehow, the backlash from the Horcrux forced Voldemort's want to send him back here and overload.
"It is over, boy," the snake-face hissed "I win. Avada Kedavra!"
Nothing happened. Silence filled the hall. Then, a single note was chirped by Fawkes, something that everybody could interpret as the phoenix's way of telling the Dark Lord he was an idiot, and a dead idiot at that. Then the wand flashed, extending golden tendrils that wrapped all around Voldemort. With an explosion, the wand then released itself from the Dark Lord's grasp, falling into Harry's hand. Only now Dumbledore realized that was Harry's wand. He chuckled. "The wand chooses the wizard, Tom. But you are right. It is over."
Voldemort screamed, as the tendrils of light seemed to tighten even more, leaving his body unhurt, but consuming his soul piece by piece, until at last the tendrils vanished, leaving only a lifeless body behind. So was the end of Lord Voldemort.
With a grunt, Dumbledore finally managed to get himself up. Limping, he approached Harry, that even now kept staring at his wand, unable to process what just happened. "Well," the headmaster said, wrapping his arm around Harry's shoulders, "it is over Harry. You are free at last. You know what that means?"
The boy nodded absent-mindedly. Albus shook his head, grabbed the head of a statue that once decorated the room, and cast a portkey spell on it. "Go on Harry. I'll join you soon, and we'll talk about this later. Good job, Harry. I'm proud of you."
Back to the Present
Albus grinned. "Do you remember what you told me when I asked you why were you laughing like a maniac in the day Tom Riddle died?" The boy looked at him for a second, before trying to hold a sudden impulse to laugh.
He failed miserably. The sound of two full blown fits of laughter echoed around the room, as both people remembered about Harry's thought of having the ghost of Sirius Back spanking his godson if he decided to get all emo about the death of his godfather. Somehow, that little memory kept Harry from closing himself from the world, making him realized that Sirius' intent was to have him understand that life is a precious gift, and he should not waste it by remembering the past.
Cleaning the tears of joy that ran on his face, Harry calmed down enough to look at the fire with a fond expression. "He was right. Now it is time to enjoy the moment and plan for a future. His best advice ever, apart from that story... errr..." He blushed hard, trying not to remember 'The Talk' they had, with lots of additions from his godfather."A toast for the future?" he asked, raising his glass.
Albus raised his glass as well. "A toast for the happier days to come. And to your double marriage."
Harry snorted, before replying cheekily. "You're jealous of me, that's all."
"That will depend on the beauty of your betrothed." Dumbledore retorted.
"Aaaaaah, I think I have everything now. Kreacher, could you please confirm if I'm forgetting something?" Harry, asked to his house elf. To this occasion, the young Potter was dressed in a formal black robe with the crest of his two houses. That robe was left open in the front, revealing a suit not unlike the ones used by Muggles. An emerald green tie, the same tone as his eyes, completed the set of sober yet fashionable robes.
"Of course, sir. Gringotts Letter?"
"Here," replied Harry, showing a letter in one of his pockets.
"Which one?" replied Harry, smirking. "All here."
"I guess the innuendo is with you as well, sir?" asked the House Elf, smirking.
"Oooh, I'm not sure if a stick with 13 inches, maple wood and Thestral Tail Hair could be considered an innuendo." Harry answered, referring to his new secondary wand.
"I apologize sir, you are right. I assume you have the holsters as well. Towel?"
Harry stopped for a moment, looking at Kreacher with a strange expression."Towel?"
"Yes sir, you should always keep your towel."
Harry shrugged, as he summoned a towel and shrunk it, allowing it to be pocketed. "I suppose it couldn't hurt. I could forget my toothbrush, but if I have a towel, people should get me one of those gift toothbrushes."
"Well then sir, off you go then. Good luck, you'll need it."
Harry rolled his eyes."Kreacher, sometimes you can be an insufferable prat." he complained in mock indignation.
" Last time I checked, you asked me to be like this, sir."
The boy grinned and waved in farewell, before stepping in front of the fireplace, grabbing a handful of Floo powder and throwing it into the fire. The tell-tale green indicated that the connection was successful and Harry, after a quick last check-up, said Gringotts before stepping into the flames.
If there is one thing he is thankful for, is that his frequent trips via Floo network gave him some experience regarding the... quirks of the system. Exiting the Gringotts fireplace, he discreetly leaned a little to the left, keeping his balance and not revealing his problems with Floo travel. Heading to the head goblin's chair, he nodded respectfully to the banker sitting there, before delivering his Gringotts Letter.
"Ah, Mr. Potter... or Mr. Black, whatever you want to be called. Welcome to Gringotts." the goblin greeted politely, returning the letter.
Harry pocketed the missive again. "Just call me Harry please, Bogrod. A bit more movement lately, isn't it? Well, better get to business and not waste any more of your time."
"I appreciate your consideration, Harry. Griphook will lead you to the conference room." Bogrod motioned for Griphook to approach.
"Good morning Griphook."
"Good morning Harry, please follow me to the conference room. Chief Ragnok should be arriving shortly." said Griphook. Harry nodded, as he followed the goblin to a quiet area, before being indicated to a office guarded by two scary-looking guards. "Please go right through, Harry. Chief Ragnok should arrive shortly."
"Thank you Griphook. Have a nice day."
Harry spent some moments analysing the door. It was a simple, sturdy looking door,made of some dark wood, appealing to people's sense of formality. Upon analysing the door, Harry could take a chance and say Chief Ragnok was someone that respected his clients, but it also asked his clients to respect him. The boy smirked. If he got this right, then he was starting to like Ragnok. Taking a few seconds to check once again his clothes and raise his mental shields, preparing to enter the room as Lord Potter and Lord Black, respecting but requesting respect as well. Walking the distance between him and the guards, he nodded before directing his request.
"Harry Potter, Lord of the Houses of Potter and Black asks for permission to enter Chief Ragnok's office, as requested in this missive," he said, handing the letter to one of the guards. The guard checked the authenticity of the paper, and stared fixedly at Harry for some seconds. Harry expected this, so he met his stare and did not show any sign of discomfort or anxiety. Finally, the goblin gave Harry a toothy smile and opened the door. "Very well, Mr. Potter, it isn't usual to find someone to match me. Chief Ragnok is waiting for you, along with the other parties."
With a polite nod, the young wizard entered the room, observing who was there. Fortunately for him, he kept his cool, even when he was greeted by the last persons he would ever expected to be involved on this mess: The Ice Queen of Slytherin, Daphne Greengrass and the niece of the Head of the Department of Magical Law Enforcement .
"Good morning Mr. Potter," said Ragnok, with a deep and formal voice, "please sit, we have much to discuss."
"Good morning Chief Ragnok, and all of the presents here," answered Harry in an equally formal tone. Despite his calm response, his mind was repeating a mantra with only one word.
Now that this chaper is done with, I believe there is some explanation to do. In this timeline, Dumbledore just saw something that made him snap and rethink all his plans. This had a cascade effect and Harry took some private tutoring and was raised in a caring family (up to the reader to decide who, apart from obviously 'dark' houses and the house of Bones or Greengrass, resulting on a Harry Potter that is smart enough (and has enough knowledge) to deal with the stuff of two houses, and flinging spells at whomever decides to be the dark lord wannabe of the week (or just have a metric ton of luck avaliable). On the other hand, the arts regardin the fairer sex... will be a tad more complicated.
Kreacher will be OOC, I warn you. Harry asked him to be like that, and Kreacher is happy to oblige.
Do not expect this story to make any sense. Also, I'm thinking about having no parings here. Married on paper yes, but only good friends that share the same house. If falls on the reader to convince me otherwise, since this is a bit of take all or lose all: having one girl in love with him and the other just a friend would be... I dunno, weird? It's like she is the leftover.
Waiting for reviews, discussion, and everything that comes with it. Ladies and Gentlemen, and Ladies that dress like Men, or Men that dess like Ladies, I await you!
PS: Try to find the shout outs in the text. ;)