Summary: The end of the war has come and gone. Harry lost much to Voldemort's evil, and then he lost more to the type of bigotry he thought they were fighting to end. Spoilers for Deathly Hallows and all prior books(just to be on the safe side.) Slash HP/SS. MPreg.
Disclaimer: All publicly recognizable characters, settings, etc. are the property of their respective owners. The original characters and plot are the property of the author. The author is in no way associated with the owners, creators, or producers of any media franchise. No copyright infringement is intended.
A/N: So I've been suffering from writer's block for what seems like forever. I've got so many stories that I haven't been able to finish that it's just sad. And then I got inspired to write this little plot bunny and in four days start to finish it is complete. Go figure. Finally I have been able to actually finish something! Hopefully this is a good sign that the worst of the writer's block has passed and I'll be able to get back to finishing those fics that have been moldering for more than a month. If you follow my Glee fics, the MPreg Puckurt is high on my priority list, so do not despair! I'm also working on a Bones, an NCIS and a QaF fic. Which will be finished next is up to the muses who have been very fickle lately.
There are 11 chapters in this story (10 regular chapters and an epilogue) and I will post one chapter a day until it is all online.
This was a quick write, so there may be some errors. If so, I do apologize. I don't write much HP these days and it's been a while since I read the seventh book. Also, I know I took a lot of liberties by just shoving a secret affair between Harry and Snape into the events of the seventh book, but… well, it's called fan fiction for a reason. Anyway, I hope you enjoy. Jules
"What's the current exchange rate between galleons and the American dollar?" Harry asked Konkernog, Chief Goblin of the Important Wizard Accounts division at Gringotts. He was sitting in the comfortable chair the goblin kept in his office for times when he met with the banks more affluent and influential customers. Harry just considered himself lucky that the goblins had forgiven him for breaking into one of their vaults only two weeks prior. The end of the war, Harry's status as the hero who defeated Voldemort and his overflowing vaults had all contributed to their willingness to forgive, he was sure.
Konkernog eyed Harry suspiciously, but he said, "It is currently quite favorable. $40.56 to the galleon. It is the highest exchange rate this decade and could prove profitable if you were to invest in the dollar."
"I'm not looking to invest," Harry said. "I'm looking to relocate."
Again Konkernog stared at Harry for a long minute before replying. Harry wondered what the smaller creature was thinking, but he was too tired and fed up with life to truly care. "How much of your funds were you looking to exchange?"
Harry chuckled. That's what the fuss was all about? "Not everything. Not even close to everything. The majority of my vaults would remain intact here where your capable staff can manage and invest them as you have been doing for my entire life and probably for generations before me."
"Twelve generations Gringotts has managed Potter vaults," the goblin confirmed.
"Exactly," Harry said. "I'm just looking to send enough money to America to start a new life. I want… I want to go where no one knows me."
The goblin nodded slowly. "I believe we can assist you with the transition. Where were you considering relocating? Gringotts has branches in most major cities, and ties to many of the major American muggle financial institutions. I can also arrange for the proper documents you would need… for a small fee, of course."
"Of course," Harry said with a small smile. Dealing with goblins was sometimes trickier than dealing with a Slytherin, but at least their motives were always clear. "You can make those documents for the pseudonym I will be using?"
"Of course," Konkernog said with a grisly smile. "And if you ever decide to revert to your given name, any new certifications or documents you have signed or received under that name will revert to Harry Potter. It will take approximately one day to arrange everything."
Harry nodded and pulled a slip of paper from his pocket. "This is the name I will be using in America. I'm planning on going to New York—Manhattan specifically—though I haven't yet
found an apartment."
The goblin nodded. "We have five branches in New York, one in each borough. I shall contact the branch in Manhattan's Pearson Square and arrange for an account to be set up there. I will also have him contact a local muggle bank and set up an account under the new name. I will also have him get in touch with a real estate agent and set up an appointment for you. How soon will you be leaving?"
"As soon as you can get everything set up," Harry shrugged sorrowfully. "There's nothing left for me here." The goblin showed no sympathy and Harry was somewhat grateful. He didn't need fawning over. He just needed to get the hell out of Britain.
"Very well, if you return tomorrow morning at this time, I shall have everything arranged," Konkernog said. "In the meantime, here is a credit card under the assumed name connected to your current accounts for any expenses you may have arranging for you travel." Harry took the card and the goblin turned his back on Harry and began scratching notes into a journal. Harry assumed that meant he was dismissed, so he rose and left the office and then the bank.
He pulled the hood of his sweatshirt up to hide his face. It was still early, only eight in the morning, and Diagon Alley was mostly deserted. The celebrations had been going on for almost two weeks now and Harry knew that most people were probably still in bed, sleeping off the excesses of the night before. He wondered how long people would celebrate. He wondered how long it would take for anyone to notice that the Boy Who Lived, the Chosen One, the Vanquisher of Voldemort had disappeared.
Harry left the alley through the Leaky Cauldron without ever looking up at Tom, who was tiredly washing down tables. He made it out to the muggle street and walked along until he reached the same underground station he and Hagrid had taken on his eleventh birthday. It all seemed so long ago now. It was a short trip from there to Kensington. He had gotten a hotel room there the night before. It was a part of London Harry had no ties to and he knew none of the people he knew would look for him there.
Once off the tube, Harry went up to the High street and found a place to grab breakfast. An hour later, he headed down to the shops that lined the street. He was in dire need of clothes. Most of the clothes he owned were either Dudley's cast-offs or school robes. The jeans and sweatshirt he was wearing and a couple other items were all that he had that were worth keeping.
Most of his day was actually taken up with buying a whole new wardrobe, new luggage to pack that wardrobe in, toiletries, and a few other personal items. And then Harry found the electronics shop. Harry was in awe of all the gadgets. He knew about computers and cell phones and the basics of the digital age, but so much had changed since he had been eleven.
"Can I help you sir?"
Harry looked at the man who couldn't have been more than a couple years older than him and smiled. "I'm not even sure where to begin. Everything has changed so much!"
"I'm sorry?" the man asked with a confused frown.
Harry thought fast. "Sorry, my folks are missionaries. We've been in South America for seven years. This is the first time I've even seen a computer since we left. It looks like everything has changed."
"It has," the clerk said with a chuckle. "I'm Scott, by the way."
"Harry," the young wizard offered with a smile.
It was a slow sales day and so for the next two hours, Scott showed Harry everything. As they talked and Harry explained that he was heading for America the next day, Scott encouraged him to wait before making any of the major purchases, since American electronics worked differently. Something to do with electricity that Harry didn't understand, but he believed Scott. He did get a few smaller items, like the hand-held game system, that he could use in the hotel tonight and on the flight over. He also made up a list of things that he wanted to purchase once he was settled in New York.
By the time Harry returned to the hotel that evening, he was exhausted but satisfied that he had accomplished something. Dinner at the pub in the hotel was simple and easy and then Harry only had one last thing to take care of.
"Mr. Blake, how my I help you this evening?" the concierge asked as Harry stepped to the desk.
"I'm going to need to book a flight to New York for tomorrow and reservations at a hotel in Manhattan," Harry said. "Can you assist me with that?"
"Certainly," she said with a smile. "Is there a particular time of day or airline you prefer?"
Harry shook his head. "No. I do have a morning appointment here in London, but I should be finished by ten at the latest."
"What about a return date?" she asked.
"I don't have one," Harry said. "I'm really not sure how long my business will keep me there."
"Alright, let me see what I can find," she said and began to type information into her computer. "I can get you on a flight that leaves out of Heathrow at 12:30 pm and get you to New York at 3:39 pm. Would that work?"
"Yes," Harry said.
"And would you prefer economy, business, or first class?"
Harry, knowing nothing about flying really, picked the middle option, figuring it was the safest bet. "Business class."
"Good idea," she said. "If you can afford it, Business class or first class is the only way to fly, especially when you're crossing the Atlantic. It's too long to be cramped into one of those horrible economy seats."
Harry nodded like he knew what the hell she was talking about and handed her his Gringotts credit card when she asked for it. He was glad that Konkernog had thought of it. He had paid for his room with cash, but he knew that wasn't an option now. In minutes, he had his seat assignment and boarding pass in hand as well as a confirmation for his hotel in New York and headed up to his room.
Konkernog was waiting for Harry the moment he walked through the doors of Gringotts the next morning. Harry followed the creature back to his office and retook the seat he had occupied the day before. He waited patiently while Konkernog gathered the documents into a file and handed them over to Harry.
"You'll find your passport, resident visa, and educational documents are all in there under the name you gave me yesterday," Konkernog said. "In addition, I have taken the liberty of creating a personal history and curriculum vitae that have also been included in the file. The bank cards are linked to either your Gringotts account in New York or the muggle bank. I have arranged for the contents of vault 2796 to be transferred to the New York branch and $500,000 has been placed in you new muggle account."
Harry looked at the paperwork and found that vault 2796 contained more than 3 million galleons. That should be more than enough to keep him going for a very long time, especially if the exchange rate continued to be so good.
"I have also arranged for regular transfers to your muggle account," the goblin continued. "$50,000 will be deposited monthly taken from the interest on your accounts here. That should be adequate to cover living expenses, I believe?"
"More than," Harry agreed a little breathlessly. He took out the passport of Harrison Blake and looked at the photo of himself. Without the distinctive scar, lost in the final battle, he looked rather normal and unassuming.
"The name of your account representative in Manhattan is included in the file," Konkernog said. "And he has arranged for you to meet with a prominent muggle real estate broker tomorrow at 10 am. The contact information is also in the file."
"That's great," Harry said with a smile. It was amazing what money could do. For so long Harry had gone without—without material possessions, without love, and without a home—but now he had the means to rectify at least some of what he had been missing.
Konkernog nodded and handed Harry some strange looking green bills. "This is $5,000. You will more than likely have need of cash before you can get to your muggle bank. I do suggest that you visit both the Gringotts branch there as well as the muggle bank to ensure that the transfers went smoothly. If you need more than the allotted monthly transfer for some reason, just go to the bank in Manhattan and they will arrange it. If you cannot go there, you may send a letter with your magical signature on it to my attention and I will handle the transaction."
"Thank you for everything," Harry said with a smile. He knew from Lucius Malfoy's trial after his fifth year that the goblins held privacy above any other law and they would never reveal any of this information to the Ministry or anyone else who might try to find him.
"You are welcome, Mr. Blake," Konkernog said.
The trip to Heathrow, getting through the airport and the flight to New York were all an adventure, but by the time Harry finally arrived at his hotel overlooking Central Park, he was exhausted. He paid the cabbie and allowed the bellhop to help him bring his luggage inside and then went to the front desk to check in. A quick check of his passport, a swipe of his new credit card and he was headed up to a suite. It was only 6 pm New York time, but it was midnight in London and Harry was tired. So his first night in America he ordered room service and went to bed early.
The next morning he ordered room service again and then got dressed for his meeting with the real estate agent. A quick word with the concierge, and Harry had a cab to the woman's office.
Carrie Ross was a chipper woman with a bright smile and Harry liked her right off the bat. "So, Mr. Blake, what sort of home are you looking for?"
Harry shrugged. "I'm not entirely sure. I was told by my financial advisor that I can spend approximately $10 million. I have no idea what that will buy me or what the neighborhoods around here are like, so I'm pretty much relying on you for guidance."
"Carl wasn't kidding when he said you could afford the best," Carrie said. Harry knew from reading through the file Konkernog had given him that Carl was actually Carl Roberts, the bank manager of the muggle bank where Harry had his accounts. "Well, let's start with a few questions about your lifestyle. Are you a homebody? Do you like going out evenings? Are you gay or straight? Are you planning on working or going to school? And if so, where?"
Harry was shocked at the blunt questions, but he put it down to the differences between Americans and the British. "I… well, I value my privacy and security is an issue."
"Certainly," Carrie said with a smile. "With the kind of money you're talking about, security surely would be an issue."
"Right," Harry said. "Um, I don't go out a lot, but I think I would like a little bit of activity in the neighborhood. I'll probably end up going to school, but I don't know where or even what I want to study yet. As for my, um, sexuality, I guess I prefer men, but I don't really see how that applies to house hunting."
Carrie laughed. "Well, around here, it can mean a lot. For instance, there are some really great neighborhoods that are predominantly gay, just as there are neighborhoods that are predominantly Latino, or African American or even Portuguese. Many people prefer to live near people like themselves."
"I think that would actually be pretty nice," Harry said.
"Well, then, why don't we start our search in Chelsea?" Carrie asked and began typing on her computer. Soon she was showing Harry various properties that were for sale in that neighborhood and telling him a little bit about the things that were close by. Within an hour, they had five places to look at and were on their way.
The first stop was a converted carriage house that was really nice, but was in an area that was a little too far away from everything for Harry. The second place was a brownstone and it was absolutely gorgeous with all the original wood work and newly renovated kitchen, but it was too much space for just him. There was another townhouse that was just too big, and then there was the new construction penthouse that wouldn't be available for six months. Their last stop was a renovated factory.
"This used to be a chocolate factory," Carrie told Harry. "Just one of the many reasons I like this property."
The apartment had been renovated to incorporate some of the original architecture, like the rough hewn wooden support beams that crossed the ceilings and the columns in the kitchen and living room. But it also had modern touches that made it very interesting and unique. There were three guest suites besides the master suite, for a total of four bedrooms and 4½ baths. The dining area was right off the main foyer and open to the kitchen and living room. Off the modern muggle kitchen there was a laundry room, a pantry and a storage room that Harry could just imagine being turned into a potions lab; he had to shake that thought off, however, because Severus would never be there to utilize such a room.
There was a library with built-in shelves on three walls that looked very cozy and warm. One of the biggest selling points of the flat for Harry, though, was the fact that the living room, library and master bedroom all three had fireplaces. He wasn't about to put all of them on the floo network, but one for emergencies would be good; besides, Harry really loved to sit in front of a crackling fire on a cold evening. But the best part of all was the private rooftop garden just off the master bedroom and living room. The garden was well tended with built in flower beds, a vegetable and herb garden and even two potted fruit trees. There was also an outdoor kitchen, a fifty foot lap pool and a four person sauna out there.
"This is the place I want," Harry said. "How quickly can I buy it and move in?"
Carrie smiled at his enthusiasm. "Well, it's empty right now, and it's been on the market for a while, so I'm willing to bet that the sellers will be willing to contract for a quick closing. After that, it's up to the banks."
"I'm paying cash, will that speed things up?" Harry asked.
Carrie paused. "You aren't financing any of the sale price?"
"No," Harry said. "I can have a bank draft written up today if it will move things along."
Carrie looked at Harry for a long minute. "I can get an inspector here this week to sign off on the house inspection. I'd say we could wave it, because it really isn't required, but it's smart to know what you're getting yourself into before making a purchase this large. And I'll talk to the sellers and see what they say."
They discussed how much Harry wanted to offer on the place and Harry decided that since it was below his original budget anyway, he'd just offer the full asking price. If it saved time and hassle he thought it was worth it. He wanted to buy this place and he wanted to move in already.
Harry looked around out in the garden while Carrie went inside to make the necessary calls. She came back a few minutes later with a smile on her face. "They accepted the offer and agreed to the terms. As long as everything checks out with the inspection tomorrow and there are no complications with the bank transfer, we can close on Monday."
"I'll speak to my bank tomorrow, then and get the draft written up," Harry said.
They signed a few papers and Harry stared at the unfamiliar signature. He'd have to get used to seeing another name from now on. Afterwards, Carrie took Harry out to lunch to celebrate.
"Well, we found a place on the boarder of Chelsea and the West Village," Carrie said. "Now if you want to go to NYU, it's in walking distance. And there are plenty of great things to do around here. What's next on your agenda, Harry?"
"I'm going to need to hire a decorator I suppose," Harry said. "I've never even furnished a single room, let alone a whole apartment."
"Well, I have a friend who is a decorator," Carrie said. "He's just getting started in the business, and could really use the work, but he's got a talent for blending function and design. He decorated my office."
"Really?" Harry asked. "I'd like to meet him, I think."
Carrie smiled and lifted her glass, "To new beginnings."
"To new beginnings," Harry echoed with a sad smile.