A/N: I'll just get some things out of the way first, since I know some of you probably have questions.
Yes, I am reposting this fanfic. The reason is simply because the previous one was a rushed piece of work which I didn't really plan out properly, and I felt that I didn't do justice to the rest of the plot I had planned. I went back to the drawing (or writing) board and planned out a new starting arc to this story.
I know many of you have suggested simply working on the fic a few paragraphs at time until I have a whole chapter up and thus keep a regular posting schedule. Unfortunately it is difficult for me as firstly, there are just a lot of things to juggle (My GCSE 'A' Level exams, church, among other things). Secondly, while I have the rough plot for this story worked out, all the sub-plots and exact details aren't set in stone. This is mostly due to the fact that my brain works in overdrive and I get more ideas than I can process. So the actual contents of the chapters tend to change until I work out what fits and what doesn't. As much as I would like to keep a weekly update going as much as possible, I'd rather upload a chapter I've put my heart and soul into than just rush it out for the sake of sticking to a deadline.
The pairings remains the same, though I plan to take my time introducing the rest of the plot. I am not sure exactly how many chapters I'll take, since I don't really 'plot' how much to include in which chapter. I just write the story at what I feel is a natural pace.
Unfortunately this also means no smut for a really long time, possibly, so if you're waiting for the lemons… the only thing I can offer you now is the right to scream at all the points where I can simply smack the smut in and did not do so and leave you to imagine the rest of the scene yourselves.
Disclaimer: You are reading this on a site hosting fanfiction, so if you think I'm claiming any ownership of Harry Potter, I'm not. Harry Potter belongs to JKR and be glad I'm not her, otherwise none of us would have been able to read the book as kids (or you would have read it and asked your parents some really frustrating questions)
Now that all the boring stuff is out of the way…
Chapter 1: Emancipation
A flash of green light and a red-haired woman in front of him fell. A flash of green light and a young boy just a few older than he was fell. A flash of green light and a raven-haired man fell through an archway.
Harry Potter awoke in his bed at 4 Privet Drive. The memories of those who had died in front of his eyes haunted his dreams in the past week he had returned from Hogwarts. He had not left his room except when his hunger became too unbearable and every fiber of his body protested. The Dursleys had not checked on him at all, though the lack of his presence in the house often went unquestioned. The young wizard rose from his bed and headed to the bathroom to wash his face. With every step he took, the flash of green flashed before him again. If Voldemort had attempted a killing curse right there and then, Harry would have been none the wiser except for the sudden stopping of his heart.
Why had he insisted on going to the Department of Mysteries? He was an idiot for thinking Snape would have revealed anything to Umbridge in his presence and should have waited. He was an idiot for not mastering Occlumency. That wasn't your fault, was it? Snape wasn't even bothering to help you learn it properly! Dumbledore hadn't even bothered to check on your progress. Where was he the past year? The only time he talked with you properly was when he told about the prophecy. A voice in his head raged as it looked for someone else to blame. Speaking of which, the old fool knew all along! He knew, for the past fifteen years of your life, you had to be the one to kill Voldemort. Did he teach you to fight the most powerful Dark Lord of the last century? No, you attended lessons as per normal. As if any lesson in Hogwarts would have taught you to fight Voldemort in a duel!
Harry shook his heads as he shoved the traitorous thoughts out of his head. Was Voldemort trying to sow seeds of doubt in his mind once again? He returned to his room, lying on his bed in a vain attempt to get some sleep. A flutter of wings announced an owl's arrival. Harry rose from his bed, and took the letter that was attached to its leg. He flipped it over and saw the Gringotts seal. Why would they send him a letter?
Dear Mister Potter,
You have my condolences for the passing of one Lord Sirius Orion Black, last remaining heir of the House of Black. After the announcement of his death and the following acquittal of all charges held against him, the Black vault had once again been released, and according to Sirius' last will and testament, you are hereby requested to come to Gringotts at the earliest possible convenience.
Lord Black has left some very specific instructions in his will, and as per his final instructions, the will is to be read to you and you alone before the rest of the beneficiaries are contacted. He has also informed us of the possibility that you will be under watch at the location of your current residence, and hence we have provided a portkey set to activate on "Padfoot".
Head of Gringotts Bank, London Branch
Harry blinked at the letter, hoping he was wide awake and not hallucinating from the abuse he had inflicted on his body the past week. Deciding that the only way to find out was to use the portkey, Harry took the ring enclosed in the letter and whispered, "Padfoot", realizing too late he might have just walked into a trap.
Landing painfully on the black marble floors of Gringotts silenced his concerns as a goblin stood in front of him as if fully expect Harry to land at the very spot he had. With a quick motion the goblin signaled Harry to follow him, choosing not to comment on the wizard's choice of wardrobe. Realizing this, the young boy was about to open his mouth to request for a cloak or something to cover himself with, when the goblin tossed one his way. Wondering if goblins could use Legilimency, Harry stepped into a large oval office where two goblins stood guard in full suits of armor by the door, and a very authoritative figure sat at a desk on the opposite side. Taking a seat at the desk, Harry wondered if there was some goblin formality he had just ignored.
"There is no need to fear a lack of etiquette, Mister Potter, we are well aware that most wizards who grew up in the Muggle world are often ignorant of cultures of magical races. Though, the fiercest of my kind might argue, is no different from the treatment most wizards show to us goblins." Ragnok answered in response to Harry's expression. Once again the teenage boy wondered if all goblins were born Legilimens.
"I do apologize for rousing you in the dead of night, although your godfather had explicitly requested us to do so. I have here his last will and testament." Ragnok passed Harry a pile of parchment, which was entirely blank. Harry looked at the goblin quizzically before Ragnok continued, "Lord Black placed a safety phrase on the parchment should anyone other than you arrive to read the will. I am to simply tell you 'Marauder' and leave you to figure out the phrase on your own."
Without missing a beat, Harry knew exactly what to say. "I solemnly swear I am up to no good." Immediately ink filled the parchment as Sirius' will revealed itself. His voice spoke from the parchment, taking Harry by surprise.
I, Sirius Orion Black, being of sound mind and body, declare this to be my last will and testament. If you're reading this, Harry, then I am sorry to have to leave you to face Voldemort alone, although I hope that you might be reading this after my body was discovered in bed with two young witches at the ripe old age of eighty, and simply forgot to make changes to this will. Harry chuckled a little, hearing Sirius joke like that again was a welcome relief after a week of grieving. Only Sirius Black could make something like his death a joke and make a comedy out of a will reading.
I hereby leave Harry James Potter all of the Black family possessions and declare him to be my rightful heir as head of House Black, which aside from your immediate emancipation when you turn sixteen means little else. While I know you would rather have me back than anything I could possibly give, it's all I have to offer. I also leave to you my motorbike and my album of photos with James and Lily. They're in my room at Grimmauld Place under my bed.
I have indicated several other beneficiaries in my will, and I leave it up to your discretion when they are to be notified, along with any additional requests or instructions you would like to make of the goblins before they carry it out. You will know my reason for doing so at the end of the will.
To Remus Lupin, the last surviving Marauder and the one man I always wished I could have done something for, I leave a hundred thousand Galleons and a property owned by the Black House of his choosing. It is my sincere wish that he may finally have a place to call home and live in peace unbothered by his condition. This comes with the condition, that you, Moony, get married to a witch and have kids! For goodness sake it's about time, you self-pity git, to realize that out there in the world somewhere is a witch who is perfectly happy to be in love with a werewolf and be married to him. Never let your afflictions stay in the way of your happiness. Harry, if and when the war is over, I hold you responsible for ensuring Lupin gets settled down to a life of his own. You have my permission to use the Imperius or Cruciatus Curse to force him to do so and should the Ministry come after you please keep a copy of this will and shove it up their sodding noses.
To my niece Nymphadora Tonks, who can no longer do anything about my use of her first name, I leave a hundred thousand Galleons and hereby restore her family back to their rightful branch on the Black family tree. It is my hope that she and her family will show Harry the warmth of a loving home he never had.
To Arthur and Molly Weasley, I leave fifty thousand Galleons. No, you may not refuse this sum. It is my token of gratitude and appreciation for taking care of Harry when and where I could not. I am sure Lily and James would both thank you greatly for the joy you've brought to their son as well. My only condition is that Harry may find a second home with the Weasleys which I am sure is more than agreeable to all of you.
To Fred and George Weasley, I leave ten thousand Galleons and all the notes of the Marauders in my possession. Should the war not be over when this will is read, then let it be known to them that I am entrusting them the task of making sure people will still have a reason to laugh and find what levity they can in these dark times. If the war is over, well, sod it, we could all do a few laughs whatever the season of the year is.
To Ronald Weasley, I leave ten thousand Galleons. Though I sincerely believe that one cannot put a price on friendship, I am sure Harry will agree that this sum does not do justice to how much of a friend you've been to him the past few years, but I am sure your mother would raise me from the dead just to have a few words with me if I ever gave you anything more. Remember that wealth and fame can never buy one a loyal friend. James, Remus and I would have buried bodies for each other, hence we chose our company wisely, save for a certain rat. I would have gladly fought at James' side on the night he and Lily died, and I'd do it again in a heartbeat. I hope your friendship with Harry will be the same.
To Hermione Granger, I leave ten thousand Galleons and all the books in the Black library in the basement of 12 Grimmauld Place. I'm pretty sure if I left the books to Harry they'll never see the light of day again, so I leave them to you and hope that you will enjoy discovering new knowledge within their pages. That is, of course, unless they are on the top shelf or in a hidden corner, in which case the books are either Dark or not suitable for minors and I suggest you don't touch them. Torch them if you wish. Once again, your friendship to Harry is worth more than is within my ability to give. Cherish every moment you have together, as I did with James, Remus and Lily. You will face death together, but know that with your last breath comes only an eternity to spend together with the ones you love. I thank both you and Ron for sticking with Harry thus far and should he ever choose to leave you alone so you won't be in danger (as his father often did while fighting Voldemort!) please make sure that you will be there beside him even if you have to place a Body Bind on every professor in Hogwarts and break every rule to do so. Hermione, don't roll your eyes and Dumbledore, if you're listening, well, sod it.
To Narcissa Malfoy, I leave five thousand Galleons under the condition that she renounce Voldemort under oath and reject her Dark Mark. Additionally, she must renounce her marriage to Lucius Malfoy whom I am sure would never agree to the above terms anyway. I hereby leave the right to reject or deny this request to the new Lord Black.
To Draco Malfoy, while I am sorely tempted to simply leave you a Knut and instruct the goblins to insert it up your rectum with a Permanent Sticking Charm, it would not be fair to your mother for me to offer her a way out of the life she has found herself in and not do the same for her son. Renounce the Dark Lord and never take up the Dark Mark, and you will be left the same amount as your mother to be held in trust until you come of age. Should you attempt to take the gold and join Voldemort later, however, the inheritance is considered null and void. I am sure that Harry would not even need me to instruct him to make your life excruciatingly painful for such an act as well.
Sirius Orion Black
Former Head of House Black
The will ended there, but Ragnok gestured for Harry to lift up the first piece of the parchment, under which was a second piece which was now filling with ink.
This second half of my will is addressed directly to you, Harry, and will not be read to anyone else. While it pains me to have to write this and that you have to find out such information shortly after my death, I fear that I must do so for your well-being.
Fifteen years ago, when Voldemort killed your parents, I was supposed to be your guardian. Should the Death Eaters have gotten to me, Lupin would have become next in line to care for you. Dumbledore, however, convinced me that your parents had decided to leave you in his care and that he had put measures in place to ensure your safety till were of age, as he was certain Voldemort would return.
You know by now that I hunted Peter Pettigrew down and was locked away in Azkaban for a crime I did not commit. I am afraid I must apologize for being so rash and not ensuring you were safe first. This is where I am afraid the shattering of your world begins. I always believed Dumbledore could not arrange for me to be tried by the Wizengamot because there was no evidence to absolve me and Peter Pettigrew was still at large. In the few years I was free, however, I soon learned the truth. He had simply wanted me out of the way because I would never have stood for leaving you with your aunt for fifteen years of abuse at their hands. Lupin was convinced by Dumbledore that it was the only way to keep you safe, and while he would have fought Dumbledore as fiercely as I did, he let his rational side win.
While Lupin met you in your third year, however, it was apparent enough to both of us that Dumbledore had meddled in your life further than was reasonable and justifiable. Lupin detected magical blocks on you placed by Dumbledore, and while the Headmaster assured him that it was only to ensure your magic could develop at a more natural pace, our trust in him was shattered when your fifteen years old and still had those blocks placed on you. We confronted Dumbledore only to be told that it was because it had to be you who killed Voldemort. We could kill him a thousand times and he would never truly be slain unless you were the one to do it. Before that, however, were things that needed to be done before he could truly be defeated by you.
Still, it doesn't explain why he didn't simply train you to fight him and win. It doesn't explain why you're well into your fifth year and Hogwarts but still have a block limiting your abilities. Dumbledore has Lupin out courting the werewolves while I am stuck in Grimmauld Place to ensure my safety. At times we wonder if he's not simply trying to keep us from discovering the truth.
Dumbledore may have the best of intentions to keep you safe, neither Remus nor I doubt that fact. We disagree with his methods. Voldemort got to your parents even though they were well protected, and no matter how infallible he thinks his plan is, you'll have to learn to fight him someday. I doubt he would tell you anything if you confronted him. My only advice is to handle things the Marauder way – on your own terms.
If you can, forge a path of your own. Let no one tell you what you should be doing unless they're the ones you trust to hold a knife to your throat and not draw a drop of blood. Your parents died because they trusted the wrong man. I would be doing them a great disservice if I did not warn you about the same.
Anger welled up in Harry's heart as he heard Sirius' confession. It all made sense, now, Harry realized. The reason why he had managed to get past all the defense around the Philosopher's Stone in his first year, why Dumbledore had not done more to prepare him after Riddle's return in his fourth year. A knot clenched in his stomach as the realization dawned on him that Dumbledore might have very allowed Sirius to fall at the Department of Mysteries in order to keep his secret. Lupin had his doubts but since he was kept so far away from Harry, presented no threat.
The young wizard decided that he would do as Sirius suggest, to find a way ahead himself and damn the consequences. "Thank you, Ragnok. If there is nothing else…" Harry's voice trailed off as he found his anger spilling out towards the goblin, and silenced himself before he did something he'd regret. He remembered Hagrid's words to him the first time he stepped into Gringotts.
"Aside from the time and manner in which the other beneficiaries listed here will be informed, if you'd like, we could help you remove the magic blocks placed upon you."
Harry was surprised. "I was under the impression goblins did not offer generosity to wizards in general."
Ragnok nodded. "We don't. We do, however, remember what it was like years ago when the Dark Lord was in power. We would be mere animals should he come to power. Helping you benefits us as well. I cannot say this is entirely goodwill on my part. We are not helping Wizardkind, Lord Black, we are aiding you."
Ragnok produced another stack of papers. "These are the papers of emancipation your godfather mentioned. I am sure Albus Dumbledore would attempt to stop you from signing them, but unfortunately he is not present to do so." Harry took a quill and signed along the paper.
"With that, you are now both heir to the House of Black and Potter. Your parents did leave a will, though they stipulated that you would be left everything they had. Now that you are of age, however, you have free access to the Potter vault as well." Ragnok produced two keys and passed them to Harry. "We will also not inform Dumbledore of any transfers you make to either vault any longer."
"Meaning…" Harry's voice was shaking with anger.
"Yes, I am afraid he has been keeping track of your finances all this time, though we first thought he was simply holding it in trust. After hearing Sirius Black's will, however, we have deemed him to have abused that trust and will henceforth keep him out of the loop." Ragnok replied with a nod. "If you will follow me this way, Lord Potter-Black, we can bring you to the chamber where we shall help remove the blocks."
Twenty minutes later Harry stood in a circular room. Though he lacked any knowledge of architecture, he had the impression that the room was built much like a magical bunker of sorts. The door he had passed through to enter the chamber was extremely thicker, even thicker than the doors at Hogwarts, and he wasn't sure how thick the walls were, though it was not unlikely that the goblins had simply built the room in the middle of thick rock layers.
A familiar looking goblin walked in as Harry continued to pace the room, nervous at what the ritual entailed. "You're Griphook, aren't you?" Harry asked. "You were…"
"The one who showed you to the vault the first time you came into our halls, yes." Griphook replied. "I am the one responsible for the Potter vault before you came of age. Ragnok has informed me of what transpired and his promise of aid to you. I must admit I am surprised. He does not offer help to wizards easily, not even if they are supposed to stop Dark Lords." Griphook walked up to Harry and produced a small bag. "This is a coin pouch. It is keyed to respond you and you alone. Should you require gold, simply concentrate on the amount you need and it will appear within the pouch. Of course, the same amount will be taken from your vaults. For now it will only draw from the Potter vault, just to avoid any suspicion should Dumbledore look at the Black vaults. I take it you will be absent at the official will reading and that you would want him ignorant of this morning's events for as long as possible?" The young wizard nodded, prompting Griphook to produce two books. "This is the official records of all finances in the Potter and Black vaults, which only you will have access to, or anyone in your House should you grant them authority to do so. The second copy is one we will show to Dumbledore which will not reflect any spending outside of what you normally use for school supplies."
Harry raised an eyebrow at the extent to which the goblins had planned the whole deception. "It is not the first time we helped clients evade prying eyes, though you are the first in a very long time to be offered such services at no cost." Griphook answered his unasked question. "Now, there is something that Ragnok would like me to convey to you."
"Your mother apparently left some very specific instructions in her will which was made known only to Ragnok. Apparently she managed to befriend him, which is saying something for a witch, especially so if it is the leader of the goblin nation." Ignoring the young boy's look of surprise, Griphook continued. "Your mother had left a journal in the Potter vault addressed to you. It was stipulated in the will that you would come into possession of it once you were of age. I shall retrieve on your behalf and deliver it to you here once the ritual is completed. Speaking of which, do you need me to explain the ritual?"
Harry nodded again, both to indicate he understood Griphook's instructions and to ask the goblin to continue. "Magic blocks work much like ancient curses placed on tombs or ruins, keeping magic in check over time. The main difference is that most magic blocks are placed with age or time limits. This allows children with exceptionally powerful magical cores to grow safely without endangering themselves with bouts of uncontrolled accidental magic, as well as the transport and imprisonment of dangerous criminals to Azkaban preventing them from attempting to escape. Now, the ritual we are about to perform is normally used by Curse Breakers to safely disarm magical traps and ancient curses safely. They can then channel the magic elsewhere or release it in controlled amounts so that no one gets injured."
"One of our Curse Breakers will be by shortly to conduct the ritual. Firstly, magic blocks are usually removed after a stipulated time or when the subject comes to a certain age, or when the person who placed the block removes it of their own volition. Failing that, one would normally go to St Mungo's to have the blocks removed by a healer. Of course, we do not have that luxury since there will be paperwork involved and there is always the issue of keeping the healer silent. A Curse Breaker can do the same ritual since it is not much different from their work, but since this is not their usual scope of work you must understand the risks involved, which is why you are now in this chamber instead of Ragnok's office."
"The ritual itself does not take too long, but in the interest of ensuring you are able to return home without arousing suspicion as soon as possible Ragnok has allowed the use of this room. There is also the possibility that your magic may end up exploding out, and with the amount of secrecy we are trying to keep, this is best place to do so without anyone outside detecting anything out of the ordinary."
Harry nodded, unsure if all this information would last past the ritual's completion. Griphook made to leave the room, which puzzled Harry. The goblin chuckled knowing what Harry was about to ask.
"Mister Potter, I am a banker, not a Curse Breaker." He left the room and Harry could see him waving someone in. The Curse Breaker conducting the ritual walked in and Harry did a double take. Either the goblins were pulling a prank on him, or fate had a very strange sense of humor. He stared the blond witch in front of him.
An equally surprised French witch stared at the raven-haired wizard before her. "Harry?"
Well, that's it for chapter one! Next chapter, Harry goes through the ritual and reconnects with his mother.
Once again, R&R and let me know what you think!