Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter, no matter how much I wish otherwise. I do not own DC characters as well.
Retooled, and hopefully better. I will be replacing the rest of the chapters in the next few days with what I have rewritten. A new chapter should be out by this weekend.
"Aunt Petunia. I have a proposition for you." Harry spoke, standing by the counter as she wiped at another plate with a dry towel.
She didn't respond, only her nostril flare acknowledging him. He forged ahead undaunted.
"I don't want to stay here anymore than you want me here. I have somewhere I can go, I just need to get there. If you drive me to London in the morning and drop me off I'll be gone before you can blink, and I won't be back until next summer. You won't have to see me for a whole year." The decision had been a while coming. He'd thought it over during the two weeks that were required, which he'd narrowed it down from the length of time he'd been left with his relatives from his past summers in their household.
His options were essentially and solely to wait and see where he would be assigned this year for Minding and Guarding: The Burrow, or Grimmauld.
Asking when he'd be rescued from the Dursely's had grown old last summer. The general consensus then had been that he was safest with the Dursley's because of the blood protection and he'd been left there as long as possible with no word on his reprieve or future plans towards it, at Dumbledore's pleasure essentially. So, he hadn't asked this year. He had simply existed, exchanging a few letters with Hermione and oddly enough Luna. There was no Sirius to write to now to ask for advice or to kill time or…anything. And Ron, Ron had been different after they'd returned from the Ministry and out of the Hospital Wing, avoiding him.
He was tired of facing the same three options: Dursely's, Weasley's, or Grimmauld. So, he was choosing another choice.
"What day and time?" Petunia's lips pursed somehow even as she spoke. The action gave her a very odd appearance. They agreed on something for once.
It had worked so flawlessly Harry was still expecting disaster to strike. Hedwig was off to Hermione's with strict instructions to kill time on the way there, preferably a day. She carried a letter simply saying not to worry about him and that he'd be back before school started. He hadn't sent her to the Weasley's because it would take Hermione at least a day to get in contact with Dumbledore or the Order. So two days clear, if things went well. He'd been resourceful, using the Invisibility cloak to get in the car in the first place. Aunt Petunia hadn't exactly appreciated that. Quite scandalized she'd only watched silently as he explained curtly what the ridiculously patterned blanket he was carrying was for. She'd opened the rear passenger door to put in her purse and drifted away a few feet, studiously ignoring anything unnatural that might be occurring in her lack of eyesight. The 'feather light' charm he'd cast on the trunk before leaving this year hadn't faded yet. Hefted vertically and carefully against his chest, Harry slid the trunk in before himself. Petunia stood by acting distracted by some uneven pruning on the nearest flowering shrub. Maybe she wasn't acting, he thought as her eyes narrowed. She seemed to decide after a few more minutes of inspection that he had had well enough time to get inside and slammed the door with relish resolutely. They didn't talk on the drive, and she didn't do more than widen her eyes as he slid the cloak off ten minutes out of Little Whinging. He didn't get out quite at Diagon Alley. Instead he let Petunia drive past for a short while and exited a street over and down. They parted without a word or well wish between them, as was their custom. He made his way back up with his head covered in a baseball cap he'd gotten at the World Cup sporting a shamrock. He slipped the invisibility cloak back on in an alleyway before rounding the corner. Dodging pedestrian traffic was more of a challenge than dodging Filch had ever been.
He didn't honestly have a firm plan, he'd lied about that flat out. Just a vague notion of grabbing some money from Gringotts and hopping a train, boat or plane. Anything to get away from everything for as long as he was able.
Harry made his way to Gringotts undetected. He'd rarely been in Diagon Alley entirely alone, his third year the exception. The experience was quite contrasting to the usual mobbing or silent gazes and whispers that followed him the moment he drew near.
Inside the public men's room at Gringotts Harry shucked off the invisibility cloak, putting it into his school bag carefully. He tugged at the cap, ensuring it came down enough to cover his scar and the mess he called hair.
No one pointed and shouted as he crossed the small distance to the service desks, and he almost visibly relaxed as he moved up the queue.
His vault key preceded his words, clinking against the countertop to preempt a request for it or his name. "I need some galleons exchanged." Harry said to the Goblin as he leaned against the countertop to better block his voice and features.
"How much?" The Goblin asked, pursing his lips as he realized who Harry was.
"Um. I don't know. What's a galleon in Muggle money?" He hadn't bothered asking before, a bit thick of him actually. He'd never bothered exchanging for pocket money to keep on him at the Durselys' to avoid questions about where it came from.
"One galleon is approximately equivalent to 55.5 pounds." Was the stilted answer.
"Oh. Wow. I'd like…how much is in my account?" The Goblin raised an eyebrow, and Harry almost regretted phrasing it like that.
"Mr. Potter. You're current student vault holds 1917 galleons, 7904 sickles, and 14,873 knuts, until it is refreshed on your birthday."
"Um. Student vault?" Harry almost wished he hadn't seen the slight tic of…something on the goblin's face. He wasn't trying to irritate anyone. The phrase of it refreshing had sounded odd as well, know that he thought it over.
"Your parents funded a trust for your schooling expenses. Your family vault holds the liquefied estate. Your holdings in their entirety aren't open to you until your seventeenth birthday. Your legal guardian receives your annual reports." The goblin sighed, clearly feeling as though this should have been something Harry was aware of.
Sirius had been his legal guardian, his godfather. And somehow Harry didn't think he'd been allowed mail in prison. And after he escaped, Dumbledore or someone probably put up wards to keep owls away that came for him, if he hadn't. Or else, couldn't they just have tracked Sirius down sending an owl after him? How humiliating that would have been.
"Well. I'm not saying they weren't sent, I just didn't see them." Harry trailed off awkwardly, uncertain of how to rein in the conversation. He didn't want to go into this, not today at least.
"Very well." He was relieved to hear the Goblin say, and thought that was the end of it nearly. He made to ask a few more questions while they were on his mind.
"I understand I can't access it, but can't I know what's in there?"
"We'll have a copy of your file brought up immediately." The goblin wrote something on a piece of parchment, placing it into an empty bin. It disappeared in an eye blink. "Your Godfather made you the beneficiary of his will, as well, if you had not also been aware."
"He did." Harry replied, trying to sound as though he knew that bit already, and realized that he supposed it made a bit of sense. Rather twisted sort, hearing it like that from the cold Goblin.
"The Black family was very prominent in the community, and very wealthy. You were Sirius Black's sole heir as his godson. Everything in the Black name is now in the Potter name, your name." A stack of papers had generated in the paper holder in front of the goblin, with large cursive writing encompassing half of the first page. From the fact that the middle-aged witch in the next partition over didn't whirl around at Sirius' infamous name, he realized that there was a privacy charm around them. Wizards weren't usually that good at pretending they weren't nosy.
Harry nodded woodenly at that statement. That was common enough knowledge. He hadn't really thought about it. But telling a goblin he hadn't thought about money and piles of gold now in his name was probably some kind of insult.
"If you wish to relinquish your right to any of the-" Ah. Of course. Harry realized that Grimmauld place, the Order's headquarters, was in question.
"No. No. He left it to me. It's my responsibility." Harry shook his head, cutting the goblin off almost rudely.
"If you will follow me, we will require your signature on a number of documents. This way." The goblin hopped down from his high seat, taking the papers that had just appeared and vanished behind the counter before emerging on the end away from the door and waving him over.
Harry had been led to a small chamber to start signing like an automaton. They probably didn't want to waste time on a customer dotting i's and crossing t's.
The paperwork he laid on a desk. The door closed behind him after he entered, not fast enough to scare him, but enough to let him know he was alone. There was an ink well and a selection of quills provided.
Harry sat down spreading the folders out to get it over with. X's marked the spots on the will documentation, and he'd signed his name as required for the property to be transferred to his name after reading the pages through to make sure he wasn't signing something he shouldn't be. None of it had been written in Sirius' hand, or in his words. Just signed as Harry signed his own name to take ownership of everything Sirius once owned. Probably hard for Sirius to arrange it at all, being on the run, he reasoned. And Sirius hadn't seemed the type to arrange things like this ahead of time, before he went to prison. After he finished the Black folder, he put that packet aside and opened the other he'd been left with in tired curiosity.
Harry stared at it as he sat in the private room he'd been offered. There was a short parchment and another two folders that revealed themselves to be magically thinner that they had a right to be. He flipped through them only briefly before choosing to embrace the summarized and much, much briefer version that they had chosen to place on top.
He had always known he was rich, the vault he'd been using for his schooling had given him that impression being chock full of gold coins and never seeming to empty all that much each year; not that he had gone to retrieve money often enough to take notice.
A listing of the Potter Family holdings, properties and financial statements read out in steady and fine handwriting on the page, followed by the supplemented Black family information.
"Well. Telling Ron's going to be awkward." Harry mused out loud, and shook his head for what felt like the millionth time that morning.
He fiddled briefly, before finally multiplying the totals mentally in resignation. His head hurt. In the Muggle world, his net worth was around four billion pounds. Management until he turned eighteen and was considered an adult in the Muggle world was directed through a series of companies which from what he could guess were goblin funded fronts.
He replaced everything as it was, and sealed the folders back together, intent on getting out of there and not getting immersed in it.
He'd emerged after spending probably a little more time than he should have going over the papers. After all, he was on the run. He couldn't count on Mundungus Fletcher's incompetence for much longer. Coming back he'd handed over what he'd been asked to sign before being informed that the folder with the financial information was his personal copy. "I'll not have time today for any other business today. I'm going to be out of the country for vacation and I'd prefer using a Muggle plane." The Goblin's eyebrows raised slightly. "I need a passport, if you know where I can get one?" He continued hopefully.
"We can provide one now, for a modest fee of course." The goblin's eyes lit up at that.
"Yes, please. I need around five hundred Galleons withdrawn and converted also."
"If you are withdrawing such a large sum, I would suggest a Gringotts check book instead. To Muggle eyes it will appear to be a normal document and will process through our channels with a few adjustments and no impositions. There is also the option of the Muggle plastic card that is convenient and provides an automatic conversion of monetary funds. This method will ensure your money is protected and you will not run the risk of theft."
"Oh, okay. I didn't know you offered that." What exactly the Goblins would do to the poor soul attempting to use his card if Harry did manage to get it stolen, he didn't want to think about.
"It is a service that is convenient for those who deal with Muggles." Harry didn't nod, exactly. The Goblin was getting used to Harry's general lack of common knowledge. Well. That was a relief.
"I'd like both the card and the checkbook, please."
The Goblin handed over the small billfold after informing him of the fee with the check book and card on top. Harry opened the produced passport automatically. He'd been sure he'd need a picture taken but it was already there. Taken magically without time to pose apparently moments before. He realized that the Goblins must have some sort of magical version of security cameras, out of sight. The photograph didn't move. It looked real and official enough. Harry slipped the checkbook into his bag, and passport into his pocket. The card he tucked inside the passport for protection. He'd never had occasion to buy a wallet, but he'd have to now.
"Well. I'll be back. I'll look over this, while I'm gone. If you wouldn't mind being discreet that I was here to begin with?" Harry asked.
"Our customers value our discretion, Mr. Potter, and so do we, as you can see from your full account report." Harry had noted the monthly maintenance fee.
"Thank you." Harry said before he made his way to the exit, the documents secured in the magically charmed folder, trunk rolling behind him.
Harry made double time back out of Diagon Alley. On hitting Muggle London he slid out of the cloak, stuffed it into his trunk more carelessly than he meant, and hailed a cab to the airport.
After getting his luggage through the initial security by the entrance, he ran out of steam. His general lack of preparedness was catching up to him, full stop. He had no idea what he to do now that he reached his destination without being stunned for supreme stupidity by well-intentioned Order members or Aurors or the other guys. He had arranged his belongings with his clothing at the top of his trunk and naïvely he'd hoped no one would actually search it. There were small notice-me-not charms on it, he'd cast those the year before to keep his relatives out of his things. He calmed down, reassuring himself Muggles would leave it alone unless it was ticking. The Sneakascope occurred to him in a rush of small panic, and he went into the restroom, dragging it into the handicap stall to have room. He ensured the dark detector was in no less than three pairs of socks, in the dead middle of the trunk before slamming it once again.
Harry made his way back to the ticket area, becoming a bit more unsettled as he drummed his fingers along his pants leg considering his options. There were several screens listing departure times, and he began studying them after a few minutes of looking around. Planes were leaving within the next hour to locations across the globe. New York City, Los Angeles, Paris, Rome, and so on…Such foreign places. The excitement associated with them tempted him, but the times leaving were further away than he felt safe waiting for. He needed to get out of the country, as fast as possible. And he was limited by speaking only English and Latin, a dead language.
He narrowed down the earliest departure times and after a few moments he decided, Metropolis, NY. Leaving in an hour.