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Too Good to Be True

Harry lay moaning on his cot in the smallest bedroom of No. 4 Privet Drive. Moaning as quietly as he could. Uncle Vernon had been very angry at being threatened by Dumbledore's men and women and had taken it out on Harry the moment they were in the house. He must have had Dudley carry Harry up the stairs and throw him into his room; the last thing Harry could remember was Vernon's fist hitting him in the side of the head for the fourth or fifth time.

"I hate Vernon," Harry said in the quiet of his room. "I hate Dumbledore and all his stupid followers. I hate Petunia and Dudley. What kind of people do this to family? They're no family of mine. I hate this place. It's not home. It's never been home."

Before Harry could draw breath after that declaration, there was a snapping sound. Not a sound, exactly. It was something he detected via his magical senses, not his ears. Harry dizzily lifted himself out of bed, but before he could get to his feet a thunder of footsteps came up the stairs and Fred and George Weasley burst through his door.

"We've got to get you out of here! The wards have fallen and Death Eaters could be here any second!"

The twins then noticed Harry's condition. After a concerned glance between them, Fred gingerly helped Harry to his feet while George accioed all of his possessions. Just as they pulled out a portkey to take Harry to safety they heard multiple apparition pops, shouts of "Avada Kedavra!", and the thuds of bodies hitting the floor – two loud, one soft.

The portkey took the three to Headquarters, Sirius's old house. "Sorry, mate. You need a hospital but the only portkey we had was to here."

George disappeared into the floo and returned in minutes, clutching an old quill. "Right. One more trip and we'll have you all fixed up. C'mon, mate."

All the spinning left Harry disoriented and nauseated. He was barely conscious when they arrived at St. Mungo's. The next thing he knew, he was waking up in a hospital bed. A strange-looking, little man was shaking his shoulder impatiently.

"You have to wake up, Mr Potter. We don't have much time alone. Ah, good. I am Ashwid'rbeloqiera of the goblin nation. You may call me Acid Belch. The goblin nation and Gringotts have been trying to reach you for over a year. You have been under wards or under watch the entire time and our owls have been unable to deliver messages."

Harry nodded carefully, then more vigorously once he realized his head would not split apart. "Dumbledore said it was for my protection, to keep Voldemort from finding me."

The goblin snorted. "We can discuss that later. The most urgent matter right now is your assumption of the leadership of the Potter family. You should have taken the position after your fifteenth birthday, and if you do not do it before your sixteenth birthday the family will be declared extinct and all of your assets will be seized by the ministry."

That was unacceptable to Harry. "The same ministry which has been calling me a liar and tried to snap my wand after they sent dementors after me? I don't think so."

"The very same. If you come with me I can take you to Ragnok, leader of the goblin nation. He can officiate over the ceremony and then the wizards' ministry will have no choice but to accept it. The entire goblin nation would rebel against the wizards if we were insulted in that manner."

Not having much to lose, Harry accepted. Before he knew it he was standing in a Gringotts conference room, still wearing his hospital gown. "Do you think you could find me some real clothes?"

The goblin snorted in what Harry was coming to recognize as laughter. "My apologies, Mr Potter." With a twiddle of his fingers, the goblin replaced the white, ass-baring gown with very luxurious wizarding robes. "Quite right, sir. This is much more appropriate to a man of your station."

Just at that moment, the rooms doors came open and in came a procession of armed goblins escorting a wizened but still large, well dressed goblin. Acid Breath bowed low. Harry, not knowing what else to do, followed suit.

"You do not bow to me, Lord Potter-to-be. Soon I shall be bowing to you," the apparent leader informed him.

The ceremony started and Harry was quickly overwhelmed by the promised he made. In his defense, he had recently been healed from a severe head injury. The only part that he remembered clearly was the promise to uphold the honor of the Potter family. At the conclusion, Harry held up his right hand with the Potter signet ring, feeling the power and knowledge flowing into him.

"Ragnok, what do you know of the last will and testament of my parents? Something tells me they were never executed."

"You are correct, sir. The wills were sealed by Albus Dumbledore when he appointed himself your magical guardian. We have a copy of the true will in our keeping."

In moments the will was brought forth and a Gringotts lawyer was going over it with a fine toothed comb. "It is easy to see why Dumbledore did not want this to be made public. Your parents had grave doubts about his ultimate purpose and his honesty. These doubts seemed to be borne out because the will names Peter Pettigrew as their secret keeper and states that Sirius Black was to be your guardian, with Albus Dumbledore and Petunia Dursley explicitly barred from having any contact with you. Furthermore, your father reveals a family secret, that you are descended from Godric Gryffindor and are the heir of that family. Aside from that, all of your parents' properties and monies are to go to you."

"Do You wish to take over the leadership of the Gryffindor family?" Ragnok asked.

Harry did, and a few minutes later another signet ring adorned his right hand.

"It is as we suspected, Lord Potter-Gryffindor. As you are here with us now, shall we go over your godfather's will? Albus Dumbledore informed us that you did not want any of your godfather's possessions or titles and that they should instead pass to Dumbledore himself. Suffice it to say that we have some doubts about the veracity of Dumbledore's claims."

"He never spoke to me about it. Yes, read Sirius's will, please."

The Black will was brought in quickly. The same goblin lawyer glanced over it. "Congratulations, Lord Potter-Gryffindor-Black. Sirius Black made you his sole heir. You get everything: the properties, the money, and the title."

The ceremony was repeated yet again and soon Harry had a third ring on his right hand.

"You also have inherited a few obligations, though I do not feel you will find them onerous."


"Yes, you have several outstanding marriage contracts, passed down from decades or even centuries ago. I will have to consult our records, but I believe that this is the first time the contracts could be honored because there were no unmarried men in the one family and women in the other at the same time."

"You said contracts? Multiple marriage contracts?"

"Yes. Do not concern yourself, My Lord. You will need to honor one contract and then pass the remainder down to your descendents.

Here is a listing of the contracts: The Greengrass family owes you a daughter because Sirius Black's great-great-grandfather — who is also your great-great-great-grandfather on the Potter side — saved the life of Aloysius Greengrass. The Bones family and the Blacks made a marriage contract to settle a feud. The Delacour family owes the Black family two daughters in marriage." The goblin shuffled papers for a moment. "Your pardon, My Lord. I missed this page of your parents' will. You also have several marriage contracts through the Potter family. The Davis family, the Abbott family, and the Parkinson family all owe a daughter to the Potters in settlement of gambling debts. Apparently your father, James, was quite the card shark. The Lovegood family made a contract one hundred years ago because they had a 'feeling'."

Harry was overwhelmed, not surprisingly. "Just to be clear, I have to choose one of these girls and then pass the rest down?"

"That is essentially correct, My Lord. You must choose one wife from among the contracts, and you may additionally choose any number of them as consorts. The remaining contracts will be passed down. You have until your twenty-first birthday to make your decision, although I suggest deciding more quickly so that the other young women will be released from the obligation and can find their own husbands sooner than that."

Harry nodded to himself. At least all of the girls were good-looking, though he wouldn't touch Parkinson if she were the last girl on Earth. Well, make that unless she were the last girl on Earth. She had gotten quite pretty.

"My Lord, if we can set aside the marriage contracts for the moment," Ragnok rumbled, "we have other matters to discuss.

"The most important issue is your magical maturity, fast approaching. We goblins have a secret technique to both speed and enhance the maturity. With our assistance you could reach your adult power today and unlock secret powers that would otherwise remain dormant.

"The final matter is retribution against those who have wronged you. Gringotts offers our financial and legal expertise to punish those who have been unjustly attacked you or wronged you over your life."

"That sounds great, but why are you helping me so much? This doesn't match your reputation."

"We have our reasons, Lord Potter-Gryffindor-Black. However, you have quite enough to get through already. I suggest you deal with your magical maturity first and then we'll address our unaccustomed helpfulness. It is nothing harmful to you, I promise."

Harry was escorted to the secret underground ritual room. There, the helpful goblins painted runes on his body, placed him in a pattern of gemstones, and chanted in their own language. There was a flash and then Harry stood up, feeling healthier and more powerful than ever before.

"Congratulations, My Lord. Our readings show that you are now the most powerful wizard since Merlin himself and even he might have been less powerful than you. Moreover, we have determined that you have gained the power of Shadow Walk. You can step into any shadow and step out of any other shadow. This is a totally unstoppable and untraceable power."

Harry couldn't help himself. He stepped into a shadow in one corner of the ritual and stepped out of the shadow in the Chamber of Secrets. Pointing his finger at the basilisk carcass, he magically extracted one of the foot-long fangs, then stepped back to the ritual room.

"Can you make me a dagger from this fang? I need something special if I'm going to kill Voldemort."

The goblins readily agreed and one hurried off, holding the fang in dragonhide gauntlets, while another goblin brought Harry back to the conference room.

"Excellent, My Lord," Ragnok said, looking very pleased with himself. "And now I am certain that you are anxious to hear our reason for helping you. There has long been a prophecy that a Chosen One would come to remove the yokes from the nonhuman magical creatures. We believe that you are the Chosen One. You have been forced to work like a house elf, you are as courageous as a goblin, and, ahem, you are hung like a centaur. All the magical brethren have sworn to follow your banner as you lead us to freedom."

Harry readily assented. He sympathized with the plight of the non-humans, having been on the receiving end of prejudice and scorn his whole life.

They had just finished planning the legal and economic attacks on Cornelius Fudge, the ministry, the Wizengamot, and Albus Dumbledore when a goblin sword smith entered the room.

"My Lord, here is the dagger you requested. Thanks to the basilisk venom and secret goblin spells, it has the property that it will utterly consume the soul of anyone it scratches, no matter how that soul may be anchored to life. I suggest you be very careful handling it."

Harry accepted the dagger with a word of thanks. He was already wearing a full suit of dragonhide armor, a gift from the goblins. "If you'll excuse me a moment, I have a Dark Lord to kill." And with that Harry stepped into a shadow, following the pull of his curse scar.

Luck was with him. Voldemort was in a large, torch-lit throne room with shadows everywhere. Making his way stealthily to the throne, Harry jumped out and stabbed Voldemort right in the heart. Not surprisingly, all of the Death Eaters died at the same moment as Voldemort. The Dark Lord seemed the kind to make sure that none of his followers could plot against him.

Stepping back to the conference room, Harry told the assembled goblins, "There, that job's done. Thanks for the help. I'll bet it would have taken years and lots of people would have died if I'd had to do it myself."

"Excellent job, Lord Potter-Gryffindor-Black. While you were out we launched our legal attack against the ministry. Our threats were effective enough that the ministry awarded you one million galleons in compensation for their persecution of you over the past year. In addition, Sirius Black's estate was awarded one million galleons as compensation for unjust imprisonment. Furthermore, the Fudge family was determined to owe you a magical debt. In the payment of this debt, the only unmarried female in the Fudge family has now been contracted to marry you. We recommend that you deny this marriage contract which will punish the other side by removing all magic from all family members."

"You mean that Fudge will be a squib?"

"Exactly that, My Lord. A just punishment, I think you'll agree."

Over lunch, Harry used his new control of the Wizengamot to strike down all laws prejudicial against nonhuman magical beings and Muggleborn humans. The goblins and the house elves serving lunch were delighted that he had carried out his promises so rapidly.

Immediately after lunch all of Harry's prospective brides arrived so he could meet their families and decide which he would marry. They all were very lovely. Fleur and Gabrielle, of course, were in a league of their own, but Fleur politely asked Harry to release her from the contract because she had a fiancé already. Gabrielle, while utterly adorable, was too young. Surrounded by all the pulchritude of his prospective brides, Harry found that, extremely pretty though she was, he did not want to wait several years for the little girl to turn into a young woman. He kept the contract active. Maybe in a few years she would want to be a consort.

Daphne Greengrass asked to speak to him privately. "Harry," the untouchable beauty whispered, "Tracey has been my best friend my whole life. Neither of us has any other close friends. We would be very appreciative if you would take one of us as a wife and the other as consort. Very appreciative."

Tracey Davis joined them in the corner of the room. The two sexy girls cuddled into his arms and kissed the sides of his neck. That was all it took to make up Harry's mind.

Harry pinched himself, just as a check. This was too good to be true. Though if it was a dream, he hoped it wouldn't end until after his wedding night.

But pinching didn't end the dream. And the little boy didn't roll out of bed and wake up.

Instead, Harry lay there on the bed, dripping blood and cerebrospinal fluid as pressure steadily increased on his brain. Vernon's last beating had fractured Harry's skull in three places, with two of the fractures puncturing the dura mater. Harry was immersed in his dreams, happier than he'd ever been, until they faded away because his brain was too badly traumatized to sustain them. Harry died shortly thereafter, and shortly after that both the wizarding world and the muggle world fell to Voldemort.

Author's Note: Because you just don't see enough "Parody/Tragedy" stories.