Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, though I hope J.K. Rowling wouldn't mind me making a Post-Hogwarts story using her characters
Harry Potter: A Life After Hogwarts
Chapter 01: Discovery and Realization
January 10, 1998, Saturday (Two days after the fall of Voldemort)
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
The final battle at Hogwarts was gruesome to the say the least. Half of the school lay in ruins while the other half required lots of work to be considered habitable. A lot of witches and wizards, students and adults, died that day.
Light and Dark wizards lay dying or dead in the battlefield but everything was all for naught.
In the end, the victory was laid in his hands after he finally gave the killing blow by separating Voldemort's head from his body by a vicious swipe of Gryffindor's sword.
Everything that happened after that was like a blur but Harry could still feel the intense ache in his heart when certain truths came to light.
The first revelation that left Harry in negative state was the betrayal of some of the Weasley family. It left a bitter taste to his mouth every time he considered the betrayal of two he considered as friend, confidante, and family.
After the battle, Harry wandered the halls of Hogwarts trying to get away from the crowd of reporters and well-wishers in the great hall. Under the protection of one of the Hallows, the Invisibility Cloak of Ignotus Peverell, he wandered the silent halls trying to think of a way to gain a sort of balance in his hectic life. It was either luck or a curse that made him walk to an abandoned wing which was left unscathed from the battle.
There he overheard a plot that concerned him, the ultimate betrayal that left Harry's heart in tatters.
Their plan was simple enough, Ron was supposed to remain as Harry's friend and push him slowly to look at Ginny in a new light. There, Ginny would swoop down and woo the last Potter into a relationship where he would be slowly fed potions to wither down his will. Once they got married and produced a Potter heir, they planned to let Harry die in an accident, whether by potion or spell, but not before having Harry creates a Will to transfer the control of the Potter Vault to Ginny until their son or daughter was of age.
Once that was done, Ron and Ginny would split the Potter Fortune between themselves without telling their family anything.
Shocked by the revelation of the planned betrayal of two people he considered as family, Harry immediately left and went to the Astronomy Tower to think.
The calm, yet cold ambience of the tower provided Harry with a moment of clarity which gave him a sense of direction in what to do with his life or how to handle the revelation.
The first thing that came to mind was the plot to take the Potter fortune. Harry thought that his Trust Vault in Gringotts was the only thing left to him by his parents. After a few minutes of pondering, he realized the significance of the vault.
A Trust Vault was usually given to a child to sustain them until they come of age. Would it only stand to reason that another vault exists…a vault that belonged to the Potter family as a whole?
He needed to get in touch with Gringotts regarding his account there but he needed to determine if he was still welcome in the establishment considering that he broke in which was considered a taboo for the goblin race.
The next thing that entered his thoughts was the passing statement of Ginny requiring the birth of a Potter heir.
An heir is necessary for families with a certain status in the world. For example, an heir to a king was the next in line for the throne. If Ginny needed a Potter heir, then it would only stand to reason that his family was something in the Wizarding World.
Again, this requires a trip to Gringotts or maybe he could rope his best friend, Hermione, into helping him do a little bit of research about his family.
Hermione's name made thoughts come to a screeching halt.
Was it possible that Hermione was in on the plot or maybe she was clueless of the whole thing? He remembered the time when they were camping out in the wilderness during their hunt for the Horcruxes. Ron left them but Hermione stayed with him. Harry's heart was healed somewhat at the thought that Hermione was still his friend but he needed to make sure. He didn't want to get stabbed in the back, which almost happened if luck didn't had a hand in helping him discover the plot against his life.
There was also the concern of his school.
He, Ron, and Hermione left Hogwarts during their Seventh Year to hunt for the Horcruxes. In other words, he needed to stay in Wizarding Britain and attend his last year of schooling if he wanted to make a name for himself in the world. Even if he was cleared to use magic without getting into trouble with the Ministry, he still lacked the magical know-how that his best friend, Hermione Granger, had in her arsenal.
Speaking of which, Harry looked into his 6 years of schooling in Hogwarts. Harry realized that his stint with the Dursley laid a subconscious command in his mind to lower down his capabilities. Before he was punished for being better than Dudley, he was considered a prodigy in school. But he toned it down until he became a mediocre student to avoid getting beaten by his Uncle Vernon.
Harry vowed that if he was allowed to return to Hogwarts for his final year of schooling then he would do everything in his power to cram 6 years worth of studying in a span of a year. His pride as a Potter demanded no less.
Finally having a direction for his life, Harry made his way back to Gryffindor Tower to rest. There were things he needed to do tomorrow and it required him to be at full health.
January 11, 1998 (Sunday)
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Harry was on his way to the Headmistress' office to discuss with her his plans regarding his schooling for the year. He wanted to discuss it with Hermione first but she was currently on her way to Australia to reverse the memory charm that she placed her parents under to protect them from the war. He needed to talk to her as soon as possible but he needed to wait for two more weeks for her return.
Harry arrived at the gargoyle and was about to ask for entrance when it just jumped off from its position to reveal that staircase leading up to the office. Confused at the unnatural action of the protective statue, Harry shrugged and climbed the staircase. He reached the door and knocked.
"Come in." came the voice of the current Headmistress, Minerva McGonagall, from the other side of the door.
Harry entered the room and greeted the stern, yet kind Transfiguration Professor.
"Good morning, professor. I hope I didn't catch you at a bad time?" asked Harry with a small bow.
Minerva McGonagall, Transfiguration Professor, now Headmistress of Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry gave Harry a curious look. The boy hadn't bowed to her before and the maturity the boy was showing her in terms of respect was something was new to her.
"What brings you here, Mr. Potter?" she asked curiously as she beckoned for Harry to take a seat.
Harry took the offered seat and looked at the Headmistress in the eye.
"Professor, I came here early to discuss the possibility of continuing my schooling here in Hogwarts for my Seventh year." said Harry in a business-like tone.
McGonagall raised an eyebrow at the seriousness in Harry's posture. Something was different in the young Potter – she was just wasn't sure if it was good or bad.
"Certainly, Mr. Potter, I daresay that you earned it. I know of your romp with Ms. Granger all over Britain with the mission given to you by Albus, which forced you to skip your final year here in school. Would it be safe to say that you arrived at this decision all on your own?"
"Yes, professor. I was planning to ask Hermione when she arrives from her trip to Australia after she picks up her parents but I think I can make a decision for myself. She is, however, free to join me if she so wishes."
"I don't think that is necessary, Mr. Potter. Ms. Granger already informed me of her plans to finish her Seventh Year here in Hogwarts in the next school year. Minister Shacklebolt was kind enough to provide the manpower necessary to repair the school back to its former glory since it is a good idea to open the school to accept students ever since V..Vol…" she coughed a bit, gaining her bearings. "since Voldermort perished. The threat to our world no longer exists so it is best to make sure that we get back on our feet as soon as possible. Even if we are still in the process recuperating from the loss incurred during the war, having Hogwarts back can raise the morale of the people and serve as a beacon of hope for the future."
Harry nodded. The idea of opening the school for next year was good and would serve as a reminder for the witches and wizards of Magical Britain that recuperation was possible. Slow, yet, but possible.
"Thank you, professor. With your permission, I would like you to add my name to the rolls of Seventh year this coming September. Though might I ask a favor of you?"
McGonagall raised an eyebrow. The boy was certainly modest to say the least. Thanks to his efforts in getting rid of Voldemort, any favor from him will surely get a positive reply. Heck, the entirety of Wizarding Britain would be bowing down to him in worship if he so requires.
"What is it, Mr. Potter. If it is within my power to grant then its yours." said the Headmistress with a nod.
"Professor, I would like your permission to allow me to stay here in Hogwarts until the start of my Seventh Year. I don't want to be away from the school right now and I have always considered Hogwarts as my home. I will do anything to help to not be burden to the school. I would even offer my wand to aid in the repair." asked Harry with a slight pleading note to his voice.
McGongalls eyebrows rose in surprise. She didn't expect this request. Sure, the boy would do anything to get away from the Dursleys. Since he was already of age, he could easily go wherever he wishes with the Wizarding World's blessing. However, his request to stay in Hogwarts came as a surprise though a welcome one. The castle could definitely use an extra wand to help with the repairs. Considering how powerful the boy was, his wand would be of great use to speed up Hogwarts' recovery.
"You have my permission, Mr. Potter. I don't think I have the heart to deny your request considering your passion towards the school. Such is the case; I will allow you to stay here for the coming months until you finish your Seventh Year. Do you want to stay in the Gryffindor dorms or do you require a room of your own?" she asked the young Potter.
Harry was shocked at the offer of getting his own rooms. He didn't expect this but it was a welcome offer. He definitely needed a place where he could think and study without Ginny and Ron underfoot trying to get him to play to their tune.
"I would like that, professor. I don't think I want to stay in Gryffindor dorm for now and a room of my own would be welcome. Where will I be staying?" asked Harry eagerly.
McGonagall was about to say something but was interrupted by the portrait of Albus Dumbledore who was position directly behind her, looking at the two of them with a warm twinkle in his eyes.
"I have a suggestion, Minerva, if I may?" asked Albus from his portrait who was giving Harry a warm gaze.
"You're suggestion is very welcome, Albus. Do you have an idea where we are going to have Mr. Potter stay in the school?" asked McGonagall towards the portrait.
"I suggest that we give Mr. Potter access to Gryffindor's Quarters in the 6th floor." Albus replied with merry twinkle in his eyes and an amused smile on his lips.
"Are you sure, Albus?" asked Minerva. "Gryffindor's Quarters hadn't been used since Godric Gryffindor died and left the school's care to the Headmasters. I'm not even sure if it is still livable."
"The quarters is still intact, Minerva, though a tad dusty and requires thorough cleaning but I'm sure Harry is up to the task with some help from the elves." said Albus, smiling down at her.
"How do you know that, Albus?" Minerva asked curiously.
"There is a blank portrait there that all the previous Headmasters and Headmistresses can access at any time through their own portrait. Fortunately, I was there last week and saw that it was still in good condition so it is only right for Harry to use the place as his personal abode during his stay here in Hogwarts. I daresay he needed the privacy until all the hubbub has died down." explained the ex-Headmaster from his portrait.
Minerva gave Albus a long look before turning to a waiting Potter who was fidgeting on his seat.
"Alright, Mr. Potter. You will be staying in Gryffindor's quarters during your stay here in Hogwarts. Would it be safe to say that you also want to stay there during your Seventh year?" asked McGonagall with a raised eyebrow as if already expecting Harry to say yes.
Harry nodded vigorously, loving the accommodation granted to him. He didn't care that he had to clean the place up. It would be his home for the next year and half so cleaning it wouldn't be a problem.
"I understand. If you don't have anything else to do then I'll escort you to your new room in the castle. Please follow me." said McGonagall before standing up from her seat and beckoned for Harry to follow her out of the office. Harry was about to exit the door when the voice of Albus Dumbledore made its way to him.
"We shall talk when you get there, Harry. There are things I need to tell you in regards to your future."
"Sure, professor." said Harry with a nod before catching up with McGonagall who was already at the bottom of the stairs waiting for him.
Harry was facing a large statue of a lion who McGonagall said to be the entrance to Gryffindor's Quarters.
"Mr. Potter, this lion serves as the guardian of Gryffindor's Quarters. All I need to do now is to key you in to the wards and allowing you to set your own password to gain access to the chamber." explained McGonagall. "The enchantment on the statue is similar to the gargoyle guarding the Headmaster's office. Place your hand on the lion's head while I key you in."
Harry dutifully followed her instruction and placed his hand on the lion's head. McGonagall retrieved her wand from her robes and waved it over Harry's hand while mumbling an incantation. The statue glowed red for a moment before dying down.
"I have keyed you into the wards protecting Gryffindor's Quarters. You need to set the password to access the chamber. Keep your hand firmly on the lion's head and state the password and the word 'Activate'" instructed the Headmistresses as she stowed her wand back into the pocket of her robe.
Harry thought for a moment, trying to come up with a password. He ran through a couple of words in his mind until he found the perfect phrase to use.
"The Marauders rides again. Activate" stated Harry in a firm voice. The lion statue glowed blue this time, signifying that the password was accepted and recorded into the enchantment.
"Very good, Mr. Potter, the password is now recorded into the wards and is needed to gain access into the chamber. Since you are keyed to the wards, only you can change the password as you see fit." said McGonagall with an approving nod. "Is there anything else you need? I still have some business to take care of and I think you are old enough to inspect the quarters on your own."
"Yes, professor, thank you for your time." said Harry with a bow, thankful of the help given to him by the Headmistress.
McGonagall simply smiled at Harry before giving him a peck on the cheek which caused the poor boy to blush.
"You're welcome, Mr. Potter. I don't think I could ever deny you anything. Enjoy your quarters and again, I thank you for getting rid of Voldemort once and for all. Till next time, Mr. Potter." said McGonagall before taking her leave and making her way back to the Headmistress' Office, leaving Harry alone to enter Gryffindor's Quarters for the first time in hundreds of years.
Harry gave the password which caused the statue to jump to the side revealing a staircase similar to the ones going to the Headmaster's office. Excited at seeing his own quarters during his stay in Hogwarts, Harry immediately went up the stairs until he reached a large door made of dark wood. He turned the knob and saw a short open hallway leading to an open arch that Harry was sure marked the entrance of the fabled Founder's home.
Harry curiously walked over to the side and saw that Gryffindor's Quarters was like a separate tower connected to the castle through the hallway. Harry looked down and saw that it was more than a tower; it was a floating tower without any platform underneath.
Harry mused that it was either of sturdy construction or being held aloft defying the laws of physics by magic. The young Potter decided on the latter since this was the Magical World.
From his perch, he could see the Forbidden Forest in all its glory. Harry was eventually able to tear his eyes away from the beautiful scene and made his way to the arch to enter the chambers on the other side.
What he saw was a large circular room, like an archaic living room complete with furniture and a large fireplace. The design was similar to the ones in Gryffindor Tower that was his home for the past six years. He definitely liked what he saw.
Harry walked over to closed window on the western end of the room and opened it to reveal a portion of the Forbidden Forest. He had a clear view of Hagrid's Hut or what's left of it since the battle was practically on the half-giant's doorstep. Squinting a bit, Harry saw Hagrid in the process of repairing the walls of his wrecked home with fang sleeping beside him. Harry simply smiled at the sight.
He made his way back to the middle of the room and looked around. He saw a stairwell on the western corner of the room and decided to investigate.
The second floor was practically his bedroom. The style was similar to that of a loft. Tucked in one corner of the room was a large four-poster bed. A simple table and chair over by the closed window, a fireplace on the wall at the foot of the bed, and a large wardrobe. The door beside the wardrobe led to private bathroom similar to the Prefects Bathroom he used to discover the clue of the golden egg during the Triwizard Tournament. He definitely liked what he saw and could help but try it out.
Walking back to the bedroom, Harry strode over to the window and opened it. He saw the tower housing the Headmaster's Office quite clearly on the other side of the castle. From the looks of it, he was on the highest floor and being high up from the ground excited him a bit.
Deciding to start cleaning the place, Harry made his way back to the living room. He looked around before pulling out his repaired Holly and phoenix feather wand. With a wide swish and a flick, he banished all the dust in the room with a shout of Scourgify. He repeated the action a few more times until he was satisfied that the room was free of dust.
Considering that it was a bit cold because of the altitude, Harry lit up the fireplace with an Incendio. The roaring fire in the fireplace filled the place with much needed heat that immediately banished the cold. Harry was about to levitate some of the furniture to a new arrangement when a voice interrupted him.
"You might want to call an elf to you, Harry, since you might need to replace some of the furniture here. It is rather a bit too old and the place could use a little sprucing up."
Harry turned, wand at the ready to cast a Stunner, to where the voice came from and saw Albus Dumbledore in the portrait above the fireplace.
"Professor, you startled me." Harry said in relief when he realized who it was.
"Sorry, my boy. I just finished my discussion with Minerva and thought I drop by and check up on you. I take it that you found Gryffindor's Quarters to your liking?" asked the aged wizard.
Harry nodded with a smile.
"Yes, professor, I really like the place. I just didn't realize that such a place exists here in Hogwarts." exclaimed Harry as he sat himself on the ancient couch which was quite comfortable despite its age.
"Indeed. The Four Founders have their own chambers in Hogwarts. This is Godric's personal quarters while Helga and Rowena have their own somewhere in the castle. Slytherin's, however, is down in the Chamber of Secrets which you discovered during your Second Year." explained Albus.
"I see." said Harry with a nod. "It should only stand to reason that they have their own place in the school since I don't see them living in the same room. Anyway, professor, you have something you want to talk to me about?"
"Yes, Harry, but first thing I need you to do is to call Fawkes." asked the former Headmaster with a merry twinkle in his eyes behind his wire-framed glasses.
"Fawkes?" asked Harry in confusion. He was about to ask why when a burst of flame appeared in front of him revealing the absent phoenix that was the Headmaster's familiar.
Fawkes released a loud trill of happiness before flying down to Harry and settled on his lap. Harry absentmindedly started stroking the beautiful avian earning him a happy croon.
Harry looked up and saw the former Headmaster smiling at him.
"Professor…?" Harry was about to ask for an explanation when Albus beat him to it.
"Harry, before my demise, Fawkes here wanted to be bonded to you. He didn't want to be alone in the world without me so he requested that in the time that I leave this world for the 'next great adventure', I would get in touch with you to call him and explain his desire to be your bonded familiar."
"Oh…wait…he wants to be my what?" Harry half-shouted half-asked to the clearly amused former Headmaster of Hogwarts.
"Fawkes wanted to be your familiar, Harry." Albus explained patiently to the dumbfounded boy. "He expressed a desire to do so ever since you bonded with the wand containing one of his feathers. There was a connection between you and him for years now. If you remember, he came to your aid while you encountered the basilisk down in the Chamber of Secrets. He has always there for you, Harry, but he was bonded to me at that time. Now that I am no longer alive and his bond to me shattered, he wanted to be with you as his next master."
Harry could only nod, no words forming in his lips at the revelation of Fawkes wanting to be his familiar. He knew all about it, of course. Familiars were magical creatures that had an emotional and magical bond with a witch or a wizard. Unfortunately for Harry, his dearly departed Hedwig didn't have enough magic in her to manifest such a connection with him. Despite the lack of bond between them, they loved each other and had a way to communicate that most would find weird.
He looked down on his lap to see a happy phoenix enjoying the scratches he was getting from him. Smiling, he looked up to face the Headmaster who was enjoying the sight in front of him.
"What do I need to do to bond with Fawkes, Professor Dumbledore?" asked Harry.
"Before we get into that, Harry, please I want you to stop calling me 'professor' or 'headmaster'. I think you earned the right in calling me by name." said Albus with a smile.
Harry shook his head at the idea.
"It would be impolite, sir, I mean, you have always been my mentor, professor, and headmaster. I don't think I could ever call you other than that." explained Harry since he couldn't believe that such a powerful wizard looked at him as an equal, equal enough to call each other by name.
"I disagree, Harry, everything you went through have matured you in more ways than one. I think you earned the right to be treated as an adult, an adult who have grown under the tidings of war. Please humor this old man's request."
"Fine. Prof…uhh…Albus." Harry corrected himself. Old habits were hard to break after all. "How do I bond with Fawkes?"
"The bonding of a familiar to his witch or wizard is different according to species. In case of a phoenix, all you need to do is allow them to touch your magic and establish a connection. Unlike others that require blood to establish a connection, phoenixes are creatures of emotions so nothing physical is ever needed to establish the bond."
Harry nodded and looked down at Fawkes who was clearly looking at him. He felt a slight tug on his magic as he sensed Fawkes presence reaching out to him; he immediately relaxed and welcomed it.
Without warning, he was assaulted by a sudden rush of warmth and a feeling of exultation. His mind was bombarded by various images of flying in the clear blue sky, images of Albus chatting with Fawkes, and more. It was like Harry was seeing everything that Fawkes was sending him and the experience was breathtaking. Unknown to Harry, Fawkes was also receiving his memories. Both exchange was necessary to establish a familial bond that phoenixes strive in.
Harry didn't notice a golden glow encompassing both him and Fawkes as their emotional and magical bond formed. He didn't notice the time but it was an hour later that the glow dimmed down to nothing when the bond finally snapped into place.
Harry shook his head trying to clear away the headache that was forming. Fawkes felt his new master suffering from the barrage of memories immediately released a comforting trill that caused Harry's headache to disappear.
"Wow!" exclaimed Harry. "That was bloody intense."
Fawkes mimicked the sentiment with a triumphant trill that made Harry's heart soar. Harry looked down at the phoenix and scratched the avian's head.
"Thank you for choosing me, Fawkes. I promise to be a worthy master for you." said Harry with conviction. Fawkes simply trilled in acceptance before closing his eyes and going to sleep, the bonding tiring him out.
Since he was quite tired himself, Harry followed Fawkes' example and closed his eyes for a nap. He could finish cleaning Gryffindor's Quarters later.
It was around lunch time when Harry was woken up by his growling stomach. Incidentally, it also woke his new familiar as well much to its amusement. After a short talk with Albus, Harry called the former Headmaster's personal elf, Dippy, while in Hogwarts to serve them a bit of lunch. The aged wizard also suggested letting the elf retrieve Fawkes perch from his office, as well as finishing up the cleaning.
Of course, the elf took the command with a little extra by placing Fawkes perch in a pedestal in the living room beside the fireplace, as well as an extra perch in Harry's bedroom just in case the phoenix wanted to rest near his master.
After a hearty lunch, Fawkes left Harry in Gryffindor's Quarter to have a bit of fly. Harry gave him his blessing before accompanying Dippy to lend a hand in sprucing up the chamber.
Harry asked if there was a repository of furniture in Hogwarts that they could use to add some new items to the chamber. Dippy told him that there was a room in Hogwarts that contained some supplies needed just in a case a room needs to be improved. It held quite a collection of furniture ranging from simple tables to extravagant beds.
After listing down the items needed, Dippy commandeered a few elves from the kitchen to bring the requested items into the room.
First, the living room was given a bit of improvement through the addition of more modern sofas and couches. A heavy table similar to the ones in the Headmaster's office was placed near the window with a high-backed chair that would be a perfect place for Harry to study or pen letters. A bookshelf was also added in the room just in case Harry needed a place to store tomes for his study.
The bedroom was also given a makeover. Since he was the only one living there, he forgone the use of the four-poster bed and had it replaced by a simple king-sized platform bed. The pillows and blanket was replaced with newer ones. The wardrobe was left alone since the archaic design was to Harry's liking.
To spice the place up a bit, Harry requested some tapestry and paintings of landscapes to be placed in the living room and bedroom.
While the improvements were being done by the elves, Harry was in deep conversation with Albus regarding Gryffindor's Quarters.
For starters, the fireplace had an active floo connection that he could use to go anywhere within Hogwarts, except for the Headmaster's office. Since he was high-up in the castle, Harry could simply floo to the Great Hall to minimize travel time. The floo could also be used to exit the castle and return. After setting the address, which Harry decided to be Marauder's Den much to the former Headmaster's amusement, he asked Dippy to stock the vase on the mantle with some floo powder which the elf immediately complied.
The improvement of Gryffindor's Quarter was finished an hour before dinner. Not wanting to go down to the Great Hall to eat and wanting to avoid the crowd, as well as Ron and Ginny since they were still in the castle, Harry asked Dippy to bring him dinner. He ate silently while feeding a few morsels to Fawkes who was perched on his shoulder.
Tired from the day's events, Harry bid the Albus' portrait goodnight before heading off to bed.
January 12, 1998 (Monday): 1:20PM
Harry exited the office of Magical Travel in the Ministry of Magic with his Apparition License tucked safely in his wallet. He had plans in the future that required a lot of traveling so he needed to make sure that he had the proper documents to use apparition anytime he wished. He could have done this before the Horcrux hunting last year but didn't do so since the Ministry at that time was firmly under Voldemort's control. Harry wondered if Hermione was already given a license before deciding that his best friend might already have one considering that she was a stickler for rules.
While he was there, Harry also asked for a license to create Portkeys as well. It costs 50 galleons to be issued a license but he had enough money with him at the moment to pay the fee. His next stop was Gringotts.
Harry sent Fawkes to the goblins with a letter asking if he was allowed to the establishment to inquire about his financial status. It was an hour later that he got a reply via Gringotts owls coming from the leader of the goblin nation, High King Ragnok.
The letter stated that there was no harm done in regards to Harry's escape from Gringotts using one of their dragons. It was explained in the letter that the blame lay with Griphook, the goblin who double-crossed the trio during their trip to Gringotts to retrieve the Horcrux from the Lestrange vault.
In fact, Ragnok was thankful for liberating said Horcrux from one of their vaults stating that it was bad for business to host the fragment of the Dark Lord's soul in one of their vaults even if the client was of high standing in the financial circle of the Wizarding World.
It was two hours later that Harry exited Gringotts in a daze. He first met with High King Ragnok where he apologized profusely to the goblin king regarding their break-in. He was forgiven without any consequences much to his relief before being ushered to a conference room where a goblin teller showed him the ledger of the Potter family concerning the status of his account.
Harry realized during the meeting that the Potters were considered as one of the richest families in Wizarding Britain. Unfortunately, two of their properties were destroyed and all that was left was land – Potter Manor, the ancestral home of the Potters, was destroyed by Voldemort during the First War before he was born and Potter Cottage in Godric's Hollow which was a wreck since it was left untouched after the second floor was blown to bits courtesy of the failed Killing Curse.
Thankfully, all the belongings were salvaged from both properties and were now residing inside the vault.
It was also during his discussion with the teller that Sirius' Will was personally read to him which named him the heir of the Black Family assets. Since he was given the title of Lord Black on top of being a Potter Lord, Harry was given the assets of Bellatrix Lestrange nee Black since she was already dead. Having the Potter, Black, and the Lestrange vault under his banner, Harry was told by the goblin that he was now considered the richest wizard in Britain.
Not to mention that he was Lord of two Ancient and Noble houses of Wizarding Britain, with their respective rings now adorning his fingers.
It took him a few minutes after the revelation to gather his wits. He asked for the ledger of the Black and Lestrange vaults so he could determine what lay inside them.
Fortunately for Harry, he was able to ask the teller if there was a way to get money out of the vaults without him having to come to the bank all the time.
He was issued a bottomless pouch keyed to the three vaults that would allow him to withdraw any amount of money. He just needed to put his hand in the pouch and state the amount he needed. He was also given a card which mimicked a credit card in the muggle world. The teller told him that Harry could use the card in the muggle world for transaction. It also allowed him to withdraw muggle currency from an ATM if he so needed.
Shrinking the three large ledgers and placing them in his pocket for safekeeping, Harry's next stop was to purchase a new trunk and a complete wardrobe since he didn't want to wear any more of Dudley's cast offs. It was an hour later that he exited Madam Malkins wearing new wizarding apparel with his new 7-compartment trunk containing his clothes and the three ledgers shrunk inside a pocket of his robes. He decided against buying new robes for school since it was possible that he might get a growth spurt before classes would begin.
He made his way to the Leaky Cauldron and used the floo there to go directly to Gryffindor's Quarters. He still wasn't in the mood to meet the Weasleys who were staying in the castle temporarily while the Burrow was being repaired.
January 13, 1998 (Tuesday)
Harry spent the day holed up in his new room in Hogwarts pouring over the three ledgers that itemized the contents of his vaults, as well as some in-depth facts regarding his financial status in the Wizarding World. He used his Invisibility Cloak to sneak into the Hogwarts Library to 'borrow' a book on Wizarding Heraldry and Laws to give him a general idea what being a lord entails in the magical world.
After getting the necessary reference from the library, Harry's first project was the Potter ledger. He found out that the Potters were millionaires and owned a sizable chunk of the various businesses in both Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade. He discovered that he didn't need to work since his various investments were earning him a sizable income. The Potter Vault also housed an assortment of family heirlooms and books, the latter of which was itemized thoroughly and organized according to subjects. He decided that he would find time to visit the vault to get some books for his Seventh Year and maybe invite Hermione while doing so considering her passion for anything involving paperback.
Harry smiled at knowing that his parents weren't drunks as the Dursleys claimed. Heck, his family could even buy Grunnings without putting a dent on their assets. He wasn't really too big on money since he grew up in the Dursleys with practically nothing except for the clothes on his back but knowing that the Potters was a rich family made Harry heart soar.
Speaking of which, he needed to go to Privet Drive and retrieve the books and personal items he kept under the lose floorboard in his bedroom since he had no intentions of living there in the foreseeable future. Standing up from his chair, he stretched to get rid of the kinks he got from sitting down too long before calling for Fawkes who immediately flamed in and perched on his shoulder.
After explaining what he wanted, Fawkes immediately held out his tail feather for Harry to grab before flaming out of Hogwarts to Privet Drive. Fortunately, it was already nearing midnight so Harry was quite sure that the Dursleys were already asleep.
Harry appeared in his bedroom in Privet Drive. He looked around and noticed that nothing has changed and it was how he left it after Ron and Hermione picked him up for the Horcrux hunt. He went to the door and found out that it was locked from the outside. Harry chuckled at the Dursley's paranoia, locking the room to make sure that his 'freakish' influence wouldn't affect the family. Harry scoffed at the thought.
Removing the wand from his robe pocket, he levitated the bed to the corner before doing the same with the loose floorboard. He looked inside and smiled that his stash was safe and sound. Conjuring a sack, he levitated the items inside – mostly his school books, the photo album containing his and his parents' pictures given to him by Hagrid, a few wizarding snacks he stashed just in case he got hungry, and some odds and ends that he kept for emotional value.
Nodding at a job well done, he returned everything back to their original place and flamed out of the room with Fawkes, never to return again if he could help it.
January 14, 1998 (Wednesday)
Harry was annoyed. It was almost dinner time when he finished reading the Black and Lestrange ledgers. The numbers were too much for him to handle. Judging from the millions in both accounts, Harry guessed that the teller was correct in saying that he was practically the richest wizard in all of Britain. The only problem was he didn't know what to do with the money.
Sighing, he decided to think on that later since the money wasn't going anywhere though he did had an idle though of buying a house or two somewhere in the world. He didn't have any plans of living in Britain in the foreseeable future due to the memories he had with the place. He might settle down somewhere, maybe in America, and start a family if possible.
He was interrupted from his musings when he heard a knock on his door across the hallway. He stood up and answered it. He was surprised, however, when he found out that it was Professor McGonagall looking at him with a frown on her face.
"Good evening, professor. What can I do for you?" Harry asked politely before inviting her in.
"Good evening to you as well, Mr. Potter." McGonagall returned the greeting. "Maybe we should adjourn to the living room? There are some things I want to discuss with you so it would be best if we make ourselves comfortable. Have you had your dinner yet?"
"Not yet, professor, I was planning to ask an elf to deliver a plate here to me since I just finished studying the ledgers." replied Harry as they made their way to the living room. Harry sat down on the sofa followed by Professor McGonagall on the couch.
"That is one of the things I wanted to talk to you about." McGonagall began "I knew there was a reason why you chose to stay here in Hogwarts considering the accommodation available to you if you chose to ask for it. I didn't pry because it was personal but not seeing you ever since you were given this room is a bit disconcerting to me. If you would please explain why you seem to be avoiding people? I would love to hear it."
Harry sighed. He knew that this conversation was coming. He wanted to keep it a secret since he wanted to act on it on his own but he guessed that he could trust the Headmistress to keep this one for him until such time it was necessary to inform them.
He launched into an explanation on what he heard from Ron and Ginny during one of his night-time stroll around the castle. He told her of his plans to do better in his education and how he downplayed his abilities unconsciously due to his time with the Dursleys. Finally, he informed her of his plans to concentrate in learning magic to better himself.
As he explained his reasons and plans, Harry saw McGonagall go through different emotions so fast that it made his head spin. McGonagall face turned into a frown then into outrage upon hearing what the two youngest Weasleys were planning for Harry. That outrage grew worst when she heard that Harry was downplaying his abilities thanks to the Dursley's actions. Finally, she relaxed and gave Harry an encouraging smile with a proud look in her eyes when she heard the boy promise her that he would do his best in his studies and learning magic as a whole.
"I commend you on your determination to better yourself, Mr. Potter. I am looking forward to seeing what you are really capable off during your Seventh Year. What are you planning to do in regards to the Weasleys?" she asked Harry.
"I don't really know, professor. The only thing I can do right now is to avoid them. I don't think I could ever stop myself from lashing out at them if I meet them face to face. Their betrayal was something that really hurt me. I'm not sure about the other Weasleys or Hermione for that matter since she and Ron are a bit close. So all I can do right now is to pretend that I didn't know of their plan until I can come up with something better. Though I dread about seeing them again in Seventh year." said Harry as he made himself comfortable on the sofa.
McGonagall grew thoughtful, pondering about the young man's problem regarding the two traitors until an idea hit her.
"I think we could make this work, Mr. Potter. But first, let me assure you that your Seventh Year won't be a problem. Molly and Arthur already informed me that Ms. Weasley won't be returning for her Seventh Year, she will be home-school since Molly doesn't want to be away from her kids after what happened to one of the twins. Mr. Weasley, however, does not desire to return to Hogwarts stating that he would be helping his brother in manning the joke shop so the only one left here is Ms. Granger."
"In regards to Ms. Granger, I'm sure that she wasn't in on the plot about you. From your words alone, you told me that Mr. and Ms. Weasley were planning to share the 'spoils' between the 'two' of them and not the 'three' of them so we can safely say that those two are the only ones after your legacy."
"I also arrived at the same conclusion, professor, but I wanted to talk to Hermione as soon as possible to confirm it. I know that she and Ron is in a relationship and I don't want to get in between them but she should really know what she is getting in for." said Harry after giving McGonagall a nod in regards to her assessment of his best friend.
McGonagall nodded at Harry's idea and added her two cents.
"She should be arriving from Australia next week. She did inform me that once her parents are settled down back in their home; she will be coming to Hogwarts to assist in the repairs. She consider this school her home the same way you do and it warms my heart to know that two of my favorite students are helping out in the restoration of Hogwarts." said McGonagall with a smile and a twitch of amusement on her lips when Harry blushed at being addressed as one of her favorite students.
"In regards to the Weasleys, they will be staying here in Hogwarts for two more days before leaving to Shell Cottage where William and his wife, Fleur, will be accommodating the family until the Burrow is fixed. I'll come up with a suitable excuse to make sure that they don't come looking for you and demand your time. I suggest that you make use of your free time to review your books to prepare yourself for the coming year. The library is open so feel free to peruse the resources within to further whatever research you need. I would assume that you're still serious in helping out in the repair of the school?"
Harry nodded sincerely causing the Headmistress to smile at him.
"Good. Repair will be starting next week once Minister Shacklebolt finishes cleaning up the Ministry and putting things into order. A group of Magical Architects will be coming over to assess the damage. A crew will be created to clean up the mess as well. Once the architects finish the assessment, I can finally come up with a budget plan to which part of the school needs to be repaired first."
That brought Harry up short.
"What do you mean 'which part', professor?" asked Harry in confusion. "Isn't the school going to be repaired as a whole?"
McGonagall shook her head and sighed.
"It is impossible at this point, Mr. Potter. Hogwarts doesn't have enough funding at the moment to accommodate a school-wide construction job. The Ministry coffers are being diverted to the rebuilding of Wizarding Britain, which includes Diagon Alley and Hogsmeade, so the school doesn't expect much help in terms of money. This is also one of the reasons why we need to open school this coming September. The school needs the money to fund the rebuilding project."
A few ideas snapped in place inside Harry's head.
"Let me get this straight, professor, the only problem Hogwarts is having right now from being rebuilt to its former glory or even better is the lack of funds at its disposal?"
"Correct, Mr. Potter."
"So if there is money available then the school will be immediately rebuilt in its entirety?" Harry pressed.
"Indeed. If Hogwarts have the necessary funding then the school would be entirely rebuilt from the ground up in a span of 4 months give or take a few weeks.
"I think I may have a solution to our problem, professor. Hold on a bit." said Harry in excitement before going to his study table and retrieved the Lestrange ledger. He flipped a few pages until he got to the part where it detailed the total amount of money in the vault. He immediately went back to the couch and handed the opened ledge to McGonagall who looked at it in curiosity.
"Do you think that the amount on that page would be enough to cover the rebuilding cost, professor?" Harry asked innocently.
McGonagall looked down at the area where Harry indicated and spluttered at the eight figures detailing the size of the account. He looked at the innocent smiling boy in front of her.
"What is this, Mr. Potter? Where in the world did you get this kind of money?" said McGonagall in shock.
"Sirius left me the Black Family assets along with its Lordship. Considering that Bellatrix Lestrange was a Black before she got married to one of the Lestrange brothers, all of their assets reverted to her lord, in this case, me, since the law states that the nearest family member was supposed to get the deceased assets as a whole. I already have the Potter and Black family vaults for my own and having the Lestrange vault added to the mix is just too much. Besides, wouldn't it be ironic for a Death Eater's money to fund the restoration a place they destroyed?" explained Harry before a grin made its way to his face.
"I can't accept this, Mr. Potter. This is just too much." complained the Headmistress. Donation is one thing, offering the vault of one of the richest in Britain was purely another matter entirely.
"Professor, you told me that Hogwarts won't be fully rebuilt because of the lack of funds. Even the Ministry couldn't help since they are funding Britain's restoration as well. Besides, Professor Dumbledore always told me that Hogwarts would always offer its help to those who seek it. For me, Hogwarts provided me with a safe haven and a home, a place to learn that my magic is not an act of 'freakishness'. It is only right that I give something back to make sure that my first home in the Magical World is rebuilt to its former glory." Harry explained passionately that even the stern McGonagall was moved.
The Headmistress couldn't say anything to dispute such a heart-felt declaration. She knew that Harry treated Hogwarts as his home but she didn't know how much Harry loved the school. To deny him this opportunity to help in its restoration would be an insult. If he was serious to enough to offer the coffers of one of the richest pureblood families in Wizarding Britain then nothing will ever move the boy's decision to help.
"Alright, Mr. Potter. I accept your help and you have my gratitude for it. Just for clarification, how much of the money would be allocated to the school?" asked McGonagall.
Harry thought for a bit before another idea hit him. It was so brilliant that he amazed himself.
"Tell you what, professor, why don't we convert the Lestrange vault to a Hogwarts vault. You can use the money inside for restoration. Whatever is left can be used to help those who need to go to school but doesn't have the money for it. Like a scholarship for orphans and the needy. What do you say?" Harry asked enthusiastically.
McGonagall didn't say anything but just gave Harry a look before she fainted in the sheer shock of what the boy suggested.
McGonagall woke up 10 minutes later unable to believe everything that happened so far. Harry had to call Dippy for some drinks to help calm the Headmistress down. Instead of tea, McGonagall ordered a bottle of scotch from her stores causing one of Harry's eyebrows to rise up in amusement.
After a few more minutes of calming down, Harry and the Headmistress spent the rest of the night haggling over the Lestrange account on what was to be done with it.
For starters, the account would be renamed to Hogwarts Fund. The vault would be emptied of any non-monetary assets leaving only money inside. This can be easily arranged with a single trip to Gringotts since Harry had full access to the account itself.
The next order of business was to decide who would have access to the account. Harry first decided that the Headmaster or Headmistress of Hogwarts should have the only access to the vault but McGonagall rebutted it that it would be more efficient for the professors to have access as well with some stipulation to avoid thievery.
The rules was quite simple, money could only be withdrawn by the faculty enough for a student's supplies, which McGonagall stated would take around 200 galleons and the left over given to the student as an allowance for the entire year and used as they see fit. The money would be increased to 250 galleons for the Third Years and above. The tuition would be deducted automatically from the account with the permission of the Headmaster or Headmistress.
Since giving out money for free wouldn't be effective and quite a lot of people would be clamoring around to get their hands on the school's money, Harry suggested that the student have some sort of work schedule around the school while they are under scholarship. It was up to the Headmaster or Headmistress to assign the student ample tasks to help out without putting a dent on their schedule.
McGonagall also suggested that they shush up the presence of the money while the architect were doing their assessment of the damage and repair. In most cases, these professional would offer different sums for the rehabilitation of the school they would just take whatever offer sounds good then leave it at that.
Harry suggested to inform Minister Shacklebolt of their plans to avoid questions since it would be nigh mysterious for Hogwarts to suddenly have enough money to keep the school running for a decade or so without income rolling in. McGonagall agreed and promised to get in touch with Kingsley in the morning.
Harry's job was to go to Gringotts to finalize everything with the goblin. Considering that he was the original owner of the account, McGonagall included a stipulation that Harry would be a co-owner of the vault which allowed him to take money from it though Harry decided that he would never dip his fingers into the new Hogwarts Fun since he had plenty from the collective riches of the Potter and Black assets.
January 15, 1998 (Thursday)
Harry left early with Fawkes early in the morning to Gringotts to discuss the creation of the Hogwarts Fund from the Lestrange Vault. It was surprising that the process didn't take long to finish. The goblins required 30 minutes to transfer all the non-monetary assets in the Lestrange vault to the Black Family vault since it was only right to do so.
Harry and the goblin teller liquidated the investment portfolio of the Lestrange Family and had it transferred over to the Potter name, which resulted in Harry getting controlling shares in some business in the Wizarding World. The next order of business was the teller looking through the lists that Harry gave him concerning the new Hogwarts Fund.
In the end, the teller suggested for Harry to have three keys instead of one. One key would be for Harry since he was the co-owner of the account, one key for the Headmaster or Headmistress, and one key that gave the holder a limited access to the money in question.
A rule was also stipulated that large withdrawals aside from the Hogwarts construction fund would require his authorization to avoid fraudulent transactions from taking place.
Once the details were hammered out, Harry assigned the goblin teller, Spleensmash, as manager of the account. This caused the goblin to faint in shock with a confused Harry not knowing what to do. It took quite a while for the Spleensmash to wake up and explain to him why he fainted.
It was quite simple, wizards and witches NEVER assigned a goblin to manage their accounts. Goblins only took them down to the vault and safeguard their money that's it. A witch or wizard was assigned by the account holder to monitor the funds and nothing else.
Harry explained that he was no ordinary wizard and he didn't hold the goblin race with the same bias views as others. For him, witches and wizards were similar to goblins, not of the same species but both were magical. This caused the goblin to look at him in shock but was able to control himself. After drawing up an employment contract for the goblin, it was sealed with both their signature that Spleensmash would be managing the Hogwarts Fund along with the Potter and Black vaults and properties with Harry getting a statement every month for the Potter and Black vaults; the statement for Hogwarts Fund would be delivered both to him and the current Headmaster or Headmistress. Spleensmash woulod be given s salary of 5,000 galleons a year, which was twice the amount that a witch or wizard would earn in their regular pay and three times that of a regular goblin teller.
Harry left Gringotts with a please look on his face with Spleensmash immediately reporting everything that happened to his High King who also fainted in surprise.
It would be safe to say that you've noticed a slight difference in how I wrote this fic. I would like to extend my thanks to those who commented on my sister's work since it helped the both of us improve our command of the English language. Hopefully I didn't have that many errors in this fic but if there are then please point them out to me for my improvement.
Also, I think it is noticeable that I added a timeline to this fic. Since this is Post-Hogwarts, I think it would be a good idea to create a story with a fixed timeline to avoid some problems in the future. Also, I think the dates adds a certain zest to the story which makes it a whole lot interesting to read.
Oh, before I forget, this story will be quite long. I will be putting a lot of details into this fic to make it more fun to read. Also, don't expect for the story to jump directly to Twilight since I want to focus a bit on Harry's improvement as a wizard of caliber.
Hope you like the first chapter. I hope to get the next one uploaded soon since I have some free time till my sister gets back to work on her story.