Note: A big thank you to Inachis for being my Beta again on this chapter.
It only took a few minutes until the goblin hurried back. As he reached us he gave us a quick bow and said, "Master Groshak will receive you at once, please follow me."
He turned around and let us to an office far into the bank and quite a way from the room a wizard normally sees. The Goblin knocked on a plain door and then opened it. "Master Groshak, your guests," he said.
"Bring them in," a voice from inside the room replied.
The goblin then opened the door fully and directed us into the room.
"Thank you for helping us," I told the younger goblin as we entered the room.
I looked around and the office was still as opulent as the last time I was here. Only the wall where Groshak collected his weapons had grown quite a bit more crowded since I had last talked with him.
"I see your collection has grown, Groshak," I said with a smile at the older goblin.
"It has my Lord. It seems as if there's no end to foolish young Goblins who think they can do my job better than I can," he replied with a smile.
Amelia raised an eyebrow at me being called 'Lord' by a goblin, but didn't say anything for the moment, which of course didn't mean she wouldn't grill me about that later. "Just Remus, Groshak. How many times do I have to tell you that?"
With a huge grin the goblin replied, "I think at least one more time, my Lord Altaïr. I think I'm getting old and have trouble remember such thinks any longer."
I winced a little at being called by my birth name and I know the questions Amelia would have for me later just grew in number. Before I could say anything more Groshak continued.
"What brings you to me, my Lord?" he asked as we sat down.
"As you know I left England a while ago to find one of those things I have placed into my special vault here and I only recently returned after I came across an old issue of the Prophet in one of the places I stayed at. After talking with Madam Bones here I found out something I don't like at all. Dumbledore told everyone that he had given Harry into my care and later found my dead body and that Harry was missing. So I asked myself, now why would he say something like that and where is Harry? And that is why I have come to you, old friend."
The goblin smiled at me and then looked at Amelia with a questioning gaze. I just nodded and so he said, "Yes, we heard this as well and I kept my eyes and ears open. Only a day after your supposed death Dumbledore demanded access to the Potter accounts, as he claimed to be the magical guardian of young Harry and that he had placed the boy somewhere save."
I couldn't help myself and interrupted him. "Albus, being Harry's guardian? Impossible, Lilly would never have done something like that."
"Those were my thoughts exactly, but with Sirius in prison and Alice in St. Mungo's he claimed to be the guardian of young Harry by default due to his position as First Warlock of the Wizengamot." Seeing that I wanted to say something more, he quickly added. "Before you ask, before that avenue he put it trough the Wizengamot that all wills would be sealed so that no Death Eater could take advantage of them until everything was sorted out. With Harry's 'disappearance', the will of the Potter's was never opened again."
"Convenient for that old bastard," I muttered.
"Indeed," Groshak agreed. "But luckily it isn't a full guardianship and therefore we could deny him access to the Potter vault's, since he was unwilling to present the heir of the Potter line to us."
I let out a few curses and wished that old bastard to hell. I would have continued for a long while if not for Amelia, who calmed me down by laying her hands on my shoulder. I took a deep breath and continued. "So where is young Harry now? Is he still with Dumbledore?"
"No, he isn't, but we are certain Dumbledore placed him with the Dursley's. Lady Potter's sister if my information is correct."
"THE DURSLEY'S?" I exploded and I started to curse again loudly. This time it took Amelia to pull me in a deep kiss to calm me down, at least in that regard.
After the kiss, which Groshak watched with amusement, I took a deep breath again and sat down. "The Dursley's. Are you sure?" I asked my old friend.
"Sadly it is an educated guess. You know we have to be careful about how we act outside of Gringotts. But shortly after Harry's 'disappearance' Dumbledore started a monthly payment of 3.000 pounds to them," Groshak explained.
"Ok that's a good reason for your guess and thank you for your help Groshak. I think I know what I'll have to do next," I said with a grin.
Groshak nodded at me and said, "No problem at all. As you know, the Goblin nation isn't too fond of Dumbledore. On another note, the dwarven smith delivered your special order a year ago and we took the liberty to place it in your vault."
At this news I had to smile like a small boy waiting to open his Christmas presents. I had ordered those special blades nearly a century ago and now the dwarven smith had finally delivered them. I just couldn't wait to test them out. "That is great news. I needed to go to my vault either way. I have to replace a lot of my gear after my last mission."
Amelia and I stood up and after we had said our goodbyes to Groshak, his aide guided us to the tracks and the carts that would bring us to my vault. I smiled in anticipation as I've always loved those crazy drives. Even after all the years I've now spent in this world, this was still one of the most fun filled things I ever experienced, no roller-coaster build by non-magicals even came close.
After we reached my vault I looked bemused at Amelia who seemed a bit green after the ride. My amusement was rewarded with a glare only a woman could give a man, that could mean everything from 'You sleep on the couch' or 'I will have your balls for this'.
As she looked around she said in astonishment, "Vault number 7?"
"Yeah, my family is a long time customer with Gringotts," I replied with part truth part lie. Even if I loved this woman and had told her more than everyone else, there were things, like me being a few hundred years old, that I couldn't share with her.
Not wanting to think about that too much I quickly disarmed the security of the vault with the help of the goblin. We quickly entered the vault and Amelia stopped in shock only a few steps inside. "Remus… you are….you are," she tried to say but couldn't finish it.
I smiled in amusement and offered, "Adorable?"
"No…ahhmm yes I mean, but that wasn't what I wanted to say. You're rich and all the other stuff…," she said while pointing at row after row of bookshelves, armors, weapons of all kinds and other stuff.
"Yes, I have a bit of money, but never really cared much about it. It has its uses, but nothing else," I replied while I stripped out of my current armor which was quite worn from my last outing. I chose a new armor from among those I had stored here, as well as two daggers, several throwing knives and a few other small things and stored them on me after I was dressed again. I also took a money bag from one of the shelves, one which was connected to my accounts. I also took the package the Goblin's stored here that had been sent for me by the dwarven smith, but didn't open it yet.
After that my business in Gringotts was pretty much concluded and Amelia and I quickly left the bank. I then bought several things I needed in the Alley and took Amelia out to dinner.
While we enjoyed our meal she asked, "So what are your plans now Remus?"
I chewed the piece of meat I currently had in my mouth a bit slower to get a few moments to consider before I answered. "I'll scout out the Dursleys to see if Groshak's guess is correct and Harry is really living with them and if so, how he's doing there. After that I will decide depending on what I'll see."
(Later the same evening)
After I had enjoyed the rest of the afternoon with Amelia I brought her back to her house and after a few minutes of saying goodbye, I went to my apartment. I dressed and armed myself for the scouting mission and then made my way to Surrey.
I quickly reached the house of the Dursleys and started with scouting around their neighborhood to see if something was out of the ordinary. All seemed normal and non magical around the area. The only thing I found that didn't fit into the area at all was the home of a woman who oozed a small bit of magic. It wasn't much and so I assumed she was what the wizards liked to call Squibs.
Effortlessly I climbed onto her roof and decided to watch her for a while to determine if she had something to do with Harry.
I waited and watched her for a bit over an hour and so noted that she seemed to use her cats to keep an eye on the neighborhood and especially on the House where Harry lived. So my guess that she had been placed here by Dumbledore to keep an eye on Harry was correct. Just as I decided to leave the woman for now to finally scout out the home of the Dursleys, her fireplace flared up and a man in a black wizard's robe stepped out of it.
You could color me surprised as I recognized the wizard to be Severus Snape, who went to school with us. 'Hmm…This could be interesting,' I thought and so stayed where I was and concentrated on the directional listening skill I learned so long ago in my training to be an Assassin.
"We got your message Squib, what is it?" Snape sneered at the woman.
The woman looked a bit taken aback by his tone and then said in a calm tone. "I asked to see Dumbledore and not his lackey."
I just couldn't suppress the smile on my face as I saw Severus flush at this reply.
"Listen woman. Dumbledore has more important things to do than to travel here each and every time you call for him. So tell me what you want to say," Snape said in an angered tone.
"You can tell Dumbledore the next time I call for him and he sends you, I will go to the Aurors instead. And as to what I have to tell you, Dumbledore has to get the kid out of that house. They hate him and abuse him. Today his cousin hit him several times with a baseball bat while Vernon was just watching and grinning. If Dumbledore won't do anything about that soon, I will," she said.
I had to take a few deep breaths to calm myself down at hearing that and so nearly missed how Severus pulled his wand and then memory charmed the woman. Before I could act, the woman sat down with glazed eyes and Severus apparated out of the house and reappeared just outside of the building and then started to walk into the direction of the Dursleys.
I quickly threw a look at the woman and saw that she was ok for now. So I jumped down and silently followed Snape to see what he planned to do now.
It wasn't hard to follow him by keeping in the dark and avoiding any light sources and I wasn't surprised as we reached the house of the Dursley's a few minutes later. There Snape stood a few inches away from the wards which were placed around the grounds and it seemed like he was waiting for something.
It only took a few moments until I heard the opening of a door and then steps that were coming towards Snape. Concentrating on my listening skill I heard the voice of a man beginning to speak. "There you are," the voice grumbled.
"So how is our little project going?" Snape asked with a sneer in his tone.
"As you wished, the freak is miserable. Today he was so clumsy that he has fallen down the stairs and probably broken his right arm. Now he's passed out from the pain after I made him polish my car," the man said with a happy tone in his voice.
I had to force myself not to go and kill them both there and then. It wasn't easy to keep listening.
"That's good to hear Vernon," Snape said in a satisfied tone. "Here is your payment and take this vial. Put it in something Potter has to drink and shortly afterwards he will fell pain like he has never known before for around two hours."
As Vernon took the things he replied, "That sounds nice. I will enjoy watching the freak feeling that pain. One other thing, I think you'll have to increase the doses of the stuff you gave me for Petunia. It looks like she's starting to build up a resistance to it and I have to give it to her more often now."
"Really? That's interesting. I will bring you a stronger potion next time we meet," Snape replied.
"Good evening then," Vernon grumbled and turned around to enter his house again.
I took a careful breath and prepared to get Snape. I nearly reached him when he disappeared with a small pop. "Damn," I cursed. Still, I could get to Snape later and so I would look for Harry first.
Using my Eagle eye vision I checked the grounds again and after a while I found a small gap in the wards at the back were the neighbors cherry tree stood near the border and a few branches hang into the Dursley's property.
I quickly climbed the trees and using the overhanging branches I jumped down into the Dursley's garden and then activated the Eagle eye vision again to check if I had somehow triggered the wards.