Shadow of the Snake Chapter 1
Disclaimer : Harry Potter or anything else I may have used does not belong to me.
Author's Notes : Well, this is my first harry potter story, hope there aren't anything I may have missed. Enjoy!
Dumbledore seemingly glided through the dark and dank streets. His bright purple robes were extraordinarily dazzling, in contrast with the dull grey of the street tiles. Ominous black clouds covered the sky, only allowing the tiniest beam of light to escape through a crack or two. Dreary apartment buildings lined the street, as insignificant as possible. The smell of rain assaulted his nose, as did the slight stench of week old garbage emanating from an alley to his right.
The floor was wet, the aftermath of a slight drizzle, and Dumbledore paid extra attention to each step, careful not to slip and fall. He was over a hundred years old after all. Dumbledore could barely contain his excitement. For years he had searched for him, after his aunt and uncle had abandoned him somewhere. He would have interrogated them for answers if he could, but they had moved out of the country and it would have been impossible for him to locate them in a foreign country without causing an international incident. After all, if the Supreme Mugwump and the one who's acknowledged as the most powerful wizard alive visited a foreign country, cries of outrage could cost him his job.
Dumbledore had almost exhausted his resources, his connections, everything he had to try and locate Harry Potter – The-boy-who-lived. Or so the entire European wizarding world knew him as. But try as he had, no one could find the the last member of the noble house of Potter, as the father of James Potter had often reminded him of before his death. Ah, that man threw quite a fit when he discovered James had married a muggleborn discreetly, and had almost disowned him had he not been told of Lily's pregnancy. Not only was his anger doused, he was elated.
The Headmaster of Hogwarts shook his head, no use allowing his mind to drown in nostalgia. There was much more important things to do, and he briskly increased his pace. Dumbledore turned a corner and was greeted with a sight much welcome.
The large building was gloomy and lifeless, it must have had been an architectural gem when it was first built. It's gothic design, once magnificent, now gave a melancholy air of hopelessness. Metallic fencing surrounded the entire building, leaving only a single entrance which was already open. The word's St. Margaret's Orphanage was carved into the pillars by the two sides of the gate.
Albus shook his head in disapproval, young Harry was forced to live in such a place for his entire life? Nine, maybe eight years, inhabiting this grim institution for unwanted children? Dumbledore shivered at the similarity between Harry Potter and... Him.
Dumbledore entered the gate, and walked past the lawn's healthy yet monotonous leaves. He approached the large wooden door, paying attention to the richly carved door. Albus raised his hand and gave three resounding knocks on the door. The sound was strangely welcomed in the otherwise oppressive silence. The lock behind the door was unlocked and it creaked open.
A woman, around the age of fifty greeted him at the door. Her hair was tied up in a bun, with a pair of glasses resting firmly on her sharp nose. The wrinkles on her face was less evident with a layer of powder over them. Her eyes shone with a gleam of discipline and gave off a 'no-nonsense' demeanor. She wore an old green blouse, and a skirt that touched the floor.
"Who are you?" She asked, rather rudely, Albus thought. The woman gave a huff of breath, apparently annoyed at something.
"My name is Albus Dumbledore, I am to assume you have received my letter?"
The woman's eyes widened in realization "You're the headmaster, aren't you? The one from that school."
Albus gave a well practiced, grandfatherly smile "Yes, I am the Headmaster of Hogwarts, here to meet with one of my future students."
The woman pursed her lips, before her eyes lowered. "You're here to meet with him are you?" The Headmaster tilted his head in curiosity
"If you mean young Harry Potter by him, then yes." He was shocked when he saw the woman openly flinch at the sound of Harry's name.
Her former disposition was gone now, her shoulders were slumped, and she opened and closed her mouth before speaking "A-are you sure?"
Dumbledore frowned "Yes, I am sure. Is there a problem?" The woman bit her lips, as if struggling whether to speak the truth before looking over his shoulder and once she confirmed no one else was there he motioned for him to enter.
The doors closed and Dumbledore followed the woman curious what had gotten over her, when he had mentioned Harry's name. Could something have happened to him while Harry was living here? He needed to find out. As they went up the stairs the woman started to speak.
"Harry Potter was first left here around eight years ago. He was found by one of our volunteers on our doorstep, with his birth certificate. Harry was two years old when we found him, barely able to recognize people's faces." Dumbledore inwardly frowned, so the Dursleys had left Harry here when he was only two years of age.
The woman continued "It was not an unique event. Such an occurrence was regular and an unwanted child would be left here once a week at least. Harry was very normal growing up, he was rather quiet as well, having no friends nor family that visited him. He kept to himself and remained unnoticed by any couples who wanted to adopt a child. Then... strange things began to happen when he was five."
The headmaster of Hogwarts felt his heart skip a beat. Accidental magic was a definite trait in a child with magic. Even muggleborns were prone to frequent bouts of accidental magic before being taught control in Hogwarts. This usually happens when a child is seven to eight years old. Again, he could not help but be reminded how familiar this was.
"It began with small things, stuff disappearing and moving by themselves, occurrences were rare and far between . Then weirder things started to happen, freaky things..." The woman stopped moving, clearly uncomfortable with talking about whatever it was she had deemed freaky.
"Please, continue." Albus prompted.
She did nothing for a moment before she continued walking "I remember, it was when Harry was seven, by then most already suspected or had an inkling that all the supernatural things that were happening was caused by him. A rather spirited boy, Joshua, joined the orphanage. He was eleven, an unusual age for a boy to enter an orphanage, apparently he grew up in a... inappropriate environment for a child."
"Joshua was a bully. Though the fault could not be taken on him, the poor boy did not know any better. He took things from the other children, and slapped or kicked them when they refused to part with their possessions. At eleven years old, he was one of the oldest in our orphanage at the time and he finally crossed the wrong boy." Albus heard her voice shake. "He somehow provoked Harry, and, well... Harry did not take kindly to that. I was in the hallway on that day, and the next thing I knew was Joshua flew out of the window of the second storey and b-broke his neck. He died instantly. Though everyone knew it was Harry who did it, there was no proof other than the fact he was looking out the window when I found him."
"The rest of the years went by, with the other children often complaining that Harry was weird, and when more older children joined the orphanage, the kids found the courage to start teasing him, forgetting the incident with Joshua. That was when stranger things happened. Some of the children grew boils on their bodies, some tripped and fell for no apparent reason. The teasing stopped completely when a few kids disappeared one day."
They had passed by several doors and they stopped in front of one labeled 'HP'. "I was rather confused by the letter I received, mister Dumbledore. In all the years I have spent as the caretaker of this orphanage, I have never seen any family of Harry's. I was rather dubious when the letter mentioned that his parents were once students of this prestigious private school of yours, until you arrived. If you wish to take him away, feel free." The woman turned towards the door "It would be better if he left..." she whispered to herself, but Dumbledore heard her.
She knocked on the door, before a voice came from within "Come in." Albus realized this was the first time he had heard young Harry's voice, ever since he had entrusted him to the Dursleys. It held a faint similarity to James, and a feeling of reminiscence he had once forgotten. The caretaker opened the door to reveal a small spartan room. It consisted of a bed, a study table, a small cupboard and had naught but a few books on the table.
In the room was a young boy and Dumbledore almost fainted at the sight. His smooth and straight jet black hair was slicked to one side, his fringe slightly covering his left eye, drastically different from the uncombed mess his father had. It seemed he had no need for the glasses his father would have been blind without. He had his mother's eyes, bright green and almond shaped. Albus could still see the distinctive sheen of brilliance within those emerald orbs Lily had possessed. The most eye-catching of all his features was the lightning-bolt scar upon his forehead. It was slightly faded now, unlike the last time he saw it when it was still reddish and raw.
Most importantly, it frightened him how similar he looked to Tom. He could still remember, visiting young Tom Riddle when he was just a boy, sitting on a chair in his room in the orphanage, just as Harry was right now.
"Harry, you have a visitor." Harry looked up in curiosity and saw an old man, dressed in ridiculous purple robes that must have went out of fashion 400 years ago. Mrs. Aldrin, the caretaker motioned towards the old man. She caught Harry's stare and immediately left the room without another word. Dumbledore gave little notice to the woman's departure and approached the young boy infront of him. Finding a spot on the bed, he sat down.
The two found themselves in a staring match for half a minute before Harry spoke, his eyes despondent and voice impassive. "Who are you?"
Dumbledore, glad that the silence was over replied "My name is professor Dumbledore, I'm from Hogwarts, School of Witchcraft and Wizardry."
Harry's eyebrow rose at that "Witchcraft? Wizardry? Are you from an asylum?" Dumbledore straightened himself, uncomfortable with the direction the conversation was flowing, frighteningly similar to that day.
Harry continued, "I know she thinks I'm crazy. She wants me gone. She thinks I'm different, they all do. They want me locked up."
Albus leaned forward "Hogwarts is not an asylum for the insane, I assure you. Hogwarts is a school, a school of magic."
Harry stared back indifferently "You can do things, can't you Harry. Things other children can't." Harry shifted in his seat, and Albus knew he had struck the bullseye.
Harry continued to stare at Dumbledore, without revealing a shred of emotion. "I can move things, make them fly. I can push things away from me, pull things to me." Harry narrowed his eyes "They say I am weird, that I'm unnatural. They call me a freak. I can do things to people who are mean to me. Bad things. I can make them sick, make them trip... If I want."
Dumbledore was surprised, this was the most emotion he had seen from him since the start of the conversation, granted it was only malice and spite but still, it was improvement.
"Who are you?"
The simple repeated question pulled Albus from his thoughts. "I am Professor Dumbledore, and I am the same as you. I'm different."
Harry pondered for a moment before replying bluntly "I don't believe you. Prove it." Dumbledore paused for a moment, considering Harry's request before the door slammed shut. Harry's eyes shot towards it, knowing he had nothing to do with it.
Then he floated up, along with the chair he was sitting on and the table as well as his books. The old man remained on the bed, still grounded by gravity while he gave Harry a cheeky smile before setting him down, returning the furniture where it had once stood. Harry gave a faint smile, before it disappeared completely. "I believe this could serve as sufficient evidence, Harry." Dumbledore said, eyes twinkling in amusement.
The boy glanced at the table, as if disbelieving of what had just happened before returning his gaze to Dumbledore. "If I go to Hogwarts, I can learn how to do that as well?"
Albus smiled, knowing he definitely had Harry on the hook now. "No, no, Harry." The boy's mouth tilted downwards in microscopic proportions, indicating disappointment, before Dumbledore continued "You can learn so much more then you will ever imagine."
Harry looked up, completely silent, emotionless and cold. Dumbledore seeing that he could extract no further response from the boy, reached into his robes and reached out to give Harry the letter. "This is the official Hogwarts letter of acceptance." Harry grasped it lightly and detach the seal on the envelope. He then quickly scanned through the letter.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
Headmaster : Albus Dumbledore (Order of Merlin, First Class, Grand Sorceror., Chief
Warlock, Supreme Mugwump, International confederation. of Wizards)
Dear Harry Potter,
We are pleased to inform you that you have been accepted at Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry. Please find enclosed a list of all necessary books and equipment.
Term begins on September 1. We await your owl by no later than July 31.
Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry
First-year students will require :
Three sets of plain work robes (black)
One plain pointed hat (black) for day wear
One pair of protective gloves (dragon hide or similar)
One winter cloak (black, with silver fastenings)
Please note that all pupil's clothes should carry name tags.
All students should have a copy of each the following:
The Standard Book of Spells (Grade 1) by Miranda Goshawk
A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot
Magical Theory by Adalbert Waffling
A Beginner's Guide to Transfiguration by Emeric Switch
One Thousand Magical Herbs and Fungi by Phyllida Spore
Magical Drafts and Potions by Arsenius Jigger
Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them by Newt Scamander
The Dark Forces : A Guide to Self-Protection by Quentin Trimble
1 cauldron (pewter, standard size 2)
1 set glass or crystal phials
1 set brass scales
Students may also bring an own OR a cat OR a toad.
Parents Are Reminded That First Years Are Not Allowed Their Own Broomstick.
Chief Attendent of Witchcraft Provisions
Harry looked up from the letter, confusion perceptible on his otherwise calm face. Albus smiled, slightly unnerved at the child's cool and calm persona. "I realize there must be many terms used that you might not be familiar with, do not fret as I will personally escort you to the place where all of the items needed can be purchased."
Harry nodded before glancing back at him. "You might not realize this, but I'm an orphan sir. I do not have the sufficient funds needed to purchase all of these."
Dumbledore was taken aback, and though he held an impassive face, his own mind was in turmoil. Should he reveal to Harry his parents and their wealth? What if he is angry that though his parents were wealthy he had to suffer in an orphanage for years. Or should he hide this knowledge from him, and inform Harry of funds given to Hogwarts every year to be loaned to orphans or financially troubled families.
Albus shook his head, Harry had suffered enough, to hide even the names of his parents from him would be more than cruel. "Harry, have you ever wondered who your parents were?" The boy in question eyed the man infront of him with distrust yet he remained silent. "Your father was James Potter, while your mother was Lily Potter."
The window shattered.
Pieces of broken glass flew from the window, stabbing themselves in the grass field with more force than natural. Dumbledore widened his eyes "Harry, calm down." Yet though he said that, Harry looked the same as before. Eyes dull with boredom and indifference. The aura around him however, was drastically different. Strands of magic leaked out of him and threatened to wreck havoc.
"Where are they?" Harry asked, with the same aloof tone he had used since the beginning of the conversation. The floor underneath them was straining against the pressure Harry's magic was exuding.
"They're dead." The simple words made the pressure immediately disappeared and the strands of magic dangling dangerously retreated into Harry."How?" The raven haired boy asked curtly.
Dumbledore considered his next answer. "They were killed." Almost instantly, the pressure returned.
"Who?" Harry asked, his voice laced with venom.
Dumbledore nodded gravely before he spoke "Ten Years ago, there was an evil wizard, his name was Lord Voldermort. He was extremely powerful with fanatically loyal followers. He pursued the idea that all non-magical people were inferior and did not deserve to live. With this in mind, he launched a brutal war against any wizard or witch who were against him, and by his definition, anyone who were not with him, were against him. He ruled over his men with fear and instilled fear of him and his name into almost everyone within the wizarding world."
He paused to see Harry absorbing and analyzing every single word he said in his mind. "Your parents, they were the light's most courageous and most skilled. They actively defied Voldemort and his ideas, knowing that magical and non-magical people are of equal status and deserved equal treatment. And for their defiance, Voldemort killed them... and you."
Harry's eyes widened in realization, then narrowed in suspicion. Dumbledore continued "Well, he tried to kill you. But somehow, be it luck, chance, fate or the stray hand of God, you did not perish. You survived and he didn't. It is now common knowledge within the Wizarding world, that Harry Potter, a one year old infant killed Voldemort, somehow."
The boy-who-lived frowned "This Voldemort... he is dead? I killed him?" Dumbledore hesitantly nodded, not knowing what his answer might result in. "And I am famous for something that might not even have been my doing?"
Dumbledore nodded again "I understand all of this might be too much for you to handle right now, introduction to a new world, learning of your parents unfortunate demise, and now you learned that you are quite a celebrity in the Wizarding world. I admit, this is quite a conundrum. If you wish to, I will return tomorrow and leave you with your thoughts for now. Oh, and because of your parent's unfortunate and untimely demise, they left you with quite an inheritance. More than sufficient to cover any expenses you will need for the seven years in Hogwarts."
Harry nodded "That is for the best, Professor." However just as Albus approached the door, he heard Harry speak. "I can speak to snakes too. They find me. Whisper things. Is that normal for someone like me?"
Dumbledore froze in his steps before slowly turning back. Harry was standing up and staring at him, needing an answer. How was this possible? The exact same scene occurring decades from each other... "That is a rare gift, Harry. It is called Parseltongue, the ability to talk to serpants. You will do great things, I am sure."
Albus exited the room, but as the door closed, he let out a breath he did not realize he was holding. The conversation Albus just had was too eerily similar to the one he had sixty years ago. He had made a mistake then, by not monitoring Tom closely enough. And now, a frighteningly similar situation has presented himself, could he afford not to keep a closer eye on Harry Potter? Albus Dumbledore mulled over this as he apparated into the dark sky.
Harry had sensed that old man the moment he arrived. That man, Dumbledore, had suddenly appeared in the middle of town, as if he had teleported or something. Harry could teleport too, it was an easy task after he had discovered his talents. He could sense that old man was different from the rest of the rot eating fools. He could sense that he was same, as him. Harry had heard the conversation he had with the caretaker. Rather rude of her to speak of him behind his back, perhaps he should punish her for the insolence before he left.
Voldemort, it was a name Harry had mixed feelings for. For one, he hated the man for killing his parents. Though he only have faint memories of the green eyed, red-haired woman and a man with black messy hair, they were still his parents who had brought him into the world. However, his ideas were not that far off either. These people, who called him a freak, did they truly deserve life? Harry smirked, they would be better off as fertilizer for trees. Or course, he would not call for their deaths like this Voldemort would. They would be better used as servants or slaves.
Harry gave a dark chuckle. He was a wizard, he should have known. Harry could do things no one he had seen could imitate, until today. He was going to go to this school and he was going to learn magic. Actual magic! Harry raised his hand and cupped his palm. Fire burst into life within it before floating and dancing around his hand. Harry wondered if all of these wizards and witches could do this too. The fire extinguished without a sound nor trace of its brief existence.
The last remaining Potter turned towards the bed, its covers smooth, except for the slight disruption caused by the old man. He raised his hand and focused all his will into his finger tips and through the air and into the bed. Harry had never tried to lift something so large and heavy, often contemplating it, though he had never experimented with this magic nor had he tested the limits of it.
The bed shivered slightly before Harry let his arm down and wiped his brow of the single pearl of sweat staining it. Something so tedious will be definitely difficult, but he would be successful, he always was.
Harry walked out of the room and turned to see a few of the children who were not-so-secretly staring at his room. They immediately stiffed and turned away. Harry frowned, this would not do. He would not be able to intimidate the rest as he did in this orphanage. There were much more powerful wizards, like that old man, who could put him down if they sought to. No, he could not go into this Hogwarts and intimidate the students or teachers. Not that easily anyways.
As Harry walked along the hallway, he chanced upon a little girl sitting by herself, with a stuffed horse or pony. The four year old bundle of innocence had not known about Harry's reputation yet, seeing as she had just arrived yesterday, and none of the other children dared to badmouth Harry fearing the consequences if they did. The four year old turned to him and gave a look of curiosity and slight hesitance. Harry gave a gentle smile. The little girl immediately smelled back and reached towards him.
He would have recognized the out stretched hand as a threat if it was anyone else, grab it by the wrist and squeezed till he heard a 'pop'. However, he let the hand grip his fingers and pull them. Harry continued smiling, he had the charisma of a beloved world leader. He knew that if he had not went with the path of fear, and instead used his charisma to recruit all of the children here, he would have been the leader of this orphanage within a few years. Leader huh? That appealed to him. Harry smirked and gently pulled back his fingers and patted the girl on her head before walking off. He would not follow in Voldemort's footsteps. That man was wrong to have tried to rule with fear. Harry would be different. He turned to a bunch of frightened children who were watching his every step and gave a charismatic smile. They were at first reluctant, but slowly approached him. This was easy, Harry thought.
Dumbledore arrived in the orphanage the next day at 9 in the morning, again knocking on the door and being greeted by the head caretaker of the orphanage. When she asked for the paperwork needed for official records, he merely waved his wand infront of her silently and she immediately turned away before asking him to follow her, as if the paperwork was complete gone from her train of thoughts. When Albus reached the same door as yesterday, the door opened before he could even knock.
Harry was dressed better than yesterday, a button-up shirt along with a jacket, pants and smart shoes. His hair was still the same as yesterday, slicked to a side and slightly covering his left eye. Albus was too surprised yesterday to have noticed that young Harry's hair was not the messy tuff of hair James had, nor was it the sightly messy hair Harry had when he was but an infant. "I have been waiting, Professor." He spoke, with the cold tone Albus hadn't gotten used to yet.
Dumbledore merely gave a grandfatherly smile, eyes twinkling. "Yes, you must be rather excited for your first glimpse into the wizarding world, no?" Harry did not reply but instead looked ahead indifferently. Albus dropped it and led him out of the orphanage.
Out on the empty streets, Harry glance at the elderly wizard beside him "Where is our destination, Professor?"
Dumbledore turned to him and smiled "We shall be purchasing all the equipment and materials needed for your stay in Hogwarts at a rather unique place called The Leaky Cauldron."
Harry gave a soft hum and spoke "What does a location representing a faulty large metal pot have anything do with the wizarding world?"
Albus was inwardly gleeful about the excitement Harry must have, despite his aloof and apathetic appearance. He could see shreds of childish enthusiasm behind those cold green eyes. "You will find out very soon, Mr Potter. Please take my hand." Harry looked at the offered appendage with distrust before begrudgingly gripping onto the old man's wrinkly hand.
Without prior warning, Harry felt a pulling feeling on his core as he was suddenly dragged away from his spot and landed in another foreign place. He looked at Dumbledore who was as calm as before "What was-"
Albus answered before hearing the entire question "It's called apparition, a magical method of transportation many wizards use though disastrous if botched up." Harry took a pensive moment while the professor was rather amused to have surprised the otherwise cold child.
They had appeared infront of a pub of some sort, a sign handing on top of the door. This is the Leaky Cauldron, hmm? Harry mused internally. It certainly fits the image, a broken-down old shop, this is. Dumbledore opened the door and Harry could see the dark interior of a shabby bar. Both of them entered and Harry saw multiple patrons, either drinking or eating, wearing similar robes and hats as Dumbledore, though not in the almost luminescent purple.
Most of them stopped eating, having noticed Dumbledore within their midst. A man behind the bar turned to look at the old man "Good morning, Professor Dumbledore, what business brings you here?"
Dumbledore greeted back jovially "Good morning to you as well, Tom. Well, I'm here to bring Mr. Harry Potter here to buy his school supplies." The silence that followed after that sentence was almost abnormal.
The next moment, Harry found himself mobbed by almost every man or woman in the bar, he almost instinctively pushed them back with his magic before Albus positioned himself between Harry and the rest of them. "Welcome back Mr. Potter!" "Thank you, Mr. Potter, thank you!" "Good to have you back, Mr. Potter!" These were only a few of the lines he could pick up from them.
Albus cleared his throat "People, please, give him some space!" The mob retreated embarrassedly. "Mr. Potter appreciates your well wishes, but we must go now to purchase his school supplies. The day is draining, and we have much to do." At that, they gladly cleared a path to a back door and watched them go through it before starting to mutter among themselves excitedly.
Harry tugged at the collar of his shirt "That was... bizarre" he said, still with the same uninterested tone.
Dumbledore nodded "Yes, like I've said yesterday, you are a bit of a celebrity here, Harry, the people are grateful that you defeated Voldemort, a terror no one could stop. They call you The-Boy-Who-Lived. The scar on your forehead represents your heroic victory over the Dark Lord." Harry did not reply though he was smirking within 'A celebrity, The-Boy-Who-Lived hmm? That makes things much easier.'
In front of them was a chilly courtyard and a brick wall. Before Harry could say anything, Dumbledore went up to the brick wall and tapped a few bricks in a counter clockwise order. Harry was glad he stayed his tongue as the brick wall opened up and formed a large archway, revealing Harry's first glimpse into Diagon Alley.
Dumbledore walked forward and Harry silently followed him. "This, is Diagon Alley, where an assortment of restaurants, shops and more are found. The alley is completely hidden from the non-magical world, and is essentially the trade centre of wizarding London."
It was amazing, there were shops selling all sorts of animals with birds and owls on stands in the front, open windows revealing all sorts of gory substances, from a jar of small eyeballs to what seemed to be an animal's heart. Bottled potions and spell books. Rolls of parchment and a box of quills. The sight and smells were enough to slightly overwhelm Harry, as the sounds many wizards and witches going about their morning business left him speechless. It took all the self control Harry had to not run about like an immature child looking and touching everything.
Albus looked towards the distance, "Our first stop will be the Gringott's Wizarding Bank. It is where wizards go to store money and valuables within vaults, as well as to exchange muggle currency for wizarding money. With complete humility, I can say that other than Hogwarts, Gringotts is the safest place in the wizarding world."
They approached a large white multistoried marble building which towered over the neighbouring shops. "We will be withdrawing the required sum of money you need from your trust vault. Everything you need for Hogwarts can then be bought here, in Diagon Alley.
As they took the first step within the extablishment, Harry Potter drew in a sharp breath. Small creatures were walking around, wearing robes and suits tailored to their size. They had long fingers and sharp nails, elongated ears and hooked noses.
Dumbledore noting Harry's discomfort quickly explained "They are goblins, a race of highly intelligent beings who are skilled with money and finances, as a result, they run the Gringotts Wizarding Bank and control the wizarding economy to a certain extent. Do not be fooled by their appearances, to offend one would be rather risky to one's physical health."
Harry looked down and muttered under his breath "Gee, thanks for the heads up." Dumbledore heard that apparently and chuckled.
As they passed by two large goblin guards, Harry watched them with an analytical eye. When one of them turned to look at Harry menacingly, the boy chuckled and bowed in greeting "Good morning, Mr. Goblin." Said goblin guard looked rather taken aback, wizards and even their spawn would not pay any attention to him except for the deadly halberd he had in his arm and especially not bow and greet him. Not used to such a greeting, the goblin merely nodded in acknowledgement without saying anything. Engraved on the open silver doors were the words:
Enter, stranger, but take heed
Of what awaits the sin of greed
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay dearly in their turn.
So if you seek beneath out floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned, beware
Of finding more than treasure there.
Dumbledore noticed Harry bowing to the Goblin and was quite pleased knowing that since the boy had grown up in a muggle environment, he did not know of the prejudice between wizards and creatures, sentient or not. Several of the goblins who had noticed the human child's interaction with their goblin guard were equally shocked at such behavior. Even muggleborn wizards did not show such respect when they first arrived, especially not to a large intimidating gate guardian.
They continued walking, Harry occasionally glancing at the hurrying goblins, more waddling than running to their desired locations. They approached the highest desk at the back of the first floor and on it a goblin sat, making calculations before noticing the pair in front of him. "Albus Dumbledore, what may Gringotts do for you today?"
The goblin looked at Albus for a moment before turning his attention to the boy with him."Good day, Head Goblin Torak, I am here to make a withdrawing on the behalf of Mr. Harry Potter here from his trust vault."
The Goblin's eyes widened a fraction of a millimeter, glancing at Harry's scar, before narrowing it "Ah, and does Mr. Harry Potter have his key?" Harry watched their exchange with mild interest while rearranging his hair to hide the scar, uncomfortable with how people was identifying him by it, as Dumbledore fished within his robes and retrieved a single bronze key.
"Right here. Also, I'm here for the object within that vault." Torak nodded his head in understanding before calling out "Griphook!"
The goblin wearing a vest and shorts appeared from out of nowhere "Take them to Vault 687 and Vault 713." Torak ordered. The newly arrived goblin gave them a look over before beckoning them to follow him. They were led to a cart and before Harry could position himself properly, the mine-cart started moving and sped downwards.
They quickly arrived outside a vault. The goblin named Griphook announced "Vault 687!" and got out of the cart. As they reached the vault door, he turned to Dumbledore "Key please." Albus handed over the large bronze key and the goblin opened the vault door. When the vault door creaked open, golden light shined from within.
As the door opened completely, Harry potter saw his parent's fortune. Small mountains of gold coins, silver coins and bronze coins covered most of the room. Harry took a stumbled step, this was all his?Gears turned in his head, but maybe this wasn't a lot, maybe the wizarding currency rate was really low. He turned to the goblin. "Mr. Griphook."
The goblin gave an annoyed look "What?" Undeterred by the apparent hostility, Harry continue. "Could tell me what is the conversion rate from wizarding money to non-magical currency?" Giving a groan the goblin started "A galleon is equivalent to five pounds sterling."
Harry look cocked his head to one side "Galleon?" Griphook gave an incredulous look "A galleon is the gold coin. One galleon is equivalent to seventeen sickles. A sickle, the silver coin, is equivalent to 29 knuts, the bronze coin." Harry looked over at the piles of gold and silver coins mentally doing some calculations. If a small mound had a few thousand galleons, then the total amount of money I have should be around fifty or sixty thousand galleons, which is equivalent to more than 250 thousand pounds sterling! After coming to this startling revelation, Harry was deep in contemplation for a moment.
Dumbledore looked at Harry in deep thought and though he was glad Harry was finally able to discover his fortune yet not jump around like a fool, he really needed to get going. The Philosopher's stone was too important and dangerous to leave lying in a vault, no matter how secure. "Harry, let's take what we need and leave. I need to go to another vault today."
Harry glanced at Albus before mentally smirking "Oh.. okay, professor." He started, sounding dejected. "It's just, I've never been near so much money before, and now I hear it's all mine? I'm just feeling a little overwhelmed. And especially since my parents were the ones who left this to me..." Harry faked a choked sob.
The Headmaster immediately softened "I understand, Harry. Why don't you stay here for a moment while I retrieve what I need. Then I will come back and take you to buy the school supplies you need."
Harry immediately swung towards him "Oh, please do not let me keep you from your important business. I can buy my school supplies myself."
Dumbledore shook his head "I can't let you go alone, you are but a child."
Harry looked down "You learn how to take care of yourself when you don't have anyone to look out for you..."
Albus sighed "Harry, my boy, I..."
Deciding to give one last push, Harry looked at him with a slight smile "I want to explore this new magical world anyways, it wouldn't be proper of me to keep you from your work. You must have a busy day ahead of you."
Dumbledore sighed, finally relenting. "Alright, Harry. I will allow you to purchase your supplies by yourself. Now, do not spend too much on frivolous things, and do not leave Diagon Alley until you're ready to go home. When you want to go home, exit the Leaky Cauldron and stand on the curb. Raise your wand in the air, when you've already bought one, and a Knight Bus will arrive almost instantly. The bus fare will be eleven sickles. Take care of yourself, my boy."
Harry smiled "I have been taking care of myself ever since I realized no one would, sir." Dumbledore gave a gentle smile and was about to leave before Harry called out to him "Will you be taking my Vault key?"
Startled, Dumbledore turned back "Well, I'm not really taking it, but just holding it for you."
Harry looked crestfallen, "Oh, okay. I just thought I could finally keep something that is my own now."
Dumbledore glanced at the key and Harry. "But, I know you are responsible enough to keep it safe." He parted Harry's jacked and placed it in one of the inner pockets.
Harry grinned, "I won't let you down professor!" Albus smiled back "I know you won't, Harry."
When Dumbledore finally left, Harry's attitude immediately changed. He turned to the Goblin. "Griphook, take me to the Head Goblin." Mildly surprised by the sudden change of personality, the Goblin mumbly closed the vault door and brought Harry back to the surface.
When they reached the same high desk, the Head Goblin leveled an eye on the child in front of him. "How may Gringotts help you, Mr. Potter."
Harry leaned forward "I shall assume that all information between Gringotts and its clients are strictly confidential, yes?"
The Goblin looked affronted at that. "Of course! Betraying credentials of our valued clients is forbidden, and is seen as a crime deserving of death."
Harry nodded, satisfied for now. "I heard something Professor Dumbledore said which caught my interest. He mentioned that the vault I was brought to, vault 687, was a trust fund account."
Torak nodded briefly "Indeed, everything within vault 687 currently was deposited as a trust fund account by your parents."
Harry's unmoving lips cracked a small smile "Then am I correct to assume there is a family vault which belonged to my parents?"
Torak smiled, now he knew what game the child was playing. "Yes, you will be correct in that assumption. The most noble house of Potter is an ancient household that has accumulated many riches throughout its existence. You do not truly believe whatever is in the trust vault to be everything the Potter family has, do you?"
Harry smirked "And if I was to ask to be granted entry into these vaults?" The Head Goblin leaned in real close "Then you will have excess to the immense fortune of the noble house of Potter."
The child could barely withhold his laughter, if he thought that the amount of galleons in his trust vault was enormous, he could not wait to see what was within the Potter family vault. Torak leaned back "You will of course first be tested of your lineage in order to truly confirm your claim over the Potter family vaults."
Harry cocked his head to a side "Vaults? S as in plural?"
Torak nodded "The house of Potter has held lordship over numerous minor households, and thus has received tribute from these families, even till now. The tributes given are all stored within a separate vault."
Harry locked into a thoughtful expression "May I have a list of properties as well as the total amount of money I have that belongs to me?"
The Head Goblin nodded "It will take some time to compile everything, contrary to popular belief of arrogant purebloods, we don't have the complete compilation of their families' finances at hand that we could slip to them right away. You will be going to Hogwarts, no? You could go purchase your required supplies before returning here. In a couple of hours."
It was a fair suggestion, nodding in acknowledgement, Harry turned to the goblin. "I agree. I trust you shall have everything ready by the time of my return. In the mean time, I shall require galleons withdrawn from my trust vault and placed in a pouch."
Torok shook his head "Do not confuse us with common rabble. Faruk! Bring one of the Vault-to-credit pouches." Another goblin walked to the High Goblin before placing a medium sized pouch.
"This pouch will be keyed directly to your vault and you will be able to withdraw any amount from it directly from your vault. It was been warded to prevent theft or wear and tear. The only person able to excess your vault through this pouch will be the one with your blood and also in possession of the vault key on their body." With that, Torok handed over the pouch while Harry raised an eyebrow at the amazing things Magic could do.
Without another word, Harry turned away and walked off. Harry stepped out onto the pavement of Diagon alley, with excess to tens of thousands of galleons and without an annoying chaperone. He retrieved the Hogwarts letter with the list of supplies needed for school. 'First up, I am going to need something to store all the supplies I will be buying. A trunk, perhaps.' Harry started walking through the bustling street, wizards and witches alike going about their business, glancing about, looking for what he needed.
Finally, he found a shop that sold magical trunks and other bags. The store's exterior was cover in slick red paint, and had the sign 'Baldwin's Magical Trunks and Bags'. A few trunks, satchels and briefcases were on display outside with a wary shopkeeper watching them. Without a second thought, Harry walked up to the shopkeeper "Good morning, Mr. Baldwin, I presume."
The man scoffed and said "Bah, I'm not Baldwin. That old coot is inside tinkering with more bags. What do you want?"
Harry blinked sharply at the rude tone but ignored it. Dumbledore had mentioned that he was quite a celebrity, the man must not have recognized him since he hid the scar with his hair earlier. "I will be going to Hogwarts this year and will require a sturdy and useful trunk to carry my supplies. Which will you recommend?"
The shopkeeper's attitude completely changed at the prospect of earning money "Well, then you're in luck! We have the latest in trunks, only the best for all the future Hogwarts students! Anything you require, we've got them at Baldwin's Magical Trunks and Bags!"
Harry's eye twitched at the obviously rehearsed speech. Gesturing to where a few of the fancier trunks were sitting, the man continued "Over there, we have the best trunks for sale today. With over 10 compartments, all charmed to expand upon opening it up, you will never run out of space!"
Harry tapped his fingers impatiently. "I'm afraid 10 compartments might not be enough."
The shopkeeper's smile faded for a second before it returned full force "You seem to be looking for something better. How about this," He gestured to the sole black trunk upon a stand of sorts. "That is our best trunk in stock yet. Its exterior is made of dragonhide, while its interior is sewn meticulously with acromantula silk. 15 compartments, all warded with preservation charms and is charmed to be bigger than it looks. I guarantee, this is a purchase you will not regret."
Harry rolled his eyes and was about to turn around and leave. The dragonhide looked tempting, but he was looking for a trunk, not a fashion statement. "Ah, look at what you've done, you dunderhead, chasing away a customer!" An old gnarly voice could be heard from inside the store.
An old man, with more wrinkles than skin appeared. "Tell me, young man, what is it you are looking for?" Harry looked over the old man, his hands were rough and calloused, unusual for a wizard. His clothes were stained in a few areas with what seemed like oil and grease.
"Well, before your assistant tried to sell me redundant trunks only fit for displaying, I told him that I was a Hogwarts student and needed a trunk that can hold all my supplies and more." Harry told him, while the old man nodded.
"Trust me, when I say we do have what you need, and not some trunk only good for display." He shooed the younger shopkeeper away, who gave a sour expression. "How much room are we talking about here?" the old man asked Harry as they headed into the store.
"I will be purchasing many, many books and tomes, as well as potion equipment and ingredients." Harry started as the old man mentally took note of it. "Sufficient and comfortable space for storage of other items and trinkets I may acquire in the future. Most importantly, are the wards on the trunk itself. Tell me, what does your shop have to offer in that aspect?"
The old shop owner chuckled and slightly stroked his thin beard. "Oh we have a variety of effective and useful security wards. Anti-theft wards, durability-wards, shrinking wards, recalling wards, colour wards-"
Harry held up a hand. "I will be purchasing the best security wards you have as well as the shrinking ward and durability ward. What does the recalling ward do, though?"
The shop owner rubbed his hands together "Oh, that is one of my more ingenious creations. See, most wizards and witches occasionally face the trouble of losing their trunks and bags, and perhaps because their luggage is made of magic-resistant material, they cannot summon it. The recalling ward will allow the trunk to almost instantaneously appear in your hand. So perhaps if one if lazy and can't be bothered to retrieve the trunk yourself, just by willing it, the trunk will appear in your arms!"
Harry looked pensive at that but decided to go for it as well. The two discussed about the further uses of different wards on the trunk before the old man mentioned an invisibility charm on the trunk. Harry cocked his head to a side, a habit he had unfortunately been unable to get rid of. "What will an invisibility charm be useful for?"
The shop owner gave a thoughtful look. "Well, you can hide the trunk from muggles who are not used to seeing such luggage." Harry stopped him "I keep hearing this word, muggle. What does it mean exactly?"
The old man looked taken aback. "You do not know what are muggles? Oh, pardon me, I assumed you were raised in the wizarding world. Muggles are basically people who are born into non-magical families and are incapable of magic."
Harry nodded, motioning for the man to continue. "There are unique cases where people who are born into non-magical families yet is capable of using magic, these are termed muggleborn. Half-bloods are magical beings born from a pureblood and a muggle while pure-bloods are those born of two pure-blooded wizard and witch. Squibs are people incapable of magic yet who are born from magical families."
Harry was upset that Dumbledore did not bother to explain such, assumingly common concepts, to him. "Thank you for that explanation, and no, I shall not require the invisibility ward."
The shop owner nodded his head "That settles the wards, now what material will you want for the trunk?" This continued on for awhile.
After 20 minutes, they finally decided on every aspect of the trunk. After doing some mental calculation, the old man looked apprehensive. "Taking in the costs of the numerous wards, the space-expanding charms and material, the construction of the trunk will come up to a total of 1300 galleons. Do you have such an amount, boy?"
Addressing Harry as anything short of a valued customer was a first as the man finally realized he had spent the last 25 minutes talking to a 11 year old boy who might not even have enough money to purchase the trunk. The boy's decisive tone, mature confidence and charismatic conviction made him forget that he was talking to a child, not an adult.
Harry revealed the pouch from Gringotts, "Money is not an issue right now. 1300 galleons, wasn't it?" Facing the opening of the pouch to a table, he released 1300 galleons with a few extra. "That is more than enough. I can only assume you will be doing an outstanding job. When can I expect my trunk?"
The man's stare never left the pile of galleons as he replied, with widened eyes. "It will only take two or three hours, since I will be using a base trunk before adding the wards and charms."
Harry did not like how he was paying more attention to the gold than him, but such is the nature of man. "I will be back to pick up my trunk. Do not dissapoint me, Baldwin."
Harry turned to face the entirety of Diago Alley. His miserable, ophaned life had just ended. Paths were opening up infront of him. The future seemed bright. Harry gave a dark smile, his adventures were just beginning.
End! How did you like it? Next chapter will have Harry exploring Diagon Alley. Look out, Dumbledore, or you won't even know what hit you.
A/N : So this is my very first Harry Potter story. I have been fascinated with the wizarding world ever since I started reading HP fanfictions. I find the Harry Potter world humongous, with too things to discover and explore that I found myself mustering the courage to start typing the first few words for this story. I hoped you enjoyed it. Love it, Hate it, Review it. I would really appreciate any comments and criticisms you guys have to offer, this is after all my first HP story, and I really don't mind being lectured for any misgivings I might have, anything I phrased wrongly or if I included something that doesn't make sense.
Well if you don't, I know where you live. I know where you sleep. And your parents won't recognize you when I am done. (Evil Laughter)