"HP: Bloodties" AU
'Chaos of the Phoenix'
- Gringotts II -
A/N: I don't own squat, except the plot.
Well, after announcing the reworking, I got a lot of feedback advising against it. I concede that it would disrupt things. So, I'll do it after this story is done. :)
BTW: Writing this half of Gringotts was a royal pain. It seems far too clunky to me, and was fighting me all week. So, sorry if it doesn't flow all that well. I might rewrite it later, but all the points will remain the same.
On with the show!
- Gringotts II -
Eyeing his godson, Sirius speculated. "Two left, Harry. Any idea which is yours?"
"I speak Parseltongue and drew the sword of Gryffindor," Harry said with a shrug. "Wouldn't surprise me in the least if it's both."
"Cynical much, Harry?" Tonks asked with a wry grin.
He gave her a chastising look. "With my luck? I faced the Dark Tosser in my first year at Hogwarts, then a shade of him as well as a sixty foot basilisk my second year. Third year was all about the dementors wanting to eat me and the first true family I found. And last year had me competing in the Tri-Wizard Tournament against my will. If anything, I wouldn't be surprised if the Potter Family Motto is 'Murphy was an Optimist'."
Tonks and Hermione snorted, while Remus and Luna had wry grins. Seeing the look of confusion from Sirius, Hermione explained while Luna comforted Harry with a kiss to the temple. "That's based on a muggle phrase. Captain Edward Murphy from the United States was on a project in the forties, designed to see how much sudden deceleration a person could withstand in a crash."
"That's easy," Sirius interrupted. "Just look at the seeker from the Cannons from all the bad Wronski Feints he tried. He's still alive, last I checked."
After the chuckles from that died down, Hermione continued. "Anyway, Murphy was an engineer, whom I would guess had problems discerning left from right, or was dyslexic, because inevitably his wirings were backwards as often as they were done correctly." She nodded at the face Remus made at that. "Yeah. A lot of unhappy accidents, there. At any rate, several of his co-workers wrote up a list of 'laws' concerning him. The most popular one in muggle culture was 'If anything can go wrong, it will'. So, what Harry said was basically stating that Sod's Law was being hopeful," she grinned.
Sirius immediately bust out laughing. "You are so much like your father, Harry, it's damn near cruel." The door opened at that point, and he straightened up in his seat. "Whoop, you're up Pronglet."
As they stood, the sextet was completely gobsmacked to see a small contingent of goblins enter the room. Six guards preceded an elaborately armoured goblin, whose armour shone a combination of bronze and green. Hermione and Harry weren't surprised to discover that there were six other guards that were disillusioned. Luna had spotted the other guards in the portkey atrium, and these were just as visible to her.
The regal appearing goblin sat on a conjured pedestal-like throne that had him at eye level, while two 'regular' goblins in business suits placed their cases on the end of the table. Harry, and then the others bowed to the obviously important goblin.
"You may be seated," the goblin said, striking the others as odd, seeing as how this was the first goblin that they heard having a rather resonating baritone voice. "My name to Wizarding kind, is Director Ragnok. Amongst the twelve goblin nations, I am referred to as Warlord Chief Ragnok. The title is equivalent to King, but it is not hereditary."
"Combat trials?" Harry asked, honestly curious.
Ragnok's grimacing grin was menacing when he nodded. "Indeed, Heir Apparent Potter. Once every ten years, the leaders of the twelve nations commit themselves to the Megathere. I have won the last five."
Mixed looks of shock and respect went across the witches and wizards. Luna thought it was fascinating, while Hermione was trying to figure out the normal lifespan of a goblin. Harry simply grinned his respect and lightly bowed his head. "You honour us with your presence, Warlord Chief. May I ask why you are proceeding over this? In all honesty, it seems to be a bit beneath your station."
The two bank officials and the guards seemed to be fighting their amusement, but Ragnok didn't restrain his deep laughter. "So much like your grandfather! He said much the same when I presided over his inheritance."
Harry looked confused, but there was a hunger in his eyes. Any information about his family was like food to him. The girls noticed and each took one of his hands in support. After a false start, he finally asked, "You knew my grandfather?"
"Your family's stature within the goblin nations demands oversight at the highest levels," Ragnok said proudly. Seeing the look of pure confusion on Harry's face, he frowned. "I can see that you know nothing of this. Your guardian was entrusted to educate you of your legacy. Has Dumbledore not done so?"
Ragnok's eyes widened at the near goblin ferocity that overcame the six humans. Lord Black's hissed statement shocked him. "That old bastard has a lot to answer for. I was to be Harry's guardian, not him. And, Alice Longbottom was to take him if I died. Our oaths as his godparents demanded as such."
"I see," Ragnok said quietly, looking disturbed. "This would be the reason that the Potter Will was suppressed and sealed. Fortunately, Ministry influence has no bearing within Gringotts." The old goblin paused in thought. "I wonder if the marriage contract was part of that?"
Luna and Hermione stood sharply. Hermione's shout of 'What?' was equally matched by Luna's 'Who?' Harry just sat there, wide eyed, along with the adults across the table.
"Be at peace, ladies," Ragnok said quietly with a grin. "There were two such contracts. One has been fulfilled," he said, staring Luna in the eyes, "which nullified the other that was conscripted by Dumbledore."
"Me?" Luna asked, a bit shocked. "Papa would have told me," she whispered, feeling a bit betrayed. Harry squeezed her hand, while he and Hermione sent their support through the bond.
"I agree, he would have," Sirius stated. "Unless of course he'd been obliviated." Seeing her look of shock, he nodded. "Tonks and I both were by Dumbledore. We remembered each time he did so after we went through that arch of your family's."
Luna slumped into her seat, while Ragnok cleared his throat. "The Potters and the Lovegoods signed the contract while your mother was pregnant with you, Lady Potter. Regardless, soul bonds supersede any and all contracts of marriage. Your unprecedented trinary bond holds even more weight in the matter. Do not worry about the Weasley contract, as it is now null and void."
"Ginny?" Hermione shrieked. At Ragnok's nod, one of the torches lining the walls flamed out as the others became more intense.
Harry tugged Hermione into his lap again, and began rubbing her back in small circles. "Calm down, Mione. It's not going to happen now."
While Harry was talking Hermione down, Remus and Tonks shared a look. They hadn't told them what happened with the Weasleys yet, and both silently agreed to wait on that with slight shakes of the head at each other.
For his part, Sirius kept himself surprisingly quiet. His fists were clenched as he silently fumed. 'I can't believe that rotten old fart tried to marry him off. I'll admit that Luna was a shock, but Hermione was a given with how they act together. Hell, they operate in each other's space like they've been married for years.'
It took a few minutes for Hermione to calm down, with both Harry and Luna doing their best to soothe her. Deciding that things were best left as they were, with Harry being Hermione's seat, the three looked to Ragnok and nodded.
"Very well," he nodded to the goblin on his left. A sealed scroll parchment was handed to him. "This will is short, but as it was done during a time of war, so this isn't that unusual. Other than everything, including titles, businesses, and assets, there are two letters to you that your parents wrote while in hiding. As stated, the Potter Estate was willed by James Harrison Potter to his only son, Harold James Potter."
The first reaction Harry had was to exclaim, "My name is Harold? Why didn't anyone tell me?"
"You… didn't know?" Sirius asked while Remus and Tonks just gaped at him.
The table started rattling as the few loose objects on it started to float. Hermione slipped off his lap, so she and Luna could hold him from both sides, as he was close to exploding. "I didn't even know my own name until my first roll call in primary! It was Boy this, or Freak that!" Harry shouted.
Seeing their shocked looks, Harry stood and planted his palms on the table – which was still vibrating – and glared. "Do you want to see the scars?" he asked in a whisper that filled the room.
Luna and Hermione knew Harry was about to pop, and they both held on to the raging tide that was forming. "Harry, calm down," Hermione pleaded.
"You are about to have a magical accident," Luna whispered in his other ear. "You must stop and think."
Harry stood up straight with closed eyes. His hands fisted and came up to his chest as he tried to reign himself in. Slowly, things settled back down as the table stopped rattling. "Sorry," he whispered. "I'm not used to having this much power."
Sirius was angry and apologetic all at once. "If I had known that you didn't know," he said quietly, "I would have told you."
Remus sat there and nodded while fuming inside. "Harry, I promise you that we had no idea you were kept in the dark like this."
"Like a bloody mushroom," Harry spat bitterly. "Kept in the dark and fed manure until the time was right for the fucking 'Greater Good' of Albus Dumbledore."
The goblin on Ragnok's left slid a parchment and silvered dagger in front of Harry. Taking a deep breath to steady himself, he kissed Hermione and Luna on the cheek and whipped the dagger over his finger to let it bleed properly for the blood hereditary test.
If it was tense before, things got positively rigid after the parchment revealed the secrets that Harry didn't even know he wanted to know about.
Harold James Potter Peverell Gryffindor
Duke of Gryffindor – Repository 6
Earl of Myrddin – Modern: Earl of Emrys (Muggle: Earl of Anglesey) – Speciality Clause 1
Lord Peverell – Repository 10
Lord Potter – Repository 11
Head of Slytherin by Conquest – No Vault
Heir Apparent: House of Black
Trust Vault 687
Animagus – Black Panther (Leopard)
Previously Unrecorded Abilities: 2
Parselmagic, Transfiguration, Charms
I.Q. - 185
The temperature in the room fell to the point that breath was visible. Harry blinked once after reading it, and looked up at Tonks. "Looks like I was right. Both."
As for Tonks, she had sat there during both near magical outbursts and did her best to keep quiet. The amount of magic in the air was intense and nearly overwhelming. It was only Harry's deadpan at her that broke her from her stunned expression with a small snort. She tilted her head to the side and smirked while she shivered. "What do you expect? You're Harry Fucking Potter."
That broke the tension as the six humans and the contingent of goblins all started chuckling. The room warmed with the humour. Harry shook his head and looked at his godfather. "So, what's this about being the Heir Apparent to the House of Black?"
Sirius was all smiles. "Did you honestly think I'd let anything go to that blond ponce Malfoy? If I don't have an heir before I die, then everything would have gone to Draco. This is my way of yanking Lucius' sack."
Hermione looked confused, so Tonks explained. "Draco's mum is Narcissa Malfoy. Her maiden name is Black, and is my mum's other sister."
The light dawned on Hermione's face, and Harry and Luna were a half second late before she was completely appalled. "DRACO IS MY FIRST COUSIN?"
"Yeah, you get used to it," Tonks said with a sigh. "Fortunately though, he's the cast out now."
"Blacklisted, even," Remus said with a straight face, earning several cringing looks in his direction.
"I swear, your puns are going to kill someone someday," Sirius said with a pained sigh.
The door opened, and the goblin that brought the other rings came in with with several keys and boxes. He set them on the table and made a quick exit. Harry pocketed the keys and gave the boxes the once over. "Is there any sort of order to this madness, or does it matter which I start with?"
"I would suggest the Potter and Peverell rings," Sirius said, sliding the box with the Potter seal forward.
The girls took the box and opened it. The Potter crest gleamed as Hermione took it out and placed it on Harry's right middle finger. The ring glowed and shrunk to fit, then all three of them inhaled sharply, looking toward their left hands.
"Well then," Remus said with a grin. "Guess that proves you three are married."
"Bit of a head rush there," Harry said as he stared at the wedding band on his left ring finger.
Sirius nodded. "That was the family magic." He looked back and forth. "Interesting how the girls' rings match."
"Not quite," Tonks said. "They have different gemstones."
"No they don't," Remus countered. "They're just in different order."
The three wedding bands had three stones each: A ruby, emerald and opal. Harry's had the emerald close to the rest of his hand, with the ruby on the right and the opal on the left. Hermione's had the ruby close to her hand, with the emerald on the right and the opal to the left. Luna's was with the opal to the hand, with the emerald on the right and ruby to the left.
While the girls were grinning at their rings, Harry looked to Ragnok. "Uhm, not to sound dense or anything, but where do the other rings go?"
Ragnok nodded. "Just place them on your right middle finger like the others. The magic will cause them to merge. You can let any one of them be visible, or let them stay hidden."
"Okay," Harry said, still confused. Still, he took the Peverell box and quickly put the ring on. It was odd, seeing them morph together, but he was distracted by the Peverell magic that filled him and the girls both gasping as all three of their wedding bands became more elaborate.
Everyone was quiet when Harry went for the one of the two crests he knew: Gryffindor. The ring went on smoothly and merged with the other rings, and Harry was the only one who felt the family magic. The Slytherin ring did the same, but Harry tilted his head when he heard it whispering to him. He didn't understand it since it was so quiet, but he was able to hear the words 'finally' and 'successor'.
The last ring was an unknown, and Harry brought it up. "Which ring is this?"
"That is the Emrys family ring, Lord Potter," Ragnok said quietly.
Harry was the last one to catch what that meant, and that was only because Luna and Hermione made the connection. "Merlin," he swore.
"Literally," Tonks deadpanned with shock on her face.
Taking the ring out, it appeared to be somewhat simple in comparison to the others. A silver signet ring like the Slytherin one, but a single band instead of the triple braided one. The signet itself was blue, similar to the Ravenclaw one, but had a silver dragon instead of an eagle.
Harry gingerly placed the ring on and watched it merge with the others. The feeling of magic that filled him was somewhat anticlimactic in comparison to the others. However, everyone started looking at him rather strangely. "What?"
"Harry," Hermione said quietly. "Your hair has grown."
"And your eyes are glowing," Luna whispered with a smile.
A mirror appeared on the table with a gesture from Ragnok, and he saw what they were talking about. His normally green eyes were literally green from iris to the whites, glowing softly. Blinking rapidly for a bit, he closed his eyes and tried to pull in whatever was causing this. After a strange sensation, he opened his eyes to see his normal appearance. However, his eyes seemed to be even more green than normal. "Interesting," he commented, before looking to Ragnok. "Thank you."
Ragnok nodded and vanished the conjured mirror. Looking to his right, he had the other goblin open his case to hand out several folders to Harry. "These are your holdings," the unnamed goblin said. "The red folders are your properties. The blues are your businesses. The yellow has your holdings within Gringotts."
Hermione and Luna looked over Harry's shoulders as he looked through the properties. He had two manors within the British Isles. One in Wales, the other in Scotland. There were a few others as well. The one in France got Hermione's attention, while one in Scandinavia made Luna grin.
They were interrupted by Sirius. "Uh, pup? Not to be a real bore, but how exactly are you reading all that?"
Harry blinked and felt his face. The lack of glasses was readily apparent, and it completely confused him. "I have no idea." He looked to his right. "Hermione?"
She shrugged and looked at Luna, who tilted her head with a scrunched expression. "It might have something to do with that black mass that was removed from you, Harry."
"I beg your pardon?" Remus blurted.
Sirius nodded. "Yeah. That was horrific. The Lovegood Arch pulled a lot of stuff out of you, Harry. We don't know what that was, but it was really…" he trailed off and shivered.
"It actually looked at us," Luna said. "It was most disturbing."
Harry and Hermione's heads went back slightly as they relived Luna's memory of the event. As one, they whispered, "Voldemort."
"Pardon?" Sirius said. "Sounded like you said the Dark Tosser's name, there."
"It came out of your scar, Harry," Hermione said.
Nodding, Harry thought about all the different times that his scar stabbed him with pain. His left hand unconsciously fretted with the bandage on his forehead as he thought about all the times it hurt. "It only hurt when he was involved," he said quietly. "Quirrell could make it hurt with a simple look when he was possessed. That shade from Riddle's diary wasn't quite as bad, but it was there. Then dealing with him after the third task… The pain was worse than the torture curses Voldemort hit me with. It was how I was able to get away even when hit with it. It just didn't measure up."
"Surely he did not," Ragnok said with a frown. "What you are describing, we have witnessed in several of our dealings in Egypt."
"What do you mean?" Hermione asked.
"Soul jars," Ragnok said half to himself.
Sirius looked appalled. "Horcrux?"
Ragnok nodded. "That would be a decent synonym, Lord Black."
"It's just Sirius," he said. "Kreacher said that mass felt like my brother's locket." Pausing, he looked back to Ragnok. "There are references in the Black Library to Horcruxes, including what it entails. Do you know how many can be made from one person?"
Ragnok sat back at the question. "One is horrendous enough. To make more than one would do untold damage."
"Well, he doesn't look human," Harry said quietly. "More serpentine, by the look of him. Slits for a nose; bald; grey skin; red eyes…"
Luna and Hermione shuddered like the others at the description, which would have been enough. However, they saw him through Harry's eyes while he described him, and witnessed the cemetery ritual. That made Hermione think. "Bone of the father, flesh of the servant, blood of the enemy."
"That is a Dark Ritual," Ragnok said unnecessarily. "That was what was used to bring him back?" At their nods, he sighed. "In one context, this is a good thing." He held his hand up when they started protesting. "As a homunculus, he has no rights under Goblin Law."
"Well, that's something," Sirius said a bit pessimistically.
"More than you know," Ragnok said. "He will be unable to utilize Gringotts for his finances."
Harry's head went back in shock as he remembered what Hermione went through the previous night. Snapping his head to look at her, he saw her looking at him already, a bit scared. "Is that why?" she asked in a whisper.
"Secondary finances," Harry said just as quiet. "Ragnok, does Gringotts have any influence in the muggle world? He might have taken that rule into account and had a backup plan."
"We do, and we'll look into it, Lord Potter," Ragnok nodded. "This locket, can you bring it to us Sirius?"
Sirius frowned. "That may be problematic. The London Black Manor is currently the Headquarters of the Order of the Phoenix."
"You could get Kreacher to retrieve it," Luna offered.
Sirius winced at that. "Not sure I trust him."
"He'll follow your orders," Tonks said. "Leave no wriggle room, and he'll have to."
Nodding, Sirius looked back to Ragnok. "If we can get it to you and it's a Horcrux, do you have a way to destroy it?"
"We do," Ragnok said. "For a fee, of course."
"Of course," Sirius said with a grin.
Luna tilted her head. "If the fee is too large, we should be able to do it ourselves with the arch."
"Sweetheart, that exhausted both of us," Sirius said. "Personally, I'd rather let the professionals do it."
"How do you do it?" Harry asked.
Ragnok had a fierce grin. "A ritual to transfer the fragment to a pig. We then roast it." All six of them shuddered at that, which made the old goblin chuckle. "Oh, don't be that way. It's a time honoured tradition. At least we don't eat sentients."
As the discussion about the horcruxes went on, Harry was drawn to the business folders and flipped through them. A small grin formed on his face as something caught his eye. This was soon followed by Hermione and Luna. Seeing this, Tonks beat the other two to the question. "Okay Harry, what's got you three with the evil smiles there?"
"That's a grin worthy of a Marauder," Remus commented.
Sirius nodded. "Used to see that one right before James would launch a hysterical prank." He glanced back and forth between Hermione and Luna. "Although, seeing it on the girls' faces too, makes me want to hide in a hole somewhere." Remus nodded rapidly at that.
Harry looked up to catch each of them in the eye briefly, before focussing on Sirius. "According to this, I hold the controlling interest of shares in the Daily Prophet."
That bit of information briefly stunned the men, before they slowly mirrored Harry with their own evil grins. "You do realize what this means, Harry?" Remus asked.
Harry simply nodded as he and the girls formed various plans for positive propaganda. "My first act as the Chief of the Board, will be to either reign in one Rita Skeeter, or fire her outright."
"Might be better to keep her, Harry," Luna said quietly, startling the others. "She's a well known reporter, and we can use her."
"As much as it pains me to say it, Luna has a point," Hermione said as she stared off in the 'distance'. "Many believe anything she writes as gospel. If we were to give her the proper incentives and protections, we would have a golden bullet to the hearts and minds of the majority of Magical Britain. God, I wish I was wrong."
As the night went on, the meeting changed from financial to property to plans for the future. All told, it was a rather productive meeting. Emotions ran hot when James and Lily's intentions for Harry's placement came to light. After Sirius and the Longbottoms, Remus was next in line which infuriated the former werewolf. After him were the Bones. The last in line was Minerva McGonagall, which upset Hermione more than anything else.
"Moony," Sirius said quietly as they made for the portkey atrium, "Don't look now, but we're outnumbered." Seeing his friend's confused expression, he elaborated. "The next generation of Marauders are all cats."