Harry Potter and Death's Revenge
A/N: The world of Harry Potter belongs to JKRowling I'm just playing in her sand box and make no money from this.
Rating is mature for language and violence.
Genera: Drama, Romance.
Ships: Harry Potter/ Hermione Granger
Chapter 1: Unexpected Death and Resurrection
"Sir, we have a situation," the senior officer told his commander over the radio.
"Where are you Sergeant Collins?" Inspector Malcolm asked.
"Little Whinging, Sir. Number 4 Privet Drive. Two of our constables have been shot and a crazed man has barricaded himself inside. Shots were fired and the neighbours called us an hour ago. I think there might be a body inside."
"Do you have any identities?"
"The house is owned by one Vernon Dursley. His wife Petunia Dursley and his son Dudley Dursley are occupants and presently not at home and as far as we can ascertain, and were out when the shooting started. The wife is visiting neighbours and the son is visiting friends. We suspect a nephew may be inside but not much is known about him."
"Collins, are you able to withdraw the wounded constables?"
"No Sir, I believe they are both dead, as they were met with a shotgun blast straight to the head when they rang the bell. We daren't approach the residence sir. We'll need more resources."
"Good grief! Do you have any idea what set the man off?"
"Sir, we're attempting to question the wife, but so far she's been uncooperative. She keeps yelling 'The freak got what he deserved'."
Inspector Malcolm immediately despatched a team of specialists to aid the effort, little knowing that things were about to go from bad to worse.
Hermione Granger felt a strange pain, worse than anything she had felt before. She had just arrived home after her parents had picked her up from King's Cross. The pain centered around her heart and she panicked. The curse that Dolohov had hit her with in the Department of Mysteries had not properly healed yet and although Madam Pomfrey had given her a regimen of potions to heal her, the potions had only just started to work. She was still weak and now was feeling light-headed. "Mum!" she was only able to call weakly. Then she collapsed.
Monica Granger heard the faint call of her daughter and rushed up to her daughter's room where Hermione lay very still on the floor, her hand clutched to her breast. "Hermione!" she cried.
Harry Potter was drifting in and out of consciousness as a massive gaping wound in his chest bled freely. Pieces of shrapnel from the shotgun blast had peppered his body aside from the large wound. "Hermione," he whispered. "H-help!"
Then he died.
Followed immediately by Hermione.
Vernon Dursley had finally been taken by well protected Emergency Response Police and was now heading to cells for arrest and questioning. His wife was handcuffed as she tried to interfere and their son was apprehended when he ran at a constable with a wicked switchblade.
Entering the bedroom where a body was spotted, they witnessed something extraordinary. A male teen, covered in blood suddenly disappeared.
Miles away, A teenaged girl also disappeared. Her mother gasped and fainted.
In Scotland in a very ancient castle, alarms were set off in an old Headmaster's office. Albus Dumbledore had left for a quick tour of the castle and returned an hour later to find all his damaged magical silver instruments melted.
Panicking, he gasped. "NO! Harry!"
Suspecting Death Eaters had penetrated the wards at Privet Drive, he quickly floo'd to Arabella Figg's home.
"Hello! Anyone there?" Harry called, noticing for the first time that he lay on a very cold floor in a featureless white room with no clothes on. Shivering and getting no answer, he got to his feet when he noticed another person a few feet away in the same position. 'Definitely a girl,' he thought, although her back was to him. 'Nice legs and bum and definitely a nice shape. A bit bushy…' "Hermione!" He shouted. He recognised her at once when she groggily turned to sit up. "What?…"
"Harry? What happened? Why… um, erm?" she paused, blushing as she noticed they both were naked.
"Hermione, what's going on? Why are we here, wherever here is and why are we… erm naked?"
Hermione was the first to figure it out. "I-I think we died," she whispered.
"Died? You died? How? Wait, I died too?" Confusion slowly turned to shock as he remembered the events of a few minutes ago. "I-I remember now. My Uncle Vernon shot me! I didn't even know he owned a shotgun. He was in a rage when I got home and I didn't realise just how much of a rage. He kept giving me dirty looks all the way home in the car, but I just figured it was par for the course. I-I remember calling you for help and then nothing. What happened to you? I thought you were recovering from your injuries in the Department of Mysteries."
"I thought I was too, but when I got home, I felt weak, then an intense pain in my chest. I remember calling for Mum, but then nothing. Where do you think we are, Harry"
They had both gotten over their apparent nakedness, although both stole glances at the other. A low, barely heard, soothing music was playing as they both stood, looking around.
"I dunno. Looks quite bare, so I suppose it's somewhere between um, life and death?" he answered, unsure if that was true or not.
Joining hands automatically, they started wandering aimlessly, hoping to figure out where they were. Nothing changed, no mater how far they walked. An hour? passed. Actually they had no idea how much time had passed, but it felt like an hour.
"Well, this is getting us nowhere," Hermione huffed. "Any thoughts what happens next?"
"Not a clue love, erm Hermione," he stuttered.
She smiled at the slip of his tongue. "Harry, I've been waiting a long time for that," she replied softly. "I love you too. It's too bad we died. Did you really call for me just before you died?"
A wide grin broke out on his face. "Yes, you were always my rock; the one to always save me. I guess I've always loved you. I hope whatever happens now, that we can stay together."
She smiled and turned to him, her face moved to him and pressed her lips to his. The kiss was soft and tentative, but he returned it, brushing his lips against hers and pulled her closer.
"Alright you two! Snogging later; we have serious business to attend to!" a voice boomed out of nowhere.
The two teens jumped in surprise, whirling around to see a very old man, accompanied by an equally old woman approach them. The only sign of age was the snow-white hair on both plus the long beard on the man. One would have expected wrinkles but both their faces were smooth with startling blue eyes. The woman had very long hair that reached down past her knees. Both were dressed immaculately in violet floor length robes trimmed in gold for the man and silver for the woman.
"You two might as well get dressed," the man said. "It's a touch cool here. Of course you could be sent to a much warmer place," he teased, smiling.
Alarmed at the implications, the pair shuddered and looked around. A bench that was not there before held a pair of white silk robes that they immediately donned. A small crest appeared on both robes: a stylized P with a small H on one side of the P and a J on the other side. This was set on a field of gold, but strangely, little other than the initials. The shape of the crest was also unusual in that it was a triangle containing a circle bisected by a line that touched the apex of the triangle and the base. Wondering about the crest, Hermione was the first to speak.
"Um, why do the crests have Harry's initials? I can understand Harry's robe having them, but why mine?"
The woman chose to answer. "Because that is who you are, my dear. Hermione Jane Potter. Didn't you know?"
"Excuse me?" they both answered.
Hermione was confused. "Since when am I a Potter? We were never married. I mean he's my best friend and I love him, but married?"
Harry was flabbergasted as well. "H-Hermione?" he whispered. "I-I love the idea, but w-we never…" he trailed off, not sure what to say.
The old man smirked. "Oh that old bastard. He never told you and you never figured it out for yourself? You were fated to be together since you were born. That manipulating old bugger knows. He would have to know since it's in the Hogwarts records. Harry James Potter, soul-bound to Hermione Jane Granger and magically married the moment they met at age eleven on the Hogwarts Express. Albus Dumbledore would have always known from the moment Harry was born. Didn't you wonder why you always seemed to be together in your adventures? Which, by the way, was 'arranged' for you by the Headmaster. He also tried to interfere by placing the Weasleys between you, hoping to split you apart. Harry with Ginny Weasley and Hermione with Ron Weasley. That was doomed from the start. He wasn't the only one, though. Severus Snape and Cornelius Fudge were willing participants as well."
Harry and Hermione gasped at this; shocked to their very cores. "WHAT?" they both yelled in synchronization.
"Now, now, mustn't get upset now. Much too late for that, after all, you're both dead and the root cause is the same: Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts and master manipulator.
"He may not have killed you directly, but make no mistake, he's to blame for placing Harry with the Dursleys and manipulating both Harry and you, Hermione, into the situations you both faced."
Both teens were speechless. This was worse than they had ever dreamed. "Pawns! We were nothing but pawns!" they both replied in perfect sync once again. Harry turned to Hermione at the same time she turned to him, surprised that they had both said the same thing at the same time.
"Ah yes, about that," the woman smiled. "Yes, in times of mutual stress, your minds are connected and you'll both share the same thoughts and speak as one. A bit disconcerting really, but you'll get used to it."
"Now," the old man continued, leading the way down a long corridor. "Hurry along, we have much to sort out and decide. You both will be returning, of course. It's just a matter of when and under what circumstances. We did have quite a long discussion about your arriving here; some wanted to let you pass on to the afterlife, while we fought to return you to an appropriate time to fix errors that were allowed to happen the first couple of dozen times. Of course you would not remember those, but we do. Frankly, everyone was getting tired of sending you back, only for both of you to wind up here once again."
"Errors?" they both replied. "What errors?"
"Oh, let me see now, death of you both facing the Troll first year, death again by a troll after you get through the magical chess set; which by the way, also killed you once, as well as the Devils Snare and the keys and the poisons, not to mention Quirrell. That was what, seven times, no nine, I forgot 'Fluffy'. Twice! And that was only the first year. Need I say more?"
"Oh come on, we didn't die all those times… did we?" they finished weakly.
"Oh, yes, and it was quite messy every time. We finally 'arranged' to have Ron Weasley accompany you some of those times, but it only barely made any difference. I could let you see how you died each time, but I suspect you wouldn't enjoy that, so moving on, here's how it'll play out this time. You'll keep these memories and hopefully avoid death again. Plus we'll give you a bit of a power boost to help get through the next set of hurdles the Headmaster has planned for you. You really need to register as married with the Goblins, you know. They may not particularly like Wizards and Witches, but they are scrupulously honest and have been waiting for the both of you to show up together to claim the Black inheritance. Best not keep them waiting much longer, they get surly when you don't acknowledge their letters."
"What letters?" they asked, not realising that they were continuing to speak together.
"The letters sent to you by Gringotts Secure Owl Service, of course," the old man replied with a puzzled look. "Don't tell me the old bastard intercepted those as well?"
"Apparently," the woman replied, looking at the faces of the pair of shocked teens.
The old man ground his teeth in frustration. "When he at last visits here, we'll have a warm place to send him! Unfortunately, his time is not yet, but we'll see him, never fear and he won't like it!" he growled. "Greater good, my arse! More likely his 'Greater Good'."
"Well, here we are, through this door, both of you," the woman directed. "Just a few contracts to sign and a few other 'things' to take care of, then off you go." She smiled and led Harry and Hermione to a beautiful carved oak desk.
They sat in a pair of matching chairs side by side. The old woman placed a set of documents before both of them and started to explain.
"The first sheet is just an overview of your lives so far. You are to review it and sign it. On to the next sheet, which is a contract to fulfill your destinies. I'll explain that in a bit. The next series of pages details what we expect from you and what you must keep hidden from any and all others. The final page lists the new powers you have and will develop as you age."
"Um, not to sound rude, but who are you?" Harry asked politely.
"Oh, my name wouldn't make much sense to you, but you can call us 'The Old Ones'. Our names would be unpronounceable to you in any case."
Hermione gasped quietly at this. "Harry," she whispered, "There have been rumours of these people for centuries; nothing confirmed, but they are supposed to be around since the beginning of time."
Harry blanched at that. "W-what?"
"Evidently it's true, Harry. They are supposed to be the beginnings of the human race."
Harry had a hard time trying to wrap his mind around that. "S-so, Adam and Eve?" he stuttered.
"Maybe," she replied softly.
"Now, now, don't worry about trivialities, young ones," the old man urged them. "Read and sign the documents and we'll go to the next stage."
"About our destinies?" Hermione reminded them.
"Oh yes; you both are destined to rid the world of the Evil One and his minions. The fake name he chose is laughable, but his real name, one Thomas Marvolo Riddle, needs to be erased from that existence, never to be heard or thought of again. We will deal with him when he passes to our plane of existence. The small part of his soul that resided in your head, Harry, has been removed. Actually, he removed it himself at your last encounter when he briefly possessed you. You'll have no more connection to him and good riddance to that," the old woman explained. "You still have to deal with the other parts of his soul, but we're confident you'll figure that out. Do not confide in the Headmaster. He's all about control and manipulation. After all, it's his fault that Riddle even exists. He had a chance to destroy him years ago and thought he could 'redeem' him. That was never a possibility. Now it is up to you two to make sure he dies permanently. We have a special place reserved for him and we've waited long enough."
"And the rest?" Harry enquired.
"Ah yes, well the sheets explaining what we expect and who you can tell what, is self-explanatory. Basically, tell no one about us and where you've been. Of course they wouldn't believe you anyway and when we return you, you'll be in an earlier time. You'll remember all that's happened and can avoid the mistakes and accidents that happened before. You'll have to reveal bits and pieces to your parents, Mrs. Potter and the Goblins, of course, but the main story is to be kept secret. Albus Dumbledore will try to pry the story from your minds, but you will have full occlumency protection. He and his pet Death Eater will not have access to your minds. Oh, he'll try to browbeat you and may even threaten you, but it will come to naught. You will also be protected from any curse that Severus Snape may throw at you. We will strengthen your powers so that you will have impenetrable shields available when needed. We'll also give Harry the same mind organisation that Hermione has, which will help the both of you.
"Now, sign the documents and we can be on our way."
Hermione, ever the skeptical one, read and absorbed the documents, finally nodding her head in acceptance. Harry had to read the documents several times, consulting Hermione on the finer points, before he too signed.
"Good, good," the woman smiled. "Now just more thing to tell you. We will be monitoring your progress and may appear from time to time if you're in danger and would otherwise die again without our help. Try not to die this time, you two. 'The Man' is getting tired of restoring you."
"Erm, what happens now?" Harry wanted to know.
"Well, now we decide what time you will return to. Any preferences?"
Hermione looked at Harry and shrugged he shoulders. "Harry?"
Harry cautiously thought about it. "Well, obviously before Vernon shot me. Hermione?"
"I'm not sure, Harry. Obviously I don't want to be cursed so that I die from Dolohov's curse. Maybe before the whole Department of Mysteries fiasco. Maybe Sirius will live too."
"Sorry, you two, Sirius is not part of the deal. He'll die, just maybe not in the same way," the old man told them reluctantly. You two are the only ones covered in the contract. No, I think we'll just send you back to when you left school the last time. No sense in screwing up the time line anymore than that. Too many memories to modify. Harry, you'll have to avoid your uncle at all costs, and Hermione will have to pay attention to her potions. You both will be stronger this time, so Hermione will heal much faster. Be very careful who you trust. Miss Lovegood and Mr. Longbottom are trustworthy, but I'm afraid all of the Weasleys are not. Of the teachers, Professor McGonagall, Professor Flitwick and Professor Sprout are the ones with your best interests at heart. Madam Pomfrey, while very professional, reports to Dumbledore everything that happens; after all that's her job. The other professors, with the exception of Professor Snape, are reliable. Avoid the Headmaster as much as possible; he has his own agenda for Harry and it doesn't include Hermione. He'll take every opportunity to separate you two.
"Oh yes, one other thing, he wasn't your magical guardian as he pretends, Harry. That belonged to Sirius and now passes to Madam Bones as the senior law officer. Your parents set them in place at your birth. They didn't completely trust Dumbledore and forbade the Dursleys ever taking you in in case of their deaths."
The two teens looked at one another and nodded in understanding. The only shock had been the Weasleys; Harry had rather liked the twins and their parents.
"All the Weasleys?" they echoed.
"Yes, I'm afraid so. Even Charlie managed to fix the draw for the dragons on Dumbledore's urging. After all, it's a poor family and the money had to come from somewhere to provide the annual school fees. By the way, Albus was quite upset then you survived each time. Oh yes, Albus used your money, Harry. He manipulated Fudge to recognise him as your magical guardian and allow access to your trust vault. He couldn't touch your parents' family vault; the goblins wouldn't allow it. He tried and threatened them though, but goblins showed him the door and denied him access. They don't like him and would have been happy to kill him if they had a good enough reason."
"Make sure you see the goblin Ragnok at the first opportunity. He will help sort out the financial and legal difficulties that Dumbledore has set. Madam Bones will also help, but she has a very busy schedule and you'll have to make an appointment to see her in private. We've managed to help you destroy the tracking and other enchantments the headmaster has placed on you two. Your 'accidental' magic in his office was assisted by us. He will not be able to fix them or replace them," the woman smirked.
"Now then, in lieu of the Dursleys picking you up, I suggest Mrs. Potter may want to bring you home to meet her parents," he chucked at how that might turn out.
Harry paled at the thought and Hermione squirmed. "Uh, Hermione, your father won't kill me, will he?"
"Relax Harry, Father is a pussycat, Mother is the one to watch. I've mentioned you for years as the one I'd like to marry, but Mother is… well, a bit unsure at the moment. Father will follow Mother's lead. Maybe best to wait a bit before we tell them we're married."
Harry was quick to agree to that. It seems that Mrs. Granger was the same as her daughter, a take charge woman. He'd tread lightly.
"Now, enough of this chitchat, time to send you back," the woman chided.
They had finished their packing and had boarded the Hogwarts Express, ready for the trip home. Harry was nervous as they found a compartment away from their usual spot at the end of the train.
Hermione drew her wand and set privacy wards and silencing wards on the door as Harry drew the curtains closed. Nobody would find them at least until King's Cross. "Now, Husband," she smiled. "I think we have a few things to discuss."
"Yeah, Wife," he returned. "I like the sound of that, by the way. Wife; it's a little strange to think we're married, but I don't think your parents would believe it until they see a proper ceremony. Hermione love, will you marry me?"
"Harry, I'd love nothing more but there is a problem. We're both too young in the eyes of the law to marry. I'd have to get my parents' permission and you'd have to get your relatives' permission. That isn't likely to happen for me until I turn sixteen this year and for you… well I suspect the Dursleys would never give permission. The magical world would recognise it immediately once we proclaim it. Madam Bones should be able to see to that, so that should be our first stop after meeting Mum and Dad. Let me handle my parents and just follow my lead. I'll put up a notice-me-not charm around us when we meet them. That way the Dursleys and the Weasleys can't interfere. It is a bit odd that we didn't know that we were married before we died though. I think Dumbledore must have done something. We'll have to be careful around him."
"Yes, that crafty old meddler will be most upset when he finds that I've left the Dursleys. He'll quickly learn that I'm staying with you and try to separate us, so your parents will have to be made aware of our soul bond, sooner rather than later."
Hermione thought for awhile before agreeing. Sighing, she replied, "We'll tell them when we get home. No sense in creating a scene at King's Cross. Mum can be quite... loud when she doesn't have all the facts."
Harry shuddered at the implied scene that would take place when they reached her home.
"Gringotts," Harry spoke next. "I have to go to Gringotts, maybe right away."
"We, Harry, we have to go to Gringotts. They'll know about the soul bond and will help us."
"Right, us. Well then, the timetable will have to be moved up with your parents as well. Any ideas?"
Hermione frowned, not liking the shortening time they had for all this. "Oooh, this is not how I pictured this happening. I have to be with you at Gringotts and by extension, so do my parents. We'll have to guide them to Gringotts and ask for a private meeting with Ragnok. I can't think of a way to get them alone… wait, we'll have to do it at King's Cross, but in private. Argh, no, that won't work. There is no private place there. Ah, The Leaky Cauldron. Tom has private rooms. Yes, that's best and then we can go to Gringotts."
"Brilliant, I just hope it goes well. I'm just starting to get used to being married to the smartest witch at Hogwarts," Harry beamed.
As the train hurried along on its journey back to London, several people were wondering where Harry and Hermione were.
"Are you sure they're on the train?" Ron asked Ginny.
"Yes, I saw them board. I've asked around and no one's seen them though. Neville saw them board but hasn't seen them since and Luna just smiles her dreamy smile. She may know, but she'll never say anything meaningful."
"Something's up, Dumbledore told us to keep an eye on them and invite them over for the summer. You should make your move on Harry and I'll have Hermione finally this summer."
Little did they know that those plans were doomed from the start.
Luna smiled to herself, confident that Harry and Hermione had finally realised their love for each other. She knew where they were of course, even though they had evidently put up secrecy charms. She would tell no one and when they approached her for help, she would help anyway she could. Times were changing and her only two friends would be at the centre of the changes.
Her thoughts drifted to Neville. He was a sweet boy and wondered if he was the one. She'd have to give him a little push and see if he responded. She did so like him and hoped the feeling was mutual. She sighed, life was so complicated and even with the bit of seer in her, it was difficult to sort out all the possible permutations that life could travel. A day at a time was all she was permitted to see, but what she saw at critical times, was profound.
Neville sought out Harry and Hermione, for he knew instinctively that they were together as a couple. He had seen it for years, when nobody else seemed to notice. The touches, the secret hugs, the looks that became noticeably fonder over the years. Yes, they were a couple, and only he and Luna had noticed. He was happy for them, but now they had disappeared on the train. He'd seek out Luna, she seemed to have a gift for seeing things that nobody else saw. Maybe she knew where they were. His Gran wanted to talk to them as well, but she would't tell him why. Something was up and he wanted to know if he could help.
Albus Dumbledore was frustrated. No matter how he tried, his instruments remained broken. Harry had shown a power in his office that truly frightened the old man. He'd have to take steps to control the boy. The blocks that he placed of Harry's magic all those years ago must have failed. But that was impossible, he'd made sure… but that meant that Harry was much more powerful than he'd thought. In school, Harry had only shown a bit more power than average, although, now that he thought about it, he suspected that the boy only performed up to the level expected of him. There were incidents though when he pushed past those limitations and showed what he was truly capable of doing. His Patronus was amazing. But that was under extreme stress. What if it wasn't though… what else was he capable of. He'd have to have Severus draw him out and see if he was more powerful than he seemed. He tried to put aside the enigma that was Harry Potter. He had plans for the boy and living wasn't one of them.
Tom Riddle was still hurting, days after the battle in the Department of Mysteries. He cursed the day the brat was born. Dumbledore he knew and although the old man was powerful, he could eventually be beaten. The boy though, he was a very real problem. The short time he'd possessed him had shown the true power the boy had. The pain before he was thrown out of the brat's mind was a very real thing. He'd barely been able to apparate away and had almost splinched himself. That was so unheard of that he shuddered at the power the boy had. And now, something seemed to be missing. He couldn't sense the boy anymore. Whatever connection he'd had to the boy was gone. Not even a whisper remained and on top of that, he felt somewhat weaker, as if the brat had taken something of himself. And that scared him. And no one scared him!
Monica and Wendell Granger waited patiently for their daughter to arrive at King's Cross station.
Monica was concerned that Hermione seemed to have formed an attachment to a boy. Harry Potter had been in her letters for years and she constantly talked about him during summer break and Christmas as well, now that she thought about it. A long talk with her daughter this summer was something she could put off no longer. Hermione was on the cusp of womanhood and would want a mate soon. She knew her daughter well as she had taken an early interest in Wendell in school as well. This Harry Potter seemed like a decent chap, even if he dressed shabbily. She wondered about that. Her daughter had alluded that he had a very poor home life, but surely they would have properly clothed him. The cost of schooling alone meant he had money. She'd have to talk to Hermione.
Wendell, while he always let his wife lead, was no fool or milksop. The few times he and Monica argued, he usually won. The times she won an argument were whenever it involved their daughter. She was a force to be reckoned with and he quietly gave in. Today, he eagerly awaited his princess, missing her terribly for the long school year. If it were up to him, he would never have allowed her to attend Hogwarts. Oh, it wasn't because she was a witch. He accepted that, it was because she would attend a school that was co-ed and away from parental advice and controls. Boys could be so uncontrolled when hormones kicked in.
This Harry Potter worried him. The boy her daughter spent so much time with and very obviously loved. She was too young, but then he and Monica were young when they met, so he could understand, but was not quite ready to accept the attraction. Monica would take care of this, he was sure, but he had a few nice dental tools that might dissuade the boy from taking liberties with his daughter. The train was due any minute and they would whisk her away and try to take her mind off the boy. A nice trip abroad should work.
The train arrived and the Grangers slipped through the portal. As the parents of a witch, they were somehow allowed, unlike most muggles. It was that bit of DNA that had produced a witch and the portal recognised it. The crowds flowed past them and they patiently waited until it thinned. Right at the back, they spotted her, her hand tugging at a messy, dark-haired boy with emerald eyes. Harry Potter seemed reluctant to be dragged into this meeting with their daughter's parents.
Monica smiled, knowing that her daughter had finally committed herself. That Harry Potter would be nervous at this meeting was taken for granted. Most young men would feel the same, but he seemed determined to get over it as she saw him visibly relax as they approached. Odd, that; he should have become more nervous.
Hermione spotted her parents and quickly made for them, initially dragging Harry. "It's okay love, we'll sort it out as we go. They will understand when they know the story."
Harry began to relax, knowing that his wife was always right.
"Mum, Dad, I want you to meet Harry Potter. We can talk in a bit but we have to go to Gringotts before we go home. I'll explain everything at The Leaky Cauldron. We have to talk!"
Monica didn't like the tone her daughter took, it spoke of something unusual that they hadn't talked about before. Well, there was nothing else but to follow them. "It's very nice to meet you Harry. We met briefly some time ago. I'm guessing that you're Hermione's boyfriend?"
Hermione squeezed his hand and he relaxed a bit more. "Yes ma'am."
Wendell frowned slightly, "Harry, we're glad to meet you and look forward to a nice long talk to get to know you better."
"Daaad! Don't try to intimidate him, we have things we have to tell you, not all of it good. We'll take a private room at the pub and tell you everything. Meanwhile, let's get out of here as unobtrusively as possible. I don't want to meet with anyone, especially the Weasleys."
A look of shock appeared on both parents' faces before reluctantly acquiescing to their daughter's wishes.
Walking quickly, they avoided the crowd in the station concourse and made their way to The Leaky Cauldron.
As soon as they entered the ancient pub, Harry requested a private room from Tom the barkeep. Tom was only too happy to show them to a room upstairs.
"Thanks Tom, we don't want to be disturbed for any reason, please," Harry requested.
"No problem, Mr. Potter."
After everyone was settled in the room, Hermione placed privacy spells on the room, knowing full well that as an underage witch she was not allowed magic outside school, but figured with so much ambient magic in the pub, it wouldn't be noticed. Her wand could still be tracked, but she would take care of that later.
"Right then. Mum, Dad, we need you to hear us out before you comment. The story is quite disturbing and I need you to remain calm white we tell it.
First, umm, well, this is the second time we've met this year. Oooh, this is hard! Both Harry and I died the first time."
The shocked look on her parents faces told them that they found this hard to believe. They remained quiet, however, agreeing that there was more to the story than that.
"We're alive because of strange circumstances that you'll probably not believe. Both Harry and I died at the same time, but both at home. Harry's death was due to a shotgun blast from his uncle. Mine, because of an unfortunate event that happened while we were at school…"
Hermione then recounted the events as they happened.
Monica almost screamed when Hermione told her that they were soul bonded and had been since birth.
"We're magically married, but I expect you'll want a proper wedding," Hermione coolly informed them. Best to get the hard part out of the way first.
Wendell's jaw dropped when he heard that, but he'd promised to hear them out. It looked like the dental tools might get a workout after all.
After they had recounted all that had happened, Hermione took a deep breath and asked the question she had been dreading most. "So, um, Mum, Dad, now that you've heard the story, you can ask questions. We love each other and have for years. If you can accept that, we can move on. Mum, Dad?"
Monica took the lead, as Hermione knew she would.
"Hermione, it's a bit much dear. I mean really, I've known for some time that you fancied Harry, but I never envisioned that the both of had died and… came back?" The magical world truly is beyond our knowledge, everything we've believed in all our lives. Naturally, we're a bit skeptical but you've never lied to us, so… I don't know. It's a lot to take in dear. Naturally, Harry will stay with us this summer, so don't worry about that. Harry? How do you feel about this?"
Harry breathed a short sigh of relief. They had their doubts, but they accepted it, accepted him. "I know it's hard to believe, but it's my first real chance to be happy. I love your daughter more than life itself and I guess I have for years. We still have large problems ahead of us, but now we have answers that we didn't have before. We haven't done anything except kiss and we're both not ready for anything more right now.
"If you're okay with this, I'll try to live up to your expectations. But first I, I mean we have to go to Gringotts."
Wendell had imagined all sorts of scenarios but this was more than he'd expected. It looked like the dental 'exam' option was out. One thing continued to bother him though. "Harry, since you two are now wizard married, erm… can we at least buy you new clothes? It looks like the ones you wear are not made for you. Sorry, but I just had to say something; we occasionally have friends over and well, you know…" he trailed off, feeling awkward.
Harry smiled, relaxing a bit more. "Finally I can get rid of these rags my relatives made me wear. If I dared buy anything decent, they would wonder where I got the money and confiscate everything. Needless to say, I dressed to remain 'under the radar' so to speak. They hated everything about me and made sure I knew it. I have money, of course, so don't worry about that. That's one of the reasons I have to go to Gringotts. The Headmaster apparently has been stealing from me for years, so that's another thing that has to be looked at."
Wendell and Monica were shocked. This was much worse than they expected. "Harry," Monica replied, "That's horrible. Is there any reason you should continue to attend school there? There are certainly other magical schools."
"Mum, Dad, Harry has to attend Hogwarts. The laws of magical Britain demand that all witches and wizards that can afford to attend, must; otherwise they are banned from using magic and their wands are snapped. Once they have passed their OWLS, they may choose to leave school, but cannot leave Britain for another school until they pass their NEWTS. It's an archaic law but it still exists and I'm sure the Headmaster would enforce it in Harry's case."
"And, of course, where Harry goes…"
"YES. Where Harry goes, I go," Hermione answered vehemently.
"Well that settles that. Harry, we'll shop after you go to Gringotts. We'll eat out afterwards. Oh, since you're part of the family now, can you at least call us Mum and Dad or Monica and Wendell? Mr. And Mrs. Granger or Drs. Granger is too formal. You'll get used to it."
A wide grin spread across Harry's face as his eyes lit up in gratitude. "Thank you Mum, you don't know how much that means to me."
Albus Dumbledore was troubled. He had set watchers at Harry's home on Privet Drive and they had returned home without the boy. Apparently the Weasleys had not seen him either at the station or on the train. Hermione had not been seen either, but that was a lesser concern at the moment. Miss Granger was still a concern since she was closer to Harry than Albus wanted. Miss Granger was a very smart witch and if she continued to see Harry, it wouldn't turn out well for his plans. He had hoped to be rid of Mr. Potter much earlier by having Voldemort kill him, but the dratted boy managed to survive, The prophesy stated that only the two of them could kill the other and really, what chance did Harry have. When Harry was killed, then anyone could kill Voldemort. It was written, it was an accepted fact. So where was Harry Potter? He'd check the Grangers on the off chance he was there. Better yet, he would tell Severus and let him tempt Riddle, maybe he could get rid of two problems at once. Yes, that could work.
After they left the pub, they quickly walked to Gringotts, where they were met at the entrance by a security goblin who recognised Harry.
"Come with me Mr. Potter, Director Ragnok has been waiting for you. Your friends will wait inside for you," the goblin growled.
"My wife will accompany me," Harry stated.
"And my parents," Hermione added.
The goblin blinked. "You're married? Mr. Potter, you're much too young to marry."
"Nevertheless, we are married and they will accompany me!"
"Very well, follow me."
The strange procession entered an austere room with a small desk and several chairs. The security goblin left them and went to advise the director that Mr. Potter and company had arrived. Muffled shouting could be heard behind the thick door and presently a very old goblin entered and bade them follow him into his office.
After they had been seated, the director spoke. "Mr. Potter, it is gratifying to find you have finally acknowledged our summons. I was aware of your and Mrs. Potter's soul bond, but my… associates told me that you were unaware of it. We had hoped that you would realise it, and I'm happy to find that you have. Naturally you have my congratulations. Mr. and Mrs. Granger, I beg your forgiveness but these two are to be read Mr. Sirius Black's will and since you are not mentioned in the will, I'm afraid you cannot attend. The reading will be brief, so I must ask you to wait in the other room. Refreshments will be provided and the Potters will rejoin you shortly."
Monica and Wendell were then escorted out to wait.
"Forgive me, Mr. and Mrs. Potter, the bank has its rules. We will read Lord Black's will first and then your parents'. There is quite a bit to cover. The will has not been read, although many have demanded it. Lord Black has essentially left everything to you including his title of Lord Black. You have been magically adopted, although you already have a connection to the Black line. This will obviate any claim made by the Malfoy scion. As the new Lord Black, you are automatically emancipated and may bring in other former members of the Black family. You may also expel them if you have reasonable grounds. You will receive a proper accounting of your holdings, but let me assure you that it is considerable. This is a brief overview and a full reading is available to you upon request. Most of it is merely legal language that would probably only confuse you without a sharp knowledgeable lawyer. It might be a good idea to hire one for your own peace of mind.
"Now, for the Potter will. This is a bit more complicated, as it contains guardianship preferences and disposition of minor amounts of monies. It also has never been read, despite the fact that it should have been when you turned eleven. You, of course were never to have been sent to your uncle and aunt's place. We were unable to stop this, unfortunately, since Albus Dumbledore snatched you before we could intervene and sealed their will under authority as the Chief Warlock. He tried to gain access to their vault but only you would have access to it as the last surviving Potter. When you come of legal age you will inherit two seats in the Wizengamot. Even though you are emancipated, you still must attain the age of seventeen to claim them. At the moment they are held in trust and not voted. You and only you may assign a proxy to vote for you until you are of age. You may, however, have access to the Potter Family Vaults. Mr. Dumbledore tried to access them, but was denied. He did gain access to your Trust Vault and has been draining it every year. It is, however filled yearly from the main Potter vaults. We find this despicable but have been unable to prevent it. You, however, may restrict anyone access to any of the vaults. An accounting has likewise been made and will be available when you leave this office. You are, Mr. Potter, a very wealthy young man. Also, your title is recognised as Lord Harry James Potter-Black. The Potter line being the oldest has precedence. Mrs. Potter is recognised as Lady Hermione Jane Potter-Black."
That was a lot to take in and Harry depended on Hermione's near eidetic memory to remember it all. "Holy shit," he whispered. "I had no idea."
"Harry, language," Hermione chastised him.
"Sorry dear, but it's a bit overwhelming."
Ragnok smirked. Here was a young man with no arrogant airs. He could work with the new Lord Potter-Black.
"I wish to add Lady Hermione Potter to full access of my vaults. Anyone else is to be denied any access. I may add Remus Lupin limited access to the Black vault after I've talked to him. At the moment, I don't know who my true friends are or whom I can trust.