A/N: I now have a beta, texan-muggle has agreed to help make this a better story.
Chapter 9: Gringotts
Harry had only been in Gringotts three times in his life: when he was eleven and then twice when he was seventeen. The first time he had been in awe and if things hadn't been so rushed, he would have liked to learn more about them. Binns' history classes made them out to be violent creatures that liked nothing better than to wage war on wizards. His second time he was afraid of being caught and killed before he got what they had come for. The last time was when he settled for breaking into the bank and then closing out all his vaults with the intention of disappearing. He just never expected to wind up here. With that being said he had no idea what would happen. Sirius and Lily assured him that they could be trusted; with what they had planned, he sure hoped so.
They had spent the rest of the weekend developing the public story and making sure it was as solid as possible and the documents would pass scrutiny. Harry would use his first two names and, until after the inheritance test, use Major as his last name. They had also discussed using the Major name as part of his in order to tie the family together. He would be Mike's oldest son born nine and a half months after his marriage. Harry would have been not quite a year old when his mother died in child birth. Lily concerned with the loss of the Potter name if anything happened to her, had looked through the family tree and found Mike in the hopes that he could inherit and secure the family line. Harry and Mike's not being around would be because of Mike's military career having him move around a lot and because he honestly didn't know he was related.
This is why he found himself, Lily, Mike and Sirius here that day in the Alley headed for the bank. Lily had written the Potter account manager on Monday to set up this appointment. Sirius had provided Harry and Mike with plain robes so that they wouldn't stand out. Harry had his back pack with the trunks he intended to put in the bank. He would need at least three or four besides what the Potters already had. Since Mike was the only one going that could drive, they used his SUV to get to the Leaky Cauldron. Lily and Sirius were greeted as they passed through, which was nothing unusual. The atmosphere in Diagon Alley was busy but not hectic as it was after Voldemort was revealed in Harry's universe. Harry hoped that it would stay that way as they conducted their war in secret, but wasn't counting on it. Harry observed Mike as they made their way down the Alley and remembered he had gawked the same way the first time he had seen all the stores.
"Don't break your neck trying to see it all at once," Harry whispered to Mike.
"I know you said that things were a bit backward here, but my God, did we travel back in time?"
"No," he chuckled. "These people just haven't moved forward to keep up with the rest of the world." He paused as he looked around. "Maybe that will be the next project provided we can end the current problem first."
Mike just nodded his head.
Lily and Sirius were in front and as they approached the bank they gave a slight bow to the two guards in front. Harry and Mike followed their lead and also gave a slight bow as they passed the guards. The inside of the bank was just as he remembered it the first time he had come here. The large lobby was busy. The marble floors shone and Harry was pleased to see no gaping hole in the middle. Goblins were everywhere taking care of customers.
"The goblins are fierce looking aren't they?" Mike inquired.
"They were warriors before they became bankers. Don't forget what Lily and Sirius said about not showing your teeth when you smile. When we passed through the doors we entered their country so we have to abide by their laws and customs here."
Lily led them across the lobby to the head teller station just as Hagrid had done when he brought Harry here that first time. "We have a nine o'clock appointment with Account Manager Sharpclaw." Lily announced with a bow to the goblin.
He looked at his ledger and then at the wall clock; it was ten until nine. He nodded to Lily and then in Goblinese told another goblin something before he ran off to complete his errand. "Wait over there," the head goblin stated and nodded in the direction of chairs off to his right.
"Thank you, Master Teller." Lily returned the slight bow and moved off towards the chairs. They had barely sat down when an older, better dressed goblin approached. Lily was on her feet immediately. "Account Manager Sharpclaw, may your gold increase as your enemies decrease." Lily intoned as she bowed to the new arrival.
"Lady Potter, may your gold always flow and your enemies tremble at your name," he replied as he bowed to Lily. "Follow me."
They followed him through one of the doors at the back of the lobby. It was perhaps a ten minute walk through a rough-hewn corridor, until he opened a plain but solid looking door. 'Potter' was all it said on the plaque on the door. The office was a mix of weapons, books and elegance beautifully blended together. Sharpclaw sat behind a dark wooded desk that looked very expensive. They sat in the chairs lined up in front of his desk.
"Now what can I do for you today, Lady Potter?"
"First let me introduce the others. You know Sirius Black." They nodded acknowledgement to each other, "Next is a long lost relative Michael Major, a third cousin of James from a squib line," If he was shocked by this, Sharpclaw showed no signs of it, "and his son Harry James Major."
Sharpclaw sat back in his chair and looked at Harry for a long time. Finally he said, "Lady Potter, I have known you a long time, and in that time you have never lied to me. So tell me what is really going on here. I would hate to have to call in guards because you tried to defraud the Goblin Nation and The People."
"What did I tell you Lily?" Harry asked with a lopped sided smile.
Lily tried to placate her account manager. "Sharpclaw we have no intentions of trying to pull the wool over your eyes. We were unsure how to approach you with this."
"My name is Harry James Potter and I was brought here from another universe," Harry quickly stated.
"Why," was all Sharpclaw asked?
"Because of a prophecy that can't be fulfilled otherwise." Harry replied.
"Sometime in the spring of nineteen eighty Dumbledore was interviewing a woman for the post of divinization and gave this prophesy. 'The One with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord approaches…Born to those that have thrice defied him…Born as the seventh month dies…And the Dark Lord shall mark him as his equal, but will have power the Dark Lord knows not…And either must die at the hand of the other for neither can live while the other survives…The one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord will be born as the seventh month dies…1' Your Harry that died was marked even if you didn't know it." Harry lifted his fringe and showed what was left of his scare. "Lily used Potter family magic in an effort to save her son. If she had died that night, Harry would have survived. Neville Longbottom could have been the one, but Voldemort was not around to mark him. If the prophesy is true here and my mark still counts, I am the only one that can kill him. But I can't do it alone."
"That's all very interesting but that still doesn't explain the subtrafuge."
"Well Harry Potter of this world died at the age of fifteen months; for me to suddenly show up without an explanation would be very difficult and we would like to keep the enemy from knowing about where I came for as long as possible."
"What do you know of the tournament held at Hogwarts this past school year?" Harry asked.
"Not a lot as we weren't involved in any part of it."
"Typical. What have you heard since it ended?"
"Only that the Longbottom scion won it."
"Damn." "Harry language," exclaimed Lily. Harry just shot her a look. "I had hoped Dumbledore would have said something. I guess I was wrong." He looked back at Sharpclaw. "I have it on good authority that Voldemort used the tournament to return. And if you need proof that he never died to begin with, look in the Lestrange vault. In it you should find the cup of Helga Hufflepuff."
"What's so special about the cup other than being a founder's artifact?" inquired Sharpclaw.
"If it is there you can bet it is a soul anchor for Voldemort."
Sharpclaw sat back shocked. "Surely he would not delve into such dark magic?"
"He would and did. If, and we have good reason to believe it to be true, our worlds are very much the same, then he did it seven times," replied Harry. "You can confirm this by checking the vault."
Sharpclaw sat and thought, "We would need a reason to inspect the vault."
"Do you not inventory vaults on a regular basis," asked Sirius. "I know Lily and I get regular updates."
"We would have to get permission from their account manager," replied Sharpclaw.
"Sirius is she still a member of the Black family," asked Harry.
"Yeah. I don't know why I never kicked her out ages ago."
"Okay, Sharpclaw, what would be the bank's procedure if he were to disinherit Bellatrix from the family?"
"It would depend on how he did it. Straight disowning would just shut her off. However, if he had cause to disavow her marriage first, then all moneys and artifacts that belonged to the Black family would be returned to the Black vault."
"You two would have made great Slytherins," Sirius chuckled.
"I have found that you do not have to be born a Slytherin to be one, you can learn to be one. And really, when you think about it, everyone has the traits of all four houses. Some are just more dominant than others," Harry replied.
Mike looked on and wondered what kind of cut-throat world he was getting into.
"Okay that is something that we can look into later. Sharpclaw, what we came here to do, is to establish a couple of things. One: am I heir to the Potter line here since I was not born here? Two: will you and the Goblin Nation help us with the cover story we developed if it does not hurt The Nation? Three: just what is Mike's status?" Harry rattled off trying to back to the business at hand.
"The easiest way would be to perform the blood inheritance test. Once we have established your status we can go from there. I have to warn you, however, that much of what you ask is beyond what I can grant. King Ragnok Bloodknife and the elders will have to give permission for some of it."
"That's a lot more people that I had hoped for but I will abide by the Nations decision."
"Mr. Potter, you have to understand our reputation is on the line with every decision we make so we have to cover all our bases as the saying goes. Besides, if as you say our worlds are not that much different, who would believe us?"
"I completely understand." Harry was beginning to hate the bigotry of the magical world. No wonder Hermione went off the deep end when it came to house-elves and other sentient beings. Harry had seen first-hand how powerful elf magic could be. He wondered where Dobby was in this world.
"Okay then. Let's get Mike's test out of the way first."
Sharpclaw stepped over to a file cabinet and withdrew two oddly colored parchments. "These are the inheritance test. Simply pierce your finger with this dagger and allow three droplets of blood drop on to the parchment," he stated as he sat and withdrew a silver dagger from his desk. He placed one in front of Mike and one in front of Harry.
"Brings new meaning to 'Bankers out for your blood', doesn't it," quipped Mike which caused everyone to chuckle. Mike did as asked and waited. He was amazed as names started to appear on the parchment.
Michael James Major - Potter
Charlus Michael Major - Potter-father Deceased
Claire Rose Major - mother Deceased
Catherine Mary Major - sister Deceased
Harold Charlus Potter - grandfather Deceased
Belladonna Esmeralda Potter - grandmother Deceased
"Well that proves you are a Potter. Harold was Charlus Potter's younger brother; Charlus was James' father. Mr. Major/Potter, do you plan to take of the head of the family," Sharpclaw inquired.
Mike looked at him gobsmacked. "Huh?"
"Unless the young man's test proves a better claim, you are next in line."
"We had not even considered that. Can we wait and see how Harry's test goes? I would really rather not as I know so little of the world of magic."
"Of course. I was obligated to ask as once it is claimed you cannot contest it."
"You have to excuse my ignorance, but until a few days ago, I didn't know I had any other family and know nothing of the magical world except that it exists. Taking on the head of the family is not on the agenda unless it is necessary."
"That is understandable. Now Mr. Potter."
"Harry please." Harry requested.
"Harry, I would suggest that you take the full test. Mr. Major's was just to prove he was of the blood to legitimize your background. Since you want to be able to claim headship of house, you should see what else might be there for you. You will need to let seven drops land on the parchment. Did you have one done before?"
"No. The need never came up before."
Harry pricked his finger and counted seven drops, though there wasn't really a need because as soon as the seventh drop touched the parchment, his finger healed.
Harry James Potter
James Charlus Potter - father Deceased, Deceased
Lily Marie Potter nee Evans - mother Deceased, Alive
Charlus Harold Potter - grandfather Deceased, Deceased
Dorea Potter nee Black - grandmother Deceased, Deceased
David Haratio Evans - grandfather Deceased, Deceased
Rose Elizabeth Evans - grandmother Deceased, Deceased
Titles and legacies
Heir, Most Noble and Ancient House of Potter
Heir, Most Noble and Most Ancient House of Gryffindor
Heir, Most Noble and Most Ancient House of Peverell
Heir Apparent, Most Noble and Ancient House of Black
Harry looked stunned. After several seconds to wrap his mind around what he had just seen, he said, "Well, that was unexpected."
"Harry," Lily started, "you told us that you hadn't done this before and that no one had told you of the family history. Why is it unexpected?"
"Answer me this. If we had such an alliance here and most of what I know from being here matches what I already knew, why did none of these people come to me before? And why am I heir apparent for the house of Black."
"I'm not sure Harry. Maybe because the alliance was started and headed by Potters they expected you to come to them."
"But Neville saw how I was dressed, and so did Susan. That surely would have told them I didn't know things."
"Really Harry How close were you to them?..."
(Cough, cough) "If we could get back to the matter at hand?' "Sorry," Lily apologized. "Now then Harry, you expressed the desire to become head of house, correct?"
"No, at least not yet. What we were trying to establish was an heir, which I am. Lily can remain as Head of House as she teaches me what I need to know in order for me to take over. With what I brought with me, I doubt I could financially bankrupt the Potters; I don't want to embarrass them either."
"Would you care to explain that statement, Harry," inquired Sharpclaw.
"I brought the entire contents of the Black and Potter vaults with me. When I was summoned here, I was planning on leaving England for parts on known, never planning on returning. There was nothing left for me in England anymore." Harry was saddened to be reminded why he had all that with him.
"How much are we talking about?"
"Well, I'm not really sure. I know the contents were in two Heirloom vaults and two money vaults."
"What were the vault numbers?"
"Let's see," he said looking at the ceiling, "for Black, I think it was 127 and 130 and Potter was 100 and 101."
With a slight rise of one eyebrow, which was odd to see on a goblin, he asked "Were they guarded by a dragon?"
"I didn't go down so I really couldn't say," Harry replied while avoiding looking at anyone. While what he said was true, it wouldn't have been six months before and that was one conversation he didn't want to get into. "I do have an inventory provided by the Goblins that emptied the vaults," he replied as he pulled a parchment out of his backpack, handing it over to Sharpclaw.
Sharpclaw looked it over and if he was surprised, he didn't show it. "Well this should certainly smooth any ruffled feather from the elders."
Lily looked at him with raised eyebrows.
"It is just shy of what is in your vaults currently. Someone did a good job of managing these accounts," he replied to her unasked question. "Now then Harry, if you will leave me a copy of the papers that you have for your cover identity, I will present them and the inheritance test to the king and see what we can do."
"What about the vaults I need for what I brought with me?"
"Do you have it here?"
"Yes, it is all here in my backpack."
"Do you want to combine it with the current Potter vaults? You do understand that we will have to do a complete inventory for our own records for a fee?"
Harry gave a questioning look at Lily. "I would think separate for now," Lily replied to Harry.
Harry sat back and thought about it for a few minutes. Finally he said, "I agree. I'm not sure how big the vaults are or if they could hold the combined wealth. And as far as the fee is concerned, I expected as much. I wouldn't expect you to do it for free."
Sharpclaw had been pulling forms from the filing cabinet. It was agreed that the vaults would be designated according to exactly how much Harry had to deposit. After signing the parchments (it was agreed he would at least for now be Harry James Major-Potter), Harry pulled four trunks from his backpack. "With your permission Account Manager Sharpclaw."
Understanding Harry was asking permission to use his wand, he nodded.
Harry tapped each of the trunks four times in a specific pattern and the trunks returned to their normal size. He had placed them two to one side of the office and two on the other side. He had spaced them fairly far apart. When they had finished resizing, they took almost half the room.
Sharpclaw looked at Harry. "Goblin shrinking charms?"
"Feather weight and expansion charms too," he responded.
Sharpclaw grinned; at least everyone hoped it was a grin. 'Yes, a quite profitable day,' he thought. "Is that all your business for today?"
Harry looked at Lily and nodded. She looked at Sirius who nodded at her and when she looked at Mike, he just shrugged his shoulders as if to say 'It's your show'. "Yes Sharpclaw that is all for today."
Sharpclaw bowed and said, "Then may your gold always flow."
"And may your enemies tremble at your name," finished Lily with a similar bow. She then turned and left the office followed by Harry, Mike and then Sirius.
After they had left the bank Sirius commented, "Well that went well I think."
"We still have our heads," replied Harry.
Lily had to agree because at first she wasn't sure if they would leave the bank. Harry had been right; they should have started with the truth. Why she went against what she knew, she didn't know but was happy Harry was quick enough to save them all.
Harry swung an arm over Mike's shoulder and said with a smarmy grin, "Well DAD, are you ready to get your first wand?"
Mike couldn't help but roll his eyes, then burst out laughing.
"I hope you don't mind doing a little reading, Mike, because as good as we might be at teaching you how to cast spells you need to understand how magic works. You could do some serious harm to yourself and others if you don't."
Harry had to agree. "If it wasn't for Hermione pushing me, I wouldn't be near as good as I am."
Mike nodded, "Basic training all over again," he said with a grin.
"While you are getting his wand Sirius and I will get him the first three years of books for Transfiguration, Charms and Defense Against the Dark Arts."
"I'll warn you, ole Ollivander is a weird sort but he knows his stuff," he said just as they entered the wand-maker's store.
Ollivander appeared out of nowhere just as he had when Harry had fist visited the wand maker in his world.
"Major-Potter," Harry corrected him.
Ollivander looked at him for some time before he said "Yes, yes. Major-Potter. I did not expect to see you."
'Damn.' Harry thought, 'I forgot about him. I should have had Sirius come instead.' Ollivander continued, "What can I do for you today?"
"My father needs a wand."
"What happened to your old wand?" asked Ollivander.
"Never had one before. Just found out I had enough power to have one," Mike replied.
Ollivander looked on curiously.
"Lady Potter was looking up family members as she was concerned about the line dying out and she found us," informed Harry.
"Now Ollivander, you know squibs don't have enough power for a wand," rebuked Harry.
"True, true. Well which is your wand arm?"
"He means are you right-handed or left-handed."
"I'm right-handed," replied Mike.
The tape measure did its normal thing measuring his arms, hands, height, nostrils and other things. Harry said, "I never understood why it takes some of the measurements it does."
It wasn't long before Ollivander returned with several boxes of wands. "The wand chooses the wizard or witch." Ollivander commented as he set them on the counter. It only took fifteen minutes until a cherry and unicorn mane hair chose Mike.
"Now young man, would you like the mate to the wand you currently have?"
Harry was thunderstruck by the question. After a few minutes Harry's brain rebooted enough to ask, "And it's brother?"
"Right where you know it to be."
Harry wondered if having identical wands would help him in his battle or would it be a hindrance. "Could Prior Incantatem happen with three wands with the same core?," he asked without thinking.
"Have you seen it happen before?"
"Not with three, but with two."
Ollivander pondered for a few minutes, "I don't know Mr. Major-Potter, but I don't think it would help. You might wind up with two wands locked in the same battle. However it wouldn't hurt to have it as a spare."
"Could I get another wand besides that one and some holsters?"
"Why are you here Mister Potter?" asked Ollivander.
"If you know who I am and what wand I carry, you can guess why. Now how about it?"
"Can you beat HIM?" challenged Ollivander.
"I did it once, I believe I can do it again, but I need all the help I can get."
Ollivander studied him for a long time. Finally he said, "Let's see what I have that will aid you. And mum's the word Mr. Major-Potter."
After another half hour, Harry had two holly and phoenix feather core wands and an ash and dragon heartstring wand with seven quick release wand holsters. He figured the fifty galleons he spent were well worth it.
Mike and Harry joined up with Lily and Sirius and headed home. They had much to talk about.
A/N: I will not promise what size my chapters will be or how often they come out. I will promise them to be the best I can come up with. If I fail that, I will quit writing. Thanks to texan-muggle, my beta.
(1) From JKR's fifth book Harry Potter and the Oder of the Phoenix.
1 JKR fifth Book