General Disclaimer for the whole story following – I do not own Harry Potter, I'm just playing with the characters for my own, and hopefully your, enjoyment.
"Not here you halfwit" Sirius hissed at his Godson. He looked around the Platform at Kings Cross to see if anyone was showing undue interest. Cyrus and Anastasia Greengrass looked curiously at the ex-convict stood next to them, not having heard him ever be sharp with Harry. Daphne elbowed her betrothed in the ribs and silenced the Boy-Who-Lived with a glare.
Harry Potter hated his title and would determinedly explain this to anyone who called him by it but he quailed under Daphne's glower. He mumbled his apologies to her and Sirius before enthusiastically greeting the Greengrass parents. Astoria was still on the train somewhere or saying goodbye to her friends out of sight.
"Come on Harry, your letter said 'as soon as possible' and from the Goblins that means yesterday. We have a private room booked at Gringotts and no, before you ask, Daphne cannot come. Sorry Daph" he turned to her apologetically.
"Doesn't matter, I want to spend some time with my parents anyway. I'll call you later ok Harry? And don't you dare do anything stupid or you will regret it." Her eyes flashed dangerously at the last.
Harry gulped, "yes dear" he said, eliciting chuckles from the adults. He kissed Daphne goodbye and grabbed hold of Sirius' arm as he prepared to apparate to the bank.
"Damn it I hate side along apparition" Harry grouched.
Sirius ignored him and marched up the steps into the intimidating bank. Harry followed along after him, pausing slightly to glance up at the sign above the door. It always gave him a slight chill down his spine every time he read it. He idly wondered if there was some sort of minor compulsion on it to make sure everyone read it and it had an impact on the reader. He followed Sirius as he weaved through the lightly busy entrance hall. Harry was dodging around a particularly infirm looking wizard when Sirius reached an empty teller and so missed what was said but it looked to have been important as the goblin looked suitably impressed.
They were led out an ornate door to the left of the rank of tellers and a short distance along a corridor before being ushered into a spacious room. It was dominated by a large table, similar to one you would see in a standard business board room and a large brass bell on the wall. Harry was about to repeat his question when Sirius cut him off.
"What did I say? Not until we were somewhere private. Does the middle of the platform seem to be private to you? If you can't manage a simple task then I have to seriously reconsider whether you are ready to be emancipated. This is not some childish game, not a bloody story where the hero can do whatever the bloody hell he likes with no consequences."
Harry opened his mouth to defend himself but Sirius was not done yet. "Now you wanted to know so sit down and shut up." Harry obediently sat. Sirius took a deep breath, composing himself. "As you know the Black family has a decidedly chequered past and as such has a wealth of dubious contacts. I may dislike my family name but I have to admit they knew how to get things done. Several months ago I made contact with one of these useful people and gave him a task. I will skip the exact details because I don't know them all myself but let's just say that Albus' death was 'accelerated' somewhat and things were put in place so that it would be you who benefitted from it. I figure a lot of it is probably your stuff anyway; the Dumbledores were never particularly wealthy. Everyone knows that stealing from a thief isn't really stealing anyway. Now do you understand why I wanted this kept quiet?"
"I do. I'm sorry Sirius, I should have thought. If you tell me something needs to be said in private then I should have respected that." He paused, marshalling his thoughts. "Are we going to the will reading now?"
"Yes I just need to ring this bell and someone will come and collect us to take us to the inheritance department."
"One more thing Sirius, do the goblins know it's a false will?"
"What do you mean false will? Albus signed it completely of his own free will" Sirius smirked dangerously. "For a small fee Twinblade was able to smooth over a few little humps and bumps in its processing."
Harry nodded, understanding the unspoken message. Sirius looked at him, measuring his comprehension before he to nodded and rang the bell. The door opened almost immediately making Harry wonder if the goblin had been listening outside the door.
"Follow me and I will take you to Twinblade."
As when Harry had visited the bank last year, they were led deep into Gringotts. The door they stopped in front of this time was not as ornate as the previous one but rather had a large skull attached to it. It was not human, that much Harry could tell, but beyond that he had no idea what it once belonged to. He supposed this was goblin humour, to put a skull on the door of the head of the inheritance department. The goblin knocked and a gruff "enter" came from within.
The door glided open silently revealing an elderly goblin sitting behind a desk piled high with papers. Harry assumed that this was Twinblade, a notion that had credence added to it when he spotted two giant Claymores hung on the wall behind the desk. Seated next to Twinblade was a goblin that Harry recognised.
"Griphook, I didn't know you would be here. Good to see you."
"And you Harry, Sirius. Now to business, I hand over to my colleague Twinblade here."
"Thank you Griphook. We are here today to hear the final wishes of Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, former Headmaster of Hogwarts School, Supreme Mugwump and Chief Warlock. For the sake of brevity I shall skip the legalese at the beginning and move straight to the summary. Harry James Potter is awarded the entirety of the Dumbledore estate including any property, possessions, investments, assets and capital. After some investigation by Gringotts, thanks to a tip from Mr Black here, we have found several vaults under false names or dummy corporations that are also the former Mr Dumbledore's and we have added those accordingly. We have not catalogued the contents of the vaults however I assure you that everything that was in Mr Dumbledore's possession at the time of his passing are now under your control. Are there any questions?"
"Just one. What property did Dumbledore own?" Harry asked.
"The Dumbledore family estate is located in Hertfordshire. By wizarding standards it is not a particularly large one although I am told it has an impressive garden. Apart from that Dumbledore had a personal house in the outskirts of Manchester. Again this is not particularly large but I would suggest you get someone to take a look to see what items the walls hold within."
Harry looked disappointed at this, he had been hoping that Dumbledore still had hold of the deeds to Potter Manor or at least the land it was on. Sirius spotted his Godson's frustration but didn't say anything.
"If that will be all Mr Potter I shall leave you in the capable hands of Griphook. I look forward to seeing you for your 14th birthday."
Griphook took his cue from the elder goblin and ushered Harry and Sirius to the door. "If you would follow me to my office, there are a few other small matters for us to go over."
Harry obediently followed his Account Manager to his more familiar office. They shuffled in and took the proffered seats.
"The first decision is what you want to do with all of the items you have recently acquired. I would suggest you send them to your excellent sorting facility on the river."
Shaking himself from his thoughts Harry responded, "Of course Griphook I will make arrangements for Dobby to come and transport them to the warehouse. How much stuff is there in total would you say Griphook?"
The goblin pursed his lips thoughtfully, "I would say that if you combined all the multiple vaults together there are probably two large vaults, one full of all sorts of items, and another filled with cash. In terms of investments, Dumbledore had very little; the vast majority of his gold was sat idly." He grimaced at this effrontery. "Now I believe there is one more thing, Sirius I yield the floor to you."
"Thank you Griphook. Harry, I know you wanted the deed to Potter Manor back but unfortunately Dumbledore had sold it off long ago. However with a bit of supreme intelligence I tracked the buyer down and paid him a little visit. Turns out he was absolutely delighted to sell it back to you for the low price of one Knut." He let loose a feral grin, "Unfortunately it burned down not long after he bought it and there isn't much left apart from the land but it's yours now." With a flourish he produced a yellowed roll of parchment from his pocket.
Eying the parchment, Harry felt a warm feeling fight its way up through his chest. His fingers lightly brushed the blood red wax seal but he didn't unwrap it, he didn't trust himself to. Sirius understood though and placed his hand comfortingly on Harry's shoulder.
"Thank you Sirius, it means a lot to me. Not just this either, everything."
Sirius mussed up Harry's hair, "don't go getting all sentimental on me now."
Harry grinned and smacked Sirius' hand away. Under the bluster, Harry understood the emotion behind Sirius' words. Neither of them ever had much of a chance to develop emotional awareness during their childhoods so it was hardly a surprise that they acted this way together.
Ever the pragmatist Griphook interrupted the male bonding. "Was there anything else you wanted Harry, Sirius?"
Snapping his fingers as he remembered one final thing, he reached into his pocket and pulled out an extensive piece of parchment. "Griphook I wonder if you might be able to help me contact some of these people. I'm particularly interested in contacting this one" he said, pointing to a heavily underlined name.
"Giuseppe Fiore? Who is that?" Griphook was utterly bemused; however Sirius had a thoughtful expression on his face.
"Pepe Fiore? The legendary Italian Chaser? Record number of appearances for Italy and highest scorer in World Cup history, that Pepe Fiore?"
"So I'm told" said Harry. "But what I'm more interested in is the fact that despite all of that he was the first foreign manager in the British League and was still fired after his very first loss, eight games into the season, all because he is a Half blood and a foreigner. My sources tell me he is our best option for becoming Manager of Puddlemere."
"Sources?" Sirius said dubiously.
"Seamus and Dean but don't mock yet, they are obsessed with the sport. They have probably forgotten more about Quidditch than you know now."
"I'll believe it when I see it."
Harry ignored Sirius' scepticism and turned to Griphook. "Can we get hold of him?"
Griphook tapped his chin with a long finger contemplatively. "It should be possible; I shall contact our partner bank in Italy and see if they can aid us in the search. I will contact you when we get hold of him but I cannot promise that it will be soon."
Despite Griphook's doubt Harry was returning to Gringotts within two days to meet with Giuseppe. He had sounded a little confused on the phone to Harry but nonetheless curious and so they arranged to meet in a conference room provided by Griphook. Sirius was not allowed to come as he could not be trusted to behave himself around one of his heroes so Harry was on his own, waiting patiently.
He had arrived slightly early for the 10.30 meeting but by 10.45 he was still waiting and beginning to consider walking out. These thoughts were halted abruptly as a tall slender man burst in through the door. His black hair was tinged with hints of grey and was slicked back stylishly. In fact everything about the man was stylish, his long dark coat was worn despite the summer weather outside and his shoes were highly polished. Even his stubble seemed to have been carefully crafted as opposed to simply forgetting to shave.
"I'm sorry for being late, I spotted a member of the press that I have a rather difficult history with and had to take another route to avoid him. I hope you haven't been waiting long? I am Pepe Fiore, a pleasure to meet you Signore." He held out a large hand for Harry to shake.
Harry was impressed, before even speaking to the man he seemed like a good choice. He shook his hand and offered the Italian a seat. "Please, call me Harry. I apologise for being a little vague on the phone Signor Fiore."
"Pepe. You may not be aware but I have recently acquired ownership of Puddlemere United here in Britain and I have a proposition for you. I would like for you to be the Manager of the team. Before you answer I have a question for you, what do you know of football?"
Pepe looked offended at the very question. "Please, I am an Italian who lives primarily in the muggle world, of course I know calcio. To do otherwise would be a crime."
Nodding happily Harry continued, "then you must be aware of the differences between how the top football teams are organised and how Quidditch teams are. For example Quidditch teams here have the seven starters and at most three or four reserves to cover the positions whereas football teams have twenty or thirty first team players, not to mention reserves and a youth team as well. This is lunacy for a game that can go on for days at a time." He could see that Pepe was already looking interested at how this would develop, now to reel him in. "What I want to do, or rather what I want you to do, is to completely rebuild Puddlemere into a world beating team with a support structure to ensure domination for years to come."
"So you want to do it the muggle way? Spit in the face of all the traditionalists who run the league here in Britain." A wide grin split his face. "I'm in. Frankly I don't even need to hear anymore than that. Anything to spoil the party of those arrogant fools."
Harry held up his hands, "let's not get too far ahead of ourselves. Let me tell you my offer of a contract first. I want to give you a five year contract with a basic salary of 10,000 Galleons per season plus bonuses for certain achievements."
Pepe was aghast, "10,000 Galleons?" He stuttered for a bit before drawing a deep breath to calm himself. "That is ten times more than the highest paid coach in the world!"
"Is it?" Harry asked interestedly, "well sounds like they are going to be wanting raises then soon, doesn't it?"
Pepe nodded dumbly, "where do I sign before you regain your senses?"
Passing over a contract while chuckling, Harry leant back contentedly. "I took the liberty of having the goblins draw this up; I believe you will find it satisfactory. You have complete control and answer only to me. You may hire who you wish and so forth but I would like to be consulted about the major financial decisions and kept in the loop about the minor ones as well. I may have suggestions from time to time but you are perfectly at liberty to object to them, providing of course you have a good reason. I will of course warn you that with this high payment comes high demands, however I am patient and I don't expect you to win absolutely everything straight away. The whole point of this is to build a winning team now but also one that will win for decades."
Scanning the contract carefully, Pepe reached into his top pocket and drew out a pen, signing with an elaborate flourish.
"Congratulations Pepe, Manager of Puddlemere United. Now as we have this room booked for a while yet the first thing on the agenda is recruitment. Would you like to talk players or coaches first?"
Thoughts spiralling through his head, Pepe shook himself to marshal his thoughts. "Players first, coaches can follow."
"Ok, as you may have guessed by this point I am not one of those pureblood bigots who will only hire other purebloods. This extends to foreigners as well. Therefore I asked my sources to put together a 'Dream team' if you will, of the best players currently playing from around the whole world. I think that is as good a place to start as any." He handed over Seamus and Dean's list to Pepe and watched as it was quickly read. Every so often an appreciative noise would emanate from the Italian as well as a thoughtful expression.
"This is a very well thought out list" Pepe said as he finished reading. "It doesn't just consider the best players but how they would work together, even whether personalities would clash. Your sources must have been in the game a long time."
Harry laughed at this, "No I'm afraid they are merely a pair of sports mad students that I share a dorm room with at school."
"Well in that case I am very impressed. I may ask them to help me scouting the World Cup this summer. If you are willing to give up three of your tickets then we will be able to see every single game."
"Excuse me? My tickets?" Harry asked confused.
"Of course, as a team owner you get five tickets to every single game at the World Cup and a private box for both semi finals and the final. It is only the British League that has this bonus just because it is the oldest league. It doesn't matter where the World Cup is either, the fact that it is in Britain is merely a bonus. Yet another reason why everyone is jealous of the British league and wishes they could join."
"But it can't be possible to see every game can it?"
"It is not like the football World Cup, there are no group stages. It is a straight knockout tournament. To help with scheduling, the Quidditch World Cup is unique in that it has time limits on the games. Each game has a maximum of two days in which to finish. Should the Snitch not be caught in that time then the highest points total wins. 32 teams enter meaning 16 games in the first round, each lasting two days maximum, means 32 days of solid Quidditch, one game after another. Of course that doesn't mean that the next game starts immediately after one finishes, it starts as planned. A further 16 days for the second round, 8 for the quarter finals, 4 for the semis and then the final is the only game that has no time constraint."
"Interesting and I get 5 tickets to each of these games?" Pepe nodded. "Well I can safely say you have one of those tickets to each game and I might see if Seamus and Dean can come for at least some, if not all the others. That's if you think they will be useful and they aren't too young?"
"If you are good enough, then you are old enough. If they have as much knowledge as I think they do, then they will be useful additions. I know of nobody else I could call upon to help me, without them either taking over or clashing with me. These two have a similar amount of ability to those I would call upon, but would be less obstructive."
"So when is the final?"
"20th of August so the tournament starts on 21st June."
"Does that leave enough time after to make transfers based on how the players perform?"
"Normally the season starts in the middle of September but in a World Cup year it is pushed back to the first week in October so there should be plenty of time to buy any players and to get a good preseason with them."
"Well I shall talk with Seamus and Dean and see if they will be available. I can't imagine that their parents would dare say no or they would never be forgiven. Moving on what do you think about coaching and support staff? I had a vague idea for a specialist coach for each position as well as a strength and conditioning coach."
"That is a good thought, at the moment there is the main coach and that is all. This makes it difficult for people like me, who used to be a Chaser, to coach the other positions. Keeper I can manage as I know what I looked for in opposition but Seekers and Beaters are a bit of a mystery to me. Another area where I am slightly weak is analysing the opposition and picking up tactics to beat them, so it might be worth looking for somebody to provide that service. Strength and conditioning would also be useful; perhaps we could incorporate some muggle gym equipment into the training area? I don't know what facilities are currently available?"
Harry shrugged, "don't really know. We could go take a look now if you have nothing planned."
Pepe laughed, "for this, I have nothing planned."
"Do you know where the Puddlemere facility is? Excellent, you can side along apparate me there then."
A short and uncomfortable journey later they were outside a slightly rundown set of buildings with a stadium in the distance and a pitch in front of them.
"Well this won't do at all" Harry said. "What do we have here? Looks like a changing room, a meeting shed thing and a little Managers office as well as the training pitch and stadium. No, this is nowhere near good enough."
"I agree but won't it be very expensive to redevelop all of this?"
Harry waved the thought away. "I have some cash lying around waiting to do something useful. Plus it's not like I won't get the money back, it will just take a little time. So what would be best? Certainly a better changing room complex and meeting room. Of course your office will also need to be improved as well. We could do with a gym area and a treatment room wouldn't go amiss for any injuries the players get."
Pepe nodded in agreement. "If money is no object then I would prefer to have several pitches. If I understand you correctly, then you are aiming for a much larger squad than other teams have, so they will need space to practise separately. It would be good to have a canteen as well so the players have somewhere to eat and also have food provided for them. That has the advantage that we can control what they eat and make sure it is healthy and provides the right amount of energy."
Harry looked impressed now; he had certainly made the right choice in hiring Pepe. "I think that will be enough for today. How soon could you get me a full set of plans for the new facility? I want to be up and building this as soon as possible so it is in place before we start hiring coaches or signing players. That way they will see the set up and should be enticed to come here."
Pepe thought for a moment "I don't think I can do this all on my own. I do not know enough about building to make accurate decisions. I think our best course is to speak to Gringotts, I know they have some architects working for them who would be willing to help. Normally I wouldn't suggest this as goblins are known to be a little tricky to deal with but they seem to like you and so we should be ok on that front. It also has the advantage that they are ruthlessly efficient so we should be done in very little time. If we go back now and you introduce me then I believe we could have this done relatively quickly."
Harry looked at his watch, nearly midday. "I agree, I need to be back home soon anyway or my girlfriend will likely hit me. I promised I'd be back for lunch."
Pepe laughed and they apparated back to Gringotts. A short conversation with Griphook later and Pepe was left in the capable hands of a goblin Architect with Griphook supervising and Harry was on his bike, making the short trip to Grimauld Place.
"How did it go?" Daphne asked.
Harry's smile told the whole story with little need for words. "Really well, Pepe signed very quickly and he already has plans flying around his head. I've left him drawing up plans for the training complex. Would you believe he wants Seamus and Dean to join him to scout all the World Cup games this summer? And did you know I get 5 tickets to every single game and a private box for the semis and the final?"
"Really? Well I guessed that you would get some tickets but not a private box. And he really thinks those two idiot's opinions are worthwhile?"
Harry laughed and pulled her into a hug. "I was as surprised as you. I think he will be able to control them though, he's Italian he can shout louder and longer than they can."
Daphne sniggered before catching herself and blushing slightly at her unladylike display. Harry chuckled and kissed her on the forehead before pulling her towards the kitchen. Dobby had taken control of the food preparation in the household and would not allow anyone near it. Not that anyone wanted to interfere really, Sirius and Daphne because they had no idea how to cook a thing and Harry because cooking invoked bad memories from his time at the Dursleys.
"What do we have today then Chef Dobby?"
"As you are unsure what time you will be back tonight, I thought it better to cook your main meal now. To that end I went for Grilled Sea Bass with a salad as certain people are looking a little bit pudgy around the middle." Dobby said, surreptitiously leaning his head towards Harry who looked offended.
"I am not pudgy, this is pure muscle!" Harry soon forgot he was annoyed though, as he thoroughly enjoyed the meal put in front of him.
He pushed his plate away from him and leant back with a contented sigh. "Are you ready to go then Daph?"
She nodded, "one second there's something I need to get first." Harry stood waiting patiently until Daph returned and his mouth fell open. She was wearing a pair of tight jeans and a leather jacket that could be politely described as 'extremely fitted'.
She turned to the side and struck a pose, "do you like?" Harry hadn't quite regained the power of speech so he settled for enthusiastic nodding. "I bought these this morning while you were meeting Pepe. I figured it was a little unfair that you were the only one that got a leather jacket when we went on the bike."
"Come on genius we need to get going."
Harry particularly enjoyed Daphne holding on tightly as they made their way to the warehouse. In fact it was such a short journey that Harry was seriously tempted to make an 'accidental' wrong turning to prolong it a little bit.
They unlocked the gate and walked hand in hand to the warehouse itself. No longer was it an absolute state with broken windows and its corrugated roof rusting. It was now tidy and everything broken had been repaired or replaced. The majority of this had been done by Steve with the aid of Dobby. As they entered they saw the new desk belonging to Pete next to the others. Currently all four desks were absent their owners and so they went hunting through the corridors in between the piles of stuff. Eventually they found Ripfang hunched over a pile with a pad and pen in his hand.
"Afternoon Rip, where are the others?" Harry asked.
"Steve and Pete are currently in the process of making some sales; I believe Steve is in Glasgow somewhere and Pete in New York. Jess is supervising the delivery of the Dumbledore possessions from Gringotts. Hopefully Griphook will stop her annoying the other goblins too much."
"Let's hope so" Daphne said dryly.
"Doesn't matter its really you I wanted to speak to anyway Rip. In your cursebreaking time did you ever come across something called Horcruxes?"
Ripfang hissed "where did you hear that name?"
"From a certain founder of Hogwarts. Do you know of any way to cleanse an item of the soul fragment without destroying the item itself?"
Ripfang looked thoughtful, scratching his chin. "Perhaps. Gringotts has a ritual that clears items of the soul fragment but I doubt that they would do it for anyone unless it benefits Gringotts." He shrugged, "they may do it, they like you a lot better than most humans."
"The thing is there isn't just the one, we need to find some others. I have been instructed by my darling fiancé to make sure that a professional looks for them rather than me and I can think of nobody I would rather trust than you."
Ripfang looked at Harry calculatingly, "they are for Voldemort aren't they? How many did the monster make?"
"He split his soul into seven separate pieces. One is already destroyed and one we have in our possession. We need to find the other four before we deal with final piece residing with Voldemort."
"Hmm and you want me to search for the four pieces how? Have you any idea where they are?"
Harry smirked, "indeed we do, in fact we know exactly where they are thanks to this." He pulled the compass from his pocket, handing it to Ripfang.
"What is this? A compass?"
"Not a just a compass, this is a Horcrux locator. You tap the bottom while holding it and that shows a direction and a distance to the Horcrux. To change which one it is pointed to, you tap the bottom again."
Ripfang held the compass out and carefully tapped the bottom, his eyes widened in surprise as a set of numbers appeared to his eyes only. He tapped it again and the compass pointer spun and another set of numbers appeared. Instead of showing surprise, Ripfang's face now frowned.
"Harry, how does the numbering system work on here?"
"Well the first number is how many miles, that's the one with Mi after it. Then there's feet which is Ft and finally inches which is In. Why?" Harry asked.
"Assuming this is accurate we appear to have one very close to us now" Ripfang deadpanned.
"Ha ha very funny Rip" said Daphne not at all convinced by her own words. Harry however was more thoughtful.
"It would make sense, Voldemort is an arrogant little sod. I bet he thought he was the only one who could access the Room of Requirement. Plus Hogwarts was very important to him and the pleasure of being able to thumb his nose at his greatest enemy, Dumbledore, would be too much of a temptation to ignore. Let's have a look for it, Rip lead the way."
They snaked their way through the organised piles of items, following closely behind Ripfang who was intent on the compass. Abruptly Rip stopped and pulled some dragon hide gloves on before digging through a pile of unsorted items. He reached in and took hold of what appeared to be a tiara of some sort to Harry, lifting it carefully free and staring at it.
"I believe this is it and if I'm not mistaken this is the famous Diadem of Rowena Ravenclaw."
Sharp intakes of breath came from both Harry and Daphne at this, Harry's first thought was 'Rowena is going to be mad'.
"I take it both of you would like this to have its soul piece removed as well without destroying the Diadem?"
"We would, if that is possible Rip" answered Daphne.
The goblin hummed thoughtfully, "I shall put it in a secure location until we have confirmed whether Gringotts will allow us to use their ritual." He disappeared briefly leaving Harry and Daphne to their thoughts.
They were both so engrossed that neither noticed the return of Ripfang so the goblin coughed unsubtly to attract their attention. "I don't expect the others to be quite as easy to find as this one" he commented dryly.
"No, you're probably right there Rip" said Harry distractedly.
"Well might I suggest that this is the perfect opportunity to increase the capabilities of this establishment?"
Harry frowned a little, "I know we talked about this before but we really need to wait until I gain the Potter and Black inheritances to have some income to balance our outgoings. Even the Dumbledore money couldn't keep up with your plans but then this is important so I think we could find some. Perhaps divert some away from Puddlemere."
"I don't think that will be necessary Harry. May I direct your attention to the current amount of money Steve and Pete have earned from selling barely a tenth of the items you have earmarked for sale." The goblin handed over a piece of paper with a smug smile adorning his face. Harry took a look and goggled at the figure.
"Is this correct?" Daphne snatched the paper from Harry, as he asked the question of Ripfang, and staggered slightly as she too read the figure.
"Of course it is, not counting the stuff they are in the process of selling today. 26.3 million Galleons should be more than enough to get started on a little expansion."
"And that is only a tenth of the total items?"
"Indeed. Admittedly a lot of that figure is made up from five to ten items that were particularly valuable but almost everything held strong value wise compared to what we expected. To be honest I think if you sold everything in here rather than keep hold of some of it you could easily get a billion Galleons but sometimes knowledge is far more valuable than pure cash. The magical economy is truly strange, people are willing to spend millions of Galleons on artwork yet a wand, perhaps their most vital tool, costs a mere seven Galleons."
Harry whistled impressed at the figure. "So what plans have you drawn up? I know you have some and I'd say you have more than earned the capital to begin to enact them."
"Let's take a seat; I have a few different ideas depending on how much you wanted to invest."
Harry held up his hand "I think we would be better off hearing the most ambitious plan and then we can decide if we think it's better to hold off on some of it. Don't you think Daph?"
"Definitely, it is always better to see the sum total of the ambition before we make any decision."
Ripfang nodded appreciatively and paused briefly to collect his thoughts. "Firstly a major concern has to be the search and capture of the soul fragments of Voldemort. This was not in my plan but it ties in nicely with a portion of it. I would suggest a team of 'Retrieval experts'; these would be primarily Cursebreakers with a smattering of Rune experts and a few trained magicals to protect them. Their job would be to do the actual retrieval of any items that were located by the organisation. They would be the ground force if you like; they would be the ones to enter the more dangerous places first and clear out any traps and make it safe for others to follow in. Currently Gringotts Cursebreakers have to do this plus, they have to research where the items could be in the first place and then once in, it is their sole responsibility to discern the artefacts from the trash. This is too much for one person so they end up being a jack of all trades and master of none. I believe this limits their ability to work effectively and efficiently."
"Makes sense, they don't have the opportunity to become an expert in anything and if they do I imagine it is the actual Cursebreaking portion as opposed to the identification of artefacts as Cursebreaking keeps them alive, identification does not" Daphne agreed.
"Quite. Now if this was solely their responsibility then we would also need an excellent research staff in order to locate the sites in the first place. Again I would suggest this be split into two parts. The first to be more office based or perhaps more accurately library based where they would hunt for clues for the location of famous sites thought lost. El Dorado and Atlantis immediately spring to mind here. They would work in tandem with a field based team who could investigate these leads and also search known areas such as the Valley of the Kings in Egypt for the physical location. Once found they would obviously pass the reins over to the Retrieval team for extraction. After the Retrieval team had been in and cleared all the traps there would need to be another team to go in. These would be the ones who would pick up any items of potential value, be that monetary or from a purely historical perspective. They could stay and study the site after it has been cleared or move on to the next. Any items removed would be returned to a research lab, much like this where they could be catalogued and either sold or researched further. In terms of investment the highest outlay would be the buildings and all the equipment. I have done some research into some of the equipment muggle archaeologists use and I think it could be very, very useful when combined with magic but I have absolutely no idea how to go about making the two compatible nor how to operate it."
"I've been thinking a little about this" Harry said. "I can modify televisions and things because I understand their purpose and I could probably build a fully magical equivalent, although that is much more difficult. However when it comes to technology like that I simply don't have the capability to do it. Now before you look too disappointed Rip, I may have come up with a solution. What if we hired some muggles who knew how to operate these sort of machines and equipment and combined them with some magicals who I could teach my method of modifying electronics. Between the two of them they should be able to make it work."
Daphne looked scandalised "you're talking about revealing our existence to muggles, you can't do that!"
"Why not?" Harry asked simply.
"You…you just can't" Daphne spluttered, Ripfang however was looking pensive.
"Perhaps with the use of magical contracts, secrecy could be maintained. It could work" Rip offered.
"In the muggle world it is not unusual for scientists, researchers and the like to sign a thing called a non disclosure contract. This means they can't say anything to anyone, apart from those they work with, at all about what they are working on, ever. Do magical contracts work for muggles as well Rip?"
"They do indeed; every human being has an inherent magical ability, even if most can't access it."
"You're mad, both of you" Daphne said.
"Daph what's the difference between this and telling the parents of muggleborns? If anything this is safer as there is a far more efficient control to prevent them revealing the existence of our world. Of course we wouldn't reveal the magic part until they had signed the contract and if they didn't sign then they would be none the wiser. They would merely think they had turned down a normal job in the muggle world."
"I guess. I'm not convinced though."
"Look Daph if we can get this set up then we can take a bit more of a back seat. Of course we will still be the ones in control but it doesn't fall solely to us to invent everything, to modify everything. If I've learnt anything over the last year then it's that I don't have to rely on myself all the time, other people are there to help. Plus I'm sure there are loads of ideas that we haven't even imagined in our wildest dreams that others may have, why not take advantage of this. It's a win-win situation, we provide the facilities and equipment for them to research their ideas and try to invent new things but we get the majority of the profits from whatever they do discover. These are people that have likely been laughed at for their ideas and we can help them achieve them as well as improving the whole world at the same time."
Passion shone through his eyes as he spoke, making it very difficult for Daphne to disagree with anything he was saying. 'He truly is a compelling orator' she thought. "Alright, I think you may have convinced me, but I still want to be involved in the creation process."
"Of course, so do I. But this way we have others to take up the slack and put in some of the legwork for us" he hugged her tightly. "While I really enjoy working and inventing, I would like some time off to spend with you. To travel the world, see the sights, see the ocean…" he trailed off.
She hugged him even tighter, "of course we can but I don't think I could be one of those people who lounge around all day for the rest of my life."
"Definitely not," he shuddered theatrically causing her to take a swipe at him.
"You're a prat but I love you anyway."