Harry Potter and The Founder's Chamber
Chapter 8 – Lady Potter and a friendly meeting at Gringotts
They say bad things come in threes. I think they may be right. First is my nephew being diagnosed with cancer (had is first surgery, starts chemo soon). Next is me falling off a Mt. Bike fracturing my wrist (still wearing the brace), then last night getting word that my mom broke her hip when trying to get up. Things aren't looking to good for her right now. I'll try to get this out.
Nine months? Nine months since I've updated? I'm sorry about that. I'll try to get this posted before the new year if my laptop will let me (Missed that, But I'm working on it for my first New Years resolution).
Harry Potter is not mine. No money is being made from this. This is for my own personal entertainment; I just wanted to see if someone else would also like to read it.
Rest of disclaimer found in first chapter.
The idea of using the 'Goblin Battle Pit' is a concept from 'robst' classic story 'Harry Crow' and is used with permission. Please take the time to read this refreshing, fantastic story.
'Thought or mind speak'
From the previous chapter:
One more hug and kiss from Luna before she broke from Harry, gathered up her father and turned to leave. "You'll do just fine Harry Potter. You always have and always will. Your heart won't let you do anything else. With that, she took her dad, and headed out of the Room of Requirements.
'I need a rest after that.' Harry thought.
Fortunately for Harry the other two meeting with the Bell's and Abbot's went much smoother with Katie Bell agreeing to be the future Lady Gryffindor, and Hannah Abbot agreeing to be the future Lady Hufflepuff. Each meeting ending with him offering a Gringotts' key to his soon to be betrothed, and a hug and kiss from his intended.
'Well that's five down and three to go.'
The meeting with the Patil's went much better than expected. At first Harry thought that Mr. Patil was going to insist that the girls be kept together, but that was not the case. Even though Padma and Parvati were identical twins, there was a reason why one ended in Ravenclaw and the other in Gryffindor.
Padma had already shown an interest in her family's import business and was current with all the laws and regulations involved with it and was more than willing to accept being the mistress of the house of Ravenclaw.
'That's six down, now the hardest two left. One who's parents want to kill me outright and the others parents may as well after I ask for her hand.'
Even though Harry had not been able to meet with Hermione and Daphne's parents, he made sure he took the time to get to know them better and included them in all the activities and 'dates' he had with the other girls. The girls that had been to Gringotts and received their betrothal rings had their own room in the Room of Requirements separate from Harry's.
He was quite surprised to find out that Daphne wasn't as 'cold' as most of the school thought she was or that she didn't hold to the same ideals as her parents. She felt that a person should be judged on their skill and ability. She was also very quick to see were a person could be of benefit to her or her family.
During one of their 'alone' dates she brought up some very delicate issues to Harry.
"Harry, why are you not taking full advantage of your position as head of house over so many ancient and noble houses and your betrothed?"
"What do you mean Daphne?"
"Why haven't you claimed your seats in the Wizengamot or started taking your betrothed to your bed?"
"How do you know I haven't." Harry couldn't look her in the eye and started to blush.
"Really Harry, you know us girls just love to talk about you when you're not present and I know if anyone of us had ever been in your bed chambers they wouldn't be able to stop talking about it no matter who it was, even Granger. As far as the Wizengamot, it's even more simple. Fudge is still minister and Umbridge hasn't been drawn and quartered yet. I don't see you letting either of those two remain in power after what they have done to you."
Harry blushed some more but managed to look into Daphne's eyes.
"You're right on both counts Daph. As far as my seats in the Wizengamot, I will be presenting myself before that august body at their next meeting and have my proxys appointed for each of the seats at their first meeting after school is out. By that time I should also have the contracts between yours and Hermione's families worked out and have taken care of that other part.
"As far as why I haven't started sleeping with the others – to be blunt, I haven't earned that right.
"I know a lot of people think that once you're engaged it means you're as good as married and so can start acting like a married couple, but I don't see it that way. The union between a man and woman is more than just sex to me. It's about love, and protection, covenants, bonds, oaths and vows shared with each of you. Each of you already have my unconditional love and protection, but I feel I haven't got the right to 'demand' anything from any you until we each have entered into a covenant with each other and have taken vows and oaths for that mutual love and support. Then we can form a bond that will be truly meaningful. I hope you understand."
Daphne was more than a little shocked to hear the amount of love and commitment coming from her future head and master. She could start to see why it had taken 900 years to find someone worthy enough to claim the rite to Hogwarts as well as the four school houses.
"I understand better now love, thank you for sharing that with me.
"Now about your standing and the head of so many heads of house..."
The train ride home from Hogwarts was unlike any Harry or his girls had experienced.
A special coach was added to the end of the Hogwarts Express just for them and their friends. They were all talking together having a wonderful time.
The girls were all talking about their upcoming marriage with Lord (insert proper house name here), or as they knew him, Harry.
They all knew that Lady Potter (Hermione) would be the first to wed. They understood that she would be the first amount equals and had known Harry longer than any of them. They kept teasing Harry and Hermione that she would be the first wed, but still hadn't been 'officially' asked yet.
"You all know what my answer will be." Hermione chided back. "If this were just a few months later, I wouldn't need my parents permission at all. But you know that even if that were the case, Harry would still ask them and abide by their decision."
"Aren't you a bit scared what they might say though Hermione?" Susan (Lady Hogwarts) asked.
"Not really." She lied a bit to herself. "I've been working on them since I got out of the hospital. I've been telling them about Harry in almost every letter I've ever written since I've been going to Hogwarts. They already know a great deal about him. I've been explaining the situation Harry's gotten himself into and have been giving them some arguments as to why it's in my best interest for me to marry Harry as Lady Potter."
"So you're not worried?" asked Hannah Abbot (Lady Hufflepuff).
"Scared to death." Hermione finally admitted.
The group discussion was broken up when there was a knock at the coach's door. Dobby opened the door to show a very upset Draco Malfoy followed by a confused looking Vincent Crabbe and Gregory Goyle. Looking at the others in the room, you could tell it was taking all of Draco's self control not to start spouting off about blood purity and how everyone there would soon meet their fate at the hands of the dark lord.
Through gritted teeth he stated, "Lord Black. I carry a message from my mother and aunt."
Harry stood and approached the young Malfoy. As he did, his robes shifted into those worthy of the head of the House of Black with all crests and embroideries on them.
"What is your message Mr. Malfoy." Harry stated calmly and confidently.
Draco again took some time trying to stare a hole through Harry hoping against all hope that he would just fall down and die. It didn't happen.
"I have been instructed to inform you that they will make themselves available to meet with you at Gringotts on Monday June 24th no sooner that 10:00 AM. They wish to remind Lord Black that he has promised safe passage to both of them under a banner of truce and wishes to know how Lord Black thinks he can accomplish such a thing?" You could hear the contempt Draco held for Harry in his voice. He was only here because his mother had ordered him to do so.
Harry looked down at Draco and gave a feral grin, as if to say 'Who do you think you are that you think you can make the rules here'. The look made Draco step back into his two bodyguards.
Reaching into his robe he produced a large white handkerchief with the image of a large Grim in the center of it. Handing it to Draco he stated. "Have both you mother and Aunt Bella holding onto this at 9:45 AM on the 24th. It will act as a portkey to take them to the intersection between Knockturn and Diagon alleys. From there they will walk to Gringotts Bank and present themselves to the guards. Escorts will be provided to make sure they are not harmed. Make sure the handkerchief is visible to all in the alley while they are walking to and from the bank. Should either of them take any aggressive action while in the alley or at the bank, I will assure you the escorts will tear them apart.
"Should the ministry or any other person try to stop or injure them during this time, appropriate action will be taken to stop the aggressor. Your mother and Bella are to do nothing. They are not to pull their wand; they are not to cast any spell – wandless or not; they should not even think of throwing a rock – or a blade, nothing! As long as they are holding the handkerchief, they are under my protection, and I will see them unharmed – as long as they abide by my rules. Also, this is the only portkey they are to have on their person. If either of them have another portkey on them – the results may be – drastic. Do you understand?"
Draco looked a bit in shock at Harry as he saw, for the first time, the real power of the head of the House of Black. "Ye-, Yes. I understand my lord." With that, he reached up and took a hold of the proffered handkerchief. "It shall be as you have said. I will inform my mother and aunt of your wishes my lord." As he slowly backed out of the compartment.
Harry turns around to find that everything has stopped while those in the compartment observe the interaction of young Mr. Malfoy and the head of the House of Black.
"Well, I think I can die happy now." Daphne says. "Draco Malfoy addressing a half blood with the same respect as a pure blood head of house. The end of the world must be coming soon!"
Nervous laughter came from the other people in the car as they thought about what they have just seen. They all could feel the power and authority radiating off Harry as he executed his role as the head of the Ancient and Noble House of Black.
Fortunately, the rest of the trip to King's Cross went off without any other additional incidents.
At the station, Harry took the time to see each of his girls off, leaving Daphne and Hermione until last. In time, Daphne brought Harry to see a stately looking matron in a fine fitted robe.
"Mother." Daphne inclined her head to the older women. "It is good to see you in such fine health."
The stately woman turned and watched as Daphne approached with Harry and Hermione close behind. Astoria had already greeted her mother and was just waiting to see what type of fireworks would irrupt when she met Lord Slytherin – and his other unbetrothed lady.
Giving a cold eye to Hermione, Lady Greengrass turned her eye to Harry and noticed how he presented himself. His robes were of the finest acromantula silk, trimmed in silver and green, with the Slytherin crest over the left breast. She also noticed the Head of House ring on his right ring finger. With a slight nod, she held her hand out to him.
"Lord Slytherin, it is a pleasure to make your acquaintance. To be truthful, I am somewhat surprised that one such as yourself could claim the title of lord over such an old and noble house."
Harry took her offered hand and placed a gentle kiss on it as a show of respect.
"It is a pleasure to meet you milady. I can assure you that the title is authentic. It was obtained by right of conquest."
"Conquest! Surly you jest! He-who-must-not-be-named is the most powerful wizard that has ever lived!"
Harry gave a sly, cold smile as he looked Lady Greengrass directly in the eye. "I have defeated your so-called dark lord when I was a 15 month old baby, and again in by first and second years in Hogwarts when he attempted to return using various methods. During my fourth year, our wands were locked in a Prior Incantatem where my will forced his wand to reveal spells he had previously performed. I probably should thank him for letting me see my mother and father, even if it was just a specter of their former selves. It was the closest I've come to actually talking to them."
Lady Greengrass was shocked to hear this revelation from the young man in front of her. For the first time she could remember, she started to question the dogma preached by Voldemort and his followers – like her husband.
"I understand your husband has some difficulties with my proposed betrothal to your eldest daughter. Please be so kind as to let him know that I have scheduled the Goblin Battle Pit from 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM on the 24th of June where he can address his concerns to me in an 'ad victorem spolia' duel – to the victor the spoils, with a 'Praedia Bellica' to be cast at the end of the duel. He is, of course allowed to have a second should he choose, but they will be under the same rules."
"Are you sure that is wise my young lord? My husband is quite the accomplished dueler. Are you sure you are not letting the haughtiness of youth be outweighed by the wisdom of age? You do know if my husband has the opportunity, he will kill you."
Harry continued to smile coldly to Lady Greengrass. "Please just make sure your husband's affairs are in order when he comes. There will only be one exiting the battle hall, and I have every intention for that person to be me."
A cold shiver ran down the backs of all the ladies in the area at those word. There was no question in any of their minds that Harry meant exactly what he said.
Taking a moment to give Daphne a hug and a kiss, Harry watched as the Greengrass' port-keyed out of platform 9 3/4. Looking at Hermione, he took her by the hand, and looking her in the eye's said, "Well, looks like it's time to face the music." Hermione gave him a tight hug and a sweet kiss before saying, "Everything's going to be alright Harry, you'll see." With that, they headed out through the partition into King's Cross station.
Dan and Emma Granger were starting to get a little nervous waiting for their one and only child to make her appearance from platform 9 3/4 at the King's Cross station. They had noticed, and had talked to many of the children and their parents of families they had met over the past five years.
Currently they were standing next to a young lady with purple hair named Tonks. They had been told that Harry had asked her to stay next to them and take care of them should any 'problems' arise. They had taken the time to ask her about the situation with their daughter and Harry.
"Tonks? Just what in the world is happening with Harry and our daughter? I know that from almost the first letter we received from her she's been talking about this Harry Potter. I think we've even met him a few times, but these last few letters don't seem to be painting the same little boy we saw last year. What's happened?"
Tonks smiled at the Grangers before she started talking.
"That little boy you met last year no longer exists. In his place is one of the most powerful, yet caring young man you would ever want to meet.
"I'm sure you've heard about the problem Harry and a group of students – including Hermione – were involved with in the Ministry of Magic a few weeks back?"
"Yes, we were notified that Hermione had been hurt and required some time in the infirmary to be healed, but weren't given any specifics." Emma stated.
"Well, Harry was tricked into thinking that someone he loved, his godfather, was being held and tortured by Vol.. Voldemort in the Ministry and went to try and save him. The problem was his friends wouldn't let him go alone. So Hermione and four others went with him. As it turned out, it was a trap. Harry and his friends had to fight twelve of Vol.. Voldemort's top Death eaters in a running battle were all but Harry were injured in some way until help could arrive. I was part of the group that went to help them, as was Harry's godfather, Sirius Black.
"One of the Death eaters that I faced was my own aunt, Bellatrix Lestrange nee Black. I'm sorry to say that she got the best of me and went on to fight Sirius. During the fight, it would appear that Bella forced Sirius through a mystical artifact know as 'The Veil' which is believed to be a portal to the afterlife effectively killing him."
It took the Grangers and Tonks a moment to calm themselves from the emotions they were feeling at this time.
When Tonks had gotten herself under control, she continued. "Harry chased after Bella determined to make her pay. They had a fight in the Ministry Atrium where Voldemort made his presence known and was seen by the Minister and several of his aides. Dumbledore also came up to the Atrium and fought with Voldemort, but in the end he and Bella escaped.
"As I understand it, it was after this that Albus, in his infinite wisdom thought now would be a good time to tell Harry just what his role in this war was. I don't know the words of the prophecy exactly, but it doesn't take a muggle rocket scientist to know that Harry is our only hope in defeating Voldemort.
"It would appear that after the Headmaster told Harry about the prophecy, he was feeling a bit rebellious and tried to strike out against the Headmaster by taking away the one thing he held most dear – Hogwarts.
"It would appear that Hogwarts is more than just a castle, it is in fact alive. When Harry stated his claim over the different houses in Hogwarts, the castle judged him to be worthy to be not only an heir of each house, but of Hogwarts it's self.
"Now this next part is where things get a bit confusing.
"In order to complete his claim on Hogwarts, Harry had to go to Gringotts to make the formal claim. While he was there participating in the inheritance writ, it was discovered that he was not just the heir of the four founders and Hogwarts, but also of the Potter, Black and Peverell houses as well and this is where most of Harry's problems start.
"It would seem that the House of Peverell is not just an Ancient and Noble house. No. It is a MOST Ancient and MOST Noble house meaning that in terms of rank, it is superior to all the other houses that Harry may claim and so it is the edicts of this house that govern the majority of his actions from the time he claimed being the head of this house till now.
"The rest is Harry's to tell, but let me just say that there is no one who is more kind, has a greater capacity to love, or the ability to defend those he loves than Harry. I ask that you listen to him with an open heart and mind. I can tell you there is no one on Earth that is better for Hermione than Harry Potter."
The Grangers were about to ask Tonks some questions – especially why she seemed to put so much emphasis on Harry full name when they noticed Harry and Hermione walk through the partition.
"Mum!" Hermione ran to greet her parents (letting Harry bring both their trunks behind him).
Dan and Emma hugged their only child warmly. As they broke apart, Harry came forward to also greet the Grangers.
"This can't be that same little boy you had with you last year Hermione, he's all grown up and filled out." Her mother joked. Harry blushed lightly.
"We received your letter regarding a betrothal contract between you and Hermione. Does your world still use these type of contracts in this modern day?" Dan asked trying to look hard at Harry.
"I'm afraid they do. It would seem that the most modern part of the wizarding world is still in the early Victorian age. They are very sensitive as to titles as well as blood status. I have every intention of bringing them kicking and screaming into the 20th century with the help of Hermione and my friends.
"I have made arrangements to have your car and some of your personal items brought to Potter Manor if you would like to accompany me there."
Dan and Emma were a bit shocked as to how this was to be done, but had been invited in the letter Harry had sent to them.
"We've both packed a travel bag for the trip. But how are we going to get the car there?"
"Why don't we go out to the car and I'll show you? Tonks, why don't you go ahead and meet us at the Manor?"
Moving to the parking station across the street at St. Pancras, the Grangers and Harry went to pick up the Granger's car. After getting everyone in the car, Harry cast an illusion to make it look like they just driven off for the CCTV's that were monitoring the parking area, when in reality, Harry port-keyed everyone, including the car to Potter Manor in the Bardarrach Woods near Loch Fad.
The Grangers where surprised to see a castle that looked like a larger version of Balmoral Castle, the Queen's private residence in Scotland.
"Potter Manor was created 200 years before the current Balmoral Castle was built, but the royal architect, William Smith, was permitted to look at the manor and took many elements into account when designing Balmoral. As with Balmoral,the estate is a working farm covering about 36,000 acres, though some of that was lost when the loch was flooded. However, over the last 50 years or so much of the land has been leased to some of the local farmers since there was no Duke present in the manor and keeping up with that much land was just too much for the house elves to keep up with, but that will be changing over the next few years."
"House elves! Really Harry! I would have thought you would have known better!"
"Relax Hermione. If you review the history of the house elves, you will find that they have no magic in themselves and must be bound either to a person or place in order to stay alive. All the house elves in our employ are bound to the land, but are free to live, socialize, marry etc. as they see fit. They receive a wage that I understand is going into a community account that any one of them can access and use as they see fit. They get time off, have medical care, and even a retirement plan for those who are too old to perform their duty any more before they move on to the next great adventure. I hope that eliminates your fears."
"Alright Harry, I'll take your word for it now, but you know I'll be following up on this."
Dan Granger drove the car up a long lane before getting to the main house.
"Each of my betroths have their own house here on the estate, with Potter Manor being the main house. They also have their own living area here in the manor so they can have as much interaction with myself and the others as they want."
Walking up to the main doors, they were met by a smartly dressed house elf who greeted them warmly. "Welcome to Potter Manor. I am Arty, the head elf of the manor. I will be showing you to the future Lady Potters living area. Please follow me."
"I'll give you all a few minutes to get settled, and then we'll meet back up in the main study to talk over this betrothal contract." Harry said with a bow.
The Grangers were amazed at the grandeur of the building they found themselves in. On every wall were works of the masters, some thought to have been lost to mankind. As Arty brought the family to the east wing of the manor on the second floor, he opened a set of gilded doors with the image of two Griffins facing each other.
The door opened up into a large foyer that could be used to greet guest, hold a small reception, or even a small ball (no more than 100 couples). Arty went on to show them their individual and guest bed chambers, with in-suite full bathrooms, kitchen, dining room, formal and informal family rooms, study area, and to Hermione's delight, a library.
"Arty, are each of the betroths personal living areas like this?" Emma asked.
"Yes Mrs. Granger, each of the betroths have a living area like this provided for them when they are in the Manor. Currently seven of the eight betroths are in residence with their family or family members. There are two such living suites on each wing of each floor on the second and third floors, the first floor being set aside as the public area."
"Who else is currently in the Manor?"
"Luna Lovegood in in the suite next to you on this floor, with Susan Bones and Ms. Tonks on the third floor. On the West wing we have Katie Bell, and Hanna Abbot on this floor, with Padma Patil on the third floor. The remaining suite is for Ms. Daphne Greengrass. She will be joining us later after some negotiations at Gringotts on the 24th of June."
"Thank you Arty. Is there anything else we need to know?"
"Yes Miss. Winky has asked that she be assigned as your personal house elf while you are here. Is that acceptable with you?"
"Winky? Yes. I know her from Hogwarts."
"Very good. When you are ready to meet with Master Potter, please ask Winky to show you the way." With that Arty popped away leaving the Grangers to get settled in and talk amongst themselves.
After a few minutes, the three Grangers found themselves in their private study. It was time to talk about the elephant in the room.
"Hermione, just what in the name of all that is holy going on here? Why is Harry betrothed to all these girls? I didn't think they allow polygamy in the United Kingdom these days." Dan asked.
"I don't have all the answers Dad, but as far as the non-magical world is concerned, I will be betrothed to Harry James Potter, and will be married only to him."
"Then what about all these other girls sweetheart? Lovegood, Bell, Bones, Abbot and so forth. What about them?" her mother asked.
"Well, as I understand it, Duke Harry Peverell is marrying Luna Lovegood, Lord Harry Jame Hogwarts is marrying Susan Bones, Katie Bell is marrying Lord Harry James Gryffindor and so forth."
"But why dear? Why does he think he gets to marry all these girls?"
"That's what Harry will tell us when we meet him. Why don't we take a few minutes to get settled in and then go meet Harry and ask him?"
In the mean time Harry was sitting on pins and needles in the study waiting for the arrival of the Grangers. "How am I going to do this Tonks? I mean, no disrespect, but she's my oldest, dearest friend. How can I ask her to enter into a relationship like this."
"Harry, do you love her?"
"You know I do Tonks! Shes saved me more times than I can count. I just can't see myself living without her."
"And what about the other girls Harry? How do you feel about them?"
"I'm starting to feel the same way about each of you that way, but it's still a little different with Hermione than the rest of you. She didn't come from a magical family. Hell, you might even say I didn't come from a magical family with everything that was withheld from me growing up. The rest of you understand how the magical world looks at the family names and title that I have so it's easy for you to see that while she's marrying Harry Potter, you'll be marrying Harry Black, but her parents will just see Harry with a boat load of girls. How am I suppose to make them understand something like that?"
"I don't think you're giving Hermione, her parents, or yourself enough credit. Just talk to them and answer their concerns regarding their little girl, and show them just how much you do love her and everything will turn out right." Tonks gave Harry a little hug and kiss before leaving him alone to face the Grangers by himself.
It was several minutes later when Dan, Emma, and Hermione found Harry in the main study of the manor looking over a stack of parchment on a very large, elegant desk. After Winky brought refreshments for everyone, they got down to business.
Harry started by telling them his complete life story, including several things that even Hermione didn't know about. It ended with how he claimed Hogwarts, and the related meeting with the goblins, where he also inherited the Potter, Black and Peverell titles, and what the Peverell lordship 'forced' on the subordinate houses. He also explained that with the help of the future Lady Peverell, this will no longer be a problem as they had changed the charter so that any other house that may come into his possession will now allow Harry to stand as the regent for the house until a proper heir can be appointed in it's stead.
At the end of his story, Mr. and Mrs. Granger were feeling a little better about their daughter being in this situation.
"One thing I'd like to point out is that Hermione is the only one of these women that I will be marrying in the muggle world. She will be, if she accepts, the only one of my wives the muggle world sees or is aware of. The rest will still be my wives in the magical world, but the marriages and titles will only be recognized in the magical world, where Hermione's will be recognized in both. So, in a few years, if you want, we can have a regular wedding for your family and friends to attend."
"That might make it easier for me and the rest of the family to see Hermione get married like that, but Harry, why? How can you truly love eight different women at the same time? Can you really love them equally? Won't there be a great deal of jealousy in the group?" Emma asked.
"That's part of the 'magic' of this kind of arrangement. Magic ensures that I am aware of the needs of my different wives so those needs can be met. I know it's hard to explain, but I feel 100 percent committed to each of them, and magic makes sure that they are 100 percent committed to me and the rest of the people in the group at the same time. Even though I have known Hermione the longest, I'm finding that I am developing the same deep feeling for the others as well. But I will commit to you now that Hermione will always be the first among equals in this relationship."
After talking about different potential problems, the Grangers gave their permission for Harry and Hermione to wed in both the magical and muggle world.
With the Grangers giving their approval, things started to move quickly. It was agreed that all the girls, except Daphne would be hand-fasted before the 24th, when Harry was to meet with the Black sisters and Mr. Greengrass at Gringotts.
There was one hand-fasting a day with just the families of the girls in Harry's group there to witness and greet the new couple, then the new couple would have the evening alone to get to know the other better. A more 'acceptable' honeymoon would occur after the meeting with the Greengrass' and hopefully, Daphne's hand-fasting.
The morning of the 24th of June was full of excitement. It had been published in the Daily Prophet and through out the Ministry that both Narcissa Malfoy nee Black and Bellatrix Lestrange nee Black would be making an appearance in Diagon Alley under the protection of the Head of the Black family. It had been advertised that this was a 'family' matter and that any interference or interruption would be treated most harshly through Black family magic – the consequences of said action would be something that even the Ministry could not prosecute against due to old treaties and laws that superseded those of the current Ministry of Magic.
Promptly at 9:45 AM both Bella and Narcissa appeared in Diagon Alley holding the white handkerchief with the image of a large Grim in the center of the cloth over their head. As soon as they appeared, a group of several large, black Grim also appeared encircling the two sisters, each growling, bearing their sharp, yellowing teeth, with the hackles on the back of their neck raised showing that they were very mad, ready to strike at anything. The sisters did not know how that Potter brat was suppose to make good on his promise of safe passage, so the appearance of the Grims gave them just as big of a shock as it did the rest of the people in the Alley.
Before the group moved however, the largest of the Grims turned to the sisters and spoke to them. "My master warned you about bringing other magical devices with you. I sense one of you have an additional portkey on you. You will get rid of that item be for we move or you will not leave this place alive."
"Cor Cissy, did you know Potter could do this? Call on the family Grims for protection?"
"No, I was actually hoping that something would go wrong so the little brat would lose his magic and I could portkey to safety."
The lead Grim took a step closer and growled louder at Narcissa. Slowly she took a comb from her hair and threw it away from her.
"If you try to run or leave this circle of protection, you will be killed. Now come, our master awaits."
Turning back around the lead Grim and other Girms in the circle began moving towards the bank.
Most things went without a problem – until Minister Fudge tried to take Bella into custody. After a brief fight in which three Aurors were killed and Minister Fudge was left wounded and with 'stained' robes, the Black sister were directed into Gringotts and led to a conference room where only Harry Potter Black and Nymphadora Tonks-Black were seated. As soon as the doors were closed, the Grims bowed their head to the head of house and disappeared.
"You have been called before your Head of House to see why you should not be thrown out of the Noble and Ancient House of Black". Harry began.
"How dare you...". Bella started.
Both Black sisters were shocked with the power this young man displayed.
"I have been accepted as the Head of House by the magic of the House of Black! You will respect me and my position unless you want to be removed from the House without further ado."
"There is no way I will ever submit to you as Head of House little boy. I look forward to when the dark lord kills you so I can laugh over your broken body and I'm able to play with those whom you say you love."
A thick silence filled the chamber.
"Is that your final word Bella?" Harry asked.
"If I were allowed to bring my wand with me, I would take great pleasure taking you to my lord after spending several hours 'playing' with you." That brought a growl from Lady Nymphadora Tonks-Black.
"I've got this love," Harry said, placing his hand on his loves hand, keeping her from drawing her wand on her aunt.
"Since you will not accept me as your head, I have little choice but to do the following:" Bellatrix Lestrange nee Black, as your head of house I dissolve your marriage to Rodolphus Lestrange due to breach of the conditions set forth in the marriage contract regarding producing a heir within the first five years of marriage, and your submitting yourself to another master not being the House of Lestrange or Black. In addition, I further demand the return of the bridal price with interest, price due by the close of the day.
"Further, I remove you, Bellatrix Black, from the Noble and Ancient House of Black due to your part in killing the previous Head of House, Sirius Orion Black, and your rebellious attitude towards the current Head of House, Harry James Black, So mote it be! You are excused to return to your half-blood master Bella No-name."
The effect of Bella being removed from the family was immediately noticed. Her magical core was cut in half, while the knowledge of the Black family magic that she had used for so many years was removed from her memory since she was no longer part of the family.
"What have you done to me?" the now greatly weakened witch screamed.
"My duty as the head of an Noble and Ancient House. Now, since you have no other business related to the House of Black, please leave!"
"But how am I supposed to get out of here? I don't have a wand, and I know longer have a banner of truce to leave under."
"That is not my problem. You are no longer a Black and therefore are no longer under my protection. Your best bet would be to leave quickly so the people may think you may still be under the banner and that will allow you to get to the apparition point to leave this place, but know this Bella No-name, the next time we meet will be our last."
Bella stood quickly looking like she would like nothing better than to jump across the table but thought better of it as she saw Tonks with her wand already drawn looking like she was just waiting for her former aunt to just try it.
Without a further word, Bella left the room making a run to the apparition point.
Harry and Nymphadora then turned their attention to the remaining younger Black sister in the room.
Narcissa Malfoy nee Black sat shocked at what had just happened to her older sister, someone she had always looked up to because of her power and dedication to the dark lord. To see how Bella had been stripped of her power and thrown out of the family had shaken her to her core. She realized that she was truly sitting in the presence of the new Head of the Black House, and she would have to think carefully as to how she would deal with that information.
"Well aunt Cissy," Tonks started, "What about you? Are you going to accept Harry as your new head, or are you also going to be thrown out and have your Black magic removed?"
A visually shaken Lady Malfoy looked with a great deal of fear and trepidation.
"My Lord, my Lady? I Narcissa Malfoy nee Black do swear on my life and my magic that I will submit my will to the new Head and Lady of House Black and wish to serve them as best I can. So mote it be." Narcissa now waited to see if her new lord would accept her oath.
"So mote it be." Harry intoned.
Narcissa's shoulders fell as she relaxed as she pressed on with her quickly designed plan. "My Lord, I realize I have not always done what is best for the house of Black in the past, but believe I have a way to make up for some of my shortcomings. While I am Lady Malfoy, I have access to all the vaults and lands and propose that for the cost of 30 sickles, all lands, possessions and contents of the Malfoy's could be transferred to the House of Black. After this, it would be my desire to rejoin the House of Black by having my marriage to Lucius annulled. All I ask is the protection of House Black from my soon to be former husband and his associates."
"What of Draco?" Harry asked.
Narcissa bowed her head trying to hide the tear that was threatening to fall when she thought of her only child. "He has made his decision my lord. I have lost him to the dark lord, and as much as it pains me... I must say... he is no son of mine."
Tonks moved around the table and took her aunt in a hug. This action was more than Narcissa could take as she turned into her niece's hug and broke down at the loss she felt over Draco.
After she had had time to get herself under control, Harry called for one of the goblins to come in and help Lady Malfoy transfer everything to the House of Black. Harry then authorized for the 30 sickles (30 pieces of silver – the price of a betrayer), and had that amount put in the main Malfoy vault – the only vault that remained in the Malfoy name.
When it was confirmed that everything had been transferred and secured, Harry asked Tonks to take her aunt to see her mother, Narcissa's sister, Andromeda, before taking her to a Black villa located in the south of France where she could start a new life for herself.
The business dealing with the Black sisters had taken the better part of the day. Harry was now glad he had set the time for his 'meeting' with Lord Greengrass for later in the day. At 1:30 PM Neville was let into the conference room to find Harry reviewing a large stack of parchment relating to his recent acquisitions from the Malfoy family.
"Did I come at a bad time Harry?"
Harry looked up from the desk to see Neville approaching. "No Nev, you're right on time. In fact, I could use a break about now. You hungry? I think we should probably get something to eat before our meeting with Daphne's father."
"Sounds like a plan. Where's Lady Black? You already get into an argument with one of your new wives?"
"No, she's getting her aunt settled in her new living arrangements after her divorce."
"I hope you're talking about Narcissa and not Bella."
"Bella is no longer a Black, and no longer an Lestrange. She is Bella No-name. The next time either one of us see her will be her last day on earth."
As Harry and Neville started eating, they were joined with the rest of his wives and their families. After they had had time to eat their fill, Harry stood and addressed the group.
"I would like to thank all of you for coming and offering your support. For those of you who do not know, Lord Greengrass has challenged me to a 'ad victorem spolia' – to the victor the spoils duel. Most likely it will be a duel to the death. If I win, I get Daphne and all he has, if I lose, he gets everyone and everything I have. I have no intention of loosing. We will be going to the Goblin Battle Pit at 4:00 PM and the Greengrass' will be entering in shortly after that. After the rules of the duel have been explained, Neville and I will enter into the pit followed by Greengrass and his second. I understand if you do not want to be witness to such a barbaric event, but this is the acceptable manner to 'solve' these types of problems in the wizarding world."
"As much as I am appalled by this type of action, I know it's the only way we can get Daphne away from that man." said Hermione, "Just tell me you won't be getting another wife or two as a result of this duel." Everyone laughed at Harry's discomfort at this statement.
"No Mrs. Potter, no new wives. Between Lady Peverell and myself we were able to change the Peverell charter so that it would be possible to be a regent of a conquered house until a suitable heir can be found. In Daphne's case, her first male child will be the heir apparent of Slytherin, while her second male child would be the heir apparent of Greengrass. If we do not have any sons, then the daughters will become the regents for their respective house until a male heir is born. The rights of the house always going to the eldest sibling."
The group spent the rest of the time talking about any item that would take their mind off the up coming duel.
At exactly 4:00 PM Harry and his party were brought into the Goblin's dueling pit, with only he and Neville actually going into the pit. The rest of his family were escorted to the stands, where a surprisingly large group of goblins had gathered.
"Master Ragnok," Harry began, "To what do I owe the honor of your presence today?"
"Ah Lord 'to-many-names' Potter. It has been many years since these dueling pits have been used by wizards to determine who will gain control over such a large estate. I thought it would be in the best interest of both the Goblin and Wizarding world if this duel was observed and adjudicated the proceedings so there is no question as to the legitimacy of the results." He said with a twinkle in his eye.
Thirty minutes later, Darrell Greengrass brought his family and friends into the chamber. There was a brief gasp of surprise when the majority of the people in the chamber saw who accompanied him as his second. Damion Rosier was the father of Evan Rosier, who had been killed by Aurors in 1980 after Igor Karkaroff identified him as a Death eater. He had been the European dueling champion after Prof. Flitwick, but had gone into hiding after his son's death.
"Looks like they've called in a ringer." Dan Granger said after it was explained who the other man was."I hope Harry knows what he's gotten himself into."
Ragnok brought both team to the dueling platform.
"This is an 'ad victorem spolia' duel. The loser of this duel will forfeit all titles, properties, possessions and contracts to the victor. The only restriction regarding this duel is that there can be no outside interference.
"The seconds may enter the dueling platform as soon as it is determined that the primary dueler cannot continue. Are there any questions? No? Good. Seconds, step of the dueling platform. Duelers bow to each other. BEGIN!"
Harry was not expecting such a short set of instructions so he was caught a bit flat-footed as Lord Greengrass started by casting the Avada Kedavra curse at him as his open curse. He ducted and rolled just in time to have the curse fly over his head. Coming up out of his roll, he started his own combination of curses.
"Lumus Maximus, Displodeo, Expulso, Expulso, Confringo, Reducto, Protego Aegis Maximus!" Harry yelled at the top of his voice putting a bit more energy into each of them as a result of the adrenalin that he was currently feeling from the AK that had been sent his way.
The first two spells were meant to be a 'flash-bang' to distract his opponent while the next three were meant to break any shield he might have while the Reducto was to cause as much damage as he could, then shield to see where things stood.
As Harry looked over where Lord Greengrass had stood he was a bit ill to see a mash of bone, blood and gore spread against the back of the goblin shields that were erected to insure none of the combatants spells escaped outside of the dueling platform. It would appear that Lord Greengrass had expected things to be done after his AK when he saw the look of shock on Harry's face. As a result, he hadn't bothered to put up a shield before Harry went on the attack. The first Expulso pushed him all the way back to the goblin shield, the rest of the spells hit him like a two ton rock pressing him further into the shields until his body could not take it any more.
It was a good thing Harry erected his own shield because as soon as the rest of the room saw the state of the late Lord Greengrass, Lord Rosier entered the dueling platform throwing some initial dark spells, not even waiting for Ragnok to call him in. Technically he didn't have to wait – there was no question Lord Greengrass had expired, but it was good form to wait to be called in to continue the duel.
"Well, it would appear we have a little power house here." Lord Rosier stated coldly as he seemed to mindlessly move his wand back and forth. "It has been many years since I've had a challenge like this. Let's see what old Filius has taught you."
The duel then started in earnest as Lord Rosier and Harry started throwing curses back and forth at each other at an amazing rate. Harry had gotten his nerves under control now and had started casting silently, never staying in one place for more than a few seconds. Rosier was doing the same, but not only could he cast silently, he also didn't have to move his wand to give you an idea as to the spell coming your way. He also added apparition into the duel. The first time he apparated he almost got Harry in the back with a cutting curse. Harry was able to get under the curse enough to where he was now sporting a nice cut on his right shoulder. Harry decided that he better make some distance between the two of them and apparated to the other side of the platform. As soon as he did, he knew it was a mistake.
It would appear that Lord Rosier had taken the time at the beginning of the duel to put up a series of jinks on his side of the platform that would attack anyone other than him. Harry found himself swarmed by bees, birds, hornets, cutting grass and devils snare while Rosier took the time to look at the predicament Harry had gotten himself in. Even when he tried apparating away from that side of the dueling platform, the bugs and pest came with him. Laughing Rosier said, "Ah my young friend, now you see where the experience of age wins over the enthusiasm of youth. Now my little friend, let us see what else we can do before we finish this duel – Crucio!"
The pain of a thousand knives assaulted Harry's body, but he refused to scream out. He did notice that the other things that he thought were attacking him were gone! They were all illusions of the mind!
Shocking everyone in the chamber, Harry got to his feet, pointed his wand to himself and shouted 'FINITE INCANTATEM' and disappeared from sight.
Lord Rosier looked all around in surprise looking for his quarry. Neville was prevented from entering the platform because A) Harry was still alive, and B) he was still on the platform.
After several seconds of Rosier turning around casting a variety of curses and jinks to see if he could find the young Lord Potter, he suddenly came to a stop and looked down at his chest. There, sticking out of it for all to see was the Sword of Gryffindor. It had pierced his heart, destroying it, but his brain still had about fifteen seconds before it shut completely down. Turning around, Rosier saw a bloodied and bruised young man who had just removed he sword from his back.
"Not a very honorable thing to do, striking a man down from the back now is it? What would Dumbledore say?"
In a very cold and menacing tone Harry looked him straight in the eye and said "I don't know and I really don't care. You attacked me and mine. I will beat you any way I can. You should have killed me when you had the chance instead of playing with me." In another sudden move Harry brought his sword up and blocked a knife that Rosier had drawn to attack Harry with. If he could not win the duel, he was at least not going to 'lose' it either.
"Very good young Potter, you have truly bested me." and with that Lord Damion Rosier fell to the ground, dead. Using all his will, Harry slowly turned to the side of the dueling platform where the remains of Lord Greengrass were and after making sure there were no more jinks on that side of the platform walking over to it placed his hand on what was remaining of his head and declared "Praedia Bellica pro House Greengrass". A flash of light surrounded him and the Greengrass members in the chamber. He then went over to where Lord Rosier, and placing his hand on his head stated "Praedia Bellica pro House Rosier". He then got up and walked over to where Neville was and promptly collapsed.
Harry woke up several hours later in the goblins infirmary. "Welcome back Lord Potter. Your exploits today have been very profitable for both yourself and the goblin nation."
"Griphook, nice to hear I could be entertaining for you. Do you mind explaining now what you mean? Wait, let's get someone here that can remember what is said encase I fall back asleep. Daphne? You around here love?"
"Right beside you Harry. Thank you for winning by the way."
"No problem, now let's see what Griphook has to tell us."
"Well, as soon as it was disclosed that Lord Greengrass had convinced Lord Rosier to come out of hiding, the odds of you winning the duel were greatly against you. There was little question that you would defeat Lord Greengrass, it was expected however that Lord Rosier would defeat you, thereby not only becoming the head of the Greengrass family, but also all of your houses as well."
"The question I have is if Lord Rosier had been successful in killing me with that knife – I'm assuming it was poisoned – who would have gotten all the houses?"
"Well, if three of the four combatants would have fallen in an 'ad victorem spolia' duel the victor would have been the last person standing, or in this case young Mr. Longbottom."
"Harry, you are so lucky that did not happen. I think there would have been several people after your hide if that had happened."
"Yeah I know, so do you want to tell him, or should I?"
A/N. I know this is a rotten place to end things at, but I've got to get to some closure with this story. I am sorry that it has taken so long to get it out. Family and life has just taken too much of my time to where I could really put the amount of effort required to do this or any other story justice.
Thank you all for reading. I wish you all well.
A/N 2: Just so you know – They have lots of kids, they all get along well with each other, and all lived happily ever after.