Disclaimer; Do I have to repeat myself, I feel like a broken record. I don't own Harry bloody Potter.
Dumbledore stared down the head teller with all the fury he could muster, "The fact remains that one of my students is in this bank without an adult accompanying him, as headmaster to his school I am his magical guardian I am required to be with him." They have been at this for a while now well over ten minutes and the goblin just won't budge.
"Unless you are required to be at the meeting by invitation by the head of the bank or the client you are not allowed, the rules are rules." The head teller, Longtooth, named for his extra-long canines, kept a business like air about him while he was dancing inside, he loved watching people squirm and this is making his day.
Dumbledore's face is now so close to the goblin's their crooked noses are touching, "Now you listen to me it is imperative that I attend that meeting for Harry Potter's benefit, I am his legal caregiver." Grabbing a fistful of beard the goblin yanked the headmaster closer so that their foreheads are touching.
"The last time you tried this stunt I restrained myself, but if you try it again I will break you, do not press your luck, human, or I will freeze your assets for intimidating a bank employee." Dumbledore knows when he is beat, it won't do any good to press his luck here, he gave the goblin a curt nod and left the bank.
Ragnok cleared his throat as he held up the sheet of parchment that he used for the blood reading, "What I have here is a parchment that is charmed by goblin magic to read the heritage of any blood that falls onto it, it lists the names and immediate family of the involved parties, in your case Mr. Potter, or rather Mr. Peverell, you are descended from the Peverells of course, but from your mother's side of the family you are also heir to the knighthood of Lancelot du Lac of the Knights of the Round Table of Camelot, the reading was done for your mother after she got married to your father and records show that she was the true heir as Magic deemed her worth by deed." Harry was glad he is sitting down if he wasn't he was sure he would have lost the feeling in his legs and crashed to the floor
His gaze lingered on the girl, debating whether or not to tell her her supposed heritage, the lines of Capulet and Montague need their Lady, but he though better of it; in cases like these it is better to investigate first the kind of person they are dealing with. Right now all it would be is speculation as he knows nothing about her lineage. The girl is a separate issue at the moment right now he should focus on the task at hand. He stood up from his desk, "Follow me, it is time for you to see your family vault."
"But I have already seen my vault." Harry was a little confused he didn't want to offend the goblin, from what Hagrid had told him that would not be the best of ideas. Ragnok smiled.
"That was your trust vault, lad, set up by your parents for your use before you reach majority, I am taking you to your family vault."
"Can Hermione come?"
Ragnok looked at the girl and shrugged, "I don't see why not, she is your bonded after all."
Harry and Hermione followed Ragnok out of his office down the hall to an iron-clad door, Ragnok ran a single claw along it making a screeching sound like nails on a chalk board, the door opened and he led them inside to a cart not unlike the one Harry rode to go to his trust vault n his first visit. The trio climbed aboard and Ragnok took the controls.
When Hermione arrived at Gringotts to exchange muggle money for wizarding coin she had to go no further than the tellers so nothing prepared her for this, Ragnok is a sadistic driver, he pushed the cart to speeds that she is sure surpassed any car. They went deeper and deeper into the bowls of the tunnels beneath Gringotts, far deeper then the time when Harry visited his trust vault he became sure that they would come out the other side of the Earth.
They came to a halt outside of a platform, deeper than the rest of Gringotts, before an ornate wrought-iron vault-door flanked by two menacing black suits of armor, red light like fire seeped out of the chinks in their armor, their helmets have two spikes like horns that reached straight up, on the left arm they bore a shield and in their right they held a wicked looking sword. The floor is littered with bones and pieces of wands and ragged pieces of clothes. Ragnok beckoned for the two to step up onto the platform, and they did so understandably hesitantly, the bones of apparent burglars put them off a little bit.
Harry walked in-front of Hermione his hand gripping his wand conscious of the way the 'eyes' of the helmets seemed to follow his every move. They did not move in any way, still as stone. "They won't attack their Lord or his bonded." Ragnok said behind them, "They are the guardians of the gate, your black knights, this was originally the vault of the du Lac line, but your parents combined the vaults putting all the contents of the Peverell vault in here, as the security is far superior; as you can see." He gestured at the skeletal remains. Harry and Hermione a little more comfortable with the situation walked up to the gate with Ragnok leading them, he told Harry to put his hand on the door as the enchantments here are older then the other family vaults and would only respond to him. Harry did so and the doors opened with a great rumble, inside was a long tunnel lit by torches of blue fire.
The moment Harry stepped inside, the fire from the torches roared higher and brighter leaping and dancing, "If you were a thief who somehow managed to get past the knights by the door, you would be ashes before you took your seventh step." Razor explained casually. The warning above the doors of Gringotts echoed through Harry and Hermione's minds;
'Enter stranger but take head
What awaits the sin of greed,
For those who take, but do not earn,
Must pay dearly in their turn.
So if you seek beneath our floors
A treasure that was never yours,
Thief, you have been warned beware
Of finding more than treasure there.'
Was this what they were talking about? Finding more than treasure there? Well that is a scary thing to think about. Harry idly wondered about how many other vaults have this kind of security, maybe that burst of fire he saw during his first cart ride really was a dragon, maybe there is a Cerberus here somewhere. When they reached the end of the hall another door this one has a stone carving of a knight in full armor with a sword in it's sheath. The sword is obviously not part of the statue as it looked real, the grip is made out of some sort of leathery hide, the round pummel is etched with a rune and the cross bar is a pair of wings that looked so real with their detail it almost looked like the sword has feathers.
"The first test was the hallway if you were not burned alive you are of true Peverell blood, this test, is to prove that you are of the line of du Lac, the sword can only be drawn by the heir who has proven his worth." Ragnok explained.
Harry needed no further prompting he grasped the sword in hand and pulled it free, the stone door opened with a grating sound as the sword shimmered and shrank to fit to his size. The blade has a ripple-like pattern that made it look like hundreds of thin layers of steel went into making it.
"It's so light." Harry whispered, Hermione could not take her eyes off her friend something about him changed he seemed more knightly and Gryffindor-ish holding that sword, an air of nobility swirled around him.
"Yes, the druid smiths where the only ones aside from the dwarves to rival us in the arts of Craft Magic, the sword will grow with you so you won't have to lug it around or feel awkward. With this title of inherent knighthood you receive a rare privilege to wear a sword, the Ministry," he spat, "banned the right to wear them in public but as a Knight of Camelot, the first magical kingdom of Britain, you are exempt from the law. I recommend that you learn how to fight with it, there are plenty of wizarding swordsmen throughout Europe only in Britain it is considered outlawed," He bowed to Hermione, "and you should learn the art of swordsmanship too, as the bonded to the heir of Lancelot it would be a good idea to know how to defend yourself with a sword, unlike the stuck-up purebloods here who can't even hold a butter-knife to defend themselves." Ragnok muttered under his breath. As he lead them in the vault. It is a humungous cave, stalagmites and stalactites jutted out of the both ceiling and floor, jasmine vines covered the stone walls chests full of gold laid everywhere, shelves laden with trinkets and objects that looked to belong to the ancient worlds, swords and other weapons were displayed on racks. One half of the cave looked like a small library, old leather-back tomes some as big as dictionaries sat on what appeared to be polished marble shelves, Hermione was filled with a very desperate desire to run over and ravage the poor books for all of their knowledge. Ragnok pointed to a small ornate table with an empty sheath on it. "You might want that."
Harry went over the table and leaning the sword against it picked up the black lacquered wooden sheath with its leather belt and fallowing Ragnok's instruction tied it around his waist and sheathed the sword.
"Now, Sir Peverell-" Ragnok began before harry cut across him.
"Please sir, call me Harry."
Ragnok raised an eyebrow, this boy is truly an odd one, calling him 'sir' while wizards address him by race, rank or name if they feel friendly. "Sir Peverell, that is your name and title, get used to it, my suggestion is that you keep the name a secret, there are people out there who are obsessed with a legend that pertains to your name. Also as you apparently have no knowledge about the Laws of the Wizarding world, I will explain a few things to you that concern the contents of this vault, your investments and political position.
"Firstly as the last of your house you have the right to claim your position as head of the Most Venerable and Elder House of Peverell at eleven as is custom that when a young wizard begins his training he is initiated into society, for purebloods or half-bloods with a pureblood parent there is a cerimoney in which you are made aware of your family's name and motto and swear to adhere to the motto of your clan. As a member of a Most Venerable and Elder House you represent a lineage that predates the lines of the Most Noble and Ancient Houses in Britain."
"Excuse me," Hermione caught on to the titles of the houses and is confused as to the implications of the wording. "but how is a Venerable and Elder House different than a Most Noble and Ancient House?"
Ragnok nodded, "A fair question, the Most Noble and Ancient Houses were once just families of wizards who where vassals to a noble like a baron or a duke during feudal Europe, but a Most Venerable and Elder House can trace it's line back to the early days of Rome and some of them can go even further. Their accumulation of magical knowledge is highly respected making them Most Venerable and their families are older than most making them an Elder House, thus the term; Most Venerable and Elder House."
Hermione nodded dumbly, her eyes gazing at the ancient tomes once again with a renewed vigor; those poor books won't stand a chance.
"Now, as the head of your clan, you retain the right to take any book, artifact, painting or furniture from the vault, you may even claim your lands and houses across the continent but until you reach the age of thirteen you will have no control over your finances, you can't withdraw a single knut from this vault aside from what your parents have deposited in your trust fund, the bank will keep your assets frozen until you reach thirteen then you may do as you will."
"Um, why thirteen," Harry asked, "I mean won't it make more sense to get it at eighteen or twenty?" Harry has no desire for riches and can get by with his trust fund easily enough, but wondered why the age of thirteen is important.
"It is an old tradition that when a wizard reaches the thirteen he is no longer a boy but on the cusp of manhood and as a man he should learn to take care of his finances." Ragnok explained patiently, still wondering who in the world left this boy in the dark about everything for so long. "And lastly, your house holds a seat on the Wizengamot, but until you reach modern majority, the age of seventeen, you will need a retainer to represent your house until you can take your seat yourself, I would recommend an old family you can trust, the Longbottoms have been your family's allies for generations, or Cyrus Greengrass, he is an honorable man."
"Greengrass?" Harry and Hermione said together.
"I take it you know the name?"
"Daphne Greengrass is one of our friends at Hogwarts," Hermione explained, "along with Tracey Davis and Neville Longbottom."
'Davis and Longbottom?' Ragnok's eyes looked like they could pop out of his head, the Greengrasses, Davises and Longbottoms are three of the most powerful families in Britain, and these two are friends with the heirs to the three houses? And if this girl is a member of this Montague-Capulet line…this will be an interesting development to watch.
Dumbledore stood outside of the wizard bank, the infuriated headmaster lost about half of his beard and most of is calm demeanor, he had failed to gain entry to the manager's office to interrupt the meeting with the boy and ended up with egg on his face. He huffed loudly making his beard flutter, "Damn monkeys won't let me by, and they even locked me out of his trust fund."
The twinkle in Albus's eyes turned into a keen glare, as something troubling popped into his mind, Harry might grow mistrustful, Ragnok will no doubt inform him that their notices will have been intercepted, the boy will be made aware that the his family made many enemies, this be a great opportunity to appear as a helpful advisor, after all no child can face that kind of revelation alone.
The wheels started to turn in his head, 'With Harry being aware of his fortune things will get complicated as he will try to rebel as he will have the means to be independent, but he cannot access the main family vault's money until he turns thirteen.' A chess board formed in his head with him playing black and Harry white and Harry moved the first pawn forward. But Dumbledore is prepared for this over the last ten years, in the confusion of rebuilding everything that was destroyed by the war, it will be nearly impossible for Harry to so much as sneeze without his knowing about it.
Later that evening…
The trip back to the castle had been rather uneventful as nothing extraordinary happened. He has to admit that learning more about who he is was like getting a sugar-high, he knows more about where he came from and this world he is still new to. Some things still bugged him and Hermione very much, after his visit to his family vault, Ragnok had informed him that his trust fund has been tampered with; quite simply, money was being taken out of his vaults under the name of a third party that Harry and the goblins, to their shame, were unaware of. Following Ragnok's advice Harry enacted a total lockdown of his trust fund until the culprit or culprits are found, but not before withdrawing enough money to tide him over for the next couple of years and putting it into a mokeskin sporran, with undetectable expansion and weightless charms, the goblins gave him as an apology for their negligence; apparently it is a useful item as no-one but the owner could remove anything form the sporran. Ragnok informed him that his family vault remains untouched as no-one could even approach the door without being hacked apart, and he could not touch the money until he turns thirteen, but he did check out several books, items to learn more about his family.
Over his shoulder is slung a book bag with the same undetectable expansion and weightless charms as his sporran, in it are a couple of journals written by his Peverell ancestors, including a couple written by his mother, detailing and describing several unusual spells that she had invented, apparently she was a very talented spell-crafter and Harry was anxious to learn them.
"Potter!" Draco Malfoy, properly dressed in school robes with his hair returned to his preferred greaser style, stormed towards them from the Hogwarts Stonehenge his wand, the real one, drawn, "You are going to pay dearly for humiliating me in public."
Hermione used to think that the only thing Draco had higher then her was his station in life, but now she leaned that he doesn't even have that as he is still eleven, and has no real power until he turns seventeen. "Oh, what are you going to go crying to your daddy?" Hermione cooed in a mock baby voice, "Is daddy going to kiss it and make it all better?" Harry bit back his laughter at his friend's taunts this is a side of her he liked.
Malfoy trained his wand on her, "Densaugeo!"
Harry's body acted without his control, his hand pulled the sword out of the scabbard and in a twirling motion, knocked the spell away with the blade and straight into Malfoy's face. Harry found himself standing over the blond ponce, who's eye teeth started to grow at an alarming rate giving him a rather comical hillbilly look, with his sword at Malfoy's throat.
Never in his safe, pampered life had Draco seen such a sight, or felt such dread, Potter towered over him holding a sword he just now noticed, he never knew anyone could be so intimidating, the air around him shimmered with raw magic. Words went unsaid between them but Malfoy knew that Potter won't hesitate to punish him for his words or deeds with fists and steel. But Draco still has his pride, "How dare youfh!" he screamed at Harry, "Youfh will fhay fhor thith, an' youfh are in fhor it now Pofher, my fhatha will hafh you arrephed or fhiolating the fhword pan act, youfh will ge' cucked into Azkaban youfh will— "
"I don't think so, Mal." Harry cut across him, "I can have you arrested for attacking a Lord." He removed to sword from Malfoy's neck to show him the 'Potter' signet ring on his right hand.
Ragnok was giving Harry a crash course on etiquette procedures as they walked back the bank lobby, nothing fancy but some of the more direct things he will need to know to deal with all the pureblood bigots and fools of wizarding England. Harry soon learned that out of all of Europe, Pureblood elitism is the worst in his own country due to the lack of backbone in the Minister of Magic; Cornelius Fudge, and in order to keep them in line he might have to break a few noses and install the fear of God in them.
"Listen, Sir Peverell," Harry frowned at the name, "you will just have to get used to that title it just might be the only thing that keeps the riffraff in check, the name 'Potter' carries it's own salt and with it a lot of enemies, the problem with pureblood families in merry old England is that they are used to luxurious living and settling their problems and affairs with money, they won't be used to defending their honor with a fight, so if one of them tries to pull something on you at school, break his nose, then intimidate the hell out of them."
Harry was stunned this man was telling him to fight to protect his honor, that seemed a little barbaric, "But I thought you were going to teach me about etiquette."
"Yes, it's called 'war etiquette,' if you strike quickly you can end it quickly."
"Next time I will not be so lenient, Malfoy, leave!" Harry barked and Malfoy was quick to obey, even he isn't foolish enough to disobey a Lord even one who has yet to come into his full inheritance. Hermione just stood there stunned, that spell was heading right for her and Harry deflected it with his sword, she was not one prone to little girl's fancies about dashing hero's, but to her Harry was like a knight in shining armor right now, well he is descended from Lancelot. She shook her head, her rationality as been taking a blow because of the euphoric effect of the adrenaline rush, it will pass, she is not some doe-eyed school girl.
Harry sheathed his sword a little shakily, still amazed and terrified at what his body had done subconsciously, he could have killed Malfoy, and as much as he hated him for what he called Hermione he wouldn't be stupid enough to murder him. He wasn't worried about what Malfoy had said about the Sword Ban act, his inherent Knighthood permits him to wield a sword as stated by Queen Anne during the early seventeen hundreds, when she sought to protect the last traditions of King Arthur's court. The newly-founded Ministry believed that muggle weapons are barbaric and that magic is a superior talent that should not be tainted with mid-evil methods or devices.
'Britain's Ministry is full of superstitious, arrogant, self-righteous bigots, noble in title only.' A voice cut through his thoughts, it was a deep, noble voice that carried power. Was he going mad?
'No, you are not mad, I am as real as the sword at your hip.'
"Harry what is it?" Hermione asked, Harry is looking a bit panicked, like he was hearing things that he couldn't see, what was happening to him?
'She can't hear me, Harry, only you can.' Harry identified the voice, it was coming from his swordHarry looked down at it in shock, it is talking? How is that possible? Swords can't talk…can they? 'Remember what Ragnok said; I was forged by the druid smiths of old, as goblin steel is tainted by that with only strengthens it, we too have our power, not only can we repel spells like you just saw but we are blessed with the sentience of our wielder, in essence; I am the knight within you.'
"It's okay Hermione, my sword was just making it's introduction." Harry told his friend, who is starting to look very worried.
"Your sword can talk?"
"Only to me." He responded apologetically.
'Wrong, only you in the physical plane can hear me, but I do have company in here. I believe you have felt him, back when you fought the troll.' Harry remembered that incident, the primal, feral sensation he had when he was trying to protect hispack-mate. Harry shook his head, there it is again. 'That is your wild magic calling to you; your bond brought it to the surface.'
Dumbledore watched the proceedings from his window, to his interest he saw the sword of Lancelot in the boy's hand, so he knows about that as well, no matter, it won't delay his plans, he will give Harry the cloak as planed. A child's natural curiosity will cause him to wonder throughout the halls at night, a few compulsion charms will direct him to the mirror of Erised, and the boy has already met the Cerberus despite these setbacks everything seems to be going as schedualled. The boy behind him looked up from the chessboard his mouth stuck closed from the lemon drops.
Ron picked up his bishop, and placed his piece down on the board, "Check."
"Rook to B-2, check." Ron is quite predictable to the old man, he knows his strategy well enough to predict his next three moves in every scenario, which is why he is the perfect pawn. "What now Ron? If your bishop takes my rook, king takes bishop, knight advances on queen, my bishop checks your king, king moves to the only safe spot, queen checkmates king. My game." Ron groaned, he lost quicker then ever before, to Dumbledore he seems distracted, very unlike him, "Is something on your mind Ron?"
Ron nodded, "This morning I met with two Slytherins; Vaisey and Bulstrode, they said something about the true nature of Slytherin, I don't think they are Death Eaters, Vaisey went mental when I accused him of being one."
"Ah yes, Vaisey… his family was indeed attacked on Voldemort's orders, a tragedy indeed, Theodore Vaisey was a good man." Dumbledore turned to face Ron, "Slytherin was indeed a house to be proud of but ever since the war it fell into decay, if these people belong to the old ways of Slytherin, my dear boy, I would suggest that you parlay with them, join them." At Ron's huff, he added, "You need allies in that house Ronald, its an irrefutable fact."
Augusta has been in the waiting room for well over an hour ever since the healer began to examine her grandson, the room is mostly deserted not because of hours but because she is not a woman who liked to be kept waiting. Every time an orderly gets within ten feet of her she grabs them and grills them like the Spanish Inquisition for updates on Neville's progress, it got to the point to where the Dean of Healers had to come in person to try and console the woman, only to find that Augusta is inconsolable. At long last to her relief, as well as the relief of the entire hospital, Healer Birchwick came to give the Longbottom matriarch the diagnosis.
"About time, I've been waiting over an hour, what took so long?!" Augusta shouted incensed.
"Augusta, I will have to ask you to keep you voice down, this is a hospital." Healer Birchwick said with authority. A short woman with gray hair and large glasses, she started to healer training during World War Two, and saw things at eighteen that veteran healers would go green at; she has seen patients holding in their own intestines, horrifyingly putrid results of allergies to potions, and in one case a fenrir wolf attack. Nothing can faze her not even this irate witch, "And don't even think about threatening me with a jump-rope." She pointed a finger in her direction; she is one of the only people alive today who could confirm the rumor of Augusta's alleged activities.
"Heidi, please tell me what's wrong with him." It is a rare show of vulnerability for Augusta Longbottom, growing up during a war and surviving another one while her son and daughter-in-law were tortured into a catatonic state. It broke her heart watching Neville try and interact with his parents while they don't recognize him and don't even respond to him, which is why she only brings him down here once, or at most twice, a year. He is all she has left; she can't bear the thought of anything happening to Neville.
Heidi Birchwick sat down and Augusta followed suit, "He has a mild forgetfulness charm placed on him, coupled with a confidence inhibiter which is intertwined with a bind on his magic." She took Augusta's hands into her own, "It's lucky you brought him in, if this went untreated it would have stunted his growth as a wizard."
"Who did this?" Augusta growled, her famous deadly ire rising to the surface.
"I don't know." Heidi said sadly.
"You don't know? You don't know? How could you not know? Magic leaves traces like a signature of the spell, you know this Heidi."
"How could you just sit there and be so calm about it, don't you even care?"
Augusta's head turned from the force of the slap Heidi had giving her and the mediwitch's calm demeanor broke, "How dare you, you are not his only grandmother, of course I care, but I have to remain objective in this, it took every bit of my healer training not to loose my temper when I ran the diagnostic spells, that's why it took more so long to get here."
Augusta sighed, "I'm sorry, Heidi, it just so hard, why does everything bad keep happening to him?"
"It's hard on me too, everyday I come here, everyday I work where my baby girl is and can't even recognize her own baby. You handle it by being strong for Neville, I handle it by burying myself in work. It's hard on all of us Augusta." The healer placed a comforting hand on her friend's shoulder. After a few moments Heidi regained her composure allowing the healer side of her to overrule the grandmother side of her. "Removing the spells with spells could cause more harm than good, especially on a developing mind like Neville's." she procured a prescription pad and pen and jotted down the dosage and type of potions that their grandson will need. It took a while to get the hospital to use the muggle prescription pads instead of rolls of parchment, as they were going through a budget cut at the moment they found the paper notes to be cheaper and the Dean of Healers relented. Every healer has to admit that it's more convenient to have a small compact pad to write prescriptions on instead of having to stuff their pockets with roles of parchment that require a desk surface to write on.
"Thank you Heidi." Augusta raised from her seat. "You will stop by for Christmas dinner won't you?"
"Of course I will." Heidi smiled, as she watched her friend leave, "Augusta!" she called out, "Be careful, whoever put those spells on Neville was no novice he's very good, so keep your guard up."
"Always." Augusta nodded, as she left to collect her grandson from the examination room.
A.N. and that is all she rewrote, please don't hate me for any changes that you find as a total letdown but I had to take out some of those things as they were not relevant to the storyline and for the last 'bleeping' time. PLEASE DON'T KILL ME!
Anyway I have a job that keeps me occupied and tired, so my updates will not be regular and I have another story to look after.
(GUILT TRIP ANNOUNCMENT FOR THOSE OF YOU WHO DON'T CARE) This rewrite kept me up for two nights in a row, I dedicated every single spare moment I had in order to fix this to the best of my ability so it can continue, and no complaining about the change in the title it's my story, mine, my own, my precious, and I could have spent my time getting myself a replacement for my ps3 that broke down for the fifth time but I gave up an entire fortnight for you… rant over …
My precious, this really is my precious, if nasty little critics don't like… then nasty little critics should leave.
No, I welcome constructive criticism.
No, precious, we don't, its our story, ours, *kenka kenka*
I should really cut back on my caffeine intake, it's starting to give a multiple-typist disorder.