Disclaimer: Other than my own OC's I own nothing of the Harry Potter Universe.
Harry Potter stood beneath a tall maple tree late at night enjoying the silence that surrounded him. It was July thirtieth but nearing midnight and his fourteenth birthday. Unfortunately, Harry was paying little attention to that. Something had been happening to him lately that he couldn't figure out the reason for. He had grown restless at night to the point where he wouldn't be able to go to sleep until the sun had started peeking over the horizon, making it so he slept during the day and was wide awake at night. His appetite had progressively decreased over the past month and he had gotten to the point where his last meal had been a little over forty eight hours ago. Surprisingly though, Harry felt almost no side effects from his lack of food. In fact, the sight of food had begun to make him nauseous.
The Dursley's hardly noticed the changes he was going through. To them, it was out of sight out of mind when it came to Harry. As long as he remained secluded and out of the way, they didn't bother him. Harry hadn't actually seen or spoken with any of them in several days because of his tendency to sleep until the sun had gone down after which he lingered in his room until they had all gone to sleep. No doubt they attributed Harry's strange behavior to his 'freakishness' and merely ignored it. Harry on the other hand, couldn't ignore it. He had contemplated sending a letter to Sirius and asking him questions but after more thought he decided not to because of two reasons. The first being that the fewer letters sent to Sirius the better considering he was a fugitive and the second was that he would probably sound rather ridiculous. Honestly, who wouldn't sound ridiculous complaining about a change in sleep patterns and lack of appetite?
Harry's thoughts were distracted from their wanderings when pain lanced through his body. The intensity of the pain forced him to double over and fall to his knees. His insides felt like they were on fire. He felt his bones break and shift and then mend themselves. A scream was torn from Harry's throat as each of his joints snapped out of their sockets, pulled against his muscles and ligaments before they snapped back into place. He screamed again as his rib cage expanded and moved in a most painful and uncomfortable way. His fingers shifted and cracked while his mouth felt like he was having his teeth pulled without any pain medication whatsoever.
As much as he wanted to, as much as he hoped it would happen, Harry didn't black out from all the pain and experienced every ounce of what he was going through, enduring it for what seemed like hours. By the time the pain finally stopped, what felt like hours to Harry, and when his vision finally cleared he was laying face first in the grass, panting and twitching from the experience and residual pain. As his faculties slowly returned, Harry realized three things. First, he was inconceivably and almost painfully thirsty. So much so that his throat felt like the Sahara. Second, the most enticing and mouth watering scent was filling his nostrils, and third, there were people standing around him. At least four people were standing over him talking and occasionally laughing. He could understand what they were saying but his brain wasn't processing the words due to its preoccupation with something else that was running through his mind.
One of the people surrounding him gave a hearty laugh before bending down and roughly gripped Harry's arm and started to drag him across the ground. The person had only just started pulling when Harry moved. In the single blink of an eye, Harry was standing and gripping the man by the throat. The guy reacted out of reflex and punched Harry in the face. Given that the man was a member of a pathetic little gang that tended to hang out in the park after sunset, a reason Harry tended to leave the park long before they ventured here, the reflex was understandable but Harry hardly noticed. His glasses broke but Harry didn't feel the impact and barely registered the cracking sound that signaled the man's fingers breaking. The only thing he really noticed was the insatiable thirst that plagued his throat.
Lost in a blood red haze, Harry didn't think as he mercilessly sank his teeth into the man's throat at the joint where his neck met his shoulders. Blood rushed into Harry's mouth and he felt relief as the delicious liquid ran down his throat. The man screamed in pain but it quickly died as he fell unconscious as his body was drained of all his blood. When he had drained every last drop, Harry released his grip and allowed the body to fall to the ground in a heap. The other gang members stared in shock, horror, and disgust at the sight before them and they quickly turned tail and ran. Harry, hardly satisfied with only one meal, quickly had another person in his grasp before they had gone more than two steps. In a matter of moments that one was drained as well and Harry moved on to the next. He could have stopped after the third but he didn't need rumors flying around and reaching the wrong ears. So, he ran after the fourth person and drained him as well.
When at last his thirst was sated, Harry came out of his haze. He stared coldly down at the dead body that lay before him in a crumpled heap. This new development was shocking to say the least but he hardly cared. In fact he was really rather pleased with the turn of events. It would change many things. Idly he wondered if he should feel horrified at the fact that he had basically just ate four other human beings, he wasn't a cold hearted bastard after all, but given certain factors he wasn't particularly inclined to grieve over such filth. He was, however, concerned over the authorities, the magical authorities, getting wind of this. He didn't want it to get out that he, Harry Potter the Boy-Who-Lived and savior of the wizarding world, was now a vampire. No, that would cause no end of problems; at least for the time being. Harry flicked his fingers and the four bodies were piled together and set on fire, eradicating any evidence of his meals. With a nasty smile, Harry turned from the park and the burning pyre and leisurely made his way back to Privet Drive, taking off and tossing his broken glasses along the way and knowing full well that the Ministry wouldn't register his use of magic.
Humming merrily to himself, Harry slipped into the house and sat down in the living room and summoned parchment, ink, and a quill from upstairs along with a book to write on. With fluid motions, he set about writing two different documents that would put into motion his plans. They were both simple and straight to the point and only consisted of a few lines but they were necessary for what he wanted to do. When he finished, he set aside the ink and quill and waited. Given that he had returned to the house just past four in the morning, Harry didn't have long to wait and he passed the time going over all the changes he had just gone through, the memories he now had access to, and plotting of course. By the time Vernon's alarm went off at six in the morning, Harry was a little more acclimated with his altered state.
"What're you doing down here?" Petunia practically screeched when she came down a few minutes to prepare coffee and breakfast.
"Waiting for you," Harry answered as he smiled prettily at his aunt. "Go back upstairs and retrieve your husband."
Petunia looked like she was going to protest but her eyes suddenly glazed over and she got a rather dreamy look on her face and she happily turned around and went back upstairs. The sound of voices reached Harry's newly enhanced ears and he listened amusedly as Petunia argued Vernon into coming downstairs with her. She wouldn't give a reason and merely demanded that he come downstairs with her this minute. He argued briefly to allow himself to finish getting ready but Petunia wouldn't have any of it and insisted on getting her way, which she was very good at given she had been doing it for decades.
"What could possibly be so important Petunia?" Vernon demanded as he thundered down the stairs after his wife. He came up short when he came to the living room and saw Harry sitting rather comfortably and confidently in a chair.
"Good morning Vernon," Harry said with false cheer before the elephant could open his mouth. Given the shade of purple his face was turning, Harry wouldn't be surprised if the man started bellowing insults soon. "You both are going to sign these." He continued as he stood up and held out papers. Vernon turned a darker purple and opened his mouth to speak but froze when his wife stepped forward and did as Harry bid, taking the papers, ink, and quill over to the table.
"What have you done to my wife?" Vernon roared in disbelief and anger.
"Sign the papers Vernon." Harry said with a roll of his eyes as he turned on the charm a little harder. The man fought for a few more seconds and was clearly about to lay into Harry about being impertinent and ungrateful, or other such nonsense, but the color soon drained from his face and he too acquired a slightly dreamy look on his face. "There's a good boy," Harry praised with a smirk as Vernon stepped forward and picked up the quill and signed his name in the appropriate spots. When he finished Harry rolled up the papers and said, "Now sell your house and move to the Siberian Tundra in Russia."
"Why?" Vernon questioned, obviously fighting Harry's alluring glamour.
"Because if you don't," Harry purred dangerously as he smiled a nasty and pointed smile. "You won't live to see the end of this day." Vernon didn't question further and immediately lumbered off to do as he was told.
As for Harry, he went upstairs to retrieve all his things and send Hedwig off before he simply left the house. With a soft crack, Harry vanished from Privet Drive and reappeared at the entrance to Diagon Alley. He sidled off to the side and hid in the shadows. He conjured a full length mirror and examined his physical appearance. Over all, he still looked like Harry Potter; same messy black hair that stood up all over the place and the same facial features. The changes were much subtler. His emerald green eyes seemed just slightly brighter, making them alluring and hypnotic. His skin was completely flawless and had grown ever so slightly paler. He was also several inches taller, now standing just below six feet. His fingers were longer and more delicate and he now had an overall more aristocratic demeanor.
There was one rather noticeable change though; his mouth. His lips were stained as red as the blood he now drank and his teeth were now much more pointed than they used to be and by far extremely sharp. It wasn't just his canines like one would normally think. Every single tooth now held a very prominent edge, turning his entire mouth into a very deadly weapon. It also turned his smile into a truly horrifying sight when he wanted.
With a put upon sigh, Harry waved his hand over his face and body, erecting a glamour. His lips returned to normal, as did his teeth, and his eyes dimmed to what they had been before. His height was left alone, since it was normal for Hogwarts students to go through several growth spurts during the summer breaks. However, his fingers did become less spindly and more appropriate with his previous body. He also transfigured his clothing into a set of robes that were far more dignified than the tattered clothing he had been wearing. Satisfied, Harry banished the mirror and began walking down Diagon Alley's winding path. Given the early morning hour, the sun wasn't too high in the sky, though Harry didn't have to worry about that, but it also meant that few people were on the street. The few that were out and about were either too busy opening up shop or too tired or both to notice that Harry Potter was walking down the street when he wasn't supposed to be.
Taking care not to appear threatening or offensive, Harry walked confidently into Gringotts. He knew his glamour wouldn't fool the secretive and uptight race. The goblins and vampires had a long and very tense history between each other but they both held a grudging respect for each other given the strength and power each race possessed. However, given the aggression of the vampires and the paranoia of the goblins, there had been several incidences throughout history that had almost ended in a full-scale war between the two creatures. As a result, both races could never truly socialize for very long without tensions growing dangerously high.
"Good morning to you master Griphook," Harry greeted the very goblin that had escorted him to his vault three years prior when Hagrid had retrieved him from the Dursley's. "I trust you are well today."
"As it is still early, that is still to be decided," Griphook responded as he looked Harry over with a critical eye.
"Fair enough," Harry said with a respectful nod. He calmly removed one of the documents from an inside robe pocket. "No doubt you have questions–" Harry started to continue but Griphook cut him off.
"Not as many as you would think," Griphook said calmly, though you could still see the tension in the goblins muscles. "Really the only one I have pertains to why you're here. After all, many pureblood lines have some creature blood. It is no great surprise that you have inherited one of the genes. Though I admit that it is a bit odd the gene kicked in so late. Most half blood vampire children experience the changes around six years."
"A point of inquiry for the both of us," Harry agreed. He had wondered the same thing after the change, as he had no answer for that little riddle. "However, it really is a moot point right now."
"Indeed, so what brings you to Gringotts this early in the morning and before Hogwarts has sent out letters?" Griphook said, bringing the discussion down to the business at hands.
"My guardians have seen fit to grant me full access to my estate," Harry explained as he handed over the first document. It was a simple letter signed by Vernon and Petunia stating that they agreed, as his legal guardians, to have complete access to any and all vaults that may fall under the Potter name at Gringotts turned over to Harry. It also stated, quite conveniently, that any payments that they may have received in order to support Harry financially, shall be returned in full.
"Did they now?" Griphook said as he scanned the letter before giving Harry piercing look.
"Quite," Harry answered with an unrepentant smirk on his face. "They have also decided to inexplicably uproot themselves and move out of the country. Seeing as I have no inclinations be leaving England or attending any other school besides Hogwarts, they have granted me such access so as to support myself here. That is why I will be needing assistance with purchasing a property if my estate does not come with any, though I highly doubt that it won't."
"Well that is a bit of a bind isn't it?" Griphook said with a knowing and sarcastic nod. It wasn't that Griphook didn't sympathize for Harry, on the contrary, the entire goblin race held no love for Muggles. Rather the nod was showing that he knew what Harry had done and found his actions rather amusing. "Shall we take this to a back room then? There we can assess the complete value of your estate in private as I'm sure you do not want to be lollygagging out here where anyone might be watching."
Harry grinned and followed the goblin into a manager's office where he spent the remainder of the morning going over his estate with Griphook, who just so happened to be the manager and caretaker of the Potter estate. It turned out that he did indeed own several properties throughout England and Europe. Given that the Potter line had dwindled to all but him and a few distant branches, the properties were empty and in need of cleaning and some had been abandoned for so long that they needed repairs. He also had acquired several vaults that had lain unclaimed for centuries from distant lines. Those, in addition to his trust fund vault and the main Potter vault left Harry as wealthy as the Malfoy family. The money and the reputation of the Potter family, not to mention his rep as the Boy-Who-Lived, left Harry with a good deal of political standing, though at present he would have to work rather hard to carve out his own standing and not the fantasized view the world had of him.
When he was finished with Griphook and had everything settled, Harry went over to one of the offices in Gringotts and knocked on the door. After a few minutes passed, he was granted entrance and Harry walked smoothly into the office. He let a smirk play on his face when he saw the signature platinum blond hair of a Malfoy sitting behind a large oak desk. The office was done in soft colors of beige and brown and it gave off a very calming aura. The dark brown oak furniture rested on a decorative dark green carpet that took up most of the room.
"I suppose I shouldn't be too surprised." Harry said, amusement thick in his voice. "The Malfoy's are supposed to have the best of everything. It would make sense that one of them would be the best law wizard money can buy."
"I beg your pardon?" Malfoy asked, clearly in shock at having Harry Potter in his office.
"My apologies Mr. Malfoy, truly I meant it as a compliment." Harry said as he stepped fully into the office. "And I am being terribly rude. I am Harry Potter, though I'm certain you already knew that."
"Indeed," Malfoy responded, the picture of Malfoy disdain and aloofness as he grudgingly accepted the hand Harry had extended. He did very well at hiding his confusion and shock, which only served to force Harry to suppress a smirk. "However, you have yet to explain what you are doing in my office, during the summer holidays when you are supposed to safely hidden away no less."
"Well I thought that would have been obvious," Harry said, allowing his smirk to show this time. "I need a lawyer. I asked for the best and was sent here."
"And what could you possibly need a lawyer for?" Malfoy drawled lazily as he remained standing, not inclined to sit until he knew everything that was going on. "I would have assumed that your magical guardian would attend to any legal matters that would arise."
"It is actually because of my magical guardian that I am here," Harry said with a dark look as he took out his second document.
The day after Harry's birthday Sirius Black and Remus Lupin were just settling down in their small shack of a residence that was well outside the Ministry of Magic's reach. They had been residing here ever since the end of term in June when things had gone so terribly wrong with Peter Pettigrew getting away. Given the late hour, it was to the surprise of them both when Hedwig glided silently and effortlessly through the window Remus was in the process of closing and settled on the back of a chair. Acting as if she owned the place, Hedwig settled in and began preening her feathers from the long flight. When a few minutes had passed and no one greeted her or relieved her from her burden, Hedwig hooted demandingly and turned her big knowing eyes on the werewolf and extended the leg that had two letters attached to it.
"He knows not to write unless it's important right?" Sirius questioned, still startled by her presence. Remus had stepped forward to relieve the owl from her burden, shocked further when he noticed that one of the letters was addressed to him as well as Sirius.
"I would assume so," Remus responded as he handed Sirius his letter. "He knows that it isn't safe to send constant letters while the Ministry is on the lookout for you."
"What the…" Sirius said in dumfounded amazement when he opened his letter. Seconds later, Remus was experiencing the same feeling as his letter said the same exact thing that Sirius' did.
263 Capleton Lane, St. Ives
The Envelope is a Portkey.
The two of them had only just registered that last line before the portkey activated and they were whisked away. When the device released them they fell to the floor making undignified sounds in the process. The sound of someone laughing reached their ears and they looked up to see an amused Harry sitting in a comfortable chair with Hedwig on his shoulder looking down at them.
Two days after Harry had turned and seized control of his life, Albus Dumbledore sat in his office merrily working on signing the Hogwarts letters that would go out tomorrow. It was when he sealed Harry's envelop and wrote Harry's name on the back that the day took a turn for the worse. Instead of the Dursley's address appearing on the envelope a completely different address appeared, one that, if he was correct, resided about twenty miles north of London. Baffled, Dumbledore pulled out his wand and double-checked the spell work on the envelope just to make sure that nothing had gone wrong. When the readings came back normal, Dumbledore grew both confused and a little worried. Before he could think any more on the matter, three owls flew into his office simultaneously, dropped their loads and flew back out without so much as a by your leave. Two of the owls had brought official looking letters and the third had dropped an issue of the Daily Prophet. Given that it was nearing midday and the Prophet had already issued their daily paper, it was with an apprehensive look that Dumbledore reached out and unfurled the rolled up paper.
SIRIUS BLACK INNOCENT
By Rita Skeeter
The blaring title that took up half the front page caused Dumbledore to choke on the sherbet lemon he had plopped into his mouth a few minutes before he started working on Harry's letter. When he had spared the few minutes to clear his airways, Dumbledore turned back to the paper and began to read the paper in a slight panic.
Yesterday morning Cepheus Malfoy, long standing solicitor of the Malfoy family and one of the best lawyers money can buy, filed an injunction against the Ministry of Magic on the behalf of an, as of yet, unknown party. The injunction was filed to prevent the Ministry from hunting down the Azkaban escapee Sirius Black, whom we all know escaped prison last summer in an attempt to kidnap and/or murder the Boy-Who-Lived Harry Potter.
The Wizengamot convened that day where Mr. Malfoy proceeded to demand that the Ministry of Magic cease its efforts to locate Black and to have him cleared of all charges under the guise of a mistrial. This reporter was shocked to learn that the reason for this mistrial was that Black never actually received one. He was, in fact, simply shipped off to Azkaban when the Aurors had apprehended him that fateful day when he supposedly killed twelve muggles and long time friend of the Potters, Peter Pettigrew.
A memory was also provided at this meeting. It was examined by Unspeakables and was confirmed to be authentic and altered only to protect the identity of the memory's owner. The memory depicted a scene in a rundown shack, believed to be the Shrieking Shack just outside of Hogsmeade, wherein Sirius Black revealed that he had not been the one to betray the Potters to the Dark Lord He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named. It was, actually, the believed deceased hero Peter Pettigrew who betrayed them before escaping from Sirius Black in his unregistered animagus form of a rat after cutting off his own finger.
With such compelling evidence, the Ministry had no choice but to allow the injunction. However, in a surprising turn of events Sirius Black, accompanied by one Remus Lupin and a mysterious hooded figure, believed to be the owner of the provided memory and the reason for the injunction, entered the Ministry of Magic and proceeded to head to the court rooms. There, the Wizengamot questioned the escaped prisoner under Veritaserum where it was revealed that he had nothing to do with the betrayal of the Potters and has never been marked by the Dark Lord.
Ministry Officials have been unavailable for comment yet but it has been proven that Sirius Black has been cleared of all charges and compensated heavily for the crimes committed against him, including his false incarceration. He has also been reinstated as Lord Black of the Ancient and Most Noble House of Black and, in accordance with the Potter's will, has taken custody of Harry Potter as his godfather. The once famed hero Peter Pettigrew has been stripped of his Order of Merlin and been declared armed and highly dangerous and is to be apprehended on sight. Any who might have knowledge of the fugitive's whereabouts is to contact the Aurors at once.
Dread filled the aged Headmaster as he finished the article and he looked at the innocent looking letters on his desk in a new light. Even without having to pick up the letters, Dumbledore saw the sigil of Gringotts and the Ministry on the envelopes. Ignoring the letters for now, knowing already what they would say, Dumbledore quickly got up from his seat and ran to his floo where he immediately went to the Ministry to try and do damage control. He had let Sirius take the fall for everything for a reason and he was not about to let his plans go to ruin.
"It is so nice when a plan comes together," Harry said with an evil chuckle when he finished reading the article. He sat at the head of his table while Remus and Sirius finished their lunches. They were at one of the Potter properties that weren't in disrepair and thanks to the house elves, it was livable in no time. The house was a three-story cottage that rested on the cliffs overlooking the Atlantic Ocean in St. Ives. Though it was considered a cottage, the house was nowhere near small and provided plenty of spacious room for the three of them to live comfortably. "I have no doubt that the old fool is nearing a heart attack and is trying his best to keep you from taking custody of me."
"I just can't believe that I'm actually free," Sirius said, still very much in shock over the happenings of the last two days.
"You better," Remus said with a small chuckle. He was having a better time adjusting than Sirius was. "I highly doubt it would prove beneficial to suddenly run away when you're in the middle of public. People might think you did something… though knowing you, you probably will have done something."
"Likely," Harry agreed with a snicker as he kept his face buried in the paper, though he wasn't really reading anything. He was simply trying to hide his hilarity.
"Hey!" Sirius burst out when it sank in what the other two were hinting at. His outburst caused Harry's restraint to break and he started laughing hysterically.
"You have to admit Sirius," Harry said when he had control of his voice once more. "You do have a bit of a penchant towards pulling stunts that land you in trouble."
"I do not!" Sirius pouted emphatically, causing Harry to crack up again.
"So all the times you ended up in detention were because of poor attendance?" Remus inquired with a teasing glint in his eye. Sirius just blushed and refused to comment. He was saved from further teasing though when an elf popped into the room next to Harry with a tray that held two letters and a goblet filled with a dark red liquid.
"These letters be just arriving for yous master Harry," the elf squeaked as she, for it was obviously a female elf, set the tray on the table next to Harry's right hand.
"Thank you Mipsy," Harry said with a kind smile to the elf before she popped away. "I wonder if the news has reached them yet." He mumbled mostly to himself as he ignored the letters with the familiar handwriting and went straight for the drink, taking a nice long swig before setting it down and turning his attention to the letters.
"Harry," Remus said with a note of hesitation in his voice. "With everything that was going on yesterday we didn't really have a chance to do anything other than deal with the Ministry."
"Yes I was wondering when you would get around to asking about that." Harry said as he opened the first letter and read it through with barely any interest. Ron had apparently heard the news from Arthur and evidently worked out that it was Harry who had managed to clear Sirius' name, a feat worthy of Merlin considering the boy's lack of inclination to use his brain properly. "Frankly, I'm surprised it wasn't the first thing you brought up when you got here yesterday."
"What're you talking about?" Sirius asked, shifting his gaze between Harry and Remus.
"Unless I'm mistaken, Remus is wondering how I became a vampire," Harry stated bluntly as he tossed Ron's letter aside, shelving it for later thought for when he could come up with an appropriate response, particularly since the boy had also included an entire paragraph about how his dad had gotten tickets to the Quidditch world cup. "To which I say no, I wasn't bitten. It was actually a bit of a shock, not to mention painful, when I ended up inheriting the gene from an ancestor in the Potter Family Tree."
"I thought the gene kicked in around six in born vampires," Remus wondered when Sirius was rendered mute at the blunt declaration, something he hadn't been expecting.
"As far as I know it does," Harry said with a shrug of his shoulders. "It is actually something I am very curious about. Since vampires hold a lot in common with Sphinxes, I have inherited not only the vampire gene but the memories of most of my ancestors as well. As such, I know that normally a born vampire starts showing signs of turning at six and are gradually introduced to the change. I have no idea what went wrong but for some reason that didn't happen with me and I was thrust into it violently and painfully."
"You still look like yourself though," Sirius entered the conversation, finally coming out of his stupor. "I thought vampires were really pale with blood red lips and pointed canines."
"Few outside of the clans know any real facts about vampires," Harry commented as he breezed through Hermione's letter. She hadn't gotten wind of what happened yet, or simply had yet to write him about it, and the letter was simply an apology for forgetting about his birthday. Apparently her family had been going through something, she hadn't specified, and she ended up completely forgetting. She promised to send her gift as soon as she got it. "However we do have blood red lips, pale skin and it isn't just out canines that are pointed."
"How come you look normal then?" Sirius asked, studiously ignoring when Harry downed the rest of his drink and licked his lips in a rather sinful manner.
"A glamour that only vampires and other magical creatures can see through," Harry explained as he lowered the glamour to reveal how he looked now. "And before you ask, I am able to perform such magic because the Ministry can no longer register any magic I perform. The trace that allows them to do so was unable to handle the sudden change to my magical core and ended up snapping."
"Mipsy is sorry Master Harry," Mipsy said as she popped into the room next to Harry, bowing low and wringing her hands nervously. "But Mr. Malfoy be in the floo parlor."
"Odd," Harry said with a frown. He wasn't expecting Cepheus. "Thank you Mipsy."
"Unexpected I take it?" Remus asked as he followed Harry out of the dining room. Sirius paused momentarily before making the decision to follow.
"Entirely. I figured we'd have a few days or a week before any problems arose." Harry replied as he reapplied the glamour before walking into the floo parlor. "Cepheus! Welcome, though I admit to being rather surprised to see you so soon. You remember Remus and Sirius of course."
"Yes," Cepheus said, only marginally less coolly than he usually was in public. The man may have warmed up slightly to Harry but he had yet to do so with Sirius and Remus. "I, as you, wasn't expecting to have to visit with you today. However, I have a rather annoying old man in my office that refuses to leave until he has spoken with Mr. Black about, and I quote, 'what he has done with Harry Potter.' He also seemed rather annoyed that he wasn't consulted before you were given custody of your godson." Cepheus said the last to Sirius directly.
"Ugh," Harry groaned in annoyance as he pulled a rather childish pose of slumping his shoulders and looking towards the ceiling. "I suppose it was too much to hope that he would give us a few days of peace before he started hounding us."
"Why is he making such a fuss in the first place?" Sirius questioned in confusion. He had always trusted Dumbledore so he found the man's actions to a completely legal matter hard to swallow.
"Because he doesn't like it when people refuse to play by his rules," Harry grumbled. Ever since his change on his birthday, Harry had a slightly different insight on the Headmaster. It actually wasn't all that different from how he thought before but where he had been more inclined to not see what was going on, Harry now saw everything clearly. "Well we might as well get this over with, no sense in making you suffer with the rest of us eh Cepheus?"
"How considerate of you," Cepheus joked with a smirk as he went over to the fireplace and threw in some floo powder.
Harry chuckled in amusement as he stepped through the floo after Remus and with Sirius taking up the rear. The amusement quickly died, however, as he stepped through the fireplace and into Cepheus' office. Dumbledore stood in the middle of the office, looking like a rumbling thundercloud that was about to erupt. Obviously the man had run into some road blocks that he hadn't expected and wasn't the least bit pleased by the situation.
"Harry!" Dumbledore said in shock. Clearly he hadn't been expecting Harry to show up as well, probably assuming that he would still be at his relatives place, ignorant of everything.
"Albus," Harry greeted with an annoyed sigh as he sat down in a chair that Cepheus had conjured for him.
Dumbledore faltered briefly at the cold tone in Harry's voice but he quickly rallied. "What're you doing here Harry? You should be with your relatives where it's safe."
"Considering they have moved to Iceland, I seriously doubt that," Harry said, easily lying about where his relatives have moved to so Dumbledore wouldn't find them and try and muck everything up. "That would be why I took it upon myself to hire Mr. Malfoy here in order to facilitate Sirius' freedom; something that you should have done in the first place."
"Harry," Dumbledore said in a condescending tone that he no doubt thought was reproachful. "The money in your vault is supposed to last you the next four years. You can't go spending it frivolously. For that matter, you shouldn't have been able to make such a purchase at all given the restrictions that are on your account."
"I didn't use my trust fund Albus," Harry said, purposely using Dumbledore's first name as it indicated that they were equals, something that Harry could easily see was irking the man more than the situation. What was worse, for Dumbledore at least, was that the man couldn't even complain about it since they were not at Hogwarts or acting in a school related manner. "As Lord Potter I have access to all of the family vaults and it was from them that I acquired the money to pay Mr. Malfoy."
"You cannot be Lord Potter," Dumbledore whispered as Harry's words sank in. "You're not seventeen yet."
"Actually," Cepheus said, interjecting himself into the conversation. "As his muggle relatives have given their permission for him to have access to his vaults and forfeited their rights as Mr. Potter's legal guardians, he has every right to ascend to the position of Lord Potter, especially since he is the last of the main branch of Potters and sole heir to the Potter fortune." Cepheus pulled out and handed over the documents Harry had drawn up to Dumbledore. "Furthermore, as Mr. Black has taken over custody of Mr. Potter, given that he is underage, the need for a magical guardian is null and you no longer have any say in how his life is run. And that includes the management of his finances. As a result and per Mr. Potter's wishes, any and all purchases or withdrawals you have made or set up are to be cancelled and reversed, resulting in a total of one hundred million galleons that you, Albus Dumbledore, are personally responsible for." Here, Cepheus handed over a bill that the goblins and he had drawn up once they had done a complete inventory of Harry's financial standing.
"I daresay Cepheus," Harry said, having trouble hiding a smirk. "You certainly are worth every galleon."
"Of course!" Cepheus said with a haughty air. "A Malfoy would never be worth anything less." That proved too much for Harry and he gave in to peals of laughter.
"Harry," Dumbledore said in a grave and serious tone. Harry was pleased to note that the man looked slightly pale. "Why have you done this? You have no idea what this means. The blood protection your mother's sacrifice provided you–"
"Isn't worth squat!" Harry snapped, suddenly angry. He stood up to better glare at the aged man before him. "To be effective, that particular type of sacrifice and warding requires intense, positive feelings between the protected and any blood relations. Since only one of those requirements was met, the protection was barely applicable and slowly deteriorated over time, remaining barely strong enough to ward off only the weakest of threats."
With each word Harry spoke Dumbledore seemed to grow smaller and smaller. The aged man could hardly believe his ears. Never in his entire life had he been so soundly trumped. Nor had he ever encountered someone who, in the span of only a month and a half, had changed so completely. It was only just at the end of the school year, not even two months ago, that Harry had been a meek and malleable person, something that Dumbledore had been extremely pleased with. But this man before him, this person who looked ready to tear Dumbledore's throat out, was nothing less than an indomitable warrior that would bow to none.
"I believe this meeting has come to a close," Remus said, finally stepping in when he noticed the dangerous look in Harry's eyes, a look he recognized from the mirror all too well. When he had stepped through the fireplace, he had been prepared for a long and drawn out argument between him, Sirius, and Dumbledore. He had not been expecting Dumbledore to focus solely on Harry and for Harry to so completely rip the man a third eye socket. The more the conversation had progressed, the more Remus realized the complexity of just how Harry had changed when he had inherited the vampire gene. "This matter is obviously very legal and binding, else Mr. Malfoy here would not have been able to set it up and the Ministry would have rejected the transfer of guardianship from the Dursleys to Sirius."
"Indeed," Harry drawled. He gave Dumbledore a withering glare before he glided over to the fireplace and disappeared in a swirl of green flames. Sirius and Remus soon followed after watching Dumbledore mechanically leave the office and bidding Cepheus a good day.
Surprisingly enough, the rest of the summer passed in relative peace. Harry spent most of his time getting his estate into shape and preparing things for a few ventures he had in mind. He had replied to Ron's letter a few days after he had received it, though he had replied to Hermione's the same day. Harry had reluctantly accepted the other boy's invitation to go to the Quidditch Cup. He didn't particularly want to go to the stupid thing but he figured it would be better than raising any hackles just yet. Besides, he would get to see Hermione, whom he thought was a better friend than Ron had ever been. Sure, she could be a little over bearing at times but Harry could see that for the shield it was.
Thus was why he ended up enduring the catastrophe that the Cup turned out to be. It wasn't a complete loss though. When they were stuck in the forest hiding from the Death Eaters, several interesting things had been revealed, namely a plot. Harry had heard the man long before he had made any noise and had kept a keen eye on him, ready to move in case he proved to be a threat. He had delved into the man's mind but found it too disorienting to be able to garner any sort of pertinent information. All the mind told him was that he had spent a great deal of time in Azkaban, which explained why the mind was so fractured. When the mysterious man set off the Dark Mark, Harry whipped his wand out and was seconds away from firing off a stunner when he was forced to switch tacks and erect a shield to defend against the ten or so stunners that came flying at him, Hermione, and the others by the Aurors that had suddenly appeared.
"One would think," Harry snapped as he lowered his shield. His voice was thick with sarcasm and derision. "That such highly trained officials such as yourselves would at least take the time to identify your targets before firing off that many stunners. If you had, then perhaps the culprit would not have escaped."
"Which one of you did it?" One of the officials, Harry recognized him from the papers as Bartemius Crouch Sr. and Head of the Department of International Cooperation, said almost hysterically as he thrust his wand in all their faces. "Which one of you conjured it?"
"Moron," Harry sneered as he swatted the wand away from his face and shoved passed the fool with ease and made his way over to the forest edge. His vampiric eyes easily pierced the darkness as if it were high noon and he could easily see the prone form of a house elf that had been hit by one of the stunners that had been reflected off Harry's shield. "Interesting. Perhaps, Mr. Crouch, you would care to explain why your elf was seen struggling with the perpetrator that cast the mark?" He asked as he lifted the elf and brought her back to the small clearing for all to see. He knew it was Crouch's because he could see the magical bond that linked the two.
"How could you possibly know whom that elf belongs to?" One of the other ministry officials demanded.
"I think Mr. Crouch's face speaks for itself," Harry said, deflecting the question. Just as everyone turned to look at Crouch his face went completely blank but everyone still saw the shock and fear on the man's face before it was hidden.
While everyone else argued amongst themselves and Crouch dismissed his elf, Harry attempted to delve into the man's mind in order to find out what exactly was going on but unfortunately the man's mind was well guarded by thick Occlumency shields. He could have forced his way past, he knew several techniques that would have allowed him to slip through the shields, undetected or otherwise, but he refrained from doing so for two reasons. One, he wasn't that interested in the mystery to bother with figuring it out. Two, he was still rather unsure of such skills, despite having hundreds of memories of using them. Then there was the fact that he didn't particularly like invading people's privacy, since he knew how it felt to have your life laid bare for all to see. Hey, he may be a blood sucker with a new cruel streak that ran a mile wide but that didn't mean he couldn't have morals and a conscience.
When things finally settled down and they were all being led by Arthur Weasley to a Portkey that would take them all back to the Burrow, Harry quietly contemplated how to handle the situation with Hermione. He could feel her eyes glued to him and had been so ever since the officials had arrived and he knew she had noticed the changes in his character that had revealed themselves that night. Harry knew that Ron likely noticed as well but he couldn't give a rat's ass about the fool who couldn't be bothered to use his brain. It wasn't until they had all returned safely to the Burrow and everyone had gone to sleep, except for him, that he had finally decided to simply wait until she came to him and asked, at which time he would sit her down, swear her to secrecy, and then inform her of the truth.