Book One of the Heritage Series:
Harry Potter and the Return of Heritage
Chapter Twenty One
Lineage at the Hollow
Harry didn't speak to anyone on the way back from the St Mungo's; he sat next to Sirius and Mad-eye and paid no attention to anyone. Sirius had tried to make some light conversation but he had realised that Harry was not in the mood to talk to anyone, so he left him alone but kept shooting him worried looks.
Harry didn't want to meet their eyes; he knew that they would all be scared of him, and that they would never trust him now. The thoughts made him fear the upcoming festivities, it was sure to be the most awkward Christmas he had ever had; at the Dursley's he was able to escape by being in his cupboard before Hogwarts, but he would be forced to sit from the meal and made to smile.
Once back at the House he quickly made his way up to his room and grabbed a few things and went down to the drawing room and using his power over the House wards he commanded the door to be locked to all, and he prevented all internal apparitions he did not want the twins to be able to get to him even if they wanted to.
He quickly sat down on the drawing room sofa; he knew that he was being a coward in hiding from them all but he just did not want to face them. The Weasley's were like a family to him, Ron, Fred and George he imagined he cared for them like brothers care for each other, he had only met Bill once before this summer with his brother Charlie and he liked them a great deal , Percy – well he was complicated. Mr and Mrs Weasley however they had been like parents before Sirius has adopted him, now he supposed they were like an Aunt and Uncle.
He pulled out the wooden flute that Hagrid had made him four years ago and placed it to his lips and started to play. When he had whistled to calm down his owl he had whistled a tune that he had composed. He had been playing for a few hours, when he realised that someone was pounding on the door.
"Harrison James Black-Potter!" a girl's voice shouted through the door "release this door right now!"
Harry let out a large sigh and got up, as he did he was sure that he saw the portrait of Arcturus Black's eyes move, Harry stared at him for a moment but the portrait was as stiff and regal as always. He opened the door and saw that Ginny was standing outside, and she did not look happy. She walked in quickly, and then she locked her own eyes to his.
"Why are you hiding from us?" She said is a deceptively calm voice, but her gaze showed her fury at him "do you think you are being noble? Protecting us from this connection you share with Voldemort?"
Harry looked away from her, she was wrong, he just didn't want to face their reactions and scared and possibly pitying looks.
"Well you are being stupid." She said bluntly, he looked up at her and he could see how cold her eyes were "I am the only person that you know that has been possessed! And I know what to look for!"
"I am not being possessed" Harry said quietly "I saw how scared you all were of me after what you heard what Mad-eye said, You want anything to do with me know, I know I am a danger to the order and your family, I should not even be here at the moment, I am a liability"
He was surprised when she slapped him on the arm "you are a bloody idiot! We were shocked, and scared not of you, but for you!"
Harry rubbed his arm; he could not remember a time when he had been slapped like that. "You're not scared of me?"
"Of course not" she snapped "we all bloody care about you! We are family in all but blood!"
Harry didn't know what to say, he was touched he was happy to hear that they cared about him.
"I am sorry."
"Well that is not good enough." Ginny replied walking over to the sofa where he had left his flute and she picked it up "Sirius wouldn't open the room for us; he said that you would open it when you were ready, although I think he would have opened it in an hour or so. Where did you learn to play? Everyone was listening to the melodies."
Harry blushed he hadn't realised that he had been playing loudly "over the summers I practiced to pass time."
"You are rather good." Ginny said, she blew into the flute and it let out a low note, "Although your compositions are sad and lonely."
"I created many of them over this summer; I was not in a very happy mood." Harry said "what has everyone else said?"
"Well Ron is probably the most understanding, he says that you need time on your own and that it would not do to harass you, but he is getting anxious. The Twins actually do not care about what they heard, they trust you and know that you would never harm them, they are more annoyed that you have forced them to walk around this house. "She said "I however was not going to sit down there and listen to another tune that showed how miserable you were."
Harry nodded "Thank you."
She then stood back up and walked towards the door. "I am going down to the kitchen for dinner which should be ready soon, don't make me come and find you again," and with that she walked out of the door.
Harry sat on the sofa again and just closed his eyes and breathed deeply for a moment. Sorting through what Ginny had told him, he was actually glad she has forced him to open the door.
He was moping and he knew he was.
"You would do well to find the Black copy of 'The Mind: A Wizards Tool' in the library" A voice said from within the room, a voice that he didn't recognise. He quickly opened his eyes and looked around, but nobody was there, only the two Black family portraits of Arcturus and Phineas, whilst the former hadn't moved the latter had, Phineas Black was standing there watching Harry.
"Can I help you Professor Black?" Harry said politely, he knew that the portrait would not respond well to anything else.
"No young Master Black-Potter." He said in his snide clever voice, which did not match the previous voice. "I was merely enjoying the spectacle of you being chastised by the young Miss Weasley. Young people and their relationships amuse me although it is unbecoming of the heir to the House of Black to be treated in such a way."
"I will take your words under advisement, thank you." Harry said with a bow of the head. He gazed for a moment at the portrait of Arcturus, he knew that he was the one who suggested that book but why did he not move all of the time.
He made his way down to the kitchen where everyone made him feel incredibly welcome, he wondered why he had been so afraid of their reactions, and for the first time since the dream he properly smiled and soon joined the torrent of talk, Sirius gave him a understanding nod and started to eat the dinner which the elves had made them.
The next morning Harry and Sirius woke early and began to decorate the entire house, they had got a great big Christmas tree for the drawing room, which they had decorated with real fairies and magical baubles that changed colour. They had decorated the large staircase with a magical floral decoration that Harry had found in the magical decorations shop; in three hours it had spread up the banisters to the top floor and sprouted white and red flowers. All of the chandeliers were strung with red and green streamers, and many of the walls were lined with wreaths of holly, and in certain rooms, garlands of mistletoe.
Kreacher and Winky as the Black family elves had made all of the rooms ready for the guests; they had given them new sheets, an extra blanket for the beds, and also three white fluffy towels per room. The elves was enjoying being so busy, Winky would whistle Christmas carols, and was always asking if there was more they could be doing.
Harry spent the remainder of the day tending to Buckbeak who would be flying back to Hogwarts that night. The great beast was content to let Harry groom him and was soon asleep Harry was just putting on his collar which had a powerful disillusion charm on it when the doors to the garden opened and head of bush hair poked out.
"Harry?" Hermione said and then she spotted him, she opened the door wider and stepped out.
"It is time to go Buckbeak" Harry said quietly, "go back to Hagrid he will look after you and I will hopefully see you when I come back to Hogwarts." He untied the Hippogriff, whom nudged him with his great head and then Harry took a step back to allow Buckbeak to spread his wings and take flight, a moment later there was a rush of wind and the soft screech and he was gone.
"What are you doing here Hermione?" Harry said he picked up the grooming bag that Sirius had given him "I thought you were spending Christmas with your parents."
"I was, but I was awful at skiing and I was embarrassing myself so I told mum and dad that I would need to be at Hogwarts for my exams." Hermione said as they walked back inside.
"When did you arrive?" he asked, handing the bag to Winky who had met him at the door with a cup of hot chocolate to chase away the cold.
"About twenty minutes ago," she said brightly taking a cup of hot chocolate herself and thanking the elf. "Ron told me what happened the other night."
Harry said nothing, he knew that Ron would have told Hermione and he did not begrudge him for it, in truth he was glad.
"I am not being possessed by him" Harry said quickly
"I did not think that you were," she said "I think we would know anyway, you have not been acting strangely nor have you had any experience of lost time."
"Thanks." Harry said "are you going actually go back to Hogwarts or are you staying for Christmas?"
"Sirius has invited me to stay" she said "which reminds me he wants to see you up in the drawing room."
Harry left her and made his way up to the Drawing room where Sirius was seated at the writing desk with a pile of parchment, so he knocked.
Sirius looked up and smiled "Harry come in, I am just going through some messages from my new friends in the Wizengamot and also some financial papers from Gringotts."
"All is well I trust?" Harry said taking a seat on the arm of the sofa.
"The Wizengamot is as usual a thorn in my side, but I have made connections with many of the Ancient Houses and you too will meet them at the Danvers yule ball." Sirius said placing the parchments aside and clasped his hands together in front of him, "As to Gringotts the Black Vaults are growing again, I do not know what happened to them but they had been drained a great deal. Your vaults were in a similar state due to the death of your parents, it would prevent the profits from your business interests from reaching them but you will see growth in them very soon with the intake of the profits."
"Would I be able to go to Gringotts?" Harry asked "I would like to meet with Griphook he has been looking into the rebuilding of the Potter Estate."
Sirius had a faraway look for a moment "That is no problem, I will take you and we can do a bit of shopping, and I think you should rebuild the manor that once sat there, Peverell Manor was beautiful, and it was made of Bath stone which made the building glow in the sun. It was not a grand museum like the Black Manor, or any of the other wizarding manors, it was elegant but rather simple, your ancestors preferred that style and the interior whilst it showed the Potter history and wealth, was not overly extravagant."
"Griphook has found the original plans for the manor in the Potter vault but the cost to rebuild the manor without any interior decorating would be around one and half million Galleons." Harry said, he wondered if that was over the top.
"That sounds about right." Sirius said "the stone alone will cost a fortune, it will be coming from a quarry in Bath that has been mined by wizards for generations, this quarries stone has a small amount of quartz in it which allows for the stone to be magically fused and enchanted."
Harry sat for a moment, he had not been aware of that but he supposed it made sense, "Hermione said that you wanted to see me?" he said to prompt him.
"Ah yes" Sirius said and he looked incredibly on edge "I was wondering as you will be meeting your Godmother tomorrow afternoon if you would want to visit your parents graves?"
Harry looked at his Godfather in shock, he looked mournful "I… if you wouldn't mind I would, Neville mentioned that they were buried in Godric's Hollow?" He said quietly.
"Remus had them buried in the graveyard in Godric's Hollow, he couldn't access the Potter Estate, and so they couldn't be entombed in the Potter Mausoleum" Sirius said in a breaking voice
"I never thought about it really, I knew they died there but I never thought about what happened to them after" Harry said after a moment, "Can we visit my cottage in the village?"
"Of course, it has been in your family for centuries." Sirius said and his voice had returned to somewhat normal tone. "James once told me that it had been the home of one of your greatest ancestors and that he had given the family its greatest secret."
Harry was intrigued "what secret?"
"He wouldn't tell me, he then disappeared under his cloak so that I couldn't ask him to explain." Sirius said with a ghost of smile
"Have you been there yourself?" Harry asked quietly.
Sirius didn't answer for a while but gazed at a picture of his parents that was in the glass case next to the fire. "I haven't stepped foot in Godric's Hollow since the night they died and I left you with Hagrid."
"What is the village like?"
"It is a quiet and beautiful place especially at Christmas." Sirius said "it is a famous village, for hundreds of year's wizarding families have lived there, and of course Gryffindor himself came from the village and is named in honour to him."
Harry nodded; he had vaguely remembered reading about the village in A History of Magic by Bathilda Bagshot recently. "When can we go?"
"If you want to we can go now, and we can go to Diagon Alley straight after." Sirius said pocketing a few pieces of parchment.
Fifteen minutes later Harry was dressed warmly in a thick black robe, Sirius and Harry quickly made their way outside and into the snow covered grass square and Sirius gripped Harry's arm tightly and they soon found themselves a small secluded area of trees down a little lane that led to a picturesque little village.
"This is the village's apparition point for visitors." Sirius said in a gruff voice,
They set off down the little lane and they soon arrived at the edge of the village. There were many rows of old cottages, with snow caped thatch roofs. Many had small little gardens in front of them, and many were covered in ivy, he remembered a similar house with a light blue door and wondered if he was remembering his house or had dreamt it.
As they made their way into the small village square they both saw the large marble war memorial, they noticed that many villagers were rushing around making last minute preparations for Christmas, they were also being noticed by a small number of people, and a majority of them were quite old.
"They are the magical residents of the village" Sirius muttered, and he then set off towards the north of the village, as they passed the memorial Sirius gasped. The memorial had shimmered and transformed into a marble statue of three people, people who looked incredibly familiar to them both; a man with messy hair, a beautiful women with long flowing hair and they were both supporting a small baby in their arms and gazed down with a look of pure love. "I – I never knew …" Sirius said but he seemed incapable of continuing.
"Hello again Sirius Black," said a cheerful female voice.
They both turned to see a kind elderly lady looking at them; she was dressed in a large black shawl. She had pure white hair and looked like she was in the last stages of decomposition, she was the most ancient looking women that Harry had met, whilst she had a slight hesitation to her step, her eyes were alive with great interest and keenness.
"Hello Professor Bagshot" Sirius said with a tight controlled voice "Harry this is Professor Bathilda Bagshot, the author of –"
"A History of magic," Harry finished "it is a pleasure to meet you Professor."
She smiled at him "it is very nice you meet you again young man, I have not seen you since you were a baby and you managed to place a sticking charm on all of my books to prevent me reading them."
Harry smiled, he liked to hear about his time with his parents, and he wasn't surprised about his use of accidental magic, he had come to realise since starting Hogwarts that he had been doing it for years before.
"When was this placed here Bathilda?" Sirius asked looking sadly at the faces of his dead best friends.
"The first anniversary of their deaths." She said sadly joining him at looking at them "Your grandfather had it placed here."
"Arcturus did this?!" Sirius exclaimed looking at her like she had gone mad.
"Oh yes, it caused quite a stir in the Village the day that Lord Arcturus Black arrived in the village wand in hand." She said with a small chuckle. "He said that it was only right that the monument was erected for his cousin's sacrifice, and then he disappeared from society. "
"Well I don't what to keep you but we do have some business to attend to" Sirius said tightly.
"Of course," she said with a knowing smile and she tottered off down another small lane.
"How old is she?" Harry asked once she was out of earshot.
"Old." Sirius said "I don't know her exact age but I know she knew Albus when he was still in school himself so that alone make her very old. Your parents would often look in on her when they lived here; she is an incredible historian and has some amazingly fanciful tales"
Harry could only imagine what she would know; she had lived for over a hundred years at least. They began to walk towards a part of the village which held the village church if the large spire was anything to go by. And soon they arrived it was relatively small and made from roughly worn stone but the spire was large and made of wood.
"This is where you were christened," Sirius muttered as he walked towards the iron kissing gate that led to the cemetery he placed a hand onto the gate handle but he hesitated. Harry placed a comforting hand on to his shoulder and with a deep breath the made their way through the graveyard, Harry saw a number of familiar names on the tomb stones but they had yet to find his parents grave.
They were halfway into the graveyard when Harry stopped by a set of headstones when he felt his head of House Ring turn ice cold, he looked down at it for a moment and saw that it flickered with a small amount of light.
"What's wrong Harry?" Sirius asked when he saw that he had stopped.
"My ring has become as cold as ice." He said whilst he gripped the ring tightly with his other hand to try and warm it back up.
"We must be near their graves." He said looking around the gravestones, "the rings do that when you are near dead family members." He cast spells that melted all of the surrounding snow from the gravestones. "But this cannot be your parents graves, these are centuries old."
But Harry had stopped listening, he reached out with his mind and followed a small tendril of magical energy that felt as small as a thin as a spiders thread, with his eyes closed he followed it to where it was strongest, and opened his eyes. He stood before a small tombstone that was made of a rough slab of stone into which was etched the name:
Under the name was a strange symbol that Harry had never seen but before he could think on it further his ring grew even colder and he felt it pull his hand up with the stone facing the stone, light poured out from it, green and silver, then next thing that he knew was a thestral formed of the light and it dived into the headstone.
And then it all faded.
"Sirius what was that?" Harry asked quite startled.
"He must have been Lord Peverell at one time, the magic was paying homage to that," Sirius explained "I think he is an important Ancestor to the Potters but I cannot recall the reason, James mentioned him when we had been out to the three broomsticks and it had been a heavy evening"
Harry frowned and forced himself to reach out to the Potter magic again and he felt two small threads connecting him to a place further back in the graveyard. So he walked in that direction and Sirius followed after Harry explained.
They found themselves in front of a large white marble tombstone, Both Sirius and Harry froze like the marble on which was engraved
James Charlus Potter, Lord Potter, Born 27 March 1960, died 31 October 1981
Lily Eloise Potter, Lady Potter, Born 30 January 1960, died 31 October 1981
The last enemy that shall be destroyed is death.
Harry read the words carefully and he suddenly felt his ring pull his had up again and it pulsed, brown and silver and the Griffin flew out of the light and was absorbed into the tomb stone.
He read the message at the bottom, and he just couldn't understand why it was written on their tombstone. With a cold plunging feeling in his stomach it occurred to him that it was a death eater had besmirched their graves.
"Why is that written on their graves?" Harry exclaimed to Sirius "how dare someone vandalise their graves."
Sirius paused for a moment to look at Harry carefully; Harry could see that he too was incredibly moved by standing at the foot of their graves.
"That is inscribed on all of the Potter family graves Harry" he said quietly and Harry could hear his voice catching in his throat. "For hundreds of years the Potters have never feared death, James explained it to me after the death of your grandfather; death is not an enemy but is an old friend who welcomes you to your next path. To the live on in the next life, the Potter family motto is 'Mors Omnes Amici Cognoscat Oportet' or 'Death is a friend we all must acquaint."
"What does that mean?" Harry asked not understanding the phrase, they were dead how could they live on?
"The people we care about never truly leave us" Sirius said sadly kneeling down in front of the grave "think on the protection that lies in your blood, Lily sacrificed herself for you and is protecting you beyond the grave. Your patronus is the exact form of your father's animagus form; you were able to project him from within you. And then you have your family magic, it is an extension of all of your ancestors you are connected to them all through that magic."
Harry wondered at Sirius's words, and as much as he wanted to he could not find any argument against it. Harry thought of what they had given him, they gave him life not only once when he was born but they had given their lives to make sure that he lived when they had been betrayed. In that moment he was never more proud of whom his parents were; they were highly respected by the magical community, they had been powerful and creative but they had loved him and would have wanted the best for him.
Harry asked Sirius to conjure him a wreath of flowers, and he was passed a large wreath of what Harry was sure were black, red and white lilies and placed them in the middle of the tombstone.
"I will make you proud, I will be the son of the Lord and Lady Potter and I will try to live up to your own reputations." He said quietly.
As he stood up he felt a number of tears freeze on his cheeks in the cold, Sirius then bent down and placed another wreath of red and green lilies. He spent a moment whispering low to his parents and when he stood up Harry could see that Sirius' eyes were watering more than his own.
He then placed his hands on both of Harry's shoulders and looked him in the eyes. "They would be proud of you already, I am proud of you as well. Since you came to the House in the summer you have changed, you have become more academic, you are even teaching other students defence. But you are the most humble person that I have ever met, you have never let your ill-fated fame go to your head and I commend you for that. You are my son and whilst I know that you have only known me since I kidnapped Ron and you thought I was trying to kill you, but I have loved you since you were placed in my arms by your parents and they named me your godfather. I am so happy that you, Harrison James Black-Potter are my son and that I have gotten to know you."
Harry felt more tears full down his cheeks; he knew that he felt the same way about Sirius. He was a missing piece of his life, and he could not imagine life without him. And without a second thought he hugged Sirius. "I love you to Sirius."
After a small moment the broke apart and quickly wiped their tears away and looks around somewhat awkwardly. And they soon began to walk out of the graveyard. As Harry walked passed a row gravestones his foot slipped on a patch of ice he nearly hit his head on the tombstone next to him which was made out of red granite, he only prevented his fall by catching himself on the tombstone. But what he found his face level with shocked him even more.
Kendra Dumbledore and her daughter Ariana
Were your treasure is, there will your heart be also.
"I think those are the tombstones of Dumbledore's mother and sister." Sirius said helping Harry secure his footing, "I remember my mother gossiping about them at a dinner party once, strange to think that Albus was once as young as we are."
Harry was confused looking at the gravestone, why had Dumbledore never mentioned that they were both from this same village. He then noticed that his father's name was not there so he pointed it out to Sirius.
"You won't find his grave, Percival Dumbledore was sentenced to Azkaban for attacking Muggle's. " Sirius explained "many of the purebloods said that it was because of Percival's absence in his life that Albus became a Muggle lover. It was a strange business that, no one was ever sure why he done it."
They made their way out of the cemetery and Sirius led him down one of the villages little lanes, and found themselves in front of a cottage, the cottage looked next to perfect still, the only sign of damage was to one corner of the top floor which has been exposed to the elements where the wall had been blown apart. The front garden was overgrown, with tall hedges that obstructed views to the ground floor apart from where the large rusted gate broke the hedge.
"This used to be such a beautiful cottage," Sirius said sadly gazing at the cottage "most often used by the Dowager Lady Potter."
"Will I be able to have it repaired?" Harry asked walking towards the gate to get a better look.
"You could." Sirius said looking carefully up at the damage to the top floor. "When I gave you over to Hagrid: I had moved James and Lily's bodies out into the front garden. I sealed the cottage; so that no one but us could enter. I knew that I would not be able to get back to the cottage for a while so I wanted to protect it from looters"
"What do I have to do to remove its status as a historical monument?" Harry asked, truthfully he thought it was slightly wrong that it was a monument.
"It's your house so you can do what you want with it." Sirius said "the ministry as we know are fools, but they should know better than to classify it as such as it has been in your family for centuries and they have no control over it."
"I will have to ask Griphook to look into the condition of the property and I will have the possessions sent to my vault." Harry said and he touched the gate, he knew that he would never live in this house himself but he would honour the Potter history.
As his hand touched the rusted gate, a sign rose from the shrubbery that covered the ground behind the gate on which said:
On this spot, on the night of 31 October 1981
Lily and James Potter lost their lives
Their son, Harry, remains the only wizard ever to have survived the killing curse.
This house, invisible to Muggle's, has been left in its ruined state as a monument to the Potters
And as a reminder of the violence that tore apart their family
People had written on the sign in everlasting ink which made him smile, whilst the information on the sign was somewhat incorrect he was glad that people had remembered his parents.
Sirius pulled out his wand and after asking for permission he vanished the sign and the magic that it was tied to. He then cast a spell towards the house and Harry felt power well up from under the property and he felt the ward stone reactivate and tie itself immediately to him. Sirius showed him how to seal the property to all, but told him that it could be opened by those in the possession of the magical keys to the property.
They then made their way out of the village quickly aware of how much time had passed and apparated away to Diagon Alley.
Harry left Sirius for an hour whilst he went to Gringotts, Harry was directed straight to Griphook's office and after twenty minutes they agreed to start the rebuilding of the Peverell Manor. Griphook showed him the expected income from his business interests and Harry was blown away but the amount and he realised that even with the cost of the building work he would still have more money in his vault by next year than he currently did.
He spent the next three hours buying gifts for everyone which he found incredibly hard, Sirius had cast a glamour spell on him before they had left the bank to prevent him from being recognised by anyone and to allow them to split up to buy his remaining gifts. When they got back to the House they were greeted by everyone, Harry saw that the Tonks' had arrived and were sitting in the kitchen talking with members of the Order. Harry went up to his room to drop off the gifts and then joined everyone for dinner for what was one of most memorable Christmas eves in his life.
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