Dream Journal of Harry J Potter
This takes place summer before my sixth year.
Due to He Who Must Not Be Named, his Death Eaters, and your own actions, we, the undersigned, have decided to sever all ties with you.
This is immediately legally binding. There is no appeal, so approaching any of us or our families will only result in punitive actions being brought against you.
Any ties, business or personal, between the House of Potter and House of Weasley are forevermore severed.
House of Weasley calls for a Sever with House of Potter.
Ronald Bilius Weasley
Ginevra Molly Weasley
Any ties, business or personal, between the House of Potter and House of Granger are forevermore severed.
House of Granger calls for a Sever with House of Potter.
Hermione Jane Granger
I numbly stared at the letter in my hands.
I suppose I couldn't really blame them. I'd gotten them all hurt, nearly killed really, mere weeks ago.
If they wanted to get away from me, who was I to stop them?
Ruthlessly quashing the tears, I looked up at Slipknot the goblin. "I'm sorry for taking up your time with personal correspondence," I said dully, holding up the just-delivered letter.
He waved a hand. "We were finished with the Will Reading of Mr. Black. Unless you have more business with Gringotts, I shall bid you a good day."
Looking back at the letter, I said, "I don't think I do, but I suppose it's possible."
He looked at me, raising one eyebrow.
"Do I have any business relationships with any Weasleys?"
The Potter account manager nodded immediately. "You are partial owner in Weasley Wizard Wheezes."
I frowned slightly, confusion forcing its way through the numbness that had taken over my emotions. Not knowing what to do, I handed the letter to the goblin.
He read it quickly, his other eyebrow climbing quickly to join its twin. "Indeed," he said musingly and with a small smirk. He looked at me. "I am not familiar with the House of Granger."
"She's a muggleborn witch," I answered. "My best - er, was, I suppose - my best friend."
"If she is muggleborn, she is effectively the Head of House Granger, then."
I shrugged. "If that's the way it's decided, I guess so."
"This is in order," Slipknot stated, holding the parchment up slightly. "As you are here, shall I attempt to execute all the particulars?"
"What's that mean?"
"All three who signed this must meet here in Gringotts to formalize the Sever. As you are in a business relationship with two of the Weasleys, they should be here as well. As neither Ronald nor Ginevra are Head of their House, that individual must be present as well."
I sighed tiredly, slumping back in the chair. "Do we need to meet? I can't blame them for how mad they are at me, and they said there is no appeal."
"The laws regarding a Sever are ancient and immutable, Mr. Potter."
"May as well get it done, I guess." Why not? Yet another thing happening to me that I have no control over.
Slipknot's assistants quickly sent off three owls and then fetched several more files for the goblin. I watched all of this passively, more than happy to sit quietly while Slipknot worked. In point of fact, I was quietly brooding on the mess that my life had recently degenerated into.
After a bit of a wait, the door opened to admit twin Weasleys wearing twin confused expressions.
"Harry?" twin one asked.
"What's going on, partner?" asked twin two.
"He is a full partner in your business?" Slipknot asked, looking up from the parchment in his hands. I absently wondered why he'd asked, as he was my Gringotts representative. He had to already know the answer, didn't he?
They shrugged in unison. "He owns a third of Triple W."
Slipknot nodded and made a notation on the file in his hands.
I frowned at them. "I gave you the money as a gift, guys. I didn't want a piece of the business."
They shrugged again. "Too bad," twin two cheerfully said as he dropped into a seat.
"So, why are we here?" twin one asked the goblin.
"As soon as the remainder of the parties arrive, we can -"
Slipknot's answer was interrupted by the door slamming open. Three more Weasleys and a Granger came storming in. A look of glee formed on Ron's face instantly. "Oh, that's an obvious violation, trying to talk to Fred and George."
"I lay claim to his liquid assets," Ginny immediately said.
"I lay claim to the Black library," Hermione said.
"And I claim to his personal possessions," Ron finished.
"As primary claimants, so mote it be," all three chorused, smirking at me.
I looked at them in blank confusion. What the hell were they talking about?
"Your attempt at theft is not successful," Slipknot said forcefully. "Misters Frederick and George Weasley are here at my invitation, not because Mr. Potter tried to contact them."
The faces of the three fell, and they took seats as far from me as possible.
"What the bloody hell was that about?" twin one demanded.
"Fred, language," chided Mrs. Weasley. Everyone ignored her.
"Now that the Head of House of all affected houses are present," Slipknot answered an earlier question, "we can continue the Sever."
Fred and George paled dramatically, and their jaws dropped open. "What?"
"By magical law, I'm Head of House Granger," Hermione said to the goblin, sneering at me.
"And I speak for Head of House Weasley," Mrs. Weasley stated, still standing behind her youngest children and looking at me darkly.
"You're aware of the claim for Sever, then?"
She nodded. "As proxy for Head of House Weasley, I support it."
The goblin nodded. "Very well." He started gathering some parchment from the file in front of him.
"A SEVER?" George shouted. "Do you four jealous fools understand how much this is going to cost us?"
Mrs. Weasley scoffed. "Cost? It'll cost us nothing except headaches. This irresponsible brat," she waved at me, "tried to get Ron and Ginny killed. We're getting away from him for good."
Fred chuckled darkly. "Oh, this'll do it, Mother. No doubt of that." He turned to the goblin. "As I recall, about a third of the business's value is galleons and the other two thirds is in our stock of merchandise."
"As such," George went on, "we have no choice but to give all the galleons to Harry. Is that correct, Master Goblin?"
One spindly finger traced down the page. "Approximately. Your business will have five galleons, two sickles, and five knuts remaining in liquid capital."
"Congratulations," Fred spat at his siblings. "You just destroyed Triple W."
"I don't want your money, guys," I objected, completely overwhelmed and confused by what was going on around me.
"You have no choice, Mr. Potter," Slipknot stated. "The laws are clear. If you as a group do not come to an agreement on the division of assets, Gringotts will do so for you. After all appraisal and filing fees, of course."
"No need to get Gringotts involved," Mrs. Weasley said soothingly.
"Stop being so dramatic," Ron said with a roll of his eyes. "You lost, what, a couple dozen galleons? I'll work off the difference myself just to get Potter out of our lives."
Fred and George glanced at each other before grinning evilly at Ron. "We accept."
Slipknot nodded. "Per your words, Ronald Weasley is magically accepted as indentured servant to the Weasley Wizard Wheezes business until the sum is paid. I shall leave it to you three to arrange his working off the twenty-three thousand, two hundred and seventy-two galleons, then," the goblin said, making a notation.
"WHAT?" Ron bellowed. "That's decades of -"
"Be silent, human," the goblin growled. "As a primary claimant, you cannot challenge things now, and you also agreed to 'work off' the money. You have nobody to blame but yourself."
Ron jumped to his feet. "Look, you little piece of -"
Slipknot waved a hand.
A flash of azure light caused Ron to slump over in mid-word.
Mrs. Weasley gasped.
"Control yourself, madam. I merely produced the goblin equivalent of a Stunning Spell." The door opened behind them and two armored goblins stomped in, lifted Ron by the armpits, and unceremoniously drug him from the room.
Mrs. Weasley began to follow, but Slipknot sharply said, "You are required here, proxy. He shall come to no harm in the lobby of Gringotts."
Mrs. Weasley nervously sat and started to wring her hands. "Let's get this over with, then."
"Are there any further monetary or business arrangements between House Potter and House Weasley?" Slipknot went on, unruffled.
"Not that I know of," I answered, now in a near-catatonic daze.
"No," Mrs. Weasley answered stiffly.
"Between House Potter and House Granger?"
I shook my head. Hermione did the same, giving me a dirty look.
"Very well." He pulled out a bowl with a thin purple liquid in it. "Head of Potter, Head of Granger, and proxy of Weasley, if you will all place a drop of blood into this, we shall see about any outstanding magical contracts."
"Magical contracts?" I asked dully, mechanically adding a drop of blood to the bowl.
"Magical vows, betrothals, like that," Fred answered without looking up from his head-hanging position. He and his twin looked devastated by what had just happened, not that I could blame them. I was feeling far out of my depth as well.
After Hermione and Mrs. Weasley had reluctantly added a drop of blood to the bowl, the goblin gently swirled the potion for several seconds. Taking a quill from his desk, he dipped it into the now opaque, lavender liquid and then placed it upon a blank sheet of parchment. When he released it, the quill started writing by itself.
"Is all this really necessary?" Hermione asked testily.
"It most certainly is, Head of House Granger," Slipknot answered sharply. "You want to sever all ties with the House of Potter. These procedures were put into place in ages past when one family became significantly indebted to another. Instead of paying the debt back, the debtor family called for a Sever upon the other. These steps are to ensure that neither House of Granger nor House of Weasley is attempting to escape a debt."
Hermione gave a harrumphing little noise and turned her head away from both Slipknot and me.
Slipknot, meanwhile, was reading the parchment. He gave a dark chuckle. "Oh, this is most entertaining."
"What's that?" a despondent George asked.
"Unfulfilled Life Debts."
"WHAT?" Mrs. Weasley screeched. Ginny went deathly pale.
Slipknot gave a truly scary grin. "Indeed. The simplest one is Ginevra's."
"From the Chamber of Secrets," I mentioned, as an aside.
"Is that where she was?" Fred asked, looking up.
"Yes," Ginny choked out, eyes huge as they fixed on the goblin.
"As you are not Head of House, are in good health, and not under any other binding magical contracts, the law regarding your attempt to use a Sever as an escape from a debt is as follows: your possessions, life, magic, and body are given to head of the wronged House," Slipknot stated.
Ginny's eyes rolled up and she fainted.
Slipknot looked at the collapsed girl in amusement for a few seconds before he turned to me. "Shall I have her removed, Mr. Potter?"
"Huh?" I asked intelligently, not completely keeping up with the conversation.
Slipknot shrugged and turned back to the parchment.
"She is his . . . slave?" Mrs. Weasley asked in a voice that sounded suspiciously like a squeak.
"Until her death," Slipknot confirmed. He looked like he was actually enjoying himself.
"That can't be legal," Hermione objected.
"I assure you, Head of House Granger, it is the law. We here at Gringotts pride ourselves in following the law to the letter."
Mrs. Weasley frowned severely. "I appreciate what you're trying to do, Hermione," she said, "but if a Gringotts goblin says it's the law, then it is." She turned to me. "I wish to . . . buy," she winced, "my daughter back from you."
"According to the Sever, no Weasley may do business with any Potter until the end of time," Slipknot pointed out.
"Through Albus, then," she choked out.
Slipknot shrugged. "Perhaps, but that is a conversation you can conduct later. In the meantime, we are fulfilling this Sever." He looked down at the parchment again. "The next Life Debt is owed by the absent Arthur Weasley."
"Nagini at Christmas," I commented, though nobody needed the reminder.
"Arthur?" Mrs. Weasley asked faintly.
"He is Head of House," Slipknot went on, ignoring the matriarch. "Therefore, all real estate, business shares, monies, vault contents, and voting rights the family owns are forfeit up to one hundred thousand galleons."
Mrs. Weasley collapsed back into her seat, face pale and eyes looking like saucers.
Slipknot ran a finger down another column. "According to the last audit, if you combine what is left of the Weasley Wizard Wheezes business, the Weasley primary residence, the total of your vault including the heirloom items, and sell the Wizengamot seat for the standard ten thousand, you will still owe Mr. Potter four hundred sixteen galleons and one sickle." He looked up. "I presume you and your remaining children will be able to sell personal possessions to make that paltry sum up."
Mrs. Weasley opened and closed her mouth, doing a credible guppy impersonation.
"Harry gets Triple W?" George asked incredulously.
"Unless one of your siblings has some fifty thousand galleons in personal items, yes."
George groaned and dropped his head into his hands again.
Fred gave the unconscious Ginny a filthy look before turning to me. "Would you hire us, please?"
"According to the Sever, no Weasley may do business -" Slipknot repeated.
Fred interrupted him, "If we legally change our last name, would that avoid the problem?"
"Fred!" Mrs. Weasley shouted.
George snapped at her, "Why would we want to keep the name, Mother? By tomorrow morning's Prophet, it'll be worthless. You, Ron, and Ginny have proven that it means nothing except gold-diggers and idiots."
"George!" she shrieked.
"Just the fact of a Sever is enough, but trying to perform a Sever with outstanding Life Debts?" Fred demanded. He turned to the amused goblin. "Will changing our name help?"
"If you were no longer Weasleys, Mr. Potter would have no difficulty in hiring you if he so chooses," Slipknot answered.
George turned to Fred. "It seems, dear brother of mine, that we have a bit of business at the Ministry when we're through."
"Indeed we do."
Both twins turned and gave their mother and sister looks of anger and loathing.
Slipknot lifted the parchment again. "The final Life Debt is owed by Hermione Granger," he read.
"Troll in first year," I said, shocked and confused beyond thought and just reacting to the situation.
Hermione squeaked and turned pale. "I d- don't know if my parent's house is worth -"
Slipknot waved a hand irritably. "The law was written by pureblooded wizards to protect pureblooded wizards; therefore, only current wizarding assets can be counted."
Against all expectations, she paled even further. "I . . . I don't have enough wizarding assets to cover a hundred thousand galleons," she choked out.
Slipknot shrugged. "Then you join the former Miss Weasley in personal servitude to Mr. Potter."
Fred and George gave identical, harsh, bitter laughs. "You three idiots," Fred said, shaking his head.
"You wanted so badly to get away from him that you did something so unimaginably stupid that you're now, all three of you, his slaves," George observed in dark humor.
"How's that for irony?"
Prongs over at Potter Heads Anonymous has also taken the idea of a Sever and gone off in his own direction with it in Closed Doors and Opened Windows. Note: NC-17 and requires registration.
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