Scion of Gryffindor
3 - Private Reading
Harry / Tonks ship
"Thank you all for taking me to Gringotts," Harry said as the four walked down Diagon Alley.
Without turning, Kingsley answered, "It's the least we can do. After all, you are the one, right?"
Harry nearly stumbled. "Pardon? I'm the one what?"
"The one prophesied . . ." Remus spoke from beside Harry, clearly trying to lead the conversation without saying anything TOO sensitive out loud.
Harry's eyes narrowed. "If you don't mind my asking, who told you about that? How much do you know?"
From behind them, Tonks said, "We heard the first part years ago. Albus told us all of it after the fight in June."
Harry's jaw clenched. "So much for keeping it to yourself," he growled.
"What's that?" Remus asked, not taking too much attention away from scanning around.
"Nothing. Don't worry about it," Harry bit out.
Without another word, Kingsley continued to lead the quartet into the Gringotts lobby.
Once inside, Harry walked to the desk labeled as Inquiries. "Hello, I received an owl two days ago to attend a Will reading?"
In a bored voice, the goblin asked, "Name?"
The goblin jerked himself to attention so fast that Harry was momentarily worried that he'd hurt himself. "Yes, sir, Mr. Potter. Right this way, please." The goblin waved another goblin over to his desk and then personally led the four magicians down a hallway. After a short walk, he opened a door to what looked like a small conference room.
Tonks led the way in and peered around the room while Remus held Harry back.
Kingsley saw the aggravated expression on Harry's face. "Standard security, Harry. Please, just let us do our jobs."
Before Harry could respond, Tonks nodded, and Remus let Harry enter, immediately following him in. Shacklebolt stayed outside the room.
The goblin entered and closed the door behind him, acting as if such security concerns were commonplace. "My name is Garack. Thank you for coming in so quickly. May I presume that the Black Will is the one in question, Mr. Potter?"
"Yes," Harry answered, seating himself. Tonks and Remus flanked him.
The goblin nodded and ran one finger along the wall, muttering lowly. A hidden hatch opened up to reveal a pensieve and a scroll. The goblin moved both items to the table before seating himself, then opening and reading the scroll. "Do you have any objections to your two companions staying for the private reading, Mr. Potter?" he asked a moment later.
"None." He paused and then added, "They're likely named in there as well."
They both nodded.
"Bet that had to hurt," Remus muttered as an aside to Harry.
Harry quickly stifled his snickers.
"They are indeed also named," Garack said, eyes still on the scroll. He rolled it up and then waved his hands over the pensieve, causing ghostly violet hues to wash around it. "As you are not the executors, I shall only display the parts relevant to each of you. You are, of course, all invited back for the public reading on August the tenth."
"Public reading?" Harry asked in surprise.
Remus leaned over and whispered, "This is a private reading. They only invite the ones required to do a lot of paperwork afterwards to private readings like this. The public reading is where the entirety of the Will will be heard."
Harry nodded at Remus's explanation as a small image of Sirius formed above the silvery surface.
Harry suddenly realized that his eyes were prickling. "Sirius," he whispered.
"Hello, everyone. I'm Sirius Orion Black, and this is my Last Will and Testament, recorded January 12th, 1996." The image paused, presumably skipping the parts not related to the three in the room.
"To Nymphadora Tonks, the only first cousin once removed that I'll even acknowledge right now, I leave twenty thousand galleons. Find yourself a good wizard, Nymphie, and remember to live.
"To Remus Lupin, my last remaining brother by choice. Moony, I know you never let James or I give you anything, but this time you have no options. To you I'm leaving one hundred and one thousand galleons, one thousand of which must be spent within the next two weeks on clothing, furniture, and other personal items. You also are my chosen guardian for Harry, if he has not come of age by this point. I know you're a very private man by nature, Remus, but please find someone to share your life with. No matter what some blind, frightened wizards say, you're a good man, and you deserve a happy life.
"Lastly, I leave all remaining monies, property, and vault contents to Harry Potter." The image seemed to sigh. "Harry, I don't know what happened, obviously, but I DO know you well enough to know that you're probably blaming yourself for my death. Please don't. However it happened, please know that it was my choice. Remember me, but don't dwell on it. I'm with your parents now, and that's the happiest thing I can think of for myself, short of staying here for you. I'll give you the same advice I'm giving most of my friends. Look for a nice witch that you can spend the rest of your life with. Above all, remember to live.
"This is Padfoot, signing off."
The image dissolved.
Harry blinked rapidly and leaned tiredly back in his chair. Out of the corner of his eye, he could see Remus was weeping silently.
The goblin gave the three several moments to compose themselves. "I am not the Gringotts employee in charge of the Black accounts, so I cannot answer any specific questions you may have on that topic. However, I can take some preliminary actions right now. Ms. Tonks, shall we transfer the money into your vault, or do you want to open a new one?"
In a choked voice, she answered, "Mine is fine."
"Mr. Lupin, the same?"
Remus merely nodded.
Garack frowned slightly, looking back and forth from Harry to Remus. "We are in a bit of a quandary regarding the guardianship of Mr. Potter, I am afraid."
"How so?" Remus asked, his voice hardening.
"It is nothing to do with you, Mr. Lupin," the goblin assured the bristling werewolf. "It is in regards to whether Mr. Potter is of legal age."
Harry frowned. "How's that? Either I am or I'm not, right?"
Garack shook his head slightly. "I am afraid that it is not that simple. For most families, the age in question is seventeen. For the oldest of families, the ministry has a little known law on the books that lowers that age to sixteen. I do not recall if Potter is an old enough family to qualify."
Harry smiled slightly. "I think I can help you out on that one. I'm not only the only surviving Potter; I'm also the heir of another, older family."
Remus looked at him with a frown.
Garack shook his head sadly. "This is measured by genetics, Mr. Potter. You're the financial heir of the Blacks, but for purposes of this law -"
He stopped at Harry's raised hand. "I'm also the heir of Godric Gryffindor."
Remus and Tonks gaped. Garack merely looked at Harry steadily, waiting.
Harry fished a key out of his pocket. Making sure it was the one that Godric had given him, he handed it over.
The goblin peered at the Gryffindor key closely before giving a decisive nod. "My apologies, Lord Gryffindor. We here at Gringotts were aware of the relationship, but did not know whether you, yourself, were aware of it."
Harry just nodded. He was well used to informational security.
"This simplifies several things," Garack said. "As an adult wizard, you have no need for a guardian, so that clause of the Will is irrelevant. It also means that all of the vaults and properties being held in trust for you can now go into your direct control. Do you have the time now to do all of this additional paperwork, Lord Gryffindor?"
"Call me Harry, please. I greatly dislike the term 'Lord' if it applies to me, and my relationship to the Gryffindor name is generally unknown. I'd like to keep it that way."
Garack inclined his head in understanding.
Harry looked from the staring and shocked Tonks to the flabbergasted Remus. "Do I have the time today?"
Remus gathered his wits enough to nod.
Harry turned back to the goblin with a smile. "It appears that I do have the time. After the paperwork, I'd like to visit my vaults."
In the first Potter vault, Harry was pleasantly surprised to find a pile of galleons about three times the size of his trust vault. Next to it was a modest pile of uncut precious gems.
But that was only the liquid cash vault.
Another, smaller vault contained paperwork relating to part and full ownership to a huge variety of muggle and magical businesses. From a chain of muggle hotels to an emerald mine in Bolivia to part ownership of the Comet Racing Broom Company to stock in the Daily Prophet. Harry stopped trying to keep track of everything after rifling through the first stack of parchment.
In the Potter heirloom vault, he found snoozing portraits, artwork, jewelry, a rack of small weapons and wands, and piles of household furniture. It took him some time, but he eventually found the Potter signet ring, as Godric had suggested. It was made of a solid, silvery-white metal that Harry couldn't immediately identify, and it was imprinted with the Potter crest. Etched along the inside of the ring were the Latin words Audaces Fortuna Juvat which translated to, "Fortune favors the bold." After Remus positively identified it (James Potter had worn it after his own father had died), Harry slipped it onto his right hand. After a moment of re-sizing itself, it fit his finger snugly.
For the longest time, Harry considered trying to put some of the items into a trunk to take with him, but he eventually decided against it.
Upon Remus's suggestion, he DID hold each of the dozen or so available wands, taking the one that felt the best to him. A small note below the wand identified it as having belonged to Victoria Potter; it was ash with a dragon heartstring. It wasn't a perfect match, but it was more than sufficient until he could get a better fit. Even if they were only going to go down the street, Harry didn't want to go completely unarmed any longer. Besides, having a second wand struck both he and Remus as a good idea, if somewhat illegal.
As Godric had promised, the Gryffindor vault (Gringotts vault number three, Harry was interested to note) contained not a single knut but instead held what appeared to be a library that rivaled Hogwarts. Harry again fought off the urge to take items out with him. He firmly reminded himself that they could always return later with more trunk space.
Then it was time to visit the Black vaults.
The difference between the Potter and Black vaults was dramatic. Whereas the Potter fortune seemed to be tied up in ownership in a wide variety of businesses, the Blacks apparently spent little or nothing. There was no paperwork vault for the Blacks. Nor was there an heirloom vault. Instead, a small mound of dark artifacts and a handful of property deeds sat in one corner of the only Black vault. The rest of the space in the huge vault was taken up with ready cash, gemstones, and jewelry.
When he was eleven, Hagrid had taken him to his Gringotts trust vault for the first time. At the time, the piles of golden coins seemed to be a fortune beyond counting.
Now Harry really HAD a fortune beyond counting.
Garack, who was escorting them personally, informed them that the other bequests had already been removed and that Harry Potter himself was now among the five richest wizards in the country.
At the age of sixteen.
(-) (-) (-) (-) (-)
Remus led the still dazed and barely responsive Harry out of the mine cart and toward the Gringotts lobby. There, they picked up Tonks and Shacklebolt again and headed back into Diagon Alley.
They didn't make it far.
Standing at the base of the steps, Minister of Magic Cornelius Fudge was waiting, not fighting the smirk playing over his face.
"Well, well. Look who we have here," Fudge said in a tone as if he'd just accidentally bumped into Harry rather than having blatantly been waiting. "Mr. Potter, a known werewolf, and two of my aurors whom I distinctly remember telling to stay away from Dumbledore and all of his lackeys."
Harry sighed. He didn't know exactly where this conversation was going, but it clearly was not good.
Fudge pulled himself up to his full, inconsiderable height and majesty and spoke, "Senior Auror Shacklebolt and Auror Tonks, you are both hereby terminated from the Department of Magical Law Enforcement, Auror Branch. You will surrender your badges and all other auror equipment immediately."
"You have no authority to do that, Fudge," Remus spoke calmly. "Only Director Bones, being their boss, has the authority to fire them."
Fudge's smirk returned. "And you somehow think Amelia is sympathetic to Dumbledore and his Order?"
In his deep voice, Kingsley said, "Thank you for trying, Remus, but we both know that this was bound to happen sooner or later."
"Yeah," Tonks agreed in a chipper voice. "Besides, the high and mighty Minister of Magic has spoken, and he did say 'immediately.'" She drew her auror badge out of her robes and tossed it casually at Fudge, who fumbled the catch and leaned down to retrieve it. By the time Fudge looked up again, Tonks had stripped to bra and knickers, morphed herself into a VERY voluptuous form, and had glowing lettering floating above her head, Minister Fudge just fired me and ordered me to take my clothes off.
"WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS?" Fudge roared, guaranteeing every witch and wizard in earshot turned and watched the spectacle. As they were standing at the base of the steps to Gringotts Bank in Diagon Alley, that meant they got a LOT of attention.
Kingsley, in the process of handing his auror robes to one of Fudge's bodyguards, turned to him wearing nothing but a pair of white silk boxers and a polite expression. "You ordered us to surrender all of our auror equipment, Minister. These robes qualify." He politely took his wand and moneybag back from Remus.
Harry was torn between ogling Tonks and laughing hysterically.
Fudge sputtered for a few moments before throwing his hands up in disgust and stomping away, his small entourage following in his wake.
Kingsley couldn't tell for sure, but one of Fudge's auror guards looked to be fighting his own snickers. Much of their audience was similarly affected.
Calming down from his laughing fit, Remus looked from one seriously underdressed former auror to the other. "I think we'd better leave. We can't protect Harry all that well since we've gathered this much attention."
Tonks nodded. "I think you're right, Remus. I don't have anywhere to hide my wand."
Harry very nearly popped a blood vessel in refusing to say a word.
Remus, on the other hand, calmly spoke up, "If I weren't such a gentleman, I could suggest a few places – some polite and some not – for you to stick it."
I shamelessly stole the Potter signet ring from Jeconais's "This Means War!" Great fic, for those few who are on this site and haven't read it.
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