AU, Post OotP, No HBP, Harry knows he must take on Voldemort and finds unexpected allies.
Disclaimer: I don't own Harry Potter, JK Rowling does.
It was 7 o'clock in the evening and Vernon Dursley was relaxing with a drink after his supper. Petunia was in the kitchen, washing up. Dudley had gone out with his friends and his nephew was closeted in Dudley's second bedroom, just where he'd been all week.
The knock on the door took Vernon by surprise. It really was too late in the evening for salesmen. Perhaps it was one of Dudley's little friends.
It was a well-dressed, small man with a brief case.
"Good evening," he said, "You must be Mr. Dursley. My name is Locke. I am a solicitor. I'm here to see young Mr. Potter about an inheritance. May I come in?"
Vernon Dursley, mouth open to protest, heard the word inheritance and immediately swallowed his objections.
"Of course Mr. Locke, please step into the lounge." As Locke seated himself, Vernon called his wife in.
"Pet, dear, Mr. Locke is here to see Harry about an inheritance." He took his own seat in the recliner and continued, "Of course I take care of all of Harry's finances. Just how much are we talking about?"
Locke smiled rather toothily, " I will need to speak to Mr. Potter and will need his signature on a few documents before I can release the money to you Mr. Dursley. Would you call him, please?"
Vernon flushed somewhat but turned his gaze on his wife and jerked his head toward the stairs.
They waited in silence while Petunia went to fetch Harry and both men heard furious whispering floating from above.
It was the matter of a few minutes before Petunia and a pale Harry Potter appeared.
"Mr. Potter, my name is Locke and I represent the Black Estate. Please accept my condolences on the death of your Godfather, Sirius Black," began Locke.
"That murdering lunatic is dead then? Good riddance to bad rubbish, I say," muttered Vernon.
Locke and Harry both glared at Vernon who cleared his throat and hastily spoke.
"So, Mr. Locke, tell me how much young Harry here gets?"
Locke opened his briefcase and pulled out several documents and a large yellow envelope.
"I just need to ask a few questions, Mr. Dursley. You said you handle Mr. Potter's financials?"
"Course I do, the boy is to young to know anything about money. Not that his parents left him anything," stated Vernon.
Locke nodded and went on, "So if I were to request receipts of expenditures on Mr. Potters behalf you could provide them?"
Vernon sudden sat up straighter, "Here now, what do you mean by that?"
"I mean Mr. Dursley, that I was commissioned by Sirius Black to investigate Mr. Potter's treatment and position in this household. My investigation has turned up some unusual findings. You receive both a government stipend and a quarterly payment from the Potter estate for the care of Mr. Potter yet I see no expenditures on the young man. No clothes, book, toys. The items that young men in Mr. Potter's position are expected to have. I do find expenditures for cars, trips and extravagant items for your own son that match the dates of the checks for Mr. Potter's care."
Vernon had turned purple, Petunia was wringing her hands and Harry was about to blow up.
"You've been paid to look after me. I got Dudley's old clothes, scraps and a cupboard under the stairs and you were being paid?"
"OUT!" roared Vernon, "I want you out."
Locke stayed in his seat a vicious little smile playing about his lips.
"Mr. Dursley if you throw me out this envelope with all of the little details will go straight to the authorities. Wouldn't you rather hear my offer first?"
Harry was now staring at Locke. Locke slid a card toward Harry. "Please trust me Mr. Potter."
As Harry took hold of the card the gold writing moved around the card to read.
Gringotts Trust Department
Diagon Alley Branch
Harry read the card a second time and then began to smirk slightly.
"Mr. Dursley, my instructions are to offer you a one-time payment of 5000 pounds for your signature on emancipation papers for Mr. Potter."
"10,000 pounds and the boy leaves now and never comes back," said Vernon
Locke shut his briefcase and stood. "Call me, Mr. Potter, when the police come for Mr. Dursley. We can file for the emancipation with the courts then."
Petunia gave a little screech and Vernon held out a hand.
"Wait, 5000 and I keep that envelope," said Vernon.
Locke sat back down and pushed the documents toward Vernon. Please sign where indicated by the orange sticky tags." He turned to Harry. "If you will gather your things Mr. Potter, I can escort you to a safe haven tonight. My employers wish to meet with you tomorrow. There are many things to discuss."
Harry nodded and retreated up the stairs to throw his belongings into his trunk. Vernon and Petunia had both signed and were counting the 5000 pounds when he came back down the stairs.
"I'm ready Mr. Locke," said Harry.
"Excellent, hand me that cage and hold on to your trunk. You must just touch this metal band." Locke stretched out one arm to show an ornate metal band that encircled his wrist. Harry laid his hand on the portkey and smirked at the Dursleys. Locke muttered a phrase in a language that Harry didn't recognize, but thought must be Gobbledegook, and they were swirled away from Harry's horrified relatives.
Harry tripped over his trunk and sprawled at the feet of several uniformed goblins on landing. Locke said something in that other language and the guards helped Harry to his feet took the trunk and cage and left the room. Locke touched the metal band again and his features shifted and shrunk into those of a middle-aged goblin.
Harry smirked at the goblin and said, "Safelock I presume, pleased to meet you, thanks for the rescue. What happens next?"
"I've arranged quarters here in the lower caverns of Gringotts for you tonight. There are several goblins that would like to speak to you tomorrow. If you will follow me I can answer some of your questions and tell you about the rest of the provisions made for you by Sirius Black. Just for your information no tracking or scrying spells can locate you here, the ministry cannot monitor these caverns for underage magic, so you may do magic in the quarters we are providing."
They traveled down several long corridors that looked as if they had been roughly hewn from solid stone. They passed several doorways, some had wooden doors but a couple only had beaded curtains. Safelock nodded at Harry's inquiry.
"These are the living quarters of the main Goblin Horde. The wooden doors are the direct entrance to individual rooms. The beads indicate an entrance to an extended family hall."
They soon arrived at a more ornate door than the others they had passed. A lone goblin in uniform stood just outside of it.
"These will be your rooms for as long as you choose to stay, Mr. Potter. There are four guards assigned to you. They are for your protection, not to confine you. You are free to leave at anytime though we do ask that you not wonder the caverns with out an escort for the time being. Not many humans are allowed to visit here." They stepped inside. Harry was amazed at the size and luxury of the rooms.
Safelock said, "Kikki," and a small, female house elf appeared, wearing a black dress and white apron.
"Kikki is the caretaker for these room and will see to your needs, just call for her if you need anything." Then he turned to the elf. "Kikki, this is Mr. Potter."
The elf bowed and looked Harry up and down.
"Master Wizard must be hungry, Kikki will bring a snack." And with that she popped away.
"I didn't know that goblins had house elves," said Harry.
"We do not own elves, Mr. Potter. We goblins find slavery and the subjugation of other species abhorrent. However we do offer employment to free elves. A first generation free elf will bond themselves again if given the chance, we can't and don't try to stop that, however elves born free are a different matter. They do not seek to bond and if forcibly bonded they can sometimes fight the bond." Safelock gave Harry a toothy, vicious grin.
Safelock and Harry took seats in overstuffed chairs, on either side of a low table.
"Now Mr. Potter, please let me explain the rest of my instructions," Safelock said, with a slight smile.
Harry nodded, "Please and call me Harry."
"Very well, Harry. I spoke with Mr. Black in February of this year. He was, at that time, concerned with your safety and well-being, with the Dursley's and ask that a thorough investigation of their finances and premises be conducted. I was, if possible to prove that they were unfit guardians and secure your emancipation before your sixteenth birthday. One of the reasons for this is under the old laws if you are emancipated by your sixteenth birthday you may claim the Potter Estate a year early, on that birthday, since you are the last remaining Potter in the direct line." Harry nodded slowly and Safelock continued, after sipping at the tea Kikki had brought.
"Mr. Black expected that, with your emancipation, you would need a place to stay. He believed that he would not be allowed to bring you to where he was staying so he ask that we purchase a suitable property for you, under an assumed name. That has been done. You now own a farmhouse in South Wales, on a large piece of property. It is heavily warded, furnished with full amenities, and a quidditch pitch, Mr. Black was quite adamant about that. There is one muggle-safe room on the property where unshielded electronics can be used. Mr. Black also believed that a young man, such as yourself would need a way to come and go unfettered, shall we say, by notoriety. Therefore I have this for you."
Safelock opened his briefcase and produced a metal band similar to the one he was wearing.
"This is a goblin made spell-store. It contains a glamour spell, a signature masking spell and a portkey. It is also the security pass that will allow you to use the security entrance we arrived in. The markings will identify you to any goblin. You may wear it on your wrist or bicep. I suggest you not remove it."
Harry nodded and picked up the band looking at the pattern of the repeated lightening bolts in Avada Kedavra green and the flowing goblin script. Safelock pulled several more items from his briefcase and Harry began to wonder just how much addition space it contained.
"This is a magical mobile phone. It will connect with the muggle phone system. My number is 10 on the speed dial. This booklet explains the addition features and information on acquiring additional phones. Here are the originals of the results of my investigation into the Dursleys and the analysis of the Wards on the Dursley residence."
He laid two file folders down on the table and Harry grinned.
"I also have a book for you to read. It is the primer that young wizards learn to read from. I believe that you will find it very informative," said Safelock with a smirk.
The goblin then snapped his briefcase closed and stood. "I will see you in the morning after breakfast to answer any questions you might have. The High Council would like to meet with you after lunch. Sleep well Mr. Potter." He bowed slightly and left Harry staring at the leather bound book with the end of an envelope sticking out of it.
Harry opened the book and looked at the envelope. It had 'Harry' written on the front and he recognized Sirius's writing. Slowly he opened the letter.
If all goes to plan Safelock should have sprung you from those nasty muggles by now. I plan to meet with you at the new place in a few days but to get you started you should read this book. You said something at Christmas that made me start thinking about things that everyone knows. (Everyone but you evidently.) So I dug out my old primer. Nearly every Wizarding kid learns to read from this book, so humor me and give it a read. We can talk about it when I see you.
I have something special for you for your birthday.
Below the signature was an inky paw print.
Harry clutched the letter to him and for the first time tears rolled down his face and he cried for Sirius and for what he'd lost.
When Harry woke the next morning he was confused to find himself in a large, soft bed. The last thing he remembered was crying in a chair in the sitting room. He stared at the stone ceiling for a while until a small voice alerted him that he was not alone.
"Would Master Wizard want his breakfast in the bed or would Master Wizard like to bathe and dress and have breakfast at the table, like a proper wizard?" asked Kikki.
Harry looked over at the elf standing beside the bed.
"I'll get up. Please, call me Harry," said Harry politely.
"Of course, Master Wizard, Kikki will have breakfast ready in fifteen minutes." With a little curtsy, she popped away.
Harry got out of bed and was rather startled to find that he was wearing silky pajama bottoms that he had never seen before. After he showered he opened his trunk for clothes and found that all of his clothes were missing. Looking around the room he spied a massive wooden wardrobe and opened the doors to find five jumpers hanging up and nothing else. He then looked through the drawers, nothing. Gripping tightly to the towel wrapped around his waist he called for Kikki.
"Yes, Master Wizard, what can Kikki be doing for you?" asked the little elf.
"My clothes are missing Kikki, did you do something with them?" asked Harry, trying to stay polite.
"Kikki has laid out a nice robe for Master Wizard. Kikki has put clothing from Master Wizards trunk into the wardrobe," she said, indicating the mentioned piece of furniture. Harry glanced at the robe that he'd never seen before and then at the wardrobe.
"Where are the rest of my clothes, that were in my trunk?"
The little elf's chin came up in a rather defiant manner and she said, "Pretty jumpers are all Kikki is finding in Master Wizards trunk. Old rags not fit for even cleaning are being thrown away. Kikki is measuring the sleeping Master Wizard and bringing sleeping pants to dress the sleeping Master Wizard. Tailor will be coming to see Master Wizard if Master Wizard will be dressing in pretty robe and eating his breakfast." She then popped away leaving Harry staring stupidly at the vacant space.
Harry flushed red at the thought of the little elf seeing him naked and dressing him and then since she'd not provided any pants for under the robe he returned for the pajama bottoms. They had disappeared from the bathroom.
It was a rather frustrated Harry Potter dressed in a sky blue, silk wizards robe sans underwear that came to the table a little later. The table was set with china and ornate silverware and laden with several types of breakfast food. Enough, Harry thought for nine or ten people. His glass was filled with what looked to be a strawberry smoothie. Harry shook his head and called for Kikki.
"Kikki, what's this?" he asked, pointing at the thick drink.
"Kikki is thinking that Master Wizard is needing to be drinking nutrient potion with every meal to make strong bones and build up muscle. Kikki would not ever say that Master Wizard is puny and weak but others is not being so nice. Tailor will be here in thirty minutes. Master Wizard be drinking potion and eating all this good food."
Harry shook his head and smelled the potion hesitantly. It smelled good and it tasted even better.
Some time later when Harry pushed back from the table having made a good dent in the food there, Kikki popped back in. As she cleared the table there was another pop and a second elf appeared. This one, dressed in a black shorts and white shirt, with a measuring tape around his neck and a pincushion fastened to one bony wrist bowed to Harry.
"Ah, Master Wizard, Tailor is so happy to be of service. Kikki tells me that you is needing clothing suitable to your station."
Harry eyed this new elf for a moment and then said, "Yes, she stole all my clothes. Threw them away, I think. Didn't even leave me any pants."
Tailor chuckled a little. "Please, Master Wizard, Kikki is charged with taking care of these rooms. That includes anything or any one in the rooms. Do you object to new clothing?"
Harry shook his head and Tailor grinned, snapped his fingers and the measuring tape jumped up and began crawling over Harry taking his measurements. It even slipped under the robe to measure his legs, leaving Harry to blush at the sensations.
"Now, Master Wizard, what kind of dress do you prefer?"
"I want trousers and button down shirts, please, with open robes. I also need boxer shorts, vests, socks and I think she took my shoes too. Can you do Hogwarts uniforms or do I need to go to Madam Malkin's for those?" said Harry.
"I can do all of that for you. I believe you should also have dress robes and perhaps formal wear?" said Tailor.
"Um, Tailor, I can't pay you until I go to my vault," said Harry.
The elf smiled, "You will receive a bill with the finished clothing. Just sign it and payment will be removed from your vault. Now what colors do you prefer?"
Harry shrugged, "Nothing too bright. Blue, green, black or what ever."
Tailor nodded and snapped his fingers. Boxer shorts, that matched the robe Harry was wearing, appeared in his hand. Handing them to Harry, he then popped away.
Once Harry was more comfortable he looked over the things that Safelock had left the night before. He wasn't ready to look at the Dursley stuff yet. Instead he opened the folder labeled ward analysis. On the first page was a description of the physical property of #4 Privet Drive followed by a summary of what the investigators found.
This property has several layers of wards. The first layer is anchored on the property lines and surrounds the property in a dome shape. It includes an active owl redirect only allowing in owls known to the recipient and authorized Ministry and Hogwarts owls. (Please note the ward did not allow Gringotts owls) A mild misdirect aimed at both muggles and wizards to make the property less noticeable. This would have the effect of masking anything out of the normal from notice. The second layers are directly on the house and consist of a standard security package with added anti-apparition, anti-portkey and magic suppression charms.
There were several pages following the summary that Harry couldn't make head or tails of as they consisted of Arithmancy figures and various runes. He didn't see any mention of blood wards and decided that he would have to ask someone about the wards.
By the time Harry had finished a pair of soft boots that matched his robes appeared near the door and Safelock had been admitted to the suite.
"Good morning, Mr. Potter, did you rest well?" asked Safelock.
"Yes thank you, better than usual actually. I was wondering if you could translate this ward report for me, er, explain what it means?"
"Of course, the owl redirect is fairly standard, it redirects unwanted or unsolicited mail to a drop point where it can be sorted and scanned. Excluding Gringotts owls is rare but no doubt was done to prevent the muggles from intercepting your bank statements."
Harry interrupted, "But I've never gotten any statements at school either. I've never been given any other kind of mail that may have been redirected either."
Safelock's eyebrows rose and he brought out a small notebook and made an entry. "I will see that an investigation into this is started."
"The misdirect on the outer layer would have kept anyone outside of the wards from noticing anything they might perceive as odd on the property, such as owls entering or exiting, accidental magic or oddly dressed people appearing out of thin air on the lawn." The corners of Safelock's mouth tipped up in a smirk. "The house itself had protection from fire and water damage, wards to prevent infestations of insects, mice or rats as well as prevent entry by apparition or portkey. Now the magic suppression charm is usually found on nurseries or playrooms, as it is designed to prevent small children from performing accidental magic. Those type of charms are usually removed by the time a child is seven or eight as by that time they have been taught how to prevent most of those emotionally based discharges."
"I was told that I had to stay there because of some blood wards based on my mothers blood," said Harry, somewhat shakily.
Safelock shook his head. "I'm sorry, Mr. Potter, there may have been those type of wards set up when you where placed there but they are not there now. There are several conditions on those types of wards that could easily negate them. Looking at your treatment at the hands of Mr. and Mrs. Dursley I would venture to say those wards have not been in effect for many years. They would have had a basis in the emotional content of your relationship with your guardians."
Harry nodded and asked, "Would Voldemort using my blood to give himself a new body effect it also?"
Safelock shuddered, "Your blood would have given him entrance to what ever protections the blood wards provided, Mr. Potter. I believe it's safer for you away from there."
They were silent for several moments. "Do you have any more questions for me, Mr. Potter?"
"Oh, um, you said Sirius uh, left me something?"
Safelock smiled one of the most vicious grins Harry had ever seen. "Yes, I was most impressed with Mr. Black. I tell you, Mr. Potter, I have never met a human with such a goblin-like sense of humor. Mr. Black has taken some extraordinary measures to see that his wishes could be followed in the wake of his death." Safelock opened his briefcase. "Portions of the Black estate are entailed, which means that they cannot be sold. Everything that was not entailed had been liquidated and drained from the account. Those funds purchased your new house, paid off the Dursleys and my fees. Here is your key for that vault and muggle identification in the name of Jay R. Hart. Mr. Black chose this name himself."
Harry grimaced at the name but accepted the key and papers. Flipping through he found a driver's license, insurance card for a motorcycle, national health card and a platinum visa.
"Ah, yes, you will find it in the garage on your property. Here are the keys to house, garage and motorcycle. Now none of that is part of Mr. Black's estate as he dispensed it prior to his death. When the will is read you will be the prime beneficiary but all of the entailed property which will go to the last remaining male of the Black family one Draco Malfoy."
"Can I protest that or something?"
"You don't want to do that Mr. Potter. The entailed property includes the Black Family home and contents currently Unplottable and under Fidelius and on which no taxes have been paid since the death of Mrs. Black, a gold mine in Africa that unfortunately is in the middle of a war zone and from which no gold has been found for forty years, Mr. Black 'lost' the assay papers when we were discussing it, and of course the Black ancestral vault which at last inventory held several portraits, a set of biting tea cups and 12 Knuts. Of course, Mr. Malfoy must claim the estate before an inventory can be taken of the vault and Gringotts charges a flat fee of 500 galleons for such services."
Harry's mouth was hanging open as he processed what Safelock was saying, and then he started to laugh.
"I also have a letter to send to Albus Dumbledore from Mr. Black prior to the reading of the will. As I have no doubt that Mr. Malfoy will wish to employ a team of highly skilled Gringotts curse breakers to uncover the property he will inherit. I believe that those services are quite costly but no doubt Mr. Malfoy will believe it worth the expenditure to reclaim his mother's family home."
Harry laughed a bit more at the malicious smile on the goblin's face. In his head he could hear Sirius's barking laugh and the tight ball of grief in his chest eased a little bit more.
After a few minutes Harry asked another question. "Sir, you also said that I could claim the Potter estate? What does that entail? I thought I already had what my parents left for me in my vault."
"I brought the file with me. I thought you might ask." He pulled a thick file from his briefcase. "The vault that you are currently using is a trust vault opened at your birth. There are two additional vaults, an ancestry vault and smaller vault in the name of James and Lily Potter. The ancestry vault has not been inventoried since your father claimed it at sixteen. That document is in the file however it will not show anything placed into the vault after the inventory date. There are a few family investments being paid into the ancestry vault but the bulk of your income is deposited into the smaller vault. The stipend for your care and the property taxes on the Godric's Hollow house are the only payments being taken out of that vault." Safelock looked up from the file at the strangled noise Harry made.
"You said taxes on the Godric's Hollow house. I thought it was destroyed the night my parents were killed?" said Harry.
"Oh no, Mr. Potter, the minimal spell damage was repaired, the household goods packed, labeled and stored in your ancestry vault and the house closed and sealed as per prior instructions of James Potter. However as certain elements are aware of the property, Mr. Black deemed that it would not be in your best interest to refurbish it for your habitation until after the current conflict is resolved. Is this in error?"
"You're right it wouldn't be safe to live there I just, no one ever told me that the house was still standing or that any of my parents things had survived. I'll want to take a look through those boxes pretty soon, I think," said Harry.
"I understand. Now to investments, you own several storefront properties, one with a flat above it in Diagon Alley, three in muggle London. They are in the hands of a real estate management company and bring in a reasonable profit each month. You own shares in Hazlet Apothecary in Tailor Row just off Diagon, Nathan's Cauldrons and Household Goods in Hogsmeade, Warlow's in Godric's Hollow, Franklin Broom Company in the United States, Exotic Herbs and Fungus Distributors in Brazil, and Conway Opal Mine in Australia. You also have farming land with tenants in Wales and New Zealand. You will want to begin thinking about further investment as you have a substantial amount of gold sitting in your vault doing nothing." Safelock seemed to enjoy the gob-smacked look on Harry's face and waited patiently for his brain to absorb the information.
Harry asked a few more questions before Kikki appeared to announce that it was lunchtime. Harry invited Safelock to eat with him and Kikki provide the potion and a huge portion of food. When Harry pushed his plate away still half full Kikki looked mournfully at him until he forced himself to a bit more.
After lunch Safelock stood and said it was time to see the Goblin High Council.
AN: As of now nearly all of this story is written i'm working on the last few chapters now, there should be approx 10 chapters, please let me know what you think :)