Disclaimer: I do not nor will I ever own the Harry Potter story, characters, villains, heroes and creatures. I also sadly do not make any money off this story. Trust me; my bank account cannot lie about that.
Thanks to Nancy for her help as always!
FLAMES OF BETRAYAL
Harry stumbled out of the fireplace, irritated that he sucked a flooing. He straightened up, brushed off his robes, and turned to wait for Ron. A flash of green and Ron walked out of the fireplace. Harry frowned, feeling envy at the ease at which Ron flooed. He hated the fact that he couldn't floo very well; crappy entrances just didn't seem to suit the most powerful wizard in the Wizarding World. He smirked internally at that.
Ron looked around the inn and stopped when he saw the twins. Luckily, Ron and Harry had glamours on, or there would have been a problem. The redhead sneered in the twin's general direction. Out of all the family members, they had been the worst. The beatings the twins had given him had been vicious. When their father had finally put a stop to it, they began to prank him and destroyed his property. They were the ones he hated the most. It had devastated him when they had turned on him. He shook his head; it made him sympathize with Percy all the more./ I wonder if I could get Percy to talk to me,/ he mused thoughtfully. I'll have to find out later.
"Hey, Ginger, let's go," Harry chirped cheerfully.
Ron scowled at him in mock anger. "Don't call me that, Bolt."
"Sure thing, Ginger," Harry replied, snickering.
Ron rolled his eyes and followed Harry out of the inn. The reached the brick wall and Harry tapped it with his wand. The wall parted and they began to walk down the street of Diagon Alley.
"Remind me later that I need to get another owl. We need one that isn't recognizable. We can't use Dobby for everything," Harry said.
Ron nodded. "Gotcha," he answered.
They ambled down the street, quietly enjoying the sunshine. Harry hadn't really been out in the sun since before he was thrown into Azkaban. He enjoyed feeling the warmth of the sun on his face, the gently blowing breeze rifling through his hair. He looked around curiously, glancing over the people that were enjoying the warm summer day. He noticed that nothing had changed since his imprisonment. There were no new shops and it looked as if none of the shops had gone out of business.
They finally reached Gringotts and stopped. The large white building gleamed in the sunlight. Walking up the steps, they paused in front of entrance doors. The giant doors opened into a large foyer with golden walls -- real gold, not paint -- and a rounded ceiling that was painted with a large scene of the Goblin wars. The goblins guarding the inner doors looked fierce. Harry nodded to the goblins, who looked at them strangely, then entered the main room of Gringotts. The large room was filled with wizards and goblins. There were guards lining the walls, watching the wizards and witches intently, their hands resting on the large swords sitting against their hips.
"Who's in charge of my accounts this time?" Harry asked curiously.
"Ghistpok," Ron said.
"Is he polite?" Harry inquired.
Ron shrugged. "More like indifferent," he stated.
Harry nodded, frowning. "Well, if he's too indifferent I may just have to change goblins," he growled.
Ron smirked at Harry. "That'll sure piss him off wouldn't it?" he quipped.
Harry shrugged his shoulder carelessly. "Ask me if I care," he spat out. "He let that stupid old man steal from me without saying a word and you think I care about his feelings? Not hardly."
They walked up to the counter and Harry smiled at the goblin. "I would like to see Ghistpok, please?"
"May I ask what this regarding?" the surly goblin asked.
"Why, money, of course," Harry said slyly, ignoring Ron's chuckles.
"Yes, but whose?" the goblin asked, frowning.
"Well, mine, obviously," Harry replied innocently.
The goblin growled, irritated and demanded, "Can I tell him who is asking for him?"
"Yes," Harry said shortly.
A few seconds went by before the goblin cracked. "Well?!?" the goblin asked stridently.
"Well what?" Harry asked with a confused look on his face.
"I need a name!" the goblin demanded.
Harry looked shocked, leaned forward, and asked, "You mean you don't have one? Oh Merlin, that is so sad. Well, haven't you picked one out for yourself? I personally like the name Susie. I think that's what I'll call you. Don't you feel better now that you have a name, Susie?"
The goblin screamed with irritation, "I need to know your name so that I can tell Ghistpok, you stupid wizard." There was silence in the bank and wizards, witches, and goblins all turned to look towards the screaming goblin.
"Well, why didn't you say that in the first place, Susie," Harry asked with a hurt expression.
"No, you didn't."
"Yes, I did."
"Yes, I did!"
"Nope, I'm pretty sure you didn't."
"Ahhhhhh! Tell me your damn name you stupid, pathetic wizard," Susie finally screamed angrily.
Harry gasped with shock and took a step backwards. He looked at the goblin warily and exclaimed, "Well, I say, that was awfully rude of you."
The goblin just gaped at the stupid wizard. He heard a throat clear behind him and stiffened. He looked around and realized that every single person in the bank was staring at them.
Harry didn't know that a goblin could blush. Huh, you learn something new everyday, he mused thoughtfully.
"Is there a problem here, Glixx?" the other goblin inquired politely.
Harry gasped, his expression outraged. "You lied to me. You do have a name. I was kind enough to share with you my favorite name and you already have one. Is this the type of service goblins offer nowadays? Do you lie to all your customers?" he asked suspiciously.
Glixx looked trapped between embarrassment and anger. "If you'd just told me your name, this could have all been avoided."
Harry sniffed with indignation. "I can't tell you my name now. You lied to me. You don't have that honor." Harry looked at the other goblin. "I'm here to see Ghistpok and this goblin is giving me a hard time. He lied to me about not having a name, and then he yelled at me. I didn't do anything," he said sadly, with a sniffle.
The second goblin stared at him wide eyed. It looked as if the wizard was going to cry. "Please come with me. I will take you to see Ghistpok," the goblin responded in a rush.
Harry smiled at the goblin brightly. "Thank you. What's your name? You do have a name, don't you?" he asked suspiciously. He turned and gave Glixx a glare. Turning back to goblin, he smiled at him expectantly.
The goblin smiled at him nervously and replied, "My name is Biletooth."
Harry blinked at the name for a minute. "I like it. It's better than Susie any day."
Biletooth nodded, turned, and began walking. "If you would follow me, I will take you to see Ghistpok."
Harry and Ron began to follow the goblin. They reached an office door and Biletooth opened it. He waved them into the office. "Ghistpok will be with you in a moment." With a nod, he closed the door hurriedly.
Once the door closed, Ron began to laugh hysterically while Harry just sat there looking smug. Ron was holding his stomach, tears falling from his eyes. "Susie...oh Merlin...I can't believe you called him Susie. You had that goblin so confused."
Harry shrugged nonchalantly and said, "I was bored." He grinned when Ron started howling with laughter.
Ghistpok walked in and looked at the laughing wizard in bewilderment. He closed the door and walked to his desk. He glanced at the other wizard and noticed that he had a smug look on his face. He looked at him intently before smiling. "Susie?"
Ron started to howl again and Harry laughed at the amused look on the goblin's face. He had a feeling he might like this goblin if he could justify why he let Dumbledore steal from him.
After a few minutes, Ron calmed down, wiping the tears from his eyes. Ghistpok looked at the two wizards in front of him. "How may I help you, Mr. Potter?" he inquired.
Harry looked at him, shocked. "How did you know who I was?"
"There are wards around this office. I can see through any glamour, metamorphmagus, and polyjuice potions. It is for the safety of the bank. We wouldn't want a wizard to lie about who he is to steal some money now would we?"
Harry sat up and glared at the goblin. "Speaking of stealing, I want to know why I wasn't told about Dumbledore stealing my money."
The goblin got up from his desk and went what looked like a Muggle filing cabinet. He muttered a spell, then opened a drawer. He rummaged through it and pulled out a file. He slammed the drawer and walked back to the desk. He sat down, placed the file on the desk, and opened it. He glanced at Harry, an unreadable expression on his face.
"Albus Dumbledore is the executor of your estates. As the executor, he has access to your accounts. By law, he is able to open one account in your estate. The account cannot exceed over a 1,000 galleons a month. If a wizard happens to open more than one account under different names for different reasons, then he could gain a good amount of money and still be within the limits of the law," Ghistpok explained.
Harry growled. "Are you saying that Dumbledore took my money and I have no way of making him pay it back?"
"Technically, yes, but Dumbledore made two mistakes. One, when he opened up the accounts he had to sign the papers. Since he didn't think anyone would dig deeply in your estate, he wasn't too concerned about hiding it. He signed his name on the documents, giving proof of his theft. Therefore, he can be liable for the rest of the accounts he was stealing from."
"And the second mistake?" Harry asked curiously.
"He left me in charge of the account," Ghistpok replied smugly. "I dislike theft; it goes against everything that I am. I am an odd goblin since I can't tolerate greed. He believed that if he bribed me, I would hide the paperwork. He was wrong. Since I couldn't do anything personally to bring it your attention, as you were underage at the time, I made a copy of every single document that he ever signed. There is proof in this file of his theft. There is enough evidence here to put Dumbledore away, even by your Ministry laws."
Harry gave the goblin a feral grin. "Yes!" he hissed.
"If your eyes begin to turn red, I'm gone," Ron stated warily as he stared at his best friend.
Harry's shoulders slump glumly. He turned and smacked his friend. "Why do you have to ruin the moment?"
Ron grinned at him. "It's what I do!" he replied cheerfully.
Harry looked back at Ghistpok, a thoughtful look on his face. "I want several copies of those papers made. I don't want what you have to be only copy."
Ghistpok nodded in understanding. "Where shall I send them?"
"I'll have my house-elf come and pick them up," Harry explained.
Ghistpok looked at Harry, surprised. "A house-elf? I didn't think wizards used them for more than drudgery," the goblin remarked.
Harry sat up and glared at the goblin. "Dobby is a free elf. He is able to make his own decisions and I trust him implicitly."
Ghistpok looked at him intently, a shrewd look on his face. "Plus, no other wizards would think of looking at a house-elf. They consider them no more than a nuisance that have no mind of their own."
"Most house-elves are bound to Wizarding families and their magic suppressed. Dobby doesn't have such restraints and his magic is free. He has become quite aggressive in his protection of me," Harry explained.
"Interesting. I shall look forward to meeting him, then," Ghistpok commented with a smile.
"I have question," Ron piped up.
"Yes?" Ghistpok asked.
"How much money did Dumbledore steal?"
Harry looked at the goblin curiously. "I'd also like to know."
The goblin looked down at the file. "He opened twenty accounts in the Potter estate, then there were ten in the Black estate. The Potter accounts he used for seventeen years and the Black accounts were used for three, so that totals up to 4,440,000 galleons."
Harry was quiet a moment before asking, "What in the hell did he need the money for?"
Ghistpok looked down at the file. "Several of the accounts were opened under Hogwarts, several were under Dumbledore, and several were under something call the Order of the Phoenix, and the rest were under various other names."
Harry looked at him in disbelief. "Hogwarts is paid for by the Ministry and the school board, why would he need money to run the school?"
"He doesn't necessarily need to use it for the school. He could simply withdraw the money and use it for himself. He just needed the name to open the account," Ghistpok said.
Harry sighed wearily and said, "Merlin."
"Harry?" Ron asked in concern.
Harry shook his head and explained, "I'm fine. It's just overwhelming and frustrating to know that he was doing this. Why? He has money; his family is richer than the Malfoys, so why does he need my money?"
The goblin looked shifty for a second then said, "Actually, the Dumbledore estate is penniless."
Harry looked at him, shocked. "What?" he asked.
"The Dumbledore estate has steadily been losing money over the last hundred years. The Headmaster used what he had left in the last war with You Know Who," Ghistpok explained.
Harry frowned thoughtfully for a moment before saying, "He must have used it to finance the Order."
"The death of your parents must have seemed like a godsend," Ron said suddenly, his eyebrows furrowed in thought.
"What?" Harry asked, confused.
Ron looked at him, his expression serious. "Think about it. The man has no money, but your parents die and you need an executor. Your family is stinking rich, Harry. The money Dumbledore stole is but a smidgen of what you have. You have so much coming in from businesses, Wizard and Muggle, Muggle stocks and real estate that you wouldn't have noticed the missing money. With all that money, no wonder he decided to steal from you. It's not as if anyone was around to stop him. Who would believe that the wise Leader of the Light would steal from a baby?"
"Just how rich am I? I've never had a chance to look over my estate," Harry said.
Ron snorted, amused. "You're richer than Merlin himself."
"Thanks Ron, that was just vague enough," Harry said with a wry grin.
Ron smirked at him. "You're welcome. Glad I could help."
Ghistpok cleared his throat, gaining the attention of the two wizards. Looking at a parchment in front of him, he said, "A quick review, you have over 10 billion galleons to date, with more being added daily. You have ownership of over 100 Muggle businesses and 50 Wizarding businesses. Some of the ownerships date over hundreds of years. You have stock in several big name businesses in the Muggle world. You have 30 different homes and several buildings, which you rent out. You also have over a million galleons worth of jewelry in your vault. You must understand that this is just the Potter vault. There is more in the Black estate."
Harry just stared at him in disbelief before glancing over at Ron. "Merlin, I knew I had money, but wow, not this much. I don't have to take over the Wizarding World, I can just buy it," he said, his expression dazed. Ron chuckled and Ghistpok smiled.
Harry looked back over to the goblin and asked, "What happens when Ron takes the Black name in the Emancipation Rite?"
"As a member of the family, he will have access to the Black estate," Ghistpok replied. "While the Blacks were not as rich as the Potters, they were close. The richest and most powerful families in the Wizarding world are the Potters, the Blacks, the Dumbledores, the Bones, the Laceys, the Crouches, the Notts, and the Malfoys."
Harry looked over at the dazed Ron and grinned. "Well, it looks like you're stinking rich also."
"Yeah," Ron said absently.
Ghistpok looked at Ron and asked, "When have you scheduled your Rite?"
"I haven't yet. Dumbledore was supposed to take care of that though now that I think of it; it might not be a good idea," Ron explained.
Ghistpok looked at them thoughtfully before saying, "Not many wizards know this, but by law, goblins are able to do the rite for wizards. You can bypass all the 'red tape' I think that is what the Muggles call it, and have it done here. Then we can file the documents with the Ministry and it's legal and final. It will be finished before anyone can interfere. It's often done in times of adoption when a family member wants another to receive an inheritance."
Ron and Harry looked over at each other then grinned wickedly. They turned back to the goblin. "We would like for you to do the Rite."
Ron started to snicker. He looked at Harry and said, "This is going to piss Dumbledore off so bad." Harry laughed and the goblin smiled.
"Very well, I will prepare for the rite. If you would wait here, please." Ghistpok got out of the chair and walked to the door. He opened it and left, closing the door behind him.
Ron grinned at Harry before saying, "Dumbledore can't hold this against me."
"Yeah, I wouldn't put it past Dumbledore to somehow delay the rite," Harry said with a frown.
"Um... Think we can do the Blood Rite here, too? Get it all done in one go?" Ron asked curiously.
Harry shrugged. "Don't know. I guess we can always ask."
They sat in silence, each lost in their own thoughts. After fifteen minutes, Ghistpok came back in. He looked at the two young men and smiled at them. "We are ready."
They stood and Ron asked about the blood rite. "We also wanted to know if we can perform the /Cognatio Frater /here after the Emancipation Rite."
Ghistpok thought about it before saying, "You will have to rest after the Emancipation Rite since it takes a great amount of energy to change your magical signature. That's one reason it's rarely done. A couple of hours of rest and some food should help. The Blood Rite doesn't take a lot of energy as just enhances what you already have."
Ron looked at Harry, a question on his face. "Your choice."
Harry nodded his head and said, "Let's do it. Like you said, we can get this done in one go and nothing can interfere with it."
Ron looked at Ghistpok and nodded his head. "We'll do it," he said.
"Very well, follow me please."
They followed the goblin out of the office. They walked towards a door that was guarded a couple of fierce looking goblins. Ron looked at them warily while Harry just nodded to them. They waited, as the guards looked them up and down and then unlocked the door and let them through. They moved down a long hallway until they reached gold door. Ron stared at it in awe. "Blimey Harry, how many galleons do you think that door would make?"
"5,867,239 galleons," Ghistpok replied, overhearing the question..
Ghistpok knocked on the door and waited. It opened and they entered the room. Harry looked around and whistled, his expression delighted. The room was smaller than the main lobby of the bank, but still large. It was a round room; the floor was made of rose Italian marble. The walls were a mixture of uncut semi precious stones and stained concrete. The stones flickered with color from the torch flames placed around the room. The high vaulted rounded ceiling had a mural of the Goblin wars depicted on it. Sitting in the middle of the room was a small table surrounded by several large cushions.
"Welcome to the Room of Remembrance. It is not used much anymore except for certain rites. Off this room are smaller rooms that have beds that you may rest on later. There are wards around this room so that no magic can escape or be detected. I am unhappy to admit that it has been used in several dark arts rituals, but that was banned after Voldemort came into power. This is where your ritual will take place. You will sit on the cushions by the table so that if you feel weak for any reason, you don't have far to fall," the goblin said blandly.
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