WIP AU Harry was sent to Azkaban and was later found to be innocent. With the help of Ron, he will find out who his true friends are. Will he forgive those who betrayed him? Will he be able to le...
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
"I'm going to kill him," Harry stated calmly.
Ron swallowed hard at the comment. Usually he wouldn't worry, but the look in Harry's eyes scared him. He had only seen that look when the subject of You Know Who came up. It was the same look of determination, rage, and iciness that made people very afraid. Ron wished that Dumbledore was here to see the look, because if he had, the man would have been running for the hills.
"Now Harry, you can't kill him...yet. You have to find Sirius first, then you need to kill You Know Who, after that you take care of Dumbledore. We don't need to trade one mad man for another."
Harry looked at him then scowled. "Have you considered that when I get rid of Voldemort, Dumbledore will try everything in his power to get rid of me? He can't have me running around taking away his power, can he? No, Dumbledore will try to get rid of me so we need make sure that he can't."
"We do have the contract and the paperwork showing his theft. That in itself is good for some time in Azkaban," Ron commented.
"The contract will only hold him off for so long. I'm sure he'll try to find a way around it. Sadly, the paperwork shows only the theft of my money. That would get him six months in Azkaban, in a spell free cell then another year under house arrest at his home. That would give him time to plan and I don't want that. Right now, he fears a loss of respect and power, but if he feels cornered, he'll fight back, and if he thinks he has nothing to lose, then no one is safe. We could have another Dark Lord on our hands," Harry said with a frown.
Ron stared at him, disconcerted. "You don't think he's that bad, do you?" he asked. "I mean, sure he stole your money and kept the fact that Sirius was alive from you, but surely he can't be evil."
Harry looked at Ron sadly. "I hadn't thought so, but for him to do this, Ron? He kept my godfather away from me and why? Because of money, it was nothing more than pure and simple greed. Do you honestly think that he cares about anything but his power and his name? He may not be as bad as Voldemort, but he's still a manipulative bastard and he shouldn't be allowed to get away with what he is doing."
Ron frowned then shrugged with resignation. "No, I guess not. I just didn't want to believe that the man I had looked up to for so many years is so manipulative."
Harry grabbed Ron's shoulder and squeezed gently. "I know. I've gotten used to people disappointing me, but it's still hard to know that the grandfatherly man we grew up with is nothing more than a power hungry tyrant. And another thing, don't you think it's time for you to call Voldemort by his name?"
Ron grimaced before replying, "I know, but it's hard. All I can do is promise to try."
Harry grinned at Ron. "That's fine. If you can't call him Voldemort, then call him Tom." Harry suddenly looked serious, "How are we going to find Sirius? I'm assuming that the Headmaster has him locked up tight, warded, and under the Fidelius spell somewhere. Damn, it's going to be hard to find him."
"True, but you know we have to. He would do the same for us," Ron said firmly.
Harry nodded then smirked. "I wonder what Sirius is going to say when he finds out I was thrown into Azkaban? I could probably just sit back and let Sirius go after the Headmaster. Merlin knows he's going to be angry enough with the man as it is."
"Forget the Headmaster, how's he going to feel when he finds out that Remus turned on you as well?"
Harry snorted, disgusted. "The poor werewolf is going to have his whole world shattered, isn't he? First, he finds out that I'm innocent, and then he's going to find out that Sirius is alive, and that his beloved Headmaster has been lying to him for years. Whatever will he do?" Harry sneered.
Ron rolled his eyes. "Overly dramatic enough?"
Harry crossed his arms and pouted. "Damn it, Ron. I'm tired of you killing my moments. Stop it!"
Ron snickered at the petulant look on Harry's face. "You're the hero, Harry. I'm the funny, sarcastic sidekick. Get use to it."
Harry laughed and looked at Felkin. He'd been standing there waiting patiently for them to finish talking. "I want to thank you for all you've done. Without you, I wouldn't have known that my godfather was alive."
Felkin bowed his head slightly. "It was my pleasure. I have only one request of you."
"Yes?" Harry asked hesitantly.
"I would like to see you...what is it you humans say....um...ah yes...kick Voldemort's ass," Felkin said with a sly smile.
Harry and Ron stared at the goblin in disbelief. Ron started to snicker and Harry grinned. Harry looked at Ron, his eyebrow arched, and they started to laugh. Ron had tears in his eyes and Harry couldn't breathe. Felkin stood there with a smug smile on his face while the two men tried to control themselves.
A moment later, a snickering Harry looked at Felkin and grinned. "I will. I'll give him your regards as he lies dying at my feet."
Felkin gave him a feral grin. "That would be most excellent."
They shook hands with the goblin. Harry looked at Ron and smiled. "Make sure you put your glamour on."
Ron nodded, took out his wand, and cast the spell. He looked at his wand, surprised. "Whoa!" he said.
Harry looked at him, concerned. "What's wrong?"
"There's nothing wrong. Remember when I told you that I felt a little more powerful after the Rite?" he paused and Harry nodded his head. "Well, when I cast the spell it was easier. My magic is stronger."
"Interesting. We'll have to test that later, when we get home." Ron nodded and Harry took out his wand and cast his glamour.
They both turned towards the door where Biletooth was waiting to walk them out. Together the three of them walked out of the room, down the hallway and through the door. They had entered the main room when Harry suddenly turned to Biletooth. "I just realized, I need to get some money out of my vault. In fact, is there a way that I can get money without having to come to my vault every time I run out?"
"We have a bottomless sack that you can buy at a very reasonable fee. It has the Elevo Saccus spell on it to lighten your load. You can fill it up with as much as you want and it will not put a strain on you. There is also a/ Securitas/ spell on it, so that your sack cannot be stolen. The spell needs to be recast every two years by us, for a small fee. We know that wizards are busy, so we will send you a letter when the time comes for the spell to be recast," Biletooth told him, his face expressionless.
"Why do you have to recast the spell? Couldn't I do it myself and save myself the fee?" Harry asked curiously.
"You could, but in matters of security, there is no one better than the goblins. Our magic is such that a wizard cannot break it. Therefore your sack will always be secure," he explained.
Harry nodded in understanding. "Very well. I would like a sack and another for my brother. You can take the money from my account."
"If you would wait here a moment," Biletooth said and gave them a small bow before leaving.
Harry looked around, bored. He watched as the witches and the wizards went about their daily lives. He suddenly stiffened and Ron looked over at him, concerned. "What?"
"Tonks is here. She's over by the door," Harry explained.
"Where? I don't see her," Ron stated as he looked around.
"She's leaning against the wall by the large statue of a goblin."
"Harry, the only person I see is an old woman. I can't find Tonks anywhere," Ron said with irritation.
Harry paused then smiled with delight. "Well what do you know, my little magical aura thingy is good for something. I can see her as clear as day. Remember Tonks is a Metamorphmagus."
"Magical aura thingy?" Ron asked with a snicker.
"It's not like I know the true name for it, Ginger," Harry replied as he rolled his eyes.
"Don't call me that," Ron snapped with mock anger.
Harry smiled and watched as Tonks took one last look around. She looked over to where Ron and Harry were standing and her eyes went wide. She stared a moment and Harry knew then that she could see past their glamours.
"Shit," Harry muttered.
"What?" Ron asked.
"Tonks recognized us," he answered as he watched the Auror stare at him. She tilted her head thoughtfully, looking back and forth between Harry and Ron. Harry stood frozen, waiting for her to come over and say something. Damn it! He wasn't ready for anyone to find out about him yet.
After a moment of staring, she seemed to make up her mind. She nodded her head, gave him a soft smile, and left the bank.
"Damn, she left. Ron, wait here. I need to talk to her or Obliviate her. No one can know about me. I need to know if Dumbledore is having her spy on us," he said urgently. Harry growled at the thought that Dumbledore was out looking for them.
"Go ahead. I'll wait for Biletooth. Be careful, Harry," Ron said.
Harry nodded and left the bank. He cursed as he realized he had no idea where Tonks had gone. He stood in the middle of the street and sighed. Damn. He hadn't been quick enough.
"Wotcher, Harry," a voice said softly from behind him.
Harry whirled around and stared at the woman in front of him. "Tonks," he growled.
"It's nice to see that you're doing better," Tonks told him.
"Spying for your master, were you?" Harry snarled.
Tonks blinked, surprised, before frowning. "Master? What do you mean?"
"Dumbledore! I just bet you can't wait to tell that old fool that I'm better. Fine, when you do, tell that bastard that if he does anything to try to find me, I'll have his ass in Azkaban so fast his head will spin. The Wizarding World isn't going to like the fact that their beloved leader was stealing from their Savior," Harry sneered.
Tonks stared at him, her face grave. "Harry, I'm not spying for Dumbledore. I'm not even part of the Order anymore. I was doing my job. I work as security for the bank in my off hours. I haven't seen Dumbledore for months," she informed him.
Harry gazed at her, surprised. "Really? Why?" he asked.
"Because I couldn't believe that he would let you go to prison for something you didn't do. Hell, Harry, I may not have known you all that well, but even I knew you wouldn't have killed anyone. I tried to make the Headmaster see sense, but when he refused to help you, I realized that I couldn't work for a man who threw you away. So I left the Order."
"Oh," Harry replied softly.
"I understand that you don't believe me, and I can understand why. Everyone, but Ron betrayed your trust. But know this, I'm not one of them. I would've helped, but I was alone in my belief or at least that I knew," Tonks said.
"So you weren't looking for me at the bank?" Harry asked.
Tonks laughed. "No, trust me, it was a surprise to see you and Weasley. In fact, I was surprised to realize that you knew who I was. Very few could see past my Metamorphmagus changes. The few who can have the magical sight."
Harry blushed and Tonks eyes widened with delight. "Well, that's great! I have it as well. That's how I could see you and Ron under your glamours. It's one of the reasons the Goblins hire me to watch their bank. They need the little extra bit of help. Do you have anyone to help your gift grow?" she asked.
Harry shook his head. "No, not yet. I don't want anyone to know where I am," he told her.
Tonks frowned. "Why would you want that?"
Harry sighed. "I'm hiding from Dumbledore and the rest of the Wizarding World. Dumbledore thinks that I'm catatonic from my stay in Azkaban. He doesn't realize that it was an act. Ron took me out of Hogwarts, along with Dobby, and we hid. I've found out some things about the Headmaster that I didn't know before and he knows that I know, well some of them. You can't tell anyone that you've seen me. As far as anyone knows, Harry Potter has mush for brains right now."
Tonks looked thoughtful. "So that's why you accused me of spying," she stated and Harry nodded. "So, Dumbledore really stole from you?"
"Yeah, Ron told me since he's was in charge of my estate. Trust me, I'm not a happy camper."
Tonks smirked. "Yeah, I can imagine why."
"So," Harry began nervously. "You won't tell anyone, will you?"
Tonks shook her head. "I promise not to say anything to anyone without your permission. Wizard's oath," she stated. There was a flare of magic as the oath took hold.
Harry sighed, relieved. "Thanks. I guess I should be getting back to Ron. I'm sure he's waiting impatiently. He probably thinks you've kidnapped me and are taking me back to Dumbledore," he said with a chuckle.
Tonks snickered. "Yeah, probably. Harry, if you ever need anything, owl me. I'll help you if I can. In fact, if you need any help with your magical sight, let me know. I would be glad to teach you."
Harry smiled at her. "Thanks, I will."
Tonks hugged him and with a cheerful wave, walked off. Harry was happy to know that Tonks believed him. He had always liked her. He made his way back into the bank and found Ron pacing nervously.
"Hey," Harry greeted.
Ron looked up, his face relieved. "There you are! I thought for sure that Tonks had kidnapped you and taken you back to Dumbledore."
Harry repressed the laughter that welled up inside him. He had been right. Harry shook his head. "Na, in fact, she doesn't even talk to Dumbledore. She's no longer part of the Order."
"Huh?" Ron asked, confused.
Harry proceeded to tell him the conversation he'd had with Tonks. Ron was amazed and happy to find that Harry had another friend and ally.
"Well, looks like Dumbledore's foolishness lost himself a rather spectacular spy. Idiot," Ron muttered.
Harry laughed and agreed. "Just so you know, I wasn't kidding about the killing Dumbledore," he said softly.
Ron sighed before replying, "I know. I realize you have good reason too, but maybe you should let Voldemort do the killing. He always wanted to take care of the Headmaster. You can direct Voldemort where you need him and let him do the rest."
Harry snickered at the amusing picture of a gleeful Voldemort torturing the Headmaster. He shook his head when the image of Dumbledore kept offering the Dark Lord a lemon drop, a bright cheerful look on his face. Ugh. "That would be funny. Voldemort takes care of the Headmaster, I take care of Voldemort, then I can rule the world and you can run it! Excellent!" Harry hissed evilly.
Ron sighed, reached over, and smacked him upside the head. "No, you can't rule the world. You'd hate the paperwork."
Harry crossed his arms and pouted. "You never let me have any fun," he whined.
Ron arched an eyebrow at him and Harry was envious,/ wish I could do that/. "Did I or did I not let you play with Susie?"
Harry grinned and looked around. "Where is my newest best friend?" He saw Glixx standing by the counter and yelled, "Oh, Susie! How's that name thing coming along?"
Ron started to laugh as Glixx glared at Harry. The other people in the bank watched them in confusion. Harry ignored them and smiled at Glixx brightly. "Why don't you come over here and talk to me, Susie? I missed you while I was gone."
Ron covered his mouth with his hand to hold in his laughter when Glixx hissed at them and stomped off. Harry chuckled. "Some people are so touchy about their names, isn't that right, Ginger?"
"Oi! I told you not to call me that," Ron protested.
Harry opened his mouth to reply, but closed it when he saw Biletooth approaching them. He held out his hand and lying in his palm were two silver sacks. "There is an unlimited amount of room in this sack. Take care of what of you put in here though, I have heard rumors of people getting lost in them."
"Really?" Ron asked, his expression wary.
Biletooth shrugged nonchalantly. "There are only rumors, but I could see where it could happen."
Harry nodded and took the sacks from Biletooth's hand. He passed one over to Ron and looked at his curiously. "You know this material looks and feels similar to the material that my invisibility cloak was made out of."
"It is. They are both made of the hair of the Demiguise. The difference are the spells that are used. With different spells, the properties of the material can change. The changes must be made during the weaving of the Demiguise hair. After it's been woven the properties of the material cannot be changed."
"Coolies," Ron said.
Ghistpok approached them and asked, "Are you gentlemen still interested in seeing your vaults?"
They both nodded and Ghistpok turned to Biletooth. "I will take them down." Biletooth grunted, turned, and walked away.
Ghistpok smiled, turned, and began to walk. "Follow me, please," he requested over his shoulder. They went past several counters until they came to a large door guarded by several Goblin soldiers. Harry nodded at them and they stared at him in surprise. They went through the door and down the steps. When they saw the cart that traveled through the large caverns under the bank and Ron moaned. "I hate this thing."
Harry snickered as they all got into the cart. Ghistpok started it up and took off. Harry giggled before asking, "Can you go any faster?"
Ron moaned and Ghistpok looked at Harry, his eyes filled with surprise. "I thought wizards couldn't handle the speed of the cart."
"I'm what you call an adrenaline junky. The faster you go, the more I like it."
Ghistpok looked at him a second then grinned evilly. He pushed a button on the cart and the cart began to blast through the caverns. Harry yelled out in excitement while Ron screamed. "Make it stop! Make it stop! Oh Merlin, I'm going to be sick! Aaaaahhhhhhh!" Ron begged.
The cart began to slow down then stopped. Ghistpok got out first. "Vault 12," he said.
Harry got out of the cart and bounced around excitedly. "Wow, that was fun. Did you like it, Ron?"
Ron staggered out of the cart and moaned. His face was pale. He glared at Harry. "I hate you so much right now."
"Why? It was fun. The speed, the twisting, the turning, going up, going down, back and forth, side to side," Harry said while swaying his body.
Ron's face turned green and he ran over to the edge of the platform. He leaned against a stone column while he threw up. Harry looked at him, and then shrugged. He gazed down at Ghistpok. "Eh...guess he didn't like it," Harry quipped with an innocent look
Ghistpok chuckled and held out his hand. "Key, please," he said. Harry searched through his pockets and found his key. He gave it to Ghistpok and the goblin inserted it into the keyhole. The lock clicked and the door opened. Ghistpok walked in and Harry looked over at Ron. "You all right over there?"
Ron straightened up and staggered over to Harry. "Fine," he replied hoarsely.
"Ewww, Ron, freshen your breath. Vomit is not a good smell," Harry told him as he held his hand over his nose.
Ron grabbed his wand and cast a spell to clean his mouth. He put his wand away and glared at Harry. "Well, whose fault is that?"
"Ghistpok's?" Harry asked innocently. "Come on, my friend, let's go check out my family vault."
They walked into the vault and stopped. There was another set of doors inside the vault. Harry could see a shimmering red shield surrounding it. "Why is there another door in here and why is it shielded?"
"Only those of the Potter line can open that door. You need to place your hand in the indention on the wall next to the door. Once there, your hand will then be pricked with a sharp object and a drop of blood will be spilt. A spell will activate and it will analyze your blood. If you are of Potter blood, then the door will open, if you aren't, then you had better run because the security spell around the vault will activate and you will be pulverized," Ghistpok explained.
"Whoa. I guess my forefather's really wanted to protect their gold," Harry said.
"Actually, it was your Grandfather who implemented the security measures several days before he died," Ghistpok informed him. "He commented that he really wanted to protect something, but he never told me what it was."
Harry walked over the indention on the wall and nervously placed his hand in it. He tensed; waiting for the stab of pain he knew would follow. He jumped as he felt something sharp hit his hand. He cursed at the pain and watched as a drop of blood fell into the indention. It began to glow a bright green color then it turned red. A voice called out from around the vault,/ "Welcome, Harry James Potter, son of James and Lily Potter. Go forth and claim what is rightfully yours by blood."/
The shield that had been surrounding the door fell and it began to move. Harry backed away from the wall and stood next to Ron. He looked down at his bleeding hand and took out his wand. He cast a small healing spell on the cut and sighed in relief as the pain vanished. He heard Ron gasp and looked up. Harry froze, shocked. "Oh, Merlin. Oh wow!"
The vault was huge. On one side of the vault galleons, sickles and knuts lined the wall from top to bottom. It went as far back as Harry could see. On the other side, he could see furniture, magical items, weapons, portraits, and jewelry. In addition, there were other things he couldn't identify, but right now, he was too busy staring at the money. He gaped at the money and it suddenly hit him. He was stinking rich and this was only one vault out of six that he had. Harry started to giggle insanely and Ron looked at him in trepidation.
"Harry, mate, you all right?" the redhead asked.
"I'm rich, Ron. It just hit me how freaking rich I am. Oh, the things I can do with the money. Come on." Harry grabbed Ron's hand and pulled him into the vault. He opened his bottomless sack and began to throw money in it, humming happily. "How much do you think I should take? I don't want to come back whenever I need money."
Ron looked thoughtful before shrugging. "Not sure. You can take a lot out and leave some at home in a safe place. That way if, Merlin forbid, your bag actually gets stolen, there won't be a huge amount in left in the sack." Ron paused as Ghistpok glared at him. "No offense, but this is Harry Potter we're talking about. If it's not supposed to happen, then it'll happen to him.
Harry grunted in agreement, remembering all the things that had happened to him before he was sent to Azkaban. When he was younger, he couldn't see it, but now that he was older, he wondered how much of what had happened when he was younger had been arranged by Dumbledore. It would explain why three eleven year-old children could get past the traps that had been set by adults in their first year, and how the Hogwarts, the supposedly safest place in the Wizarding World, wasn't so safe. It just didn't make sense. Or the fact that Dumbledore had never been there just when Harry needed him the most, except for fifth year. But even that was suspicious. Oh yeah, the Headmaster definitely had something to do with it, and sadly, that had just been the beginning.
After Harry felt that he had thrown enough galleons, sickles and knuts into the sack, he closed it. "Wonder how much I have in here," he mused.
"There is a simple spell to check for that. Point your wand at the sack and say Aes Signatum Mensura and the amount of money you have in the sack should appear," Ghistpok explained.
Harry took his wand and pointed it at the sack. "/Aes Signatum Mensura/," he muttered. Letters glowed lightly on the sack. He had around 5,432 galleons in the bag, 300 silver sickles, and 200 knuts in the bag. He nodded, satisfied, as he watched the words disappear from the sack. "That should be enough for now."
"Oi Harry! Over here," Ron yelled. Harry glanced around and realized that while he had been having fun over the money, Ron had taken to exploring the vault.
"Hey, Ron, where are you?"
"I'm towards the back, past the weapons. There is a little niche back here, and there is something I think you should see," he yelled.
Harry walked around the mounds of money, furniture, and miscellaneous magical items to find Ron standing in front of a darkened niche. He walked up to Ron and looked into the niche. Inside were a couple of Pensieves. Intrigued, Harry reached for the pensieves, but his hand hit a shield instead. He cursed as the shield shocked his fingers and he pulled his hand back.
"Hey, Ghistpok," Harry called and the goblin came walking over to them.
"Yes, Mr. Potter?"
"What is this shield around the niche?" Harry asked. "There are a couple of Pensieves in there, but I can't get to it."
"Ah, yes. It is like the shield that guards the door to this vault. If you look, you will find an indention in the wall over there. As you did with the door, you simply place your hand in the indention and the spell takes care of the rest," Ghistpok explained.
Harry nodded his thanks and took out his wand. "Lumos," he said and light filled the niche. He looked around on the wall and found the indention. With a sigh, he reluctantly put his hand into the indention, and waited for the pain that he knew would be coming. He cursed when something cut his hand. He watched as the indention began to glow green then red. The shield around the niche fell. Harry pulled his hand out of the indention, took out his wand, and healed the cut on his hand. Putting away his wand, he stepped closer to the niche. Harry grabbed the pensieves and noticed that they, too, had shields surrounding them. Whoever put these here wanted to make sure no one could get them unless he was a Potter.
"There are shields around the pensieves. I assume that the shield is like the one that surrounded the niche and the door," Harry asked.
Ghistpok nodded. "Yes, just add a drop of blood onto the shield and the spell will work."
"Bloody hell, Harry. Whatever is in those pensieves must be important with all the trouble you had getting them," Ron said, looking at the pensieves curiously.
Harry nodded in agreement and put the pensieves carefully into the sack. Harry looked around, but found nothing else that he wanted. He began to walk towards the front of the vault when he heard Ron say, "Wonder what that is?"
Harry turned to look. Ron was facing a small pedestal that had a small light shining on it. Curious, Harry walked forward and glanced down at the pedestal. Lying in a box was a ring. Warily, Harry reached down for the ring, but there was no shield surrounding the pedestal. Harry gave a sigh of relief, picked up the ring, and looked it over. The platinum ring had a shield engraved on the front -- per quarter argent and gules, first and fourth spread phoenix gules, second and third crowned griffon sergeant argent.(1) The name Potter was carved on a banner above the shield.
Ron looked over his shoulder and exclaimed, "Hey, it's your family ring."
"Family ring?" Harry asked curiously.
"Yeah. Every head of the family line has one. It has your family crest engraved on it, letting the world know that you are the Head of the Potter line. It's used for a number of things such as sealing a letter to opening some doors in your homes. Some things within the Potter line are keyed to that ring. Keep it and put it on. You can cast a Disillusionment charm on it so no one can see it unless you want him or her to. By right, you should've gotten this ring when you entered Hogwarts, but for obvious reasons, you didn't get it. Even though, at the time, you didn't have control over your estate because you were still underage, you still should have gotten that ring, whether you wore it or not," Ron explained.
Harry snarled as he found another thing that the Headmaster had kept from him. He placed the ring on his finger, and felt the warmth of magic spread throughout his body. He had a sense of connection to things that he hadn't had previously.
"Huh, that's weird," Harry said looking at the ring warily.
"What?" Ron asked.
Harry studied the ring before explaining, "It's as if I am aware of things I wasn't aware of previously."
Ron nodded. "You probably are. As I said, certain things are keyed into that ring. Now, you'll know where what they are. If you get close to something that the ring is keyed into, then your ring should get warm to let you know. I'm betting that there are rooms and vaults in the castle that you couldn't open before that you can open now that you have the ring," the redhead told him.
"Does Arthur Weasley have a ring like this?" Harry asked as he looked over at his brother.
"Yes, all purebloods have one. The Weasleys may be poor, but at one time, they were very wealthy and powerful. The ring and an old house is all that is left of the Weasley legacy. Well, that and the good standing of the of the Weasley line. They are known for being supporters of the light. There hasn't been a dark wizard in the Weasley line for generations. They were once known for never breaking a promise. Guess that's not true anymore," Ron said with a ferocious scowl.
Harry patted Ron on the arm. "True, but you're a Black now. You're also my brother. You don't have to worry about them anymore."
Ron nodded and Harry looked around one more time. "There isn't anything else I need right now. When I've got more time, I'm going to come back and check out the vaults. It's lucky that there's a vault inventory book. I'm going to check it later to see if there's anything we'll need. Now, it's your turn to drool over some money."
Ron grinned in delight. "Well, what are we waiting for? Let's go," he exclaimed excitedly.
Harry chuckled as Ron rushed towards the door of the vault. Ghistpok was waiting for them and Harry had to admire the goblin's patience. Harry made sure his sack was hidden in his robe pocket before walking out of the inner vault. He watched as the door began to close. When it had shut all the way, it glowed red and Harry could see the shield come back up. He walked out of the vault and saw Ron hopping around excitedly.
"Can we go now?"
Harry grinned at Ron's excitement. "You know if I didn't know that you actually cared for me, I'd think the only reason you wanted to become family was because you wanted my money."
Ron blinked for a second before smirking. "Well, yeah. It's all part of my devious plan and there's nothing you can do about it now. It's permanent," Ron replied with a bright smile on his face.
Harry chuckled and watched as Ron and Ghistpok got into the cart. He followed then sat down. He looked over his shoulder at Ron and grinned. "Out of the goodness of my heart, I won't even ask Ghistpok to make the cart go faster."
Ron smiled at Harry, a relieved expression on his face. "Thanks."
Harry nodded and turned around. Ghistpok was looking at Harry and he grinned at the goblin innocently. Ghistpok chuckled and started the cart. They began to move and few minutes later, they were at the Black Family vault.
"Vault 84," Ghistpok stated as they came to a stop. They all got out and Harry began to dig around, looking for the key. Luckily, he'd remembered to ask Ron for the keys this morning before they left.
"Key, please," Ghistpok requested and Harry gave him the key. "Hey, Ron, remind me to give you that key when we leave here. I won't need it anymore. You can hold onto it for Sirius."
Ron nodded and watched eagerly as the vault door opened. Ghistpok stood aside and Ron rushed in. Harry chuckled and followed him. Like the Potter vault, there was another set of doors, but no shields.
Ron looked at it warily before asking, "I'm not going to have to bleed for this door, am I?"
Ghistpok shook his head as he said, "No, there is no bleeding involved for this door. The Blacks never implemented the security measures." Harry was sure he heard the goblin mutter 'the cheap bastards' under his breath as the goblin walked by. Ghistpok walked over to the door and ran his finger down the seam. The two young men heard several clicks and the door began to open. Lights flared up as the door opened and Ron gaped at the sight of all that money. Like the Potter vault, the money was on one side and the Black possessions were on the other.
Ron whooped and ran into the vault. He opened up his sack and began throwing money into it. Harry grinned at Ron's antics. Most people would have been concerned about the amount of joy Ron was taking in the money, but Harry knew what it had been like for Ron to grow up without any money. He wasn't concerned with it because he knew that once Ron had gotten use to the idea of having so much money, then he would calm down. Until then, he was going to let Ron have as much fun with it as he could. Harry looked around the vault in interest. There were furniture, portraits, and weapons lining the right side of the vault. He began to walk around, looking idly at some of the items in that the Black family possessed.
He saw a pedestal like the one in the Potter's vault and took a step forward. Sitting on it was a box, which was holding a ring. It looked new and it was smaller than Harry's family ring. The platinum ring had the Black shield engraved on it. It showed murray a sword between two lions counter rampant, two moons increscent in base, all purpure. (2) The name Black was engraved along the edge of the shield.
"Hey, Ron, whenever you get a second you need to look at this," Harry yelled to his friend as he examined the ring.
A few minutes later Ron came over. "What?" he asked curiously.
Harry pointed at the ring sitting on the pedestal. "Shouldn't Sirius be wearing that?" he asked.
Ron looked at it thoughtfully. "Yeah, once you put on your family ring, the only way for it to come off is when you die. Family rings grow with a wizard as he grows. This ring is too new. It's still shiny and it's smaller than a family ring. Hey, Ghistpok, could you come over here a second?"
The goblin walked over to them and Ron pointed at the ring. "Isn't that a family ring?"
Ghistpok peered at the ring then smiled. "Ah, it seems that the Black line has created a new ring for its new member. The Head of the Black line must really like you. Normally those rings are only created when one is a favored member of the family. The ring will disappear once the wizard or witch dies. The ring is always smaller than the actual family ring. This ring is yours, Mr. Black. It was made specifically for you. Go ahead and put it on."
Ron looked at the ring in awe. "Wow." He picked up the ring carefully and put it on. He looked startled a minute then grinned. "I understand what you meant about being aware of things, Harry. I can't believe Sirius wanted me to have this ring." Ron frowned slightly before saying, "I wonder how he knew that I was the one receiving the ring."
Ghistpok cleared his throat and asked, "If I may explain?" Harry and Ron nodded and the goblin smiled at them. "When the Rite is performed, you are basically ripping out one magical core for another. This is not something to do lightly. During the Rite, you called upon the Powers to help you perform the Rite. The Powers will usually ask the Head of the Family for your acceptance. It will either be granted or denied. If it's granted, then the Head of the Family can choose to allow the ring to be made, if it's denied, then the wizard performing the Rite loses his magic and becomes a squib," the goblin informed him and Ron turned white. He hadn't known about that part of the Rite.
"Sirius Black was probably given a vision of the person asking for the power of his family. Once he saw that it was you and gave his acceptance, he granted to you the power of the Black family line. This ring shows you that acceptance. You have access to everything in this vault and the other three Black vaults. You also have access to the homes, businesses, and legal matters of the family. This ring also gives you the right to head the family in Sirius Black's absence. Until his return, you are technically the Head of the Black family."
Ron looked stunned at the news. He had just thought he would be getting a new name and access to some money, but now it looked like he was getting a lot more than that. It hit him that he suddenly had some power in the Wizarding World. The Blacks were a powerful pureblood Wizarding family, and he was now a member and a favored member at that.
Harry grinned at Ron's look then looked at Ghistpok and asked, "I have a couple of questions. Why would the family ring show up here in the vault, and not in front of Ron at his acceptance into the Black family?"
Ghistpok explained that the pedestals were keyed to the family rings. The Rings would automatically come to the pedestal when the Head of the Family died, or if a member of the family had a ring created for them. Most pedestals were kept in the family vaults now, but at one point, they had graced the homes of the great Wizarding families.
"What happened to Ron's former magic? You said that his previous magical core was being traded for another, so what happened to his previous magical core?" Harry asked.
"It was returned to the Weasley line. The magic erased his name from the Family Line and erased anything that pertained to him; books, spells, clocks. It was as if Ron Weasley never existed," Ghistpok informed him.
Harry looked at Ghistpok sharply. "Will the Weasleys know that the Rite was performed?"
Ghistpok nodded and replied, "Yes, every member of the family will now be aware that Mr. Black is no longer part of the family. The magic will have dispersed back into the family."
"Wouldn't that make them more powerful?" Harry asked.
"No, it would give them nothing more than a boost of energy. It doesn't make them anymore powerful, well maybe slightly, but nothing of significance," Ghistpok replied.
"So, why is Ron feeling more powerful?" Harry wondered.
Ghistpok looked surprised for a second before replying, "I assume it's because the Blacks are magically more powerful than the Weasleys. The line has had some of the strongest wizards to date. Remember the adoption is not by blood, but by magic. When Sirius Black accepted him, he also gave him the right to use the magic. The powers then transferred the Black magic to his inner core replacing the magic that had been ripped from it. That is why if Sirius Black had not accepted him, young Mr. Black would have been turned into a squib. There would have been no magic to replace what had been taken out."
Harry grunted in understanding then looked over at Ron. "It's a good thing Padfoot likes you."
Ron nodded in agreement still looking a little pale by the news. "Yeah, must have missed that part about the Rite."
"Are you all right?" Harry asked, concerned.
Ron smiled at Harry. "I'm fine," he replied. He looked around the vault thoughtfully before turning back to Harry. "I'm done now. We can leave. I believe I have enough money to last a while and I can explore later when we have some more time."
"Now we go shopping!" Harry chirped excitedly. Ron gave him a look and Harry pouted. "What? Don't tell me you don't look forward to it now that you have some money to spend."
Ron looked excited by that thought. "I do, don't I? Well, then what are we waiting for? Lead the way my good man!"
"Tally ho!" Harry yelled as he ran out of the vault. Ron looked at Ghistpok and sighed. "That is the man that is going to save us from You Know Who and Dumbledore," Ron said dramatically. "We are so screwed."
Ghistpok chuckled and began to walk with Ron towards the front of the vault. Ron waited while Ghistpok closed and locked the inner vault doors. He left the vault and entered the large cavern, where he Harry already in the cart, bouncing around excitedly.
"Hurry up, let's go. I have money to spend."
Ron and Ghistpok got into the cart and Harry smiled at the goblin wickedly. Ghistpok understood the look and smirked. He started the cart and pushed the button. Ron's screams could be heard miles away.
I took the description of the shields off the internet and added some of my own ideas to it. The colors of the shields also have some meaning. I also thank Nancy so much for the help with the shields. She knows more about it than I do.
* Or, in other words, the phoenix with wings spread (and legs, btw) is red on silver in the upper left and lower right corners. A crowned, standing griffin is in the opposite corners in silver on red.
Argent, white or silver - Peace and sincerity.
Gules or red - Military fortitude and magnanimity.
Griffin - Sets forth the property of a valorous soldier whose magnanimity is such that he will dare all dangers, and even death itself, rather than become captive.
Quarter - Bearing of honor. Similar to the Canton.
Crown - Royal or seigniorial authority.
Phoenix - Resurrection.
**It showed a maroon shield with two lions standing on their back legs with a sword raised up right in the middle. There were two crescent moons carved under the standing lions. The charges are all in purple. (Charges, lions, swords and crescent moons)
Lion - The lion is the most popular beast in heraldry - Deathless courage.
Rampant - (ramp'-ant) Said of a beast of prey, as a lion, rising with fore paws in the air., as if attacking.
COUNTER RAMPANT - Said of two animals rampant in opposite directions. (Sometimes used to denote a beast rampant toward sinister.)
Sword - The sword of heraldry is two handed. - Indicates the bearer to a just and generous pursuit of honor and virtue in warlike deeds.
Moon - The moon in heraldry is always borne as a crescent, usually with the cavity upward. When the cavity is toward the dexter side of the shield, it is increscent; when toward the sinister, decrescent. - Serene power over mundane actions
Purpure, purple - Royal majesty, sovereignty and justice.
Murray, or sanguine - Not hasty in battle, and yet a victor.
Elevo Saccus - lighten sack
Aes Signatum Mensura - coined money amount