The Only One

Chapter 6

As I squeezed my way through the crowd to get to the security desk and check in, I felt a spell hit my back.

I had all my protective armor on so it didn’t penetrate. I whipped around to find a man with his wand out and he had a black object in his other hand. He looked at me like he was confused. I guess he was wondering why his spell didn’t work.

When I turned around to face my attacker, I pulled my batons out in the same motion. I knew in a crowd this size, packed so closely, that I didn’t want to use my wand or my guns. There was too much risk in hitting innocent bystanders, although they did move back a bit when I spun around and they saw the man with his wand out.

He tried to touch me with the object in his hand but I dodged him then smacked both his arms with a baton, breaking them and causing him to drop the object and his wand on the floor. I kicked the object away from me then with a spin I turned and hit the man in the temple with a baton. He barely got out one scream from the pain in his arms before he was out cold on the floor.

The press, not known for their sparkling intellect, never ran for safety or offered to help. Instead, they hung around so they could be eyewitnesses to the action taking place.

As I looked around for more threats, I saw two Killing Curses coming straight at me from both sides. The crowd had moved back sufficiently away from me by now which gave me more room to maneuver so I moved out of the way quickly. Both green spells barely missed and passed by nearly meeting each other in the middle. Both curses were headed for the two who cast them but before they hit they both grabbed a bystander and moved them in front of the curse as a shield, killing the bystanders instantly.

I knew my next actions would have to count big time so I quickly put away my batons in their custom holders that had Undetectable Extension Charms on them. The batons appeared to be short and much easier to carry while in their holders. When I did that, I pulled my pistols in almost the same motion after stowing my batons. The batons were attached to my waist while the pistols were in my shoulder holsters. My hands simply moved up and pulled the Webleys as fast as I could.

Lucky for me the killers still had to deal with the dead bystanders so they didn’t fall on them or in their way. That gave me enough time so that when the two killers looked back up at me, they were both hit between the eyes with a .455 caliber bullet. Their heads snapped back from the impact and they both fell over backwards dead. I looked real quick to make sure no one behind them was hit as well but most had dropped to the ground or ran when they saw the Killing Curses.

That was my biggest fear. I was afraid that the bullets would pass through and hit an innocent behind them. I got lucky but I knew if I didn’t stop them right away they would have killed more innocents, including myself. That’s assuming it was even possible. I wasn’t anxious to find out.

I checked for more but no one was coming forward. Most of the ones left hanging around were in shock and looked panicked.

Incarcerous

I tied up the unconscious one and summoned his wand. I then checked their left arms and all three were Death Eaters. No one I knew though. The aurors showed up while I was doing that. I gave my statement and pointed out what I believed to be a portkey lying on the floor between two fireplaces and that the unconscious one had tried to touch me with it.

I told the auror that I had an appointment for my apparition license and really needed to go so I didn’t miss it but he was insisting that I stay until everyone was questioned.

“I’m sorry, Mr. Potter, but you’ll have to reschedule your appointment because we need to make sure we have all the facts before you leave,” the auror said.

“Really? This happened because I had an appointment, which the Ministry and these reporters had to advertise just because I’m Harry Potter, not using their brains to realize that Death Eaters would be able to find me as well from that. Now they have two of their own that are dead by Death Eater hands. Tell me was it worth it?” I asked the crowd. “Was invading my privacy worth the lives of these two people? WAS IT?” I shouted at them.

None of the reporters would look me in the eye.

“Tell me Auror, do you think it would be a good idea for me to reschedule so we can just have a repeat of this? I can guarantee that my appointment will not be kept a secret so we might as well get ready for even more Death Eaters to show up and kill more innocents. It would actually be safer if I broke the law and apparated without a license.”

The auror wasn’t sure what to say to that. Kingsley walked up at that time having heard a good bit of the conversation.

“Go ahead and make it to your appointment, Harry,” he said. “There’s no need to get your wand weighed at the Security Desk. Just come back here when you’re done.”

I nodded. “Thanks, Kingsley.” I then headed for the Department of Magical Transportation.

When I got there, the desk clerk could hardly believe I was still going to test for my apparition license after just fighting three Death Eaters in the atrium. I guess news travels fast.

“Yes, I don’t see where some low life Death Eaters should hinder me getting my license,” I responded.

“But, didn’t you kill two of them and break another one’s arms?”

“I did.”

She just stared at me, unable to speak.

“Can I take my test now?” I asked.

She shook her head as if she was coming out of a trance.

“Y-yes, yes, of course, Mr. Potter. You can take your test now.”

“Great!”

“Just step through that door please,” she pointed at it nervously, “and the person testing you will be there to get you started.”

“Thank you.”

I walked through the door and did everything required before I received my Apparition license without a problem, even though the witch at the front desk was gobsmacked. She was probably the one who gossiped about my appointment. Afterwards, I went back to the atrium and met up with Kingsley again. They had managed to clear out the crowd and were dealing with the dead. Kingsley let his aurors handle the rest while he took me back to his office.

He spoke to me while we were in the lift.

“Harry, there were a ton of witnesses and they all said pretty much what you said. We have your statement too so there will be no more investigation into this incident.”

I nodded.

“I just want you to meet someone in the Auror offices. She’s wanted to speak with you ever since you took on the five Death Eaters in Diagon Alley.”

“She?” I asked.

“My boss. Department of Magical Law Enforcement Director Amelia Bones. You probably know her niece Susan who’s in your same year, Hufflepuff I believe.”

“Yes, I know Susan. What should I call the Director when I speak to her?”

“You can call her Madam Bones or Director, either one, Harry.”

“Thanks, Kingsley.”

We arrived in the Auror department where Kingsley led me to a large office. He knocked on the door.

“Enter,” we heard.

“Director?”

“Yes, Kingsley?”

“Let me introduce you to Harry Potter,” he said leading me into her office.

Madam Bones rose from her chair behind her desk and walked around it to greet me.

“Mr. Potter, it’s a pleasure to meet you. I’ve been anxious to talk to you for some time.”

“It’s a pleasure to meet you too, Madam Bones,” I responded recognizing her. “Hey, I remember you from my trial last year.”

“Yes, very unpleasant business that. I’m glad it worked out for you though. Won’t you have a seat?”

I sat in one of her chairs in front of her desk where I could still see the door while Kingsley left her office, closing the door behind him. She sat in the chair next to me instead of going back behind her desk.

“Mr. Potter, can you tell me what happened in Diagon Alley that day when the five Death Eaters showed up?”

“Certainly, but didn’t you read my statement I gave to Kingsley?”

“I did but would you humor me and share it with me? I would like to hear from the source, if you don’t mind.”

“Very well.”

I went ahead and told my story about my intended visit to Gringotts that day and what happened. When I completed it, she asked for my story on what happened outside the restaurant in Diagon Alley. After I shared that with her, she asked about what had just happened downstairs in the atrium. I shared that as well with her asking questions as I spoke about the fights.

I found that I liked her. She seemed to be all business and concerned about making things right. She struck me as an honest person who only wanted to know the truth. We talked for a while where I mentioned my godfather’s innocence, amongst other things. She promised to look into it and gather the facts. While we conversed, I became Harry and she became Amelia.

She wanted to look at my Muggle weapons so I pulled one Webley out, removed the magazine, and then emptied the chamber, double-checking to make sure it was unloaded before I handed it to her. She seemed fascinated by it but not completely ignorant of it. Once she finished looking at it she started to hand it back to me when her door opened and none other than Dolores Umbridge barged in.

“Amelia –“

She stopped when she saw me. I pulled my wand immediately and hit her with a Stunner before she could even blink. She was knocked back through the open door a couple of feet all spread out in that sickening pink she liked to wear. Her dress had ridden up, exposing the crotch of her knickers. They were pink too. I could only assume that was intended and not a mistake from the wash.

Amelia jumped up and went around to check on Dolores, pulling her dress back down to cover her exposed knickers. After she did, she looked back at me with a look of incredulity on her face.

“Harry, why did you do that? Dolores is the Undersecretary to the Minister. You stunned her without being provoked. I’m going to have to arrest you now for that.”

I stood up obviously angry, my voice somewhat raised.

“What in Merlin’s name is she doing here? Why does she still have a job? She tortured me while she was at Hogwarts. She should be locked up in Askaban!”

Most of the aurors had gathered around to see what was going on.

“Harry, what do you mean she tortured you?” Amelia asked.

I walked over and showed her my hand. On it, you could clearly see the scar that said, ‘I must not tell lies.’ Many people gasped.

“She used a Blood Quill on me. I didn’t even know what it was at the time but since then I found out and discovered it was a Dark object and illegal for how she was using it, especially on minors. She tortured other students as well with it during detention, making us write lines. She gave me detention more than she did others, so much so that I now have this scar. It all started when I refused to let her lie about Voldemort’s return.” There were several gasps from my use of his name. “She didn’t like it so gave me detention.”

“You said she did this to others as well?” asked Kingsley.

“Yes, I’m sure you could get quite a few to come forward if it’ll get her punished for it.”

“We’ll start an investigation immediately,” said Amelia. “Kingsley, I want you to have someone look into it while a couple of you take her wand and lock her in a cell. We have enough evidence and potential victims for that. We’ll let her know she’s under arrest when she wakes up. Don’t enervate her yet. I’ll talk to her later when I’m ready.”

“What if she wakes up in a few minutes?” asked one of the aurors.

“Harry Potter hit her with a Stunner and she didn’t just fall down, she was knocked back through the door she just entered, even though I’m quite sure he was limiting his power.” She looked at me to see me nod in agreement. “I suspect she’ll be out for a while.”

The auror just nodded and floated Dolores off to a cell. A second auror accompanied him as back up. Amelia turned back to me.

“Well, Harry, you are an interesting young man. I suspect we haven’t seen the last of you. I was a lot younger but I remember your grandfather was well known for his expertise with Muggle weapons. Had You-Know-Who started a little earlier and ran across old Fleamont he might have been stopped sooner. You remind me a bit of him. Too bad you never got to know him. He was a very good man Harry. So was your father.”

“Thanks, I appreciate that,” I said not letting on that I knew my grandfather pretty well. I agree that he was a very good man. “Do we have anymore to discuss?”

“No, Harry. You have given me enough extra work for now. Why don’t you run along and we can chat again another day.”

“Thanks, Amelia, enjoy your day.”

I started to leave but she stopped me.

“Oh, by the way, Harry. I really appreciate what you did for Susan in that little Defense group you formed when Dolores was teaching, or not teaching as it were. She learned a lot and was not shy about singing your praises. She received an O on her OWL in Defense, which surprised me from what I heard about Dolores and her teaching. She said it was all you.”

“Susan’s a good girl and she worked hard to learn it all. I just tried to teach what Umbridge wouldn’t. It was more Susan than me that got her the O. I can share my knowledge but if they don’t put in the work then it won’t help them. Tell Susan I said hi if you see her. Otherwise, I’ll talk to her at Hogwarts in September.”

“Will do, Harry.”

I left the Ministry and apparated back home, landing in the foyer. Dobby and Winky both met me there when I arrived, anxious to be of service.


A couple days later I received another owl from Dumbledore begging me to stay put. He had heard about what happened at the Ministry. After that was said, he continued on letting me know he was quite pleased with the handling of Dolores and felt her days at the Ministry were over. He was also quite confident that she would spend some time in Askaban, following her trial. It was illegal to torture students after all.

She was well known for the egregious laws she had pushed through concerning rights of magically classed creatures. The Ministry would be far better off without her poisoning the system any longer, he noted. Personally, I was just happy to be of service.

Speaking of service, I had really come to enjoy my runs on the beach. After a while, I had started running without a shirt to prevent my arms from getting darker than my body. My shorts were fairly short so my legs received a lot of sun to darken them too. Overall, I had developed a good tan from all the running on the beach.

Not to mention, my body had improved from all the extra exercise I was doing. Plus, with my elves taking care of me, feeding me delicious foods, I was experiencing a growth spurt and filling out better with all my muscles being properly toned, right along with the tan.

What I didn’t know was that I had an audience.

Apparently, over the past week or so someone had been watching me. I was aware that other houses were along the beach like mine, although most, but not all, were a bit smaller. Most were older homes like mine though and some had been completely redone, displaying a more modern look. My run took me past several.

On this particular day, I met a young woman sun bathing on the beach, her large beach towel spread out on the sand with her laying on top in a skimpy neon green bikini. She had brown hair done up in a ponytail and high cheekbones on a very pretty face with hazel eyes. They looked to have a mixture of green and gold, with, perhaps, a small hint of blue in them. She was on her stomach reading a book when I drew near on my run.

I made a point to go wide around her being careful not to kick up any sand as I passed by. That would have worked too, had she not stopped me. I was just about to get all the way past her when she spoke up.

“Hey there! Got time for a quick hello?” she asked.

I stopped and turned back to her. She was really quite beautiful. She stood up and stood on her towel looking at me. I couldn’t help but look back, although I tried desperately not to stare. I’m not sure I succeeded. Luckily, she spoke and broke the spell on me.

“I don’t mean to disturb your run but I’ve seen you run by several times over the last week or so and wanted to meet you. I hope you don’t mind,” she offered.

“No, not at all,” I answered walking back towards her. “My names Harry. What’s yours?”

“Is that short for Harold, Henry, or just Harry.”

“Actually, it’s just Harry, although my great grandfather was a Henry.”

“Gwen,” she replied.

“Hmm, is that short for Gwendolyn, Guinevere, or just Gwen?”

She laughed.

That laugh. I was mesmerized again.

“Touché,” she replied. “Actually, mine is Gwendolyn but I always think I’m in trouble whenever I’m called that, and it’s usually only by my parents. I prefer Gwen.”

“Gwen it is then.”

She smiled.

“Do you live around here?” she asked.

“Yes, I live just up that way a ways. I run a good distance then return. Helps keep me in shape.”

“I can see that,” she said with another smile.

“Do you live close?” I asked trying to keep from smiling at her comment.

“Yes, that’s my house right there.” She pointed up behind her.

“Nice. Do you live with your family or your boyfriend? I would ask husband but I don’t see a wedding ring.”

“Hey, I’m only 17 but I’ll be 18 at the end of this month. I’m not ready for marriage, and I don’t have a boyfriend either. The house belongs to my parents but they’re letting me use it for the rest of the summer before I attend university in the fall. I needed some peace and quiet so they said I could stay in the beach house. Now, after a couple weeks, I’m a little tired of all the peace and quiet,” she said with a smile.

“I live alone too and it does get a bit lonely at times, although I stay pretty busy most of the time. I’m less lonely during the school year with my friends but I’ve still enjoyed myself this summer, managed to accomplish a few things I set out to do, that kind of thing.”

“You act really mature but you look young. If you don’t mind me asking, how old are you?”

“You’ll probably be less interested in getting to know me when I tell you.”

“Why’s that?”

“Because my birthday is July 31st and I just turned 16.”

“Really?”

I nodded.

“That doesn’t bother me that you’re almost two years younger, but why are you living by yourself if you’ve just turned sixteen?”

“My parents died when I was just a baby. I was raised by some relatives who really only took me in out of obligation. When I got the chance to be emancipated earlier this summer, they were all for it and so was I. My parents left me a good bit and there was business with their estate that needed to be handled so it was fairly easy for me to get emancipated.”

“I’m so sorry.”

“No, it’s fine. I don’t really remember my parents since I was so young when they died. I’ve pretty much been taking care of myself for most of my life. My relatives weren’t interested in doing it so I did. I like it much better now. There’s far less tension.”

“That’s good. Where do you go to school?”

“As I said, my parents were well off so they had pre-paid for my education at an exclusive boarding school in Scotland. That’s actually where they met. I’ve been going there every September since I turned eleven. The school is a pretty well kept secret and prefer we not talk about it with anyone outside of it. Part of their mystique, I guess. They like to stay below the radar and cater only to certain families who are in the know or in some cases who get a special invitation from them.”

“That’s strange, but interesting.”

“It actually sounds greater than it is. It’s really just a lot of work and learning. They press you pretty hard to succeed and then test you practically to death. That’s about all I should say about it.” I then leaned in closer to her and whispered, “just in case they might be listening.”

She smiled again. She sure had a lovely smile.

“I hope I’m not being too forward, but would you like to come up to my house for a drink?”

“That depends on your motivation” I replied slyly.

“Well, I will admit I do have an ulterior motive,” she said looking demure.

“Uh huh, and what would that be?”

“Do you know anything about kitchen faucets? Mine keeps dripping and it won’t stop. It’s driving me absolutely nutters. Can you help?”

“Ah, a damsel in distress! Why didn’t you say so? Please lead the way my fair lady,” I said with a quick bow.

She smiled that beautiful smile again and after picking up her book and towel, shaking the sand off, she headed toward her house with me following. That was the best suggestion I had ever had because the view from behind as I followed her tan, lithe body in that skimpy neon green bikini was very distracting. If only I were a couple years older then I might have had a chance at a date before the summer ended and we departed our separate ways. No way was I going to be that lucky. She was definitely out of my league.

We stopped just before going in the house to use her hose and wash the sand off our legs and feet. She let me borrow a towel to dry mine off before we entered through the back door.

The house was nice and spacious but not as large as mine. It was also more modern, especially on the inside. It was light and airy with a very nice feeling of comfort. Everything was nice and neat, other than a soft blanket laying on the sofa with some extra pillows that I noticed as we passed it by. She took me into the kitchen where she pulled two bottles of water out of the fridge, giving me one.

“Thanks.”

She then walked over to the sink where she pointed out the faucet with its slow but steady leak. I walked over and looked at it.

“Do you have any tools? A wrench?” I asked. “I may need to take this off to see the problem,” I said indicating the faucet head. “If not, then I will have to run back home and bring my own tools.”

“No need to do that,” she replied. “My dad keeps some tools here. He even has a toolbox. He usually fixes stuff like this when we stay here. I’ll go get it.”

“Great! Thanks. I’ll just enjoy my water until you get back.”

After she left to get the tools from the garage, I used my wand that was invisible in its holster, giving the faucet a quick Reparo and the leak stopped. When I heard her coming back with a small toolbox, I pretended to tighten the head by hand then turned on the water and turned it back off.

“Looks like I managed it without the tools. No more leak, see?”

“Wow! You are handy to have around. Let me see if I can find something else for you to fix,” she said with a teasing smile.

We finished our waters while chatting at the kitchen table. When done and I needed to go, she asked if I could come back tonight for pizza. She insisted she owed me for fixing her leak. I told her she didn’t and that I was just being neighborly but she wouldn’t take no for an answer. We decided on seven o’clock before I left to run back to my house.

My grandfather was wondering what took me so long so I had to share with him my new friend I’d met and our plans for tonight. He was pressing me for details, complaining about having so little to do or think about as a portrait. I humored him some but there wasn’t really anything juicy to share other than some of my own thoughts remembering her in that bikini. I chose to keep that to myself though.

I had to inform Dobby and Winky about not being home for dinner so they wouldn’t fix me any food. They were curious too about why, especially since I rarely kept anything secret from them. I shared with them my encounter on my run and my plans to join her for dinner. Winky was beside herself with joy that I was going to go on a date and have some fun.

I tried to convince her that it wasn’t a date but a simple thank you for fixing her faucet but she insisted on laying out my Muggle clothes for me. She wanted to make sure that I was properly attired for the occasion and provide a look my date was sure to be pleased with. I started to argue but knew I was out of my depth, so I just dropped it.

I managed to workout and practice for most of the day, learning as much as I could from my grandfather’s wealth of knowledge. Around 6:15pm, I went to my room to shower and dress for the evening, putting on the outfit Winky laid out for me. When I was fully dressed, I had to admit that she was talented. I doubt I could have done better.

I was dressed in tan khaki pants with a button down long sleeve shirt I rolled up slightly due to the summer heat. The shirt was a color green that matched my eyes. I had on a black belt with matching shoes. My hair decided to not cooperate as usual so it did its own thing and stuck up in a few places. No big deal. It wasn’t like I hadn’t grown used to it by now.

About 6:45pm, I apparated a little more than half way to her house in a hidden area I had scoped out before when looking at the neighborhood. I walked the rest of the way to her front door where I rang her doorbell at 7pm on the dot.

After a few seconds, she opened the door and looked at me, her eyes widening slightly.

“Well, aren’t you punctual,” she said then scanned me with her eyes, “and looking great too. Come on in. The pizza should be here in about 15 minutes, give or take.”

She turned and I followed her into the house, closing the door behind me. I was extremely focused on the very short plaid mini skirt in a mostly red color riding low on her hips. She also wore a white top that didn’t reach all the way down to the top of her skirt. I really think she was trying to hurt me.

Seriously…

I’m not joking.

I followed her into the kitchen where she asked what I would like to drink, pointing to sodas arranged on the counter. I had another bottle of water but indicated that I wouldn’t mind a soda with my pizza. She nodded and poured herself some soda.

We discussed our days and chatted about anything that came to mind. She told me about the school she just graduated from in London and the college she was going to attend in the fall. She had plans to study physics and astronomy and was quite interested in all of it.

She was very impressed with my knowledge of the stars and galaxies so we discussed that a good bit over pizza, wrapping up the discussion as we ate the last pieces we wanted. She mentioned that she had a movie she brought with her but hadn’t watched it yet. She hoped I would like it. She said her mother had some pull in the movie business as a producer so the film we would be watching was just released to the theatres this past May.

We watched Mission Impossible with Tom Cruise. It was quite enjoyable and full of action and excitement. I had never watched a full movie before. I really liked it. I especially liked the fact that Gwen was close to me on the couch when the DVD started, however we had not gone very far into the movie before she was so close she was practically in my lap. A particular thrilling part of the movie in the beginning had her grabbing my hand and she chose not to let go of it through the remainder of the film, usually snuggling against my shoulder.

Not that I minded.

The disappointment came when the movie ended. It was late and I really had no excuse to stay longer. I may have read her wrong but she looked like she was sad about it too. She walked me slowly to her front door where we said our goodbyes.

“Thanks for a great evening, Harry. You’re a very nice guy and I had a really good time. I would love to spend more time with you if you’re interested.”

“You would?”

“Of course, why wouldn’t I?”

“Well, you’re gorgeous and I’m not, plus I’m only 16.”

“I already told you that doesn’t matter. Honestly, it doesn’t bother me a bit. The truth of the matter is we are both considered adults. Therefore, we make our own decisions, not having to answer to anyone else. Secondly, I don’t know who told you that you’re not gorgeous but whoever did was lying. You are so hot looking it’s not even funny. Didn’t you notice how I was hanging all over you during the movie?”

“Yes, I was more than aware. It was quite enjoyable actually.”

“Good. Then we understand each other.”

“We do?”

She smiled.

“Look Harry, I will make this easier for you. I’m interested in spending more time with you. Are you interested in spending more time with me?”

“Yes.”

“See, we do understand each other. Now give me a good night kiss and I hope to see you again tomorrow.”

I leaned in slowly and kissed her on the cheek before turning toward the door.

“That was very nice Harry but we’ll have to work on that kiss.”

I left and only got a couple steps away before she stopped me.

“By the way, I won’t be out there to bother you tomorrow on your run but could you stop by here on your way back so we can discuss our plans for later in the day?”

“I’ll do that. See you tomorrow then.”

“Bye Harry,” she said softly.

When I was out of sight, I silently apparated back to the foyer of my house. I had been practicing on decreasing the sound of my apparitions and finally got it down to completely silent. Grandfather helped me a lot on that. He said that he worked for a long time figuring that out and there was no need for me to have to reinvent the wheel.

After he explained it to me, it took me only about a week to get it silent. I decreased the sound steadily over that week until finally there was no sound at all. He was quite pleased with my ability to pick it up so quickly. Of course, I only learned from his experience. That sped up my learning quite a bit.

Even though I was silent when I arrived home, my two house elves were immediately there to welcome me back and get me anything I needed. Winky wanted to know how my date went. I told her that it went very well and I was going to talk to Gwen again in the morning after my run to discuss plans for tomorrow evening.

Winky was elated and assured me that she would lay out my clothes again for tomorrow before I went on another date. I thanked Winky and let her know that Gwen was pleased with my look. I left to go to bed while Winky was still smiling from ear to ear with Dobby shaking his head as he looked on.


I had finished all my exercises and training for the morning and had sat down for lunch when an owl from Gringotts arrived. Opening the letter, I saw that it was from Kurlig. He said that he had some financial business to discuss with me at my earliest convenience and that the letter I was holding would serve as a portkey if I wished to use it.

I decided that I could take a break after lunch and go see what he needed. I didn’t use the portkey though. I needed to buy some more workout clothes and could use a few more shirts since the ones I bought at the beginning of summer were getting a little tight across the chest and arms. I could get Winky to resize them but it still wouldn’t hurt to purchase more and have a bigger variety.

I dressed in my fancy brown robes this time that Winky bought me. I had all my usual protections on when I stepped through the floo into The Leaky Cauldron. I did my shopping in Muggle London then came back and kept my hood up as I made my way to the entrance into Diagon Alley. The Alley was a little busier this time since it was August but thankfully, I didn’t run into any Death Eaters before arriving at the bank.

Kurlig saw me right away and launched into the news he had immediately as soon as we were behind his closed office door.

“Harry, you are not going to believe this but we have had quite a few families coming to the bank over the past few days and changing their wills. The only reason I’m aware of this, since none of them were my accounts, is because they are naming you as their beneficiary.”

“What?”

“Yes. Hard to believe isn’t it? Evidently all the advertisement about your escapades over the summer has brought this on.”

“Why?”

“Harry, I’m not sure if you’ve been keeping count but since the summer started you’ve taken out sixteen Death Eaters, and that’s not counting the eleven you helped capture at the Ministry before school ended. Plus, you took down Dolores Umbridge who in most people eyes is worth about five Death Eaters alone, given the damage she’s caused in our society.”

“But…but, I don’t understand,” I replied looking extremely confused.

“Harry, the people changing their wills are families on the light side who have lost all their dependents, most of them due to Death Eaters. They want to make sure that their wealth goes to where it can be used to fight against Voldemort and his Death Eaters. You are their obvious choice since you’re actually doing something.”

“There has to be others who could use these funds more.”

“There likely is but no one else is taking on the Death Eaters. Even the DMLE is basically just reactionary and arriving after you’ve done your thing. Not even Dumbledore’s secret Order of the Phoenix is doing what you’re doing.”

I didn’t even question how he knew about the Order. The goblins somehow always knew things.

“Couldn’t the Ministry use the funds to help those families who’ve been hurt by the Death Eaters, lost family members, etc.?”

“They could but they won’t. They’re the government, Harry. In fact, that is why these people are leaving their wealth to you. If they don’t name someone living in their will then the Ministry will end up with their wealth. They would rather it go to a good cause then line the Ministry pockets and those of the politicians.”

“So, you’re saying I should just accept this?”

“In reality, you have no choice Harry. Once the will is activated, the money will go into your account automatically. What you do with it after that is your choice.”

“If I have no say in it then why am I here, Kurlig?”

“You haven’t told me which account these monies should go into when they are received.”

I smiled, suspecting that there was more to it, and then thought about it for a few seconds.

“Well, since it’s being left to me personally I think it should go straight into the Potter Family Vault. I may use some of it later to setup a fund to help those in need due to the war.”

“Excellent, Harry, I will make a note of that.”

Kurlig made some notes on a page then looked back up at me.

“Harry, I should tell you that you missed out on getting several million galleons from the Lestranges when Rabastan lived. The wealth from Rodolphus and Bellatrix Lestrange’s vault went to Rabastan. Had he not lived none of them would have been left with legitimate heirs. All their wealth would have come to you.”

“You should know, Kurlig, that I’m not in this to get rich and I’m not going to kill Death Eaters just to get their wealth. I’m actually just making sure they’re stopped before they can kill me or someone else. The fact that most of them are dying can’t be helped. It’s just a result that happens due to their own actions.”

“I understand Harry, but as your financial manager it’s my duty to reveal ways to grow your wealth, no matter how unpleasant they may be. As long as the methods are legal then I feel it’s my duty to point them out.”

I don’t know why but what he just said suddenly struck me as funny. The smile that appeared on my face slowly grew into a grin as Kurlig joined me. He must have realized it too. Only his grin… well, it was a little scary with all his sharp teeth.

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