Two days later, Madam Pomfrey released Hermione and Ron just in time to attend the Leaving Feast. The Hogwarts Express pulled out the next morning.
Dobby stayed invisible and was hiding in the luggage rack on top of Harry’s trunk, just above where Harry was sitting. The friends had left the castle and boarded the train without any incidents but Harry was wondering if Malfoy and his lackeys were going to stop by to insult them again, like he did every trip.
Hermione and Ron were prefects but they were excused from patrolling due to their injuries, so they were able to stay in the cabin with the rest of them on their journey back to King’s Cross. The cabin was pretty full with the six of them in there, not counting Dobby. Many students dropped by to say hello, but most were just interested in what happened at the Ministry.
Harry told those to read the paper since there was nothing else to report. This got rid of them fairly quickly. Just as the traffic settled down and they were about half way to their destination, their door flew open and there stood Malfoy with his two body guards behind him.
“Well if it isn’t Potty four eyes. And look, he’s with his friends. Let’s see, there’s a squib, a loon, a mudblood, and two blood traitors. Wow! What a group of friends you have Scarhead. Just remember that I haven’t forgotten about what you did. You will pay. I can promise you that.”
Having had enough of this jerk, Harry decided to play Malfoy’s game and threaten back.
“Would you like something else to remember?” asked Harry politely.
“What?” Draco asked with a sneer.
Harry started speaking in Parseltongue, his face showing lots of anger. Malfoy was slowly reaching for his wand. Harry stood and slowly crossed toward Malfoy but before he got there, the blond ponce was thrown back through the door and landed on his goons behind him, knocking them all to the floor in the hallway. Harry never drew his wand or raised his hands. It was actually Dobby who gave Malfoy the push. Of course, no one could see him doing it.
“If you don’t get it through your thick skull, Malfoy, that I wish to be left alone then what just happened will be nothing compared to what I’ll do to you if I or my friends get bothered by you again. My patience has run out with you. Now, take the hint and leave! All three of you.”
Harry shut the door, pulled his wand quickly, and cast a spell to lock it while the three Slytherins scrambled to their feet and went back to their Slytherin friends.
Harry turned back around and saw his friends all staring at him in shock. Ginny was the first to recover.
“Is that how you did it? Is that how you stunned the four Slytherins? You said it in Parseltongue and it just happened?”
Harry just looked at her while he sat back down. They were all waiting for his response.
“Then what did you say to him?” asked Hermione.
“I just called him stupid and a bunch of other nasty names I could think of.”
“Then how did he get thrown back?” asked Neville.
“HARRY!” three of them yelled.
“Can you teach us how to do that?” asked Hermione.
“Why not? Does it have something to do with your ability to speak Parseltongue?”
“No, Hermione. Not at all. It’s just impossible to teach.”
Hermione frowned along with the rest of them. They were all frustrated Harry wouldn’t share his secret.
Back in the Slytherin car, Draco was telling everyone how Harry banished him backwards and into Crabbe and Goyle just by speaking Parseltongue.
“No way,” replied a seventh year.
“It happened. Ask Vinny and Greg. They were right behind me and fell down when I was blown back into them.”
They both confirmed Draco’s words. The Slytherins were beginning to wonder about Harry Potter and the power Nott claims he has. It was beyond what they had seen or heard of before.
After they reached King’s Cross and disembarked from the train, Harry noticed several Slytherins staring at him as he made his way to the Muggle entrance with Hermione. They were stopped by Madam Longbottom who offered her praise for what they did at the Ministry. She was quite proud of Neville for a change.
Then they were stopped by Molly Weasley who was there with Bill. As they were talking and receiving hugs by the Weasley mother, Harry noticed a few Order members present on the platform. He guessed they were there keeping a lookout for any trouble. They finally made it out the entrance.
While he was saying goodbye to Hermione and her parents, he saw a group of Order members headed toward his relatives so he excused himself and quickly started in that direction. Unfortunately, he forgot to shrink or lighten his trunk. He was struggling with it to catch up with the Order members. He saw Moody, Kingsley, Tonks, Moony, and a few others. Suddenly, his trunk was light as a feather.
“Thank you, Dobby,” Harry muttered under his breath as he caught up with the group of Order members, stepping in front of them just a few feet before they reached his relatives. He placed himself between the two groups.
“Just where do you think you guys are going?” Harry asked, staring them down.
“We’re going to have a little chat with your family and make sure they behave themselves, laddie,” replied Mad-Eye.
“No, I don’t think so,” replied Harry shaking his head.
“We’re not going to hurt them, Harry,” added Remus. “We’re just going to make believers out of them.”
“We just want to make sure they don’t treat you bad, Harry,” Tonks joined in. “You’ve been through enough.”
“Umm, no. Not going to happen. Look, they’re not that smart. You’ll just make them mad and then they’ll be mad at me. I don’t need the headache.”
“Alright, then make sure you send us an owl every three days so we can verify you are okay,” Moody demanded.
“Sorry, no can do on that either. I plan on staying very busy this summer studying and won’t have time to remember to do any of that. Just go and let me handle my relatives on my own. I’ll be just fine. They won’t bother me. They wouldn’t dare. Not this time,” he said with the last few words trailing off.
A few eyebrows of the Order members raised at his last quiet statement, but they decided to leave him to it. After all, they, other than Moody, would be taking turns outside his house, keeping watch. They would just pay closer attention to what was going on inside the house this time.
Harry turned around and walked over to his relatives who were waiting very impatiently for Harry to join them.
“What took you so long, boy?”
“Hello to you too, Uncle Vernon. I was preventing that group of people from coming over here and threatening you.”
“Threatening me? They wouldn’t dare!”
“Oh yes they would. Do you think they would be scared of a Muggle like yourself? No. They were just worried about me. I had a rough end of the year, my godfather was killed, and several of my friends were hurt. Some very badly.”
“We don’t care about that, boy. Why would we?”
“No, you wouldn’t. Don’t worry about it. I took care of it. Let’s just go. I have something else I need to tell you in the car on the way back anyway.”
They all piled in after Harry stowed his trunk in the boot of the car. Dobby squeezed in on the floor next to Harry’s feet. He was using the trick where only his master could visibly see him. He would stay that way until they were back at Hogwarts. Vernon took off driving back toward home and everyone was staying quiet. Finally, Vernon’s curiosity got the better of him so he asked Harry what else he wanted to say to them.
“Oh, yeah, I almost forgot. Once we get back and I’m up in my room like my minders expect me to be, I‘m being watched you know, I’m going to disappear. You will not see me anymore afterwards. I won’t be back next year either. I have found a place to live where no one can find me. Once they realize I’m no longer living with you, they’ll start looking for me but they won’t be able find me. If they ask, then tell them I recommend they just wait and see me back at Hogwarts in September. It will save them a lot of time and fruitless searching.”
“You’re joking, right?” asked Dudley.
“No, Dud. I’m not joking. I had a bit of a falling out with the Headmaster and I no longer feel obligated to allow him to dictate my life. He decided that I would live with you guys when I was a baby. He decided not to inform me of much needed information all the years he’s been my Headmaster. He decided that I had to return here each summer. Well, no more. He no longer decides where I live and what I do outside of school. He’s my Headmaster. That’s it. He should have no say in my private life when I’m not at school.”
“That’s the best news I’ve heard all day.”
“I thought you might like that, Uncle Vernon.”
“What should we tell them if they ask where you went?” asked Petunia
“The truth will work just fine. I could care less if they know what I said to you. It’s my life.”
“But how are you going to leave without them knowing it?”
“That’s easy, Aunt Petunia. Magic, of course,” Harry said with a smile.
They didn’t like that word but the fact that Harry was leaving never to return had them giddy at the prospect. No one spoke the rest of the way. They were too busy thinking about the change in their lives. It was like Christmas coming early and receiving exactly what you wanted.
After they arrived at number 4 Privet Drive, Uncle Vernon opened the boot for Harry so he could grab his trunk and they made their way inside. Harry bid farewell to his relatives and went straight upstairs to make sure he collected everything from his room that he might need. He checked under the floorboard as well.
Harry had worn Dudley’s cast offs home, with a slight adjustment. Now that Harry had accepted Dobby as his personal house elf, Dobby was pulling out all the stops. He repaired all of Harry’s clothing and shoes, resized them, and even changed the colors to more pleasing shades. Harry decided to leave all the hand me downs still in his room right where they were and not take them with him. He had no intention of ever wearing them again. Dobby did a good job fixing the ones he had with him at school but he saw no need in continuing to wear the other boy’s cast offs.
Once he was sure they had everything packed in his trunk, he had Dobby take him back to the Chamber where Dobby unloaded his trunk for him in the bedroom he was using. Next, he checked the Marauder’s Map to make sure the owlery was void of any people. It was all clear, so he had Dobby take him there under his invisibility cloak.
Once there, he lowered his cloak and called Hedwig to him. She flew down to him and landed on the top of a wall right in front of him.
“Hello, Hedwig. Thanks for staying here like I asked. Don’t tell anyone but I’m going to be living in the castle this summer, just not in my dorm room. I’ll be beneath the castle in the Chamber of Secrets so you won’t be able to get to me unless Dobby comes and gets you for me. If I need you to take some mail, then I’ll find you.”
“I know. It’ll be different this summer but at least we won’t be at the Dursleys ever again and I have Dobby here to make sure I can go wherever I want and get whatever I need. I’ll have him bring you some treats every now and again. That reminds me.” Harry reached into his pocket and pulled out an owl treat. “Here’s a treat for you now,” he said as he handed her one.
She started eating it right away.
“I have to go to the bank and buy a few things but I’ll see you when I can. Okay, girl?”
Hedwig nipped at his finger lightly as he rubbed her head.
“Thanks, Hedwig. I love you too. See ya later!”
Harry switched his Dad’s cloak for his black Hogwarts cloak with a deep hood, then taking Dobby’s hand he was suddenly whisked by elf travel to Diagon Alley, right in front of Gringotts. Dobby had made himself invisible again, except to Harry, like any good elf in public but Harry revealed his face as he neared the goblin guards in front of the bank. Only they could see who he was. They opened the doors and let him in without hesitation.
Harry continued to keep his hood up but his face recessed as he looked for a free teller. He was worried someone in the bank would recognize him. His intention was to get all this done before anyone realized he wasn’t where they wanted him to be. He spotted a free teller and headed straight over. He pulled out his key as he walked and handed it to the goblin once he was in front of him. The goblin took the key and looked at it.
“Ah, Mr. Pah –“
Harry quickly put his finger up to his lips to silence the goblin. Luckily, the goblin was looking right at him so he stopped and nodded.
“Yes, of course.” He looked back down. “There seems to be a flag on your account. Just one moment as I check to see what that pertains to. Oh, I see. You will need to come with me. It’s a private matter.”
The goblin put up a closed sign and stepped down to Harry’s level, motioning for Harry to follow him. Harry and Dobby did as requested. The goblin took them through a door that contained offices behind it. They passed many smaller offices until they came to a section of larger ones. Finally, they stopped in front of the one they needed.
The goblin knocked on the door and received a response in Gobbledegook. Then he opened the door and ushered Harry in. Dobby was following close behind.
“Bonebreaker, I bring you Harry Potter.”
After he announced Harry, the goblin left to go back to his duties. The heavily scarred goblin behind the desk looked up and smiled a toothy smile.
“Mr. Potter, what an honor,” he said as he came around and shook Harry’s hand. “Please be seated. We have a bit to discuss.”
“Very well,” answered Harry as he took the offered seat, “but what is this about, sir?”
“Let me first introduce myself, Mr. Potter. As Axehand said, I am Bonebreaker but I am more than that. I am the goblin in charge of the Black family fortune.”
“Oh no. This is about Sirius isn’t it?” Harry was suddenly looking very sad.
“Yes, it is in a way but it’s actually more about you. I doubt it’s what you are thinking, Mr. Potter. Yes, there will be a reading of Sirius’, excuse me, the Head of the Black family’s will, but that will be in a few weeks at the earliest. This is something completely different.”
“Then I…, I don’t understand.”
“Allow me to explain.”
“Sirius Black was your godfather. He was appointed that right by your parents, James and Lily Potter. No matter what, he has always retained that position, legally and magically. When Sirius drew up his will, he made some stipulations about you that were to be followed in the case of his death. These stipulations are outside the will. These stipulations are from Sirius as your legal and magically binding godfather. You see he knew that you were being kept in the dark about too many things. While he wasn’t allowed to reveal these things to you quite yet, at least until he could work a few things out, he decided that should he meet an untimely end before he could tell you, then he would make sure you knew immediately after he was gone.”
“So, he has information for me that has nothing to do with his will?”
“Exactly, but I can tell you that you are his primary beneficiary in his will so we will get to know each other quite well over the next several years since I manage that account.”
“Okay,” Harry said hesitantly.
“But, I would guess that you are more interested at the moment in the information he wants to share with you. Am I right?”
“Yes, I am.”
“Very well. He has it all written out but there are a few things that I will need to explain and likely help you with, so allow me to read what he wrote and we will deal with each one individually as we come to them.”
“First, there is the matter of your Potter inheritance,” Bonebreaker read. “I am almost positive no one has taken the time to inform you of that. Am I wrong?”
Bonebreaker looked over at Harry.
“No, he’s not wrong. No one has said a thing,” Harry replied.
“Harry, your student vault is just that, a student vault. It is not your family vault. In fact, your family vault is what supplies your student vault with funds. You need to talk to Gringotts about the Potter Family vault. They’ve had it for close to 700 years. Sorry, I never told you about this before now. I was under an oath. By the way, if you think you’re rich once you see the Potter vault, that’s nothing compared to the Black Family vault which you will also see after they read my will.”
“So I have a family vault that no one chose to tell me about all this time?”
“Yes, Mr. Potter. As it so happens, your account manager died about a year before you turned eleven. He was quite old. No one was appointed to replace him at the time because no one knew where you were. They just left things as is and moved on. When you came to the bank that first time, normally your family account manager would have placed a flag on your student vault access so he could meet with you and explain about your family vault and student vault. That never happened and evidently those responsible for informing you of this information, failed to do so as well.”
“I’m not surprised. When can I see the Potter Family vault?”
“Today, if you would like.”
“I would indeed.”
“Just keep in mind that as a minor, you are not allowed to withdraw any funds from the family vault. Other items are okay to take though. You will have to live off of your student vault’s funds in the mean time. That will not be a problem for you though, Mr. Potter. Your student vault is refilled once a year to the original amount it started with, 500,000 galleons.”
“Yes, I think I’m doing okay with the funds I have.”
“However, you could gain full access to your family vault now if you were emancipated.”
“I wouldn’t mind that but it’s not crucial. I can live on what I have.”
“Well, as it turns out, the next item on the list from Sirius is to have you emancipated on your 16th birthday. He is making the claim that since you are the lone surviving Potter heir, that you have the right to be emancipated a year earlier than normal. He is correct in that. As the last Potter and sole heir to the Potter fortune, you will be emancipated at the age of 16.”
“Well, you learn something new every day,” Harry quipped.
“Continuing on, Sirius says, ’Harry, if you are interested in becoming a true Marauder then you must accomplish your animagus transformation. If you are not interested in becoming a true Marauder but would still like to be an animagus, then I will reveal the following information. You are my godson after all. I can’t very well not tell you. Anyway, because you were prevented from knowing, and by extension you didn’t have access to your family vault, you were not allowed to retrieve The Marauder’s Guide to Becoming a Marauder. It just so happens to be the best book ever written and it was penned by your father and me, of course. We took all the mystery out of it and it’s the quickest way to accomplish your transformation. But that’s not all. Oh, no siree, Bob, err… I mean Harry. That book has all sorts of goodies you will enjoy. Be sure and look for it when you visit your vault. James hid it in there, as it seemed to be the safest place for it.”
Harry just smiled.
“The rest you can read at your leisure,” Bonebreaker said as he handed over the document. “There are no more action items left so I’ll stop there. Are you ready to visit your family vault, Mr. Potter?”
“Yes, sir, but can I ask a question?”
“Is there anyone managing the Potter Family vault now?”
“No. It will be up to you to request a new manager.”
“Would you be interested in the job, sir?”
“I suppose I would. Since I manage the Black fortune and it will soon be yours, then it makes sense for me to handle your other account as well. In that case, please call me Bonebreaker, Mr. Potter.”
“Then please call me Harry, Bonebreaker.”
“It will be my privilege, Harry. Now, let’s go see that family vault shall we?”
Bonebreaker led Harry to the carts where they took a long ride down to the Potter Family Vault. It was full of galleons and had a good many books on shelves. There was paperwork on different things the family owned, trunks flowing with valuables, and all sorts of items to look at. However, Harry was mainly interested in finding the book Sirius mentioned. It took a little time but he finally located it amongst the other books on the shelves.
He started to take a few of the other books to check them out, but decided he had enough to read for now in the Slytherin library. Grabbing “The Marauder’s Guide to Becoming a Marauder,” Harry left the vault with intentions to check it out more thoroughly next time.
He had Bonebreaker stop at his student vault on the way back up so he could grab a lot of coin for shopping and living. Bonebreaker also exchanged some of the galleons for a couple thousand pounds so Harry could do some Muggle shopping in London.
Bidding farewell to his new account manager, Harry pulled up his hood again and made his way into Diagon Alley. He only bought a few things there then quickly made his way into London where he picked up everything else he would need. His wardrobe was suddenly quite large. Luckily, he had a house elf who could send it all quickly to his Chamber apartment.
When they were done shopping, Harry grabbed dinner at a pizza place and had Dobby try some. He was pleasantly surprised at the taste. They took the leftovers with them and placed the pizza box in cold storage once they were back in the apartment.
Dobby suggested that Harry close the statue of Salazar Slytherin and stay in the apartment while he went to get the elves to help render the basilisk and clean up the Chamber. That way they would not be aware of the Upper Chamber’s existence.
Harry liked that idea so closed up the statue, blocking access to the stairs and the Upper Chamber. Dobby popped away to fetch the elves so they could get to work. Harry decided to read some more before bed. He finished the letter from Sirius and discovered that the remaining items were things he already suspected so was not all that surprised to find out they were true. He decided to wait until the next day to read the Marauder’s book. Instead, he turned to the book he was still reading about battle magic.
He became a little restless after an hour or so of reading so he got up to explore the area more. When he came back into the apartment, he noticed the fireplace was quite large and obviously could be used for traveling by floo. However, there was no floo powder or even a container for it on the mantle. Harry looked all over for any clues as to how to work it. Finally, he noticed some small writing on one of the inside bricks of the floo.
It was in Parseltongue so he read it and hissed the words.
Whoosh! Green flames roared up in the fireplace.
Harry stepped in and started to test it by calling out a destination and going somewhere, when he was sent automatically somewhere else instead. He had no idea where he was being sent. He hoped it was a safe place.