Chapter 8: The Family They Never Knew
Severus and Harry arrived in Mr. Woods's office at ten minutes til three, and were promptly escorted to Fanghooks office at Gringotts.
"Mr. Woods, Master Snape, Mr. Potter," he greeted, surveying them with beady little eyes. "This way if you please."
The three men followed the goblin down several long hallways until they finally reached a door labeled 'President'. Inside they found three comfortable looking chairs sat in front of a large desk which was covered in paperwork.
"Be seated Gentleman, and we shall begin. Master Snape, as I believe yours will be the least complex matter we deal with today, I suggest we start with you."
Snape merely nodded for him to continue.
"First I shall read the last will and testament of Lord Marcus Prince, the 42nd Lord of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Prince."
'I, Lord Marcus Arillius Prince, being of sound mind, and magic, do hereby bequeath the entirety of my title, fortune, estate, prestige, etc., to my nephew Severus Tobias Snape. As I bore no children of my own, and have no desire for our most ancient line to die out, I hereby renounce my parents' decision to strike my sister, Eileen Maria Snape, nee Prince, from our family tree, thus enabling Master Snape to inherit the aforementioned title. Sworn this day, 30th March 1984.'
"Master Snape, if you agree to the inheritance of said estate simply sign here and we shall discuss your inheritance further."
Snape signed the three places Fanghook mentioned and watched as the parchment briefly glowed golden, then rolled up and disappeared.
"As the 43rd Lord of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Prince, you receive the following: One seat on the Wizengamot, One seat on the Hogwarts Board of Governors, Vaults 797-798 including various Prince family heirlooms, Vaults 799-804 including the monetary wealth of the Prince family, Stocks and bonds in thirteen wizarding companies ranging from printing presses to apothecaries, The Prince Flat in Upper West London, Dyffryn House on Vale of Glamorgan, Balfour Castle on Orkney Islands, Seaforde House in County Downs, Northern Ireland, and Ivy Combe in Somerset. A complete list of inheritances has been made available to your solicitor upon his request and the sum of $100,000 galleons has been withdrawn from Vault 803 to pay Mr. Woods retainer. If all of this is agreeable, simply sign here," said Fanghook shoving yet another piece of parchment in front of the stunned potions masters face.
"This is quite a bit more than I expected, as I am sure you understand good goblin. Is there anything else I should expect from this?"
Fanghook shook his head.
"Ragnook is your personal account manager, and I assure you he is one of the best. We have taken care of the Prince Estate for hundreds of years. In fact, Grimtounge, Ragnooks father, had the account before him. If you require anything further, simply contact him. Now, shall we move on to the affairs of Mr. Potter? I fear they are not so straight forward."
"Harry?" asked Severus, "are you ready for this?"
Harry simply nodded his head. There was no point in saying that he didn't want to know, for in his heart he knew that it would solve nothing.
"Mr. Potter, it would seem you are heir to several titles and their according estates. It appears that the original wills of not only your parents, but your Godfather disappeared from both Ministry possession and the official vaults here at Gringotts. Griphook is the manager for both accounts and has recently received treatment for exposure to an Obliviate. Your Godfathers will is straightforward. He left you everything save $100,000 galleons and Grimmauld Place which he has left to one Remus Lupin. Since Master Black was falsely accused of his crimes, and as Gringotts still had possession of the Black Estate, by default, the title of Lord Black passes to you, Master Potter. If you accept your inheritance you shall become the 49th Lord of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black."
Harry just nodded.
"Very well. Sign, here, here, and here, and Lord Prince, you being his Guardian Ad Litem, sign here."
Both parties did as they were told.
"A list of the Black Estate has been given to Master Woods if you wish to review it in detail, but it does include a dozen vaults, three properties not including that bequeathed to Mr. Lupin, seats on the Wizengamot and Board of Governors, and holdings in several companies, Malfoy Investments included."
Again Harry nodded. He knew his response of 'I don't care', would be ill received.
"As the last remaining Potter, I must inform you that you are also heir to the title of Lord Peverell. The Potters are descendants of Ignotus, however as Antioch and Cadmus died without heirs, there was no one left to take up the title, and so it defaults to you. Though prestigious in name, as the 52nd Lord of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Peverell, there are but three vaults, the majority of which are family heirlooms."
Harry nodded once again.
"I'm afraid this is where it gets complicated Sirs. Which will do you desire read first? I must inform you that since Mrs. Potter survived Mr. Potter by mere minutes, her will shall take precedence."
"She was a muggleborn," said Harry softly, "what could she have had?"
Fanghook raised an eyebrow.
"Whatever she gathered on her own, and whatever Lord Potter bequeathed to her, Mr. Potter. Forgive me, but your mother was an extraordinary witch. She was highly sought after for her abilities outside of her job and was greatly rewarded for them. She was contracted by me many times for bank related dealings."
Harry's heart hurt at this information. Yet another person who knew his mother, when he did not.
"May I suggest some refreshments before we start? Tea, perhaps?" offered the goblin.
All three men nodded and moments later a tray of cookies and chamomile tea appeared. As soon as everyone had helped themselves, Fanghook began again.
"As there is no preference for order, we shall start with Lord Potter's will first."
Harry could feel the edges of panic trying to take over, but noticed that oddly enough, something seemed to be keeping the panic at bay. He didn't want to hear this. Any of it. This was the finality of life. The part that showed you that the ones you loved were never coming back. Severus had explained to Harry that in the muggle world wills could be read once someone was assumed dead, but that in the wizarding world wills were tied to a persons magic and thus could not be unsealed unless said person was, in fact, deceased.
"I, James Harrison Potter, 32nd Lord of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Potter, being of sound mind, and magic, do hereby divide my estate as follows:
To Remus John Lupin, I leave $100,000 galleons, and the letter addressed to him in Vault 312.
To Sirius Orion Black, I leave $100,000 galleons, the letter addressed to him in Vault 312, and all my love.
To Severus Tobias Snape, I leave the contents of the library at Potter Manor, $50,000 galleons, the letter addressed to him in Vault 312, and my unconditional and undying gratitude for allowing me to be a part of the life of his family and himself.
To Lilian Elizabeth Potter, nee Snape, nee Evans, nee Gray, I leave $50,000 galleons, the letter addressed to her in Vault 312, and the hope that she lives to see her children grow.
To Harrison James Potter, nee Harrison Alexander Snape, I leave my home at Potter Manor, save the contents of the library, $100,000 galleons, my title as Lord Potter (as I shall bear no offspring of my own), the letter addressed to him in vault 312, and all the love my heart can hold. I only hope I am afforded the privilege of watching you grow.
To Kaelyn Sybella Lilianna Potter, nee Snape, I leave the remainder of my estate, including vaults 299-311, Pottermore Estates in Wales, Chandler House in London, and my flat in Diagon Alley, should it still stand. I also bequeath to her the letter addressed to her in Vault 312, and all my magic upon my demise as dictated in her Wiccaning Ceremony. It has been a privilege being your Godfather.
To Peter Pettigrew, I leave my forgiveness. You were always the weak one. I just wish I had known sooner that not all was as it seemed.
To Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, I leave this. I am on to you old man. Lily and I are working on a way to expose all of the evil you have done. If it is discovered that you have harmed one hair on the heads of my friends, or their children, I will make your afterlife Hell. If it is found you have touched one knut of their inheritance, I only hope this will suffice to see you punished. Signed and sworn this day 5th August, 1980."
Harry could feel his body going into shock, his mind incapable of processing everything he just heard. He looked to his guardian for answers only to gaze upon a man shattered. He looked around the room at all of them, trying to find his voice.
"I don't…I don't understand," he said, brows furrowed.
"What kind of sick joke is this?" Snape ground out.
"It is no joke, Sirs. I'm afraid goblins do not possess a sense of humor," Fanghook said dryly.
"I think what my clients mean, good goblin, is that all of this is greatly unexpected, most certainly previously unknown, and overwhelming to comprehend. Perhaps we should return tomorrow?" Mr. Woods offered.
"No!" shouted Harry. "No…" he repeated quietly. "I'm tired of being lied to. I've been lied to for fifteen years. I want to know what my mothers will says. I need to know the truth."
Severus just nodded, unable to do or say more. Fanghook cleared his throat and began.
"I, Lilian Elizabeth Potter, nee Snape, nee Evans, nee Gray, being of sound mind, and magic, do hereby divide my estate as follows:
To Remus John Lupin, I leave my entire collection of research on charms and transfiguration in the hopes he can one day 'crack the code'. I leave also the contents of Vault 393, including the letter addressed to him.
To Sirius Orion Black, the Godfather of my son Harrison James Potter, nee Harrison Alexander Snape, I leave $100,000 galleons, sole custody of my son (should I and his true father perish), and the contents of Vault 392, including the letter addressed to him.
To James Harrison Potter, should he survive the war, I leave $50,000 galleons, the contents of Vault 391, including the letter addressed to him, and my undying gratitude for all of the sacrifices he has made. Sirius is lucky to have you.
To Harrison James Potter, nee Harrison Alexander Snape, I leave the contents of Vault 389, including letter addressed to him, and the hope that he is reading this because I have died of old age.
To Kaelyn Sybella Lilianna Potter, nee Snape, I leave the contents of Vault 390, including the letter addressed to her, the entire estate afforded to me as the 49th Lady of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Gray, including Vaults 370-379, the properties at Wiltshire, Paris, London, Edinburgh, and Waterford, holdings in twenty-seven companies magical and muggle alike, and $100,000 galleons from Vault 395 for her dowry, should she choose to marry.
To Narcissa Amelie Malfoy, nee Black, I leave $100,000 galleons, and sole custody of my daughter Kaelyn Sybella Lilianna Potter, nee Snape, should both I and her true father perish, as is dictated by her acceptance as Godmother of aforementioned child, as assigned by Kaelyns true father Severus Tobias Snape.
To my darling husband, Severus Tobias Snape, I leave the contents of Vault 394, including the letter addressed to him, sole custody of our children Harrison James Potter, nee Harrison Alexander Snape and Kaelyn Sybella Lilianna Potter, nee Snape, should I perish and he survive, and the remainder of my worldly possessions and wealth which are contained in Vaults 387 and 388. I love you my sweet Severus. 'Always'.
To Wormtail, I leave compassion, but not forgiveness. You were weak in life, and so shall you be in death. I can only imagine how quickly you crumbled under the old codgers stare. I invoke my life-debt against you Peter Pettigrew, and command that it be paid in full to my son Harrison James Potter, nee Harrison Alexander Snape, for it is he whom will be most affected by your cowardly betrayal.
To Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, I bind your convoluted soul to the deepest level of Hell, which is reserved for betrayers and mutineers. May you be forever haunted by what you have done.
To Whomever It May Concern, Albus Dumbledore is to have absolutely no say in the life of my sweet children. He is not to touch one Knut of the money I have left for them for any reason, and should their Godparents (listed below) be unable to assume Guardianship (should I and my husband perish), I have left a further list of families for consideration. At no time are my children to be remanded to Albus, nor are they to be left for any amount of time with my adopted sister Petunia Dursley, nee Evans or her husband Vernon Dursley. They are vile beings, and as we are not related by blood, there is no protection that their home would offer. I fear any magical child left in their care would be neglected and/or abused to the point of death.
Acceptable Guardians are as follows:
James Harrison Potter, Godfather to Kaelyn Sybella Lilianna Potter, nee Snape.
Narcissa Amelie Malfoy, nee Black, Godmother to Kaelyn Sybella Lilianna Potter, nee Snape.
Sirius Orion Black, Godfather to Harrison James Potter, nee Harrison Alexander Snape.
Aurora Everlee Greengrass, Godmother to Harrison James Potter, nee Harrison Alexander Snape.
Francis and Alice Longbottom.
Andromeda and Theodore Tonks.
Remus John Lupin.
So signed and sworn this day, 5th August, 1980."
The room was deathly silent. Nobody moved, or even drew breath for several long seconds.
"Where. Is. My. Sister?" Harry finally asked, his magic crackling around the room.
"Master Potter—" began Fanghook.
"Where is my sister?" Harry screamed, every piece of glass in the room shattering.
"Harry—" came Severus hoarse whisper.
Harry took one look at the man, his father, alive and well, and collapsed in a fit of tears. Severus grabbed the boy up and held him tight, lost in his own thoughts. Harry Potter, the child he had been forced to hate; the boy he had been made to believe was the son of his only love and his greatest enemy; was in fact his. He had a son.
"I believe that is quite enough for today," said Severus quietly. "May I arrange a review of my inheritances at your earliest convenience? I would like the items made available to me in my home, if possible. I do not wish to leave Harry alone."
"Of course, Lord Prince. I can arrange to have everything delivered to your home tomorrow." Said Fanghook.
"Master Woods, will that be convenient for you?" Snape queried.
"Of course. I am yours, without interruption, for the next week, should you require it," Mr. Woods offered.
"I fear, good sir, I do."
He then turned to address Fanghook.
"I wish the Prince Estate and records be delivered tomorrow. We shall commence promptly at 8am. If there is anything I have inherited that may be unsightly to the Ministry, I trust your judgment in disposing of it in whatever way you deem appropriate. Also I am not one to abide by clutter, or find sentiment in random household objects, if you believe an item will fetch a good price, but does not book keeping, you may part with it on my behalf. I cannot possibly miss that which I did not know I had. Anything to do with Potions, Olde Magiks, or Defense is to be kept for my review. As it would appear that my finances are now well in order, I feel it prudent to insist that you retain half of the sum fetched by all items sold. Deposit the remainder in a vault in-trust for any children bearing the Snape name, to be equally divided amongst them upon the eldest reaching 21."
"As you wish," said Fanghook inclining his head.
Lord Prince, he decided, would be one client worth keeping happy.