Chapter 9: Sorting It All Out
Severus promptly returned himself and Harry to his small cottage where he gave Harry a Dreamless Sleep potion and put him to bed. He then retired to his study and contemplated drinking himself in oblivion.
"Master, Professor Snape be in the floo. He be saying it is dire he speaks with you. He be requesting you floo to his study as quickly as possible." The house elf bowed low awaiting his masters' response.
"Very well," Lucius sneered. "Tell him I shall call when I have finished dinner."
"Yes, Master," it squeaked as it backed out of the room.
Narcissa raised an eyebrow at her husband. For all their public airs Narcissa wore the pants in the relationship, not Lucius.
"Cissy, darling, Severus is one of my oldest and dearest friends. It would be unbecoming to leave him to his own."
"Have you quite forgotten your family here, Lucius?" she asked.
"No, dear wife, I have not. But Draco has gone to Master Zabinis, and I know that you do enjoy tea and the latest gossip with Lady Parkinson on Tuesday nights. I assumed my presence would not be missed tonight. I shall return by a quarter nine and we can spend the rest of the evening together," he purred.
"I do enjoy my weekly get-togethers with Diane," she paused. "Oh! Alright! A quarter nine or you shall find yourself sleeping in your study."
Smiling, Lucius kissed his wife and departed for the floo in his study. By the time he arrived at Dartmoor Manor, Severus had drank himself into a stupor.
"Good Lord, Severus! This is the second time this week! Is your life really so bad that you feel the need to piss it away?"
"He's my son," Severus slurred, staring into the fire.
"I beg your pardon?" Lucius inquired.
Severus cleared his throat.
"He's my son," he said again. "Harry. He isn't Potters. He's mine."
"Well yes, we all know that you gained custody of the boy but—"
"No, Lucius. He was always mine," Severus interrupted. "Potter was just a ruse."
At the highly confused looked, Severus pulled Lily's will out of his robe and handed it to the man. Several minutes passed in silence.
"Severus?" Lucius looked appalled.
"It must be what Dumbledore took from me," he answered. "How much of my life is a lie, Lucius?"
Severus was in pain. Lucius looked at him for several minutes.
"I'm afraid I can't answer that old friend. Did the letters tell you nothing?" he asked, sitting in a chair.
"I haven't had a chance to look. Harry was out of his mind with all of this," said Severus waving his hand around. "I had to bring him home immediately. I gave him a strong Dreamless Sleep and put him to bed."
"I cannot even imagine…"
Severus pinched the bridge of his nose.
"That's not all. It seems Dumbledore was hiding my inheritance from me. My Uncle Marcus named me his sole heir. I have just today taken claim as the 43rd Lord of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Prince. Mr. Woods is meeting me here on the morrow at 8am. I have ordered Gringotts to deliver my inheritance here, minus anything the Ministry might find unsavory, and anything that might fetch a good sum of money that is otherwise useless to me. I would imagine your offices will be extremely busy. Could you be spared for a private viewing?"
"Indeed. Cissy has a social function tomorrow and I imagine she will be engaged most of the day. Shall I arrive at say 7:30?"
Severus nodded his head lost in thought.
"I want justice, Old Friend. I want that bastard to suffer for what he has done."
"So he shall, Severus, on my magic, he shall suffer."
And with that Lucius retired.
Harry's potion wore off somewhere around 2am to which he awoke screaming for his sister. Severus came running and was required to administer the strongest calming draught and sleep potion he had in his stores. Even then his sons sleep was far from peaceful.
When Severus awoke the next morning he was in the chair in the corner of Harry's room. Harry was, most thankfully, still sleeping. After a quick shower, Severus summoned tea and made his way to his study which was filled with the shrunken contents of the Prince vaults. He had a headache already. Lucius arrived promptly at 7:30 and he and Severus began divvying up the paperwork. At eight o'clock Mr. Woods joined them and they began the time consuming task of inventorying it all for their personal records.
Around noon Harry came down, still in his pajamas and wrapped in a blanket.
"Can I get you anything Harry?" Severus asked gently.
Harry just shook his head and took a seat on a chair in the corner.
"I think we should break for lunch regardless," said Lucius. "These numbers are starting to make no sense."
As they ate they talked about what they had already sorted out.
"The majority of the items from Vaults 797 and 798 are at Malfoy Investments being appraised. Ragnook informed us of the agreement, and preliminary numbers are already in the hundreds of thousands of galleons. There are two boxes of items that need your review, and a safe containing all the Prince family jewels," said Lucius to which Snape just nodded.
"After reviewing all of your liquid and monetary assets, my legal advice would be to hold on to your stocks. Whoever made these investments knew exactly what they were doing. You practically own Slug & Jiggers, and your investment in Dragonmere Books brings in $100,000 galleons a year. Then of course you own small parts in Ollivanders, Nimbus Racing Broom Company, and a vineyard in Italy. All very lucrative. It is safe to say you could never work another day in your life, live ridiculously well, and could still afford a lavish lifestyle, work free, for the next three generations at least. In their current state, your Prince Vaults contain $250,000,000 galleons," advised Mr. Woods.
Severus choked on his wine and took several minutes to recover.
"I have been looking into my properties. I have no need for so many homes. My cottage here more than accommodates my needs, as do my quarters at Hogwarts. Then of course, there is Spinners End which I use as a diversionary home for less favorable guests. I would like to keep the London flat, and I have always desired a home by the sea, so I shall be keeping Dyffryn House," Severus paused, "Harry, as my heir apparent, you will inherit my estate in its entirety when I am gone. Is there anything you wish to preserve that we have reviewed today?" he asked gently.
Harry just shook his head.
Turning back to Mr. Woods he said, "sell the rest. However you think best. The elves go with the houses."
"I'll start the paperwork immediately."
"Good. Also request that…that my inheritances from Lily and James be sent over. Only mine for now. I don't see why we can't work through those as well."
"Right away," and with that Mr. Woods took his leave.
Two hours later saw the majority of remaining Prince possessions being sent to Malfoys company to be appraised and sold off.
"Have all the jewelry placed back in the vaults. I am sure Harry intends to court one day, and he will need use of it. Also have the Snape vaults consolidated into the empty Prince ones, then shut the Snape ones down."
"I shall owl Gringotts immediately," said Lucius.
Snape heaved a heavy sigh, glad that Harry had retreated to his own room for now. He was staring heavily at the first of several cardboard boxes.
"You don't have to do this right now Severus. Don't torture yourself."
Snape shook his head.
"No. I need answers. If not for myself, then for Harry. Has the library at Potter Manor been inventoried?"
"Yes," sniffed Lucius, "I'm quite jealous."
"I take it you collected payment for your services in books?"
"No," laughed Lucius, "but I did make a list if that is your preferred form of payment."
Severus nodded. "I shall review that later."
Both men were quiet for a very long time.
"Lucius, I need work done off the record." Snapes voice was suddenly cold and hard. "I don't care how you get it done, or what it costs. I must know what happened to my daughter. Even if it is just a grave, I need to see it."
"Take the money James left me as a start. Take anything else you need from vault 799," he said handing Lucius the necessary paperwork.
"What shall we start on now?" asked Lucius.
"Who is executor of the Potter estate?"
"You, it appears."
Severus sighed. "No rest for the wicked, aye?"
"None at all," cracked Lucius.
"Very well. Has the werewolf been notified?"
"It is no surprise," Snape frowned. "Draft him a letter with a port key and send it with Kasha. Request his presence post haste. Have the money left to Sirius placed into the Black Vaults for Harry. Bring me the letter for review. I fear it is something Harry will need to see. Take the money left to…to Lily and use it in your quest. I shall require the letter to her as well."
Snape ran his hand over his face, "I shall save Harrys inheritance for another day. Friday perhaps. Take…" tears began to form in his eyes, but he furiously blinked them back. "Kaelyns inheritance from James and place it in vaults in her name. I shall leave it untouched for now."
"Do you wish to bring more charges against Dumbledore?"
"Yes. Whatever we can get him for. I want his kissed."
"I certainly think we can manage that," simpered Lucius. "I shall drop these documents off and get started on finding answers. All the letters are in that wooden box in the corner."
Severus just sighed and poured himself another drink.