Solicitors and Snakes
Chapter Three: Solicitors and Snakes
The all important Disclaimer: I do not own Harry Potter or affiliated characters, places, and things. They all belong to J.K. Rowling and affiliated companies.
A/N: I have created a monster, and I am proud of it! To those who wonder I have only done one purely evil Dumbles fic, and I cannot stand it, so I am still deciding between two options. Only one person knows which way he will be the rest will just have to wait and see! I love the reviews keep them coming. Cheers! This means the Potter's will, the Blood line test, and words of a god or goddess to a mortal mind; and this mean parseltongue.
Harry had been studying the animagus book for thirty minutes when he heard the Floo network come life for the fourth time this morning. The black haired man standing in it looked around nervously. His cloths may have been nicer than when Harry first saw the man, but he looked a hundred times more frightened. Closing his book Harry walked towards the man.
"Sirius Black?" he asked walked nonchalantly.
"Harry my god…" the man tentatively walked. "You look so much like you father except for your eyes…"
"Yeah I know there my mother's. I get told that a lot." Harry shook off the sense of déjà vu, and motioned for Sirius to follow him. Once in the room Harry shut the door. "Sirius there is something you should know about me."
"Harry I think you need to know about me…" Sirius held up a vial of truth serum. "I am willing to take this if you want me to?"
"No need Padfoot."
Harry waited for the shock to wear off of his dogfather.
"How did you know that name?" His eyes held in a narrowed glare.
"You might want to give me the Veritaserum Sirius."
"Harry I do not think you need to…" Sirius was stammering and looking at the door.
"Trust me Sirius what I am going to tell you needs it and the privacy charm cast."
Sirius looked at him funny, but handed him the vial, and cast the privacy charm. Harry held out his hand, and took the customary three drops. When the Marauder asked why he need to give his godson Veritaserum Harry began to tell his tale. He started with how he and Hermione had nearly died, and were sent back in time to prevent Voldemort from getting the last laugh. Sirius had a lot of question about how he knew about the Marauders, and was informed that he (Sirius) was killed two years after Harry had found out about it at the end of this year. At that bit of news Sirius' mouth once again fell open. When he regained Harry was glad Hermione was not there.
"Bull shite Harry, bull shite." Sirius had his arms crossed in front of his chest.
"Okay I tell you what Padfoot, let's make a bet if I can prove to you what I said was true then you help me and Hermione become animagus, and if I am wrong I will help you clean 12 Grimmauld Place with a toothbrush."
"You have a deal." Sirius stuck out his hand.
"Let me go check for the twins." Harry went to the door.
"Fred and George Weasley, or Gred and Forge take your pick." Harry then walked out the door, and went to look for the Weasley's who he assumed would be there by now. He could here Tom talking to someone who sounded very concerned that Sirius was here. As he got to the bottom of the stairs he saw Mrs. Weasley with a worried expression on her face. "Mrs. Weasley I am okay, and so you know he is perfectly okay."
"Oh Harry I was just worried that…"
"He would prank me into oblivion… nah he wouldn't." Harry grin at the Weasley matriarch.
"I am not worried about that." Molly said with a stern look in her eyes.
Us," the twins finished their seesaw like conversation together as usual, but this time it was Harry who had a grin on his face.
"Just the two men I was looking for could you fallow me please." Harry led the twins upstairs to his room. When he closed the door behind him Harry cast the privacy charm. "Okay boys I want the map, and before you ask meet Mr. Padfoot." With that he gestured to Sirius.
"Where are Prongs, Wormtail, and Moony?" The twins set the question on stereo.
"Mr. Prongs was Harry's father, Wormtail is Peter Pettigrew, and Moony I hear will be a teacher soon." Sirius looked at Harry. "Is this your proof Harry?"
"Boys present the map, and I will tell you what I Padfoot here." The boys presented the map to Sirius on bended knees, and after being told to stand by a laughing Sirius Harry repeated his story. At the end of it both boys were a weird mix of Weasley red and pale. "Now Sirius can I see the map?"
Sirius held up the map. "You see with your eyes not you hands young one."
"Ha Ha very funny Sirius give it." Harry held out his hand.
"And why should I do that Harry?" Sirius grin was getting bigger by the second.
"Because Hermione and I plan to restart the Marauders this year, and I need you to brew the potions mentioned in this book."
Harry handed one of the idols of Fred and Gorge the book that he and Hermione purchased earlier. After the trade Sirius looked through the book. "Harry you know I am… what do you say now, pants?" After a nod from the three teens Padfoot continued. "I am pants at potions."
"Well Moony will be teaching Defense this year." At a nod from his godfather Harry took the map. "Now I need you to sign this. Thank you. Now Hermione has a heritage test to do at both Gringott's and the Ministry. Why I don't know I was just told to do it, so I think we should."
"Who told you Harry?" Sirius asked.
"It was a woman with long black hair and silver eyes." Harry paused for dramatic effect. "Who is also one of the goddesses who is one of our, meaning mine and Hermione's, patrons."
"What else could they have done? They saved your lives, sent you back in time, and helped free me. What more could they have done?"
"They have done more than that Sirius, but I really don't know. She also said this was the final gift."
"Enough said. I highly doubt annoying a goddess is a good idea." What shocked Harry is that it was not Sirius who said this but George.
"Well put young Mr. Echo. Your brother shall now be known as Origin." One of the last Marauders spoke with mirth and wicked grin on his face.
"Yes Lord Padfoot!" the 'twin speak' was in full swing once again.
The silencing charm was lifted, and the group left the room. Was standing outside the room, and seemed to be glaring at Fred, George, and one smiling Sirius Black. After he promised not to 'corrupt' Harry she seemed to relax, but only just. As they made their way down the stairs Harry could see Hermione had made it to the pub. Her face looked a lot paler than the last time he saw her, but chalked it up to a late night visitor of the divine verity.
After the group exchanged greetings the large group left for Diagon Ally. Harry, Hermione, Ginny, and Mrs. Weasley went to Gringott's while the others went to Flourish and Blotts. There was idle chatter about what they did over the summer, and a few innuendos made by little Ginny about Harry and Hermione staying in the Leaky Cauldron. Her mother was not happy about those comments, and reprimanded the girl, but by the grin on her face showed that Ginny didn't care.
The group as a whole went to their vaults. The first stop was Hermione's, then the Weasley's, and finally Harry's. Harry still felt bad about letting the others see his vault, but being as Hermione had already seen his family vault which held considerably more money among other things. Nothing outlandish like what the Malfoys probably had, but nice things none the less. Harry was only taking money out so he could have some spending money for Hogsmeade and to Sirius for the potion components.
As they walked through the Alley Harry was looking for Sirius, but could not find him. While he hoped he didn't get himself into some kind of trouble Harry continued to 'shop' for school supplies. Around one o'clock Hermione told him they should head for the solicitor's office. Once there Harry noticed a gathering of people outside. The flashing of cameras and the sounds of reporters rang throughout the air.
"Minister Fudge is it true that Peter Pettigrew has escaped custody?" a woman shouted.
"While there is speculation of this nature we are uncertain as to whether its source can be validated or not. The guards were killed yes, but it seems so too was Pettigrew. I assure you that all resources of both the Ministry of Magic and our Egyptian counter parts are at work in this matter. As soon as we have any information we will be providing it too you. Thank you and have a nice day."
With that the Minister of Magic walked into the solicitor's office. Hermione leaned over to Harry and whispered. "This is going to get dicey."
A blonde haired reporter the teens both reviled and respected (if only as far as one could spit) turned and saw Harry. "Mr. Potter what do you think of the events of the past few days?"
Harry squeezed Hermione's arm before answering. "I am uncertain ma'am, but if you do not mind I have a meeting to get to."
The crowd parted as he walked by, but more than Rita Skeeter were hurling questions at the couple. When they finally made it into the solicitor's office the couple was seeing spots from the amount of camera flashes they had to endure. Harry immediately focused on Sirius standing beside Professor Dumbledore. Harry became worried that the old man would know about what the two had discussed in private. He knew the old man knew Legilimency, and could read the surface thoughts of a person. He just prayed that Sirius kept that in mind.
"Harry, Sirius tells us he has already spoken to you?" the old man asked his eyes twinkling like the stars in the night sky.
"Yes I wrote to him earlier today, and we discussed the matter of my living condition."
He was cut off by Dumbledore before he could say more. "Harry we have discussed this. Your aunt and uncle's home is the safest place for you."
"That place professor has never been my home, and it never will be again if I can help it." At that moment Harry felt his magic flare around him, and heard the sound of something breaking. "What was that professor?"
"Don't worry about Harry m'boy I am sure it was nothing." The minister said. "You took a risk Mr. Potter yesterday at your relatives why is that?"
"Well Minister Fudge my 'relatives' seemed to have ignored the fact that I am a human being, and treat me as if though I am some kind of toy to be discarded when I am no longer useful." At the odd look on the minister's face Harry decided to clarify. "I am treated worse than one of the Malfoy's house elves sir."
At that moment the solicitor a man with jet black hair, and grey eyes glared at Dumbledore. "You told me he was in the best of care Professor."
"Well he was Jacob, but I was not completely sure he was treated equally to the couples own son." The head master was trying his best to show he was in complete control. Harry decided to cut the puppet strings.
"Professor Dudley is the equivalent to a beached whale, and my uncle is a walrus in human form. They eat a majority of the food in the house while I am left to pick up the scraps." Harry tried to hide the venom in his voice, but at the moment didn't really care if it showed.
This information caused an argument between the other men in the room. It ended when Jacob threw his hands in the air. "We will discuss this later. Right now we have the will to go over." The man walked into his office and pulled what appeared to be a pensive. "They, or more aptly James, said you would know what to say to activate it." Jacob was pointing to Sirius at that moment.
Harry didn't need to guess what was being said: it would be the Marauders oath. 'I solemnly swear that I am up to no good.' With those simple words the pensive came to life, and projected a four foot tall image of Harry's parents. Before he could ask anything the images started to speak.
I James William Potter of sound mind and body declare this as my last will and testament.
I Lilly Evens Potter of sound mind and body declare this as my last will and testament.
It was his father who continued from this point.
Harry if your hearing this it means we failed to protect you as best we could. I don't want you to feel alone Harry because you're not. You mum and I will always be there, and my friends Sirius and Remus. Sirius look after him will you. I know Dumbledore has some kind of plan in case we don't make it, but I don't know how the two (or three) of us dying would help anyone. If the worst happens don't let Lilly's sister get him, and if you can't stop it make sure her fat cow of husband understands the Marauders wrath.
Sirius I leave you the house in London. It will be better for you than rebuilding in Godric's Hallow. That place will be too sorrowful now to live in. And for the love of God don't go to your parents old place unless you have to. Also as I said above you are the primary caregiver of my son Harry James Potter should Lilly and I die. Under no circumstance unless absolutely necessary is Harry to ever be left in the custody of Petunia Evans Dursley and her family. That spiteful woman will probably kill him at worst and at best leave him in an orphanage.
His mother's image moved closer to his father. The man appeared to be stroking her back before continuing.
Remus I am leaving you Lilly's potion journal. She was working on a surprise for you and I hope it works. If it doesn't I leave you twenty thousand galleons and whatever remains of Lilly's potion lab. Find someone who makes you happy my friend. Remember Moony you are family to us.
His mum spoke next.
Remus you are not a monster. A monster is someone who embraces the disease you have and does whatever they will to others. I am sure there is someone out there for you. Sirius I swear to Merlin that if you turn my son into a miniature version of yourself I will come back from the dead and hex you where it counts.
Sirius winced while Jacob and Harry laughed. Harry looked over at Hermione and she just had this wicked grin on her face.
Harry my little boy I wonder what you look like now. I wonder if there is a new Mrs. Potter, or at least a woman in your life. Or at the least someone who makes you happy. I do not know the man you are I only know the little baby that is sleeping in a crib in the room next to us. I hope our sacrifice is not in vain, and that you live in a better place than we left.
To whoever holds my little boys heart. Treat him well, and keep him safe. If he is anything like his father he has no doubt caused more trouble than Peeves with a bucket of paint. If he hasn't then he has no doubt taken after me in which case you are a very lucky person.
To Elisabeth Greengrass, my friend and my sister I leave my copy of the pendants we purchased in Diagon Ally on the eve of your wedding.
Harry we leave everything else to you.
His father looked over at his mum before the two of them nodded. His father spoke the words that would seal a man's fate.
Lastly if we are dead it is Peter Pettigrew who was our secret keeper. I hope he rots in Hell for what he has done to us.
With that the images faded away. Harry could feel a tear falling down his cheek, and a soft finger came up to wipe away the tear. Hermione pulled him close to her, and let him cry tears that had been two decades in the making. He was reminded of all the lives lost during the final battle. Collin Creevey the little first year who wanted to take his picture, Fred Weasley dead in the corridor, Tonks and Remus dead bodies lying next to one another in the Great Hall, and the countless others whose names would never be known that were killed by the Snatchers.
The sound of a drawer closing brought Harry back to the here and now. Jacob had a beautiful sapphire pendant in the shape of a raven in his hand and a book no bigger than Hermione's schedule book. The man set them in front of Sirius. "I believe you know who these go to?"
"Yes I do. Harry if I can use your owl I would like to send a letter to Elisabeth Greengrass. She will want this." Sirius held up the pendant.
"Of course Sirius, but if you don't mind I would personally like to give it to her." Sirius just nodded. "Jacob is there anything else."
"Aside from the key to the house in London no, and I already gave that Sirius." Harry nodded. "Now if you will excuse us I think there is something that the headmaster, Minister Fudge, and I need to discuss." The man didn't bother to conceal the hatred in his voice.
With that Harry, Hermione, and his dogfather left the room. The group went back to the Leaky Cauldron where Sirius wrote a letter to Lady Greengrass. Harry went to talk to the twins while Hermione was talking with Mrs. Weasley about romance. Harry was talking with the twins about how Molly found out about Pettigrew. The boys said that their mum had talked with a woman whose descriptions sound eerily similar to Lady Hecate's saved for her eyes. The woman had raven hair, was thin with a slightly athletic build, and had green eyes, and every night after that the twins would hear their mum wake up screaming. It got downright scary. Their dad thought she had come across a curse or something, and finally she asked Fred for Scabbers, and cast a charm on him revealing him to be Pettigrew. The Weasley Patriarch quickly stunned him and took him to the Ministry's diplomatic office in Egypt.
After Sirius sent off his letter he took Harry, Hermione, and Mrs. Weasley to the Department of Records within the Ministry of Magic. In contrast to everywhere else Harry had been within the Ministry this place seemed to be a bookworm's paradise. Shelves meters tall with untold numbers of parchment within them, and tomes that looked to give the muggle novel "War and Peace" a run for its money.
There were six lines the longest of these was Domestic Disputes which Harry assumed was akin to the Domestic Abuse area of muggle police department, or a divorce filling area. By the sheer number of people in line he was going for number two. The first line was the one they need Magical Blood Lines Dispute Department. There were only three people in the line, and none of them looked pleasant. The old man in front of them kept complaining about his sons stealing his inheritance, and something about proving he was not their father. The first two people in line went by quickly, but the man in front of them complained for what felt like thirty minutes until some Ministry officials came to escort him to a different area.
"Yes how may I help you?" the woman behind the counter asked, and it sound like today was not one of her best days.
"Yes my name is Hermione Jean Granger I was told to come here to do a Lineage test." Hermione was back in her 'old' work mode. No emotion in her voice, and just giving the facts. It scared Harry sometimes when she did this.
"Please prick your finger and place three drops of blood on this parchment please." The woman's nasal voice was kind of annoying Harry.
Hermione proceeded to do as she was asked. After the tree drops were applied the paper started to glow an orange color. Once it died down the 'teller' looked at and let out a scream that would make a Banshee proud. The woman started calling for her boss. When the man arrived he asked what the commotion was about. When he looked at the parchment he looked first at Harry then Mrs. Weasley.
"Are you Ms. Granger?"
"No sir, I am Ms. Hermione Jean Granger may I ask what the problem is?" Hermione huffed.
"You may want to look at this ma'am." He then handed Hermione the parchment. Harry along with the other two with them looked over Hermione's shoulder.
Father: Jacob Bill Granger (Muggle)
Mother: Lisa Kelly Granger (Muggle)
Hector Dagworth-Granger (Pure-blood) (Inheritance partially claimed Dagworth line)
Salazar Slytherin (Pure-blood) (Inheritance unclaimed)
Claim to Slytherin vault valid.
Claim to Dagworth-Granger Vault (England) valid.
Harry looked at Hermione who uncharacteristically had her mouth hanging open. He used his forefinger to close it. Looking back at the woman behind the counter saw her walking up with a stack of parchment in her arms. She sat back down, and instructed Hermione to sign all fifteen of the forms she had brought with her. Once all that was done the woman shrunk all fifteen forms, and told them to head to Gringott's immediately because there was another man who was seeking a claim to the vault. When asked who the name that was given made Harry laugh: Lucius Malfoy.
The group left the Ministry as quickly as they could. Lady Greengrass and her daughters were there. Sirius told them that they might want to wait, but Hermione seemed reluctant to go to Gringott's.
"Why would a witch be afraid of the goblins?" Daphne asked.
"Well it seems a Muggle born is the heiress of Slytherin. Looks like the monster from last year attacked the wrong girl." Sirius said all of this with a smile on his face. The two Slytherins in the group had these shocked looks on their face. "Not to mention she is in GRYFINDOR."
Harry just rolled his eyes at Sirius' high jinks while Hermione was hitting him on the shoulder. "Well the reason we wanted to talk to you is this." Harry pulled out the pendant and handed it to his mother's old friend. The woman had a sharp intake of air.
"Where was this?"
"She left it with solicitor who did my parents' will."
The woman sank into a chair, and started to sob. Harry told her he would be back in a few minutes if she wished to know more. Molly told them to go on that she would remain here and inform Mrs. Greengrass about what had been in the will. Daphne better known as the 'Ice Queen' decided to follow them, and out of respect for his mother Harry did not wish to cause problems with the Greengrass family.
As the quartet made their way to Gringott's they garnered a few stairs. Most of them were from Harry's classmates. When Theodore Nott tried to say something he was silenced with just a look from Greengrass. Hermione it seems was more focused on finding out what was in the Dagworth-Granger vault than anything else, but once she found out Daphne was with the she raised an eyebrow to Harry. He waved off her concerns for later. When they made it into the bank Harry could see Malfoy arguing with a goblin, and it seems he was trying to access a vault which was not his.
"Stop right there Malfoy!" Harry shouted.
The man spun around and glared at Harry. "You have no business listening in other people's conversation Mr. Potter." The arrogance and anger in his voice were not even concealed by the man.
"Actually we do. Hermione here," Harry gestured with his left hand. "… is the heiress of Slytherin, and we bring the documentation to prove it."
Harry looked over to the other Slytherin in the group to find her mouth hanging open. The goblin teller spoke up next.
"Well Mrs. Potter if that is the truth we will need to see the papers and take three drops of your blood."
Hermione brought out the parchments. "It's Granger."
"How do we know these are factual documents?" Malfoy screamed.
With a wave of his hand the teller made the documents both enlarge and glow blue. "These are factual documents Mr. Malfoy." He did the same gesture over Malfoy's documents, and the glowed violet. "While the documents you provided are false." At that moment two goblin guards surrounded Malfoy. "Your account will be penalized fifty five thousand galleons, and all account transaction from this date forward will be over seen by goblin overlords."
"You are a bothersome prat Potter!" Lucius screamed over his shoulder as the two guards led him out of the bank. Harry noticed other patrons in the bank were staring at Malfoy and then there gaze wondered over to Hermione.
Harry looked to his girlfriend and saw her face was a deep shade of crimson. The goblin hand her two keys, and told them to follow him. When Daphne followed Harry went to say something, by with a shake of his head Sirius silenced him. As the cart moved along Daphne said she would stay in the cart while they examined the vaults. To which the other three humans acknowledged with a simple nod. Conversation was kept to minimum during the ride with only Sirius talking to Daphne, and Daphne trying to get information out of Harry about the Chamber of Secrets. At this point Daphne started cussing in Parseltongue. Harry noticed Hermione turn around and glare at the raven haired Slytherin. Before Hermione could say anything the cart stopped in front of the Dagworth-Granger vault number seven hundred and two.
"Key pleases?" The goblin asked.
When the vault door opened all Harry could say was "By the gods Hermione…"
Sirius let out a lone whistle to its contents.
Hermione's response was just two simple words.
A/N: To Mr. /Mrs. Anonymous thank you for the constructive criticism it is so enlightening! No seriously you really need to work on your people skills. I am not going to reveal the entire plot in one chapter. As for a plan I do have one, and will stick to it as best I can. One cannot plan in detail what they will write because this is not a school report. I am doing this for fun. For those who do like this story keep the reviews coming! Next chapter will reveal the person the gods sent back! Until next time!