Chapter 11: Inheritance Ritual
A pin could be dropped into this room and the sound of it would echo endlessly in the office as the silence was absolute.
At long last, Sirius spoke up and it was clear that he was trying to hold it together, “I must say, you have all failed quite spectacularly. I think we shall take our business to the Gnomes of Switzerland, they are a lot more accommodating and seem to have a lot more competence.”
“You can go over to those bludgeoning nitwits,” Gorkit shouted as a look of disgust and loathing was plastered on his face.
“Master Black, you can not blame the goblin nation for this-- the fault all lies at me,” Barnott also added as he looked close to weeping. “I can immediately be removed from the Potter accounts.” he then helpfully added.
“NONE OF YOU have any right to tell me what to do,” Sirius bellowed out, silencing any protest. “Your bank was given one simple task-- carry out the Potter’s Will, and let us not even get to the breach in the Potter’s accounts. I do not have to tell you how adamantly you failed in this task, do I? Thanks to it my godson has been living with magic hating animals who mentally, physically, and emotionally abused him!”
“My god.” the plump goblin whispered as he looked even more grief-stricken.
“He had no clue about his own legacy; whether that be if he was a wizard or even of his own family and house.”
“The audacity of them,” Gorkit muttered in a spitting rage, “How could they treat the heir of a Most Noble and Ancient House like that!”
“I think that they get the picture.” Harry uttered, stopping Sirius right there.
Grumbling, Sirius came to a pause and sat back in his seat which he had jumped out of somewhere in his wrath.
Speaking up in a composed tone, the goblin king addressed the two clients, “Let me first say on behalf of the nation I apologize for this terrible error. I would understand if you wish to take your business elsewhere but first hear me out,”
Giving Sirius the look, the older wizard stayed silent and let the taller than average goblin continue speaking.
“No matter what choice you make in the end, we will increase the security level of the Potter’s vaults from Earldom to Marquisdom. We will also pay out of our own coffers the amount due to the recipient listed on the Potter’s Will. Plus from now on you both will get 50% off on all of Gringotts bank’s services. Finally, we will give young Harry Potter our very own Inheritance Ritual.”
“I only heard whispers of that.” Sirius muttered as a look of surprise flickered past his face.
Catching on to the mood of things, Harry asked, “What is an Inheritance Ritual, and what’s the difference between the one Gringotts has?”
“It basically tells you what House you have Heir ship for,” Sirius simply answered as he laid back in his chair and took a bite out of one of the biscuits.
Snorting out loud in disgust, Gorkit spoke up, “He is not giving you a full picture boy--each House has their own Inheritance Ritual to scrutinize if you, a heir, are truly the scion of that house and so line-theft is not committed. However what happens when a house dies out or there is no male living heir?”
“What happens?” Harry echoed, curious to know.
“You do what they do and sit the gold, do nothing.” Sirius helpfully added.
Ignoring the wizard, the goblin continued, “You need to reach out, of course. All of a sudden bastard, cousins, nephews, aunts, in-laws are next in line to inherit. Now with the way you wizards and witches are killing each other off, there are countless houses that have died out and need new heirs to restore them.”
“So basically you are telling me I might be in line to inherit multiple houses,” Harry asked, trying to clarify things up.
“Yep,” Sirius answered for him, “And there might be a whole host of houses you might be in line to inherit since this is an Inheritance Ritual that included each and every House since all the way back until King Arthurian times where the first Magical Houses arouse.”
“What do you say to that?” the goblin king asked as he looked right at Harry.
“Now listen here. You can not simply buy us with-” Sirius tried to start off with, but Harry quickly cut him off.
“Sirius I appreciate you getting angry on my behalf, but let bygones be bygones. I want to move on with my life and not let the past weigh me down. I do not know about you but I think that this will make good recompense.”
Sighing, Sirius turned to face his godson, and his features softened, “If that is what you want pup, then...”
“Hey, I am not above getting sweet, sweet revenge.” Harry affixed as he gave a crooked grin.
“HA, now that is my godson,” Sirius uttered as he slapped his knees. Then turning to face the trio of goblins with a solemn gaze, “You heard the boy, let’s get this ritual on the way.”
Groaning, Harry recalled the two rituals he went through; the removal of the Horcrux and the assimilation of the Phoenix plus Basilisk. All the pain and agony he went through, he never wanted to relive that ever again but he knew of the sweet, awesome reward that awaits him at the end of the tunnel, he wanted that.
Feeling both miserable and exuberant, Harry got up from his chair and set aside his cup then followed everyone out of the office.
“You will need to sit.”
“Yea, yea, I do not need to be told what to do twice.” Harry cut off the goblin. Right now they were deep within Gringotts bank and two robed goblins that looked like shamans flanked him.
“You will need to cut your palm and smear it on the Great family tree,” the second shaman goblin voiced as he gave Harry an Athame.
“Is that even safe.” Harry joked, but the goblins gave no response but silence.
“Enough with your jokes boy,” Gorkit called out from the sideline where he stood with his King, Barnott, and Sirius. “Go sit beside the Great family tree.”
“Alright, I will be on my way.” Harry said as he looked at the carving of the massive tree. Inscribed within its leaves of the tree were countless names of what he imagined to be wizards and witches, and on the trunk of the tree was written; [The Kingdom of Avalon]
“Anyways what is this ‘Great family tree’” Harry asked as he put air quotes around the name.
“This marks all the wizards and witches that came to be since the times of King Arthur and Merlin,” answered the goblin king. “We were ordered by His Majesty himself to create this when our nation came underneath his royal sovereign.”
“Wow.” Harry finally uttered getting a full scope of the picture as this marked nearly 2,500 years of wizarding history.
“Sort of does remind me of the blasted tapestry that my mother had.” Sirius grumbled under his breath to no one in particular.
Once more appreciating the massive tree carved in the stone tapestry, Harry made his way over and sat at the base of it. Nodding his head to the goblin signaling that he was ready to get started. Standing at two opposite cardinal directions, the goblins started chanting and Harry found that as his cue to do as he was told. Cutting his palm with the silver ritual dagger, Harry smeared his blood on the carved tree.
He was surprised when he saw the tree light up like it was a Christmas tree and his blood slowly flowed upward, though he should have known better since this was MAGIC.
Closing his eyes shut, Harry knew the pain was about to start, and just as the thought crossed his mind, agony exploded within his mind.
Unknown to him the blood continued to flow upward until it reached the leaves of the tree and split into two distinct paths.
In Harry’s mind eye, images of a man who had a close resemblance to him and woman with the same emerald-green eyes flickered past. Instantly Harry knew who the two individuals were-- his mother and father.
The two of them seemed to branch off far into the distance as two new couples appeared within his mind eye. The first was a plump friendly man who shared the same resemblance to Harry and his father and right next to him was a woman with the same Black family’s features as Sirius and Aunt Dromeda. The second couple was a tall, well-built man with emerald-green eyes and black hair, besides him was a woman with fiery red hair and sapphire-blue eyes.
Harry did not know how he knew it but instinctively he realized that they were his grandparents.
Then quickly they too branched off into the distance as his great-grandparents came into view then his great-great-grandparents and his great-great-great-grandparents. The cycle kept on continuing as more and more people came into view-- they were of wild variety; some adventurers, others scholars, each and every single one of them leaving a small imprint behind.
Finally, a milestone seemed to be reached in what Harry assumed to be the Potter’s line. A woman entered it by the name of Iolanthe Peverell, again Harry had no clue how he knew it but his blood seemed to be singing it to him. Iolanthe Peverell the granddaughter of Ignotus Peverell, he wondered where he had heard that name before, married his 15th-century countless great grandfather Hardwin Potter and with her, she carried the last of the Peverell line.
After that encounter, the Potter line seemed to hit another momentous occasion as this time a man entered it one by the name of Leo Gryffindor--- last of the Gryffindor and great-great-great-grandson of Godric Gryffindor. It seemed like his long forgotten ancestor died in some war far away before his son was even born and Henry took his mother’s family name of Potter and continued the line until today.
What came as a surprise to Harry was when the Evans’ line hit its own milestone, here entered Rose Evans(née Ravenclaw) the second daughter of Rowena Ravenclaw who ran away and married a simple farmer. She was never known to the world because of one simple fact. She was a squib.
All of a sudden, things took a darker turn as the silent nightmares that plagued him all his life came to the forefront. Harry heard shouting coming from downstairs then a thump as a body seemed to fall to the floor, there before him was a woman with fiery red hair and the same emerald-green eyes as him whispering sweet words of comfort into his ears.
Then the door to the room flew off its hinges and in walked a figure cloaked in a black robe. The woman tried to plead for his life, but the dark figure was having none of that and fired a green, sickly spell at her and she dropped like a fly.
“NOOO.” Harry shouted as he watched his mother die right before his eyes, the nightmare still persisted as the figure who Harry now knew was Voldermort walked towards his crib. Whispering a single incantation a bolt of dark neon green magic hurled towards him and seemed to bounce off something and fling back at the Dark Wizard.
The Dark Wizard went down with a shriek of defiance and pain until he branched off into the distance and figures quickly passed by-- dark figures of people who stood alone and committed countless atrocities. All of it came to a stop until a dark, green haired man with aristocracy features burned in his mind and Harry was quickly sent hurling out of the vision.
Coming back to the real world, Harry took in a sharp intake of breath as he tried to calm his nerves and wildly beating heart.
Coming right up to him was Sirius who had a concerned look on his face, “Are you alright pup?”
“Yes.” Harry replied, lying to the man as he did not want to worry him about what happened long ago in the past.
Offering his hand, the older wizard helped the young one get up from the floor and helped him dust off. “Are you sure your alright pup?” Sirius asked once more, sensing that his godson wasn’t telling the honest truth.
“Yep,” Harry stated as he put on a false cheerful expression, “So what did I get?”
“Look up,. Sirius simply answered as he stepped aside.
As he looked up, before him was the carved stone tapestry and it was lit up with a thousand different lights. Harry stared at it in fascination and quickly picked up on all the witches and wizards he dreamt about during the ritual.
“What does it all mean?” Harry inquired as the goblins came into view.
“All the lights symbolize different things Master Potter,” Barnott answered helpfully. “For example, the green light is symbolic of close blood ties,” the goblin uttered as it pointed towards the Black Family and Ollivander Family. “Then there are blue lights which are symbolic of families you have alliances with,” next the Longbottom Family and the Diggory Family were pointed out.
“Next is the grey lights which are Houses you have neutrality with,” the Greengrass Family and the Prewett Family where pointed out. “Here are also the black which stands for families you have blood feuds with,” families such as the Lestrange Family, Prince Family, and Gaunt Family were shown.
“Oh, and the lightless ones are Houses that died out,” the goblin next pointed out, and no matter how many lights glowed there were even countless more that where blank and lifeless.
Cutting off the plump goblin, Gorkit spoke up, “All that matters is the Golden lights and the Red ones!”
“What do they stand for?” Harry asked, as he already had a partial idea of what it stood for.
“The Golden lights represent families which you can claim Heir ship over since you are the last living heir,” the goblin stated as he pointed to countless houses across the tree. “The ones of real note are the Duke of Gryffindor, Duchess of Ravenclaw, Marquis of Peverell, and Earl of Potter.”
“Then there are the red lights which means you have Heir ship by right of conquest, surprisingly that includes the Duke of Slytherin and many others that of little note really.”
Whistling out loud, Sirius patted the young wizard on the back and expressed his astonishment, “It seems like you are on your way to riches and fandom!”
“Well, it was all thanks to you when you bullied the goblins into this,” Harry elbowed the man. Then in mock severity, he added, “Don’t worry I shall never forget you.”
“Ha, so now you became a cheeky brat when you see all the money waiting for you, huh.” Sirius replied in laughter.
Interrupting their light banter, the sour looking goblin asked, “If you are both done playing around like little children, let’s head back to the office and review everything.”
Being back in the same office, Sirius and Harry found themselves back in their old seats and the two goblins stood across from them and the goblin king sat in his lavish chair.
Presenting them both some papers with a whole lot of money, the Black family’s account manager spoke up, “Now for most Heir apparently they can only claim Lordship when they reach the age of Majority.”
“Ah, I sense a however here,” Harry stated with a shake of his head.
“Yes,” the goblin continued, not liking the young wizard’s interruption, so Harry decided to shut his trap and let him do all the talking. “Since you are the last living male heir, you will need to claim Lordship immediately.”
“Okay, so how do I go about doing that?”
“It is simple, Rings of Lords,” Sirius answered.
“Yes,” Gorkit resumed, “We have already done the task and asked that they be brought up from the family vaults so that you can put them on.”
Just as the goblin uttered those words, a polite knock echoed from the brown mahogany door.
“Come in.” the goblin king called out.
Entering was a goblin who carried in his hands a box with 5 rings of different colors and shapes on a richly furbished black pillow.
“So those are the rings?” Harry asked as he stared at the fine pieces of artwork. No wonder their called lord rings, they would put any wedding ring to shame. “Well, it doesn’t sound that hard putting on some rings.” Harry voiced to the room at large.
“Sure it isn’t difficult for a true heir,” Sirius uttered with a shrug, “But if you’re not then there are plenty of nasty curses placed within them if you aren’t.”
Gulping, Harry swallowed down his nervousness. He then turned to face the goblins, “So are you guys 100% sure that I am eligible for these Houses?”
“50-50” Gorkit uttered with a savage grin.
Laughing awkwardly, “Yeah, that was a joke right? Good one, Gorkit.”
Giving his goblin coworker a disappointed look, Barnott reaffirmed, “Yes, Gorkit is only joking with you Master Potter-Peverell-Gryffindor-Ravenclaw-Slytherin.”
“Just Potter will do.” Harry stated.
“Yes Master Potter,” the goblin returned with a nod, “The only issue lies in the fact that some heir or heiress might be hidden beyond our magic’s, other than that it is assured that you will claim the rings.”
“Great,” Harry muttered, “Let me just throw my life on the line for the millionth time.”
Hearing his sarcastic remark, Sirius smacked him on the shoulders and retorted, “Now that is the spirit pup!”
‘Yep, that proves it,’ Harry thought, ‘I am surrounded by madmen!’