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Chapter 4: Goblins and Galleons
Damon was a shy child; no one paid much attention to him. He was just that kind of kid, very forgettable. He was a regular sized boy with longish blonde hair and deep green eyes. He was born at University hospital in New Orleans, Louisiana on 31st of July, 1991. That makes him six years old, but if you ask him he says seven because his birthday is so close. No one knows who his mother was; she arrived by ambulance late the night of the 31st. She had been severely beaten by someone and died while they were trying to save her life. Luckily the surgeons on staff were able to retrieve the unborn infant once they realized the mother was going to die. She died as a Jane Doe and to this day her true identity remains unknown. One of the nurses of the pediatric ICU noticed the name Damon tattooed on the ladies right ankle, so that became the baby boy’s name. His last name was Doe because that was the norm for children born to unknown parents. He was placed in the ward of the state and eventually moved from University hospital into the Louisiana foster care program. He had a number of wonderful foster parents when he was an infant. It was unfortunate that none adopted him because as he grew older the foster system seemed to let him down. One of his first memories of childhood was when he was around three and his foster father thought it was funny to put his cigarettes out on the boy’s arm. That home lasted about six months until a pediatrician noticed signs of abuse and he was transferred to another set of parents. Most foster parents were kind and loving people, who opened their homes up to kids. They wanted to nurture their young minds and help them forget whatever had put them into the situation in the first place, but with all public systems some people see it as an opportunity to exploit. Most child protection centers are understaffed and because of the low wage it is hard to recruit new people, and that is what happened to poor Damon. He was sent from family to family with very little oversight and the social workers didn’t have time to follow up on every issue that came across their desk.
Damon might have been a shy child but eventually the parents would notice that he was different, and they asked his social worker to remove him. The first time this happened was about two years ago when his foster mom noticed him playing with toy cars in his room. He would just sit there going “vrooooom” while the car raced across the floor, just like any four year old would do. The odd thing was that the car was moving on its own without Damon touching it, and it was not an electric car. It freaked her out a bit and rather than trying to nurture the poor child she called the social worker hysterically screaming about voodoo and asked for him to be picked up and placed somewhere else.
The families that Damon went to saw him as a paycheck, or beer money as one of his foster dad’s called him, and they would rather not deal with weird children. A few months ago he was placed in a home with a vicious dog that always growled at him. One day he was playing out in the back yard when they dog rushed out the door and attacked him. It hurt so bad when the dog’s teeth sunk into Damon’s leg, the foster mom came running out when she heard all the commotion. Later that evening as the social worker was picking up his stuff before she returned to the hospital where Damon was getting stitches, the foster mom told her that Damon had reached out and touched his finger to the dogs head and “Brutus just fell over dead; My poor Brutus” the lady said sobbing. Of course the social worker was astounded that no one had asked about Damon but she guessed that the loss of your dog might be traumatic.
Today was like most days in Damon’s life, wake up early and try to stay out of the way. They had released him from the hospital a week ago with a clean bill of health. He did not remember much from his stay, although something about a talking picture in one of his dreams brought him comfort. Damon had become very curious in the last few months, often he would sneak out of the back yard when he knew his current foster parents were drunk or sleeping and wander the city of New Orleans. Early May was a great time in his city, as he liked to call it. The weather was warmer but had not turned into the unbearable stickiness that would come, and the breezes off of the Mississippi river could be felt drifting through the streets of the French Quarter, and the adjacent area he lived in called the Marigny. He would spend his days walking along the river levee, or being harassed by the merchants of the French Market. Next year he would start real school so his days of wandering the city in such pleasant weather were dwindling. He planned to take full advantage of his time while it lasted, not much bothered a six (almost seven) year old this time of year. His current foster family could really care less what happened to him as long as his check came every month and that was fine with him.
Last week had been emotionally exhausting to say the least. Harry had attended twenty seven funerals as either an ambassador from the Ministry with Kingsley or as a friend of the deceased. Several of the funerals were especially hard considering how close he was to Colin Creevey, Tonk’s and Remus Lupin, and finally Fred Weasley.
He was able to remain silent throughout the week, Kingsley allowed him to stand there and console the family members that sought him out for strength but did not require him to make any speeches, thankfully. Every night he sat with the Weasley family as they helped him deal with the trauma from that particular day. The love this family shared was beyond special and gave Harry hope for a brighter future, through them he was able to uphold his countenance of strength and hope during those long days of funerals.
The final funeral was going to be different and harder than the previous ones, because Harry would need to speak, he ‘had’ to speak at Professor Severus Snape’s funeral, and he told Kingsley that the memory of the man deserved the respect he had never sought. Harry felt like he righted many wrongs that day, and left a stunned and weeping audience as he returned to the background he had rightfully earned.
Last night Kreacher had met Harry at the burrow to tell him the house at Grimmauld place would be ready in the morning. He also delivered three mail sacks full of letters addressed to him. Once everyone settled in after dinner Hermione opened one of the mail sacks and asked Harry and Ron to come over. After reading the first few letters they asked Ron’s dad Arthur if he could give them some advice.
“Mr. Weasley there is one thing we forgot to mention about the last few days of our search” Hermione said with apprehension in her voice.
They began to tell Molly and Arthur about the incident at Gringott’s and then showed them the three mail bags full of letters to Harry requesting he come to the bank immediately for a meeting. Arthur felt a little out of his depth here so he sent a Patronus to Kingsley at the ministry to come over. Kingsley stepped out of the floo and beamed at the group gathered in the cramped living room.
“It is so good to see everyone, and Harry thanks to you Professor Snape has the front page of the Daily Prophet tomorrow. Now what can I do for you all?”
Kingsley of course had known all about the dragon incident and had immediately smoothed everything over with the Goblins at the bank. After they understood the dire circumstances the three were under and the pure evil of the artifact they were requesting returned, they quickly decided to drop all charges. Kingsley explained this to them and said
“they may be heartless sons of bitches but they are not stupid, one word of this to the press and the ministry would force regulations so far down their throats they would need permission from us to eat.”
Everyone laughed for a moment until Hermione asked
“Well what do you think this is about then? I mean some of these are dated from months ago.”
“Well I have an idea, but I am not at liberty to discuss this without the goblins present. Since Hermione and Ron already have plane tickets for Australia in the morning, I think you three stick to your original plans. Only Harry, I will pick you up at Grimmauld Place at seven in the morning. I will accompany you to the meeting with the goblins.”
Kingsley said as he handed Hermione their plane tickets that he had arranged. He also gave them their contact information within the Australian ministry, he had already found her parents and they were going to bring Hermione straight to them. Kingsley strode back towards the fireplace and winked at Molly and Arthur as he left. Harry, Ron, Hermione, and Ginny said their goodbyes, promising to get back together as soon as possible; Molly wouldn’t let Harry leave until he promised to be back for supper within a few days.
Much later that night Kreacher saved Harry from drowning in his own bathtub. So overcome with the overwhelming feeling of being free and peaceful for the first time in his life, and the house was so quiet that he had fallen asleep and nearly drowned in the oversized bathtub. He was pulled upright in the water and Kreacher sat against the tub facing the other way, and they were laughing at each other.
“Kreacher” Harry said. “This is the first time in my life that I am truly free. No Dursley, Dumbledore, Weasley, or Voldemort here to tell me what to do or decide what my next step should be.”
Kreacher looked at Harry with sadness in his eyes, but a smile on his face and just replied “Yes Master, you are finally free”
Harry and Kingsley sat in a conference room on the second level of Gringott’s wizard bank. The board room was full of Goblins running around with ledgers and legal packets, and Harry was very overwhelmed. It turned out this had absolutely nothing to do with the dragon. Harry was rich, unbelievably rich in gold, and properties, stocks, bonds, even a small island in the Caribbean. Klipoch was looking over his folded hands at Harry, he seemed to be sizing the young man up, and then he held out his hand and received the report summary from an assistant.
“Now then Mr. Potter, allow me to finish the entire reading before you ask any questions, the bank has provided Mr. Bill Weasley at your request to help you decipher all of your current holdings. If you should need further assistance from him we will be happy to oblige. Shall we begin?” and Harry nodded his head. He read off from various pieces of paper for the better part of the morning.
FROM THE ESTATE OF ALBUS WILFRED PERCIVAL BRIAN DUMBLEDORE: Harry if you are seeing this then you have defeated the Dark Lord, I am so proud of you my boy. I was always proud of you and know that you always held a special place in my heart. I left the majority of my estate to the school, I loved Hogwarts as much as you did Harry and hopefully one day you will fulfill my ultimate wish and succeed me as headmaster. With that being said I hold two very ancient libraries, one in the ancient capital city of Carthage named *‘Gisgon’ and the other in the ancient city of Naucratis in Egypt, its name is *Apotropaic. They should prove very useful to you in the years to come. The beauty of owning a magical residence is you gain the ability to floo to all your other properties. Please accept these as a final token of my gratitude and use them well my friend. Thank you for all the laughter and love you brought into my life.
FROM THE POTTER ESTATE:
One destroyed residence in Godric’s Hallow (maintained by the Ministry of Magic)
One vault containing 736,215 thousand galleons, century’s worth of artifacts, family heirlooms and thousands of book’s. The loft is furnished. One house elf currently residing at Hogwarts is also part of this estate.
Side Note – All related estates were merged in 1507, the land surrounding the Potter residence in Godric’s Hollow was later given to the commonwealth to further the interests of the crown. There is not much known of the former Potter Empire, it has been lost through the ages. Therefore this estate could be much larger upon further investigation.
FROM THE EVANS ESTATE
A Lake house in the small community of Hawkshead, Cumbria UK
A house in New Orleans, Louisiana (American magical embassy will assist with transaction)
Multiple vaults - total value uncalculated (Estimated at 936,000,000 Galleons in 1914)
Side Note – Gringott’s vaults are only available to those with magical ability or a signed affidavit from the minister. The previous witch to inherit this vault went into hiding prior to exercising her ability to claim. Since the Evan’s family fell under a curse in the late 17th century no one was able to lay claim until the birth of Lily Evans. Her only offspring Harry Potter becomes the sole heir of the oldest family known to magical Britain. The houses mentioned are furnished, with a house elf on staff in both.
FROM THE ESTATE OF SIRIUS BLACK
12 Grimmauld place
Blacks Cove – Small Island in the Caribbean consisting of three servant houses a main house and boat covey.
One vault containing 37,245 Galleons
One Hippogriff named Buckbeak (Ministry states this creature has gone missing, if it were to be found it will be executed)
Side Note – The Lestrange family pilfered this vault in the name of Bellatrix Black Lestrange earlier in the year. The Lestrange family is thought to be an offshoot of the Black family from a few centuries back. There was a war between the Black’s and the Wesley / Potter households. The Wesley’s were completely wiped out and the Potter’s struck some sort of deal with the commonwealth for protection of its wealth. Referring back to the notes in the Potter estate, investigation of the four families will be paramount. All houses come furnished with a house elf on staff.
Addendum to above per Minister Cornelius Fudge ‘I want that Hippogriff found and executed immediately’
FROM THE ESTATE OF THOMAS MARVOLO RIDDLE (AKA: Lord Voldemort – Assumed names are simply implied for reference in legal documents)
One vault 2,500,000 Galleons (Account was frozen after assumed death of Mr. Riddle on 31 October, 1981 and not unfrozen until verification of death on 2 May, 1998)
Side Note – We do not condone the actions of any wizard, good or bad, we simply handle the accounts for the wizarding world. Always assuming the proceeds were gained by legal and civil means. Furthermore, this estate becomes the property of Mr. Harry Potter who was challenged in a duel to the death by Mr. Tom Riddle and under wizard law circa 1647 the estate goes to the victor.
Harry, Kingsley, and Bill sat there dumbfounded at everything they had just heard.
Klipoch sat the papers down and looked over his glasses as they rested on his nose. “Mr. Potter as you can see we have worked very hard on this, and there is still a lot of information to decipher. We implore you to retain some of our staff to work on this with you. Your account is very important but we cannot continue to work day in and out on this without some sort of financial assistance from you.”
“Very well, I will talk this over with my friends and have a reply to you in the morning.” Harry Replied
“Thank you Mr. Potter, we look forward to seeing you in the morning. We have a lot of documents for you to sign.”
Harry stood up with his friends and turned to walk away, there was a sly grin on his face as he thought of a plan. As they walked out the front doors of the bank Harry said “A smart man once told me to never trust the goblins, they did not think like us. I think I should trust this smart man. Bill do you want a job?”
Arthurs Note – I know this chapter was long but I really needed to get some back story on one main character and progress the story for Harry. Once you start to write you realize just how much you need to say.
Gisgon – An ancient and powerful family from the capital city of Carthage
Apotropaic – Egyptian for ‘having the power to avert evil’