Chapter 28 : Chapter twenty eight
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Chapter twenty Eight
Hermione read the first letter then with a slightly puzzled look she passed it to Harry. He had no idea why he had been sent the letter, it was a progress and financial report for one of the largest food manufactures in the country. It was addressed to the chairman.
There were seven further progress or financial reports, four letters of welcome to the board from some of the more successful large food retailers, the last three letters were from Mr Griphook of Gringotts bank, two requesting an appointment as soon as possible and the third one was a letter of congratulations on his new status as one of the most valued customers of the bank.
They were still puzzling over the letters when Glanry entered the room looking more dignified than he had ever looked before.
“Excuse me M’lord, the minister of magic is here, she requests an audience as a matter of some urgency, she has a Goblin with her sir,”
Harry looked at Glanry and wondered once more why the elf seemed so distant at times. Hermione asked him to show the minister into the living room and then to have Erin bring them in some tea.
‘Did you hear that, now he calls me M’lord like I’m some big wig or something’ Harry complained.
‘It’s just his way Harry; you know what a stickler he is for etiquette sometimes’ Hermione chuckled at Harry’s indignation at being called M’lord.
Madam Bones entered the room looking rather flustered, and with out being asked she sank down into one of the comfortable chairs, Griphook followed her into the room then stood looking just a little nervous and waited by the door.
“Mr Griphook, I take it,” Harry said to the Goblin who merely nodded “well would you care to join us.” Harry indicated one of the chairs.
Griphook took the offered chair but still looked a little uncomfortable, Hermione offered the two guests a cup of tea and then took a seat opposite Madam Bones, she knew that there was some problem and wondered if one of them had failed their NEWT exams.
Harry was still standing by the fireplace his mug of tea in his hand, he too knew there was something going on and he did not like the way that Griphook kept giving him nervous glances.
“Ok what’s the problem?” Harry asked breaking the silence of the room.
“Perhaps you would like to sit down Harry,” Madam Bones said as she delved into her case.
Harry took a seat next to Hermione ‘I wonder what I did this time’ he thought as Hermione took his hand in hers.
“Right first let me just get these out of the way,” Madam Bones said as she handed them both an envelope.
“NEWT results, Hermione you got eleven out standing’s, Harry you only got ten but you both got them all with distinctions, these are the highest pass marks since Albus Dumbledore did his, in fact you both scored a little higher than Albus, Harry you only got an A for history of magic, ok now that’s out of the way, I have a problem I will need your help with, Harry last night you were declared legally of age, at nine pm you became an adult in the wizarding world.
This morning I found three letters on my desk, one of the letters was extremely old and I had to treat it with great care, I have a copy here for you,” she handed Hermione a long roll of parchment before continuing.
“It seems Harry that you are now Lord Gryffindor of Hogsmeade, legal owner of a vast estate that also includes Hogwarts school, you are in fact the owner of Hogwarts, it seems however that we at the ministry have a problem, the ministry owes the estate nearly three hundred years rent for the school, it appears from our records that on the death of a ministry employee nearly three hundred years ago his files were placed in the records office for safe keeping, they have been there undiscovered ever since, therefore the work he was doing was forgotten. According to those files the Gryffindor estates and fortunes became the property of the Potter family five hundred years ago. You also own a rather large estate around Godrics Hollow, as well as the one we are now at, along with all the other known Potter holdings; you Harry are now the richest wizard in Britain.
Now as for Hogwarts the ministry would like to negotiate payment of the rent arrears, our main problem though is rather more delicate than money matters, since the change of ownership so to speak, the house elves have refused to work for the school, in other words they won’t do anything unless Lord Gryffindor tells them to. We have not been able to provide breakfast for the pupils this morning and the students are getting shall I say restless, I need your help Harry or I might have to close the school until we sort all this out.” Madam Bones sat looking flustered after her long speech.
Harry had listened carefully to every word she had said, standing up he called for Glanry, the elf appeared with a slight pop.
“Yes master Harry,”
“Glanry could you call Dobby for me, please,” Harry asked
A few seconds later Dobby arrived in the middle of the room “Mr Harry Potter sir,” the elf said as he rushed over and hugged Harry’s legs.
“Dobby could you take me to Hogwarts kitchens please,” Harry asked his little friend, seconds later before he could tell the minister he would be back soon, Harry found himself standing by the huge fireplace of the kitchen at Hogwarts.
“Remind me to give you a pay rise,” Harry chuckled as the elf let him go.
Harry turned to face the kitchen and found himself looking at a large gathering of elves. “Ok gentlemen and ladies, you wished to see me, well here I am, so what is the problem?” Harry asked the older elves.
“We have no orders M’lord,” one of the braver elves said looking at the floor.
“Ok I want you all to continue working at the school, just as you and your ancestors have done for such a long time, I want you to keep up the good standards that you have, I also want to thank you for your loyalty, but in future would you all obey the headmaster as though he were me,” Harry watched as the crowd of elves instantly set about their task of feeding the students and staff.
“Ok Dobby I’m off up to the great hall, so I’ll see you later and thank you for helping out, oh and I will need some help getting home shortly, if you would help I would be grateful,” Harry said as he walked to the door.
“Harry Potter sir could save himself the walk if he apparated,” Dobby said as he watched Harry leaving.
“It’s not possible to do that within the school Dobby,” Harry said grinning.
“It is for lord Gryffindor, Harry Potter sir,” Dobby answered.
Harry thought about it for a moment but decided that he was not yet fit enough to attempt it ‘just in case’, he did not want Hermione to have an excuse to be angry with him so he walked up to the great hall.
Passing angry students he made his way to the staff table, he then whispered in Albus ear that breakfast would be ready very soon.
As Harry said just a few minutes later the food began to appear on the house tables, there was a huge cheer as the hungry students began eating.
“I have asked the elves to take orders from the headmaster as though you were me,” Harry told Dumbledore as the teachers also began to tuck into their delayed breakfast.
“Why didn’t you come to fetch me?” Harry asked as the noise in the hall died down to that of the hundreds of utensils clattering on plates.
“Would you have believed me had I turned up this morning, and said that I needed you to come here, and tell the elves to go back to work?” Albus asked
“No I suppose not, I wouldn’t have believed the minister either if it weren’t for this mornings post,” Harry chuckled. “well I better get home, Dobby in his eagerness to help, whisked me here before I had a chance to say anything to the minister.”
Dobby left Harry in the place he had been before their visit to Hogwarts, Hermione and Madam Bones were chatting while Griphook was still sitting looking a little nervous, Harry found this a little odd for a Goblin who were usually very confident creatures.
“Right I’ve sorted out Hogwarts; sorry about the sudden departure minister, now what can I do for you Mr Griphook?” Harry asked glad to be home.
Mr Griphook took a breath “I need you to fill in a satisfaction form sir, before your account is passed to a more senior member of the bank,”
Harry looked at Griphook as though he were mad “You want what? What do you mean before the account is passed on?”
Griphook looked even more uncomfortable, “Your account has now been reclassified and has a greater priority so it will be passed on to another more senior Goblin sir.”
“Just how long have you looked after the Potter account?” Harry asked.
“Forty years sir, forty one next spring,” the Goblin answered.
“And how many complaints have there been?”
The Goblin looked horrified at the very idea “None sir,” he said indignantly.
“Well I shall have a huge complaint if you are removed as my account manager,” Harry said quietly “You may return to Gringotts Mr Griphook, and tell the Manager I would like to see him as soon as it is possible, meanwhile I shall expect you to continue with your most excellent work as my account manager, oh and do we need the rent money from the ministry, will I go broke with out it?”
Griphook shook his head “No sir, it would be no significant loss at all,”
“Ok then you sort that out for me, alter the rent for Hogwarts to a nominal figure and apply the same figures to the arrears.” Harry instructed the Goblin.
After the two guests had left Harry sat and thought about these new circumstances, richest wizard in the country, and a lord to boot.
‘Can you believe it Hermione, me Harry Potter from the cupboard under the stairs, now I’m supposed to become a lord just like that, how does a lord act, all I ever wanted was to be just plain old Harry Potter, now look at me’ Harry was feeling a little confused, none of this had happened in his last time line. He had never expected anything like it to happen in this one.
‘I think you already showed how a lord acts when you went to sort out Hogwarts and then how you instructed Mr Griphook in what to do, and I think that Godric might have somehow had something to do with all this, anyway Mr Potter how does it feel to be married to Lady Gryffindor?’ Hermione asked as a chuckle escaped her.
‘I suppose that depends on how soon Lady Gryffindor wants to have her first baby’ Harry replied seriously.
‘Oh Harry do you mean it, we can have a baby, a child of our own, its what I want so much, I really do want to be a mum just like Mrs Weasley’ Hermione beamed.
‘Well we don’t have to go back to school, we don’t have to worry about money or getting a job and I always wanted a family more than anything else, the fact is if you feel you are ready then so am I’ Harry told her sincerely.
‘My contraception potion should be worn off by the end of this week; I have an appointment with Poppy for the next dose on Tuesday. I think I better cancel that, I’m so glad you didn’t wait till next week, we can start trying as soon as you are fit enough’ Hermione told him with a huge smile.
‘I have to admit my part in producing a baby does have a lot of appeal’ Harry laughed.
‘Are you well enough yet though love, I mean you are still getting over that accident’ she thought remembering how close to death he had come.
‘Hermione can you actually remember when we last had sex, it was before you started to work so hard, before I fell from my horse, it was weeks ago, I can assure you I am well enough, come to think of it I would probably give it a try even if I was dying, making love to you is so bloody brilliant’ Harry said grinning
‘Well, Mr Potter how about we go up now, and we can practice for the rest of the day, and maybe we can make up for some of what we missed’ Hermione thought sexily.
Harry looked at her as she walked toward the stairs, what ever cook had given her had had the desired effect, she looked fitter and sexier than she had ever looked before. Harry followed her lead and took the stairs two at a time, he still had a little of the scarlet potion cook had given to him; a small energy boost about now would be perfect.
Having spent half the day ‘practising’ Harry told Hermione that they needed to get their Christmas presents sorted, they still had several left to buy including one for Neville and one for Ginny, reluctantly she agreed and once dressed they went down to the village on the quad and got a taxi into the nearest town, which just happened to be twenty five miles away.
They spent a pleasant afternoon and early evening present buying, matching sheep skin coats for Ginny and Neville, a jumper for Ron, they got Sirius a rather nice leather full length coat, other small items were bought for Dig, Remus and Mr and Mrs Weasley, and Dobby, Mr Weasleys present was one of the easiest to choose they got him a multi tool for his collection.
Hermione’s mum and dad were not quite so easy to buy for until Harry suggested they get them tickets for a Mediterranean cruise.
With everyone including Dobby accounted for they made their way home, their packages all shrunk and carried in Harry’s pockets they caught a taxi back to the village. The journey from the village to Potter House was done in the dark and what had become a very cold night, there were a few snow flakes falling as they entered the driveway to the house.
‘We may just get another white Christmas’ Hermione thought as she closed their door.
The remainder of the week Harry delivered all the presents except Ginny and Neville’s, they made arrangements for them to be collected on Christmas morning giving Ginny an excuse to visit for a few hours, Neville was also asked to collect his present at the same time.
Christmas day for Harry was rather relaxing, Hermione had given him a new broom, the latest racing thunderbolt, Harry chuckled when he gave Hermione a calendar and told her he had two more little surprises for her. After Neville and Ginny left happy with their gifts, he offered to help Hermione in the kitchen but she turned down his offer, insisting she wanted to cook them their Christmas dinner on her own, it was the first time she had cooked for so many people and she found she really enjoyed it.
Harry, Sirius, Dig, Dobby, and the elves, were joined by Remus, who had been invited along when Hermione had found out he was to spend Christmas alone, they all took their seats at the dining room table as Hermione served the meal.
Cook even congratulated Hermione on her small feast as did everyone else, after dinner the whole entourage made their way into the living room where oddly all the men seemed to fall asleep.
Cook told Hermione it was a sure sign of a well enjoyed meal as they along with Erin went and sat in the kitchen surveying the pots and pans that needed washing. “A job for Harry I think,” Hermione laughed as she poured them all a drink of butterbeer.
It was late in the evening when everyone had finally left; Harry took Hermione by the hand and led her to the bedroom next to theirs.
“Right close your eyes and no peeking, one of your Christmas presents is in here,” Harry told her as he led her into the room. In the middle of the room Harry told her she could now open her eyes.
Hermione looked around before she turned and kissed him with a rather self indulgent thank you kiss, she had found herself standing in a brand new nursery, a new baby cot which looked like it could have come right from a fairy book was standing in the newly prepared room, several toys stood around the room as well.
Then on a small pedestal in the middle of the room sat a small package, Hermione picked it up and opened it slowly. Inside she found an eternity ring; it was inscribed with the words, ‘I’m yours forever more, Harry’.
Harry caught hold of Hermione around the waist as she placed the ring on her finger, before she had a chance to thank him she found herself being whisked way by a port key.
They landed in the living room of their cottage in Ireland, every thing had been completed, the entire cottage was finished just how she had wanted it, the furniture was all where she had decided it should be, all the decorating was finished in the colours she had chosen.
“I got some locals to do the work, left them with a memory of how you set things up on that first day here, so shall we go to bed,” Harry said as he smiled at her look of astonishment.
She wondered how he had managed to get all this and the nursery done with out her finding out.
‘Magic sweetheart’ Harry said in answer to her unasked question.
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