Chapter 6 : Inheritance
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Ginny, Ron, and Hermione strolled towards the front door, but Harry hung back.
‘Hermione?’ he asked.
‘I wanted to ask you something,’ he said, drawing a deep breath, ‘the horcrux that was inside of me, it’s now gone and I think there’s a connection between that and the fact I’m able to do magic so effortlessly.’
‘I think that too Harry, but maybe you should ask Kingsley at the Order meeting, he would have access to much better information than I have.’
‘Yeah you’re right, I’ll do that, but for now let’s not mention the horcruxes to anyone.’
The quartet nodded simultaneously as they walked inside the Burrow. Harry was instantly crushed into a signature hug from Molly. Ron and Hermione headed towards the table in the kitchen and sat down next to Arthur. The table was surrounded by the familiar colour of red hair; George and Charlie were perched alongside their father. Ginny stayed standing with her mother and Harry until the former released her grip, then she took Harry’s hand and led him to the table. All eyes were soon upon him. He took the hint and began to explain what had happened with Kingsley in the forest. He then progressed through the events that had taken place when he and the minister returned to the marquee.
Ginny proceeded to interrupt Harry and told the family what she had seen him do and how he had dived in front of the killing curse for her. Harry had left this out purposely. He looked down at his feet when Ginny mentioned this; she sensed his discomfort and put hand on his leg, squeezing it reassuringly. They then spoke together of the conversation they had with Kingsley at the hospital, leaving out details of the horcruxes. The Weasleys all listened intently; not once did they try to talk until Harry and Ginny had finished speaking.
When they had finished a couple of hours later, Molly became well aware of the fact she still hadn’t served dinner. She made her way to the oven, got out the steaming beef casserole she had made earlier, and placed it in the centre of the table. Everyone tucked in ravenously; it had been a long day for all. During dinner, not a lot was said, but a few anxious looks were shared between the Weasleys. Harry could sense that they were extremely concerned about him.
After dinner, George, Ron and Charlie took Harry to one side and decided to try and take his mind off the earlier events.
‘Exploding snap Harry?’ asked Ron.
Harry shook his head.
Harry shook his head again, staring blankly into space. Charlie sighed.
‘Harry what’s up? You can talk to us, we’re your family, are you worried about what’s happened today?’
Harry’s mind was racing; he did not know what to think. He wanted to know why the death eaters had been there, what were they after?
‘Earth to Harry, are you still in there?’ Ron exclaimed.
‘Oh, err...sorry. It worries me why they were there, yes, and why there were so many of them? Shouldn’t they be in Azkaban?’ said Harry, his frustration obvious. ‘And what the hell were they after?’
Charlie and Ron both shrugged, they had no better idea than Harry did. George then spoke for the first time.
‘I don’t know what they wanted, but as long as you’re on our side Harry, I don’t think they’ve got a hope in hell,’ he grinned ‘…even if they do outnumber us three to one.’ Ron smiled in agreement with George. Charlie though, had a look of concern on his face. Arthur, who had walked into the room as Harry had spoken moments ago, entered the conversation.
‘Harry, it does puzzle me why there were so many of them as most of the death eaters are indeed in Azkaban awaiting trial. But there were some who we failed to catch. There could’ve been many imperieused people there today, and I think you’ve got to remember that there are people who could’ve been hired to kill or capture you. There are wizards and witches who, for obvious reasons want to attack you, or the people close to you. They may want the prestige of being the person who killed Harry Potter, or they may believe you to be more powerful than Voldemort; they could see you as a dark lord in the making...’
Harry’s eyes widened in shock at this comment, but Arthur continued before he could interrupt.
‘…we of course know this is all rubbish, but fear can do terrible things, as you well know. The public does not know how you killed Voldemort; for all they know you could have been more powerful than him. But those of us in this room can all say we saw it with our own eyes, and it was a duel you’d won before it had even took place. Unlike Grindelwald and Dumbledore, this duel was not on mere magical skill, but many other factors, many of which I’m guessing you’ve not divulged to us yet.’
‘But I can accept that; just tell me when you’re ready. All I need to know is that Voldemort’s dead.’
Harry smiled in recognition.
‘Thanks Mr. Weasley, what you’ve just said has opened my eyes to things I’d never even considered before.’
‘Harry, I’ve been meaning to say to you, it’s been a long time since I treated you as less than a son, and for that reason, please at least call me Arthur.’
Harry smiled again, and hugged Arthur.
‘I guess, Arthur, you’ve always been a father figure to me, and I never had one of my own until I had the pleasure of living here. You took me in whenever I needed to be here, treating me as one of your own, and for that reason I hope you won’t mind me calling you dad?’
This statement brought tears to Arthur as the Weasley brothers stared in a mixture of happiness and shock. Arthur looked at Harry and beamed through his glistening eyes.
‘Son, you can call me dad for the rest of your days.’
As Arthur had said this, Molly, Hermione and Ginny had appeared in the room. Molly had obviously overheard the previous conversation and looked towards Harry. He duly responded.
‘Mrs. Weasley, you’ve always been a mother to me, and I hope you wouldn’t mind also if I called you mum from now on?’
Molly bounded across the room to Harry and embraced him in another trademark bone-crunching hug.
‘I’d like nothing less Harry, I’ve always thought of you as one of my own!’
Harry just looked at her and stated, ‘Yeah, ever since the Order meeting, that night I came to Grimmauld Place before my fifth year at school. We overheard your conversation. You said that night that I might as well be your son.’
Molly blushed slightly, but laughed also.
The rest of the night was a joyous occasion. The whole family was reminiscing about happy times with Fred over the years, and laughter could be heard throughout the Burrow. It was nearly midnight when Molly and Arthur decided to call it a night.
‘Goodnight dears, sleep well,’ they addressed everyone.
‘Night mum, dad,’ came the chorus from Ron, Ginny, George and Charlie.
‘Night Molly, Arthur,’ was Hermione’s reply.
Lastly Harry spoke.
He paused; a tear trickled down his cheek. Ginny saw this and immediately grabbed his hand and squeezed it, whilst rubbing his back soothingly with the other hand.
‘…mum and dad.’
Molly hugged him. Arthur smiled in recognition before leading the way up the winding stairs of the Burrow. George and Charlie soon followed after that. Ron and Hermione were in one armchair whilst Harry and Ginny were curled up on the sofa. They began chatting happily about random memories of times together at Hogwarts. Soon, Ron and Hermione were talking amongst themselves leaving Harry and Ginny lying there thoroughly engaged with one another.
Her hand was on his thigh, the other on his shoulder, whilst she rested her head on Harry’s chest listening to his steady heartbeat. He began stroking her beautiful fiery hair and drawing his name down her side with his finger. The two of them were soon asleep in each other’s arms. Ron and Hermione took a while to notice; only when Ron asked Harry a question to which he gave no answer did they realize. With this, Hermione smiled knowingly and took Ron’s hand, leading him upstairs. Harry and Ginny were left alone on the sofa in their peaceful embrace. Only dreams, not nightmares, were to enter their thoughts that night.
Harry awoke to the steady sound of drizzle on the windows; he did not move for fear of waking Ginny. He simply lay there, taking in her beauty and her familiar flowery scent that he adored so much. He was finally happy and had everything he wanted in his arms, he had Ginny. Voldemort was gone, he had his friends around him, and a family who accepted him as their own…
He was suddenly startled by the sound of somebody apparating outside. Harry was alarmed at first, but then realized that he did not sense danger. Surely he would have done if there was a threat anywhere near? He drew his wand just to be sure. However, seconds later there was a knock on the door; no one had tried to blow it off at least. Harry wondered who it could be. He tried to move so as not to wake Ginny, but unfortunately she was not a heavy sleeper and awoke instantly.
‘Morning Gin,’ he said as he pulled her off him and went to open the door, wand still drawn.
‘Morning Harry, why do you have your wand drawn?’ Ginny replied, her voice becoming quicker and more agitated as she approached the end of her sentence.
‘Someone just apparated outside and knocked on the door,’ said Harry, wiping sleep from his eyes, ‘I dunno who it is, so I’ve drawn my wand just incase.’
Before Ginny had a chance to respond, Harry had bolted from the living room and made his way to the front door.
‘Who is it?’ he asked.
‘Mr. William Weasley,’ came the voice from outside.
Harry heard a deep sigh before the mystery person spoke.
‘I’m Mr. William Weasley, my family and friends call me Bill, I live at Shell cottage with my wife Fleur Delacour who is part Veela. You are Mr. Harry Potter, you came to my house during your undertaking of the task Dumbledore set for you, with a Miss Luna Lovegood, Mr. Dean Thomas, Griphook the goblin, and Mr. Olivander, the wandmaker.’
Harry chuckled as he undid the lock on the door.
‘Thanks Bill, I had to check,’ he smiled to the eldest Weasley.
Bill nodded in response.
‘It’s OK Harry, although I did think all of you would be up by now, it’s ten o’clock.’
The two of them made their way into the living room where Ginny was still curled up on the sofa.
‘Hey Bill,’ Ginny said yawning loudly.
‘Morning sis,’ smiled Bill.
Ginny glanced towards the small bronze clock on the oaken mantelpiece and stated, ‘I guess mum let us all lie in after the long day we had yesterday, even she isn’t up yet.’
Her words were true for the next five seconds until movement was heard above. Molly then appeared at the top of the stairs.
‘Morning mum,’ Bill and Ginny called together.
‘Good morning Bill, nice to see you, just in time for breakfast.’
‘Thanks mum, but I’ve a few things to discuss with Harry first if that’s no problem.’
‘Oh, OK then,’ she replied, turning to her daughter, ‘morning Ginny dear, could you come and help me with the breakfast?’
Ginny nodded, pushed herself from the sofa and stretched her arms.
‘Bill, could I possibly grab a quick shower, I haven’t had chance yet,’ asked Harry, ‘I only woke up five minutes ago as me and Ginny fell asleep on the sofa last night. Don’t tell your mother though,’ he added hastily.
Bill nodded and chuckled.
‘OK Harry, just be quick. It seems you’ve forgotten that Gurnak is coming to Shell Cottage this morning to discuss your inheritance, so we need to be there by midday.’
Harry gasped, realizing he had a little less than two hours before the proposed meeting.
‘Right you are, give me ten minutes and I’ll be ready.’
Harry dashed off up the stairs as the rest of the house surfaced from bed. Bill sat and waited for Harry to reappear, whilst chatting to George and Ron. Hermione made her way into the kitchen to talk with Ginny and Molly.
Ten minutes later, as promised, Harry came bounding down the stairs and plonked himself down opposite Bill in the living room. George had gone back to his room after breakfast and Ron had gone upstairs to shower after Harry had finished. Charlie was still not up. The girls were insistent on Harry and Bill eating some breakfast, so they consumed rather quickly the pancakes that were set down in front of them. Molly cleared the table and went back into the kitchen.
‘Gin, me and Bill will be going to Shell Cottage this morning, I’ll be back in a couple of hours, we have some important business to sort out.’
‘What sort of business?’ asked Ginny.
‘I’ll tell you in good time love, but for now I’ll say goodbye, and see you in time for lunch.’
Ginny and Hermione both frowned at Harry.
‘I hate it when you keep secrets from me Harry,’ said Ginny coldly.
‘I’ll second that,’ agreed Hermione.
‘Gin, don’t worry, I’ll tell you over lunch…and you Hermione.’
Hermione nodded, and Ginny’s facial expression softened just enough for Harry to realize she would trust him for now. After all, he was going with her brother. Harry walked towards Ginny, kissing her on the lips and hugging her before shouting goodbye to the whole household. He and Bill then apparated to Shell Cottage.
Fleur was waiting for them there, and when the two men arrived it was nearing eleven o’clock. They had little over an hour before Gurnak arrived. Bill wanted to talk to Harry first and make sure he understood that the goblins were still not happy with him for braking into the bank and stealing a priceless artifact. Over the next hour they conversed; Harry explained his need to break into Gringotts and then they covered the topic of the sword of Gryffindor. Bill highlighted the goblins’ view of ownership of an item and also how they reacted to a broken promise. Harry understood what Bill was saying and decided it best only to speak to Gurnak when spoken to.
After Bill finished explaining, Harry thought he would take a brief trip outside to pay his respects to Dobby. He made his way slowly down the narrow path to the site of the late house elf’s final resting place. The flowers around the grave had grown in length since the last time Harry was here and he could only just manage to make out the dull grey headstone. His eyes drifted towards it, and salty tears filled them as he read.
‘Here lies Dobby; a free elf.’
Harry crouched down, listening to the calming sound of waves lapping against the shore beyond the edge of the jagged cliffs. He was glad he chose such a peaceful resting place for his friend and savior, but couldn’t help his guilt once again swelling from deep inside.
‘Hey Dobby, we’ve done it, I finished him Dobby, it’s over,’ he whispered, ‘I’m so sorry you had to die, you were a hero and a good friend.’
Harry sat in silence in front of the grave for a few minutes holding back his tears until Bill called for him. Gurnak had arrived at the cottage. When Harry entered the circular kitchen, he found Bill was sitting at the table opposite Gurnak. Fleur had retreated to the bedroom to let them get on with the meeting in private. Harry sat down next to Bill, who introduced the unfriendly looking goblin.
‘Harry, this is Gurnak; Gurnak this is Harry Potter.’
‘Pleased to meet you Gurnak,’ Harry said.
Gurnak half smiled, half frowned. Bill noticed and tried to get things underway as quickly as possible.
‘So Gurnak, you have some details on Harry’s inheritance?’
‘Yes right,’ replied Gurnak in a business like manner, ‘when Harry turned of age, he should’ve received a letter. But due to the fact that he was completely untraceable as soon as he turned seventeen, this was not possible.’ The goblin paused to turn and look at Harry before continuing. ‘So everything you inherited was held back and looked after by Gringotts. From your parents’ will, you received their vault, which you’ve had from the age of eleven. But there is more to it. They decided to leave you more than just their vault, but didn’t want you to have access to it until you were of age. Firstly you’ve inherited some property from them.’
Harry’s eyes widened and he gasped in obvious excitement.
‘Carry on Gurnak, what property?’ asked Bill; he did not want Harry talking too much.
Gurnak appeared not to be paying much attention to Harry, but instead just reading from the parchment in front of him. Without looking up again he proceeded to read the inheritance details.
‘Your parents’ house in Godric’s hollow is now yours; it was left as a shrine to them, but you may do with it as you wish. Also, before your parents died, they purchased a plot of land in the countryside near the town of Ottery St Catchpole…’
Harry’s eyes widened even more.
‘…it’s just a plot of land, no property is on it, but your parents did apply for planning permission for a house before they passed away.’
‘Oh Merlin…’ Harry interrupted; Bill knew what he was thinking and held back a smile.
‘How big is that plot of land?’ Bill inquired.
‘It’s approximately sixteen acres square, includes a lake, and is in a lovely spot overlooking the hilly countryside. Your parents left a letter with it too Mr. Potter.’
Gurnak handed Harry the letter, and he began to read through it.
If you’re reading this, James and I aren’t with you anymore. We’re so, so, sorry for that. But darling, we leave you all we have; this plot of land was bought just for you, so that you and your future bride can build your dream home. There should be adequate money in the account that you’ve been left to build it. Your father and I would’ve loved to be there to see it. We wish you the very best Harry. Take care of yourself. We’re watching over you wherever you are.
We love you always and forever,
x Mum and Dad x
Harry was in tears; he had never read a letter to him from his parents before.
Bill put an arm around Harry to comfort him whilst handing him a tissue. He gestured for Gurnak to continue. The goblin seemed unaware of Harry’s current emotions, and spoke again immediately.
‘That’s all the property you have been left. However, you’ve also been left a savings account that your parents set up for you before you were born. In that vault you’ll find not only money, but some belongings of your parents that have been passed on to you. I’ll leave you to find these for yourself, as many of them are quite personal items as I understand it. Finally, the last son of the Black family, Sirius, has left you the Black family vault. This would’ve been given to you upon Sirius’ death, but he decided to leave it to you for when you came of age.’
Harry wiped his eyes dry and proceeded to frown inquisitively at Gurnak.
‘How much exactly have I been left in the vaults, if you don’t mind me asking?’
Gurnak smiled coyly.
‘I thought you may ask that question Mr. Potter.’ The goblin paused momentarily and revealed another small piece of parchment which he read from. ‘You’ve been left twenty-nine million galleons, two-hundred and eighty-one thousand sickles, and six-hundred and fifty-three knuts. Is that exact enough for you?’
Harry nodded. He felt a little feint, but Bill pinched his arm so as to bring him back to reality.
‘How on earth have I got so much?’
‘I can answer that Harry,’ replied Bill, before Gurnak had the chance to speak. ‘Gringotts take your finances very seriously, and they take very good care of your money, no matter who you are. You’ve had interest added to your savings account since before you were born, and I have to admit there was a substantial amount of money in there in the first place. The Black family vault will have been full anyway, every member of the family who died left everything to the eldest member of the family, until Sirius was all that was left, and he chose to leave it to you.’
Harry bowed his head in agreement, but still looked shell shocked.
‘Harry, you may well be one of the richest wizards in all of England,’ chuckled Bill.
Gurnaknodded with a look of disgust on his face. Harry had nothing more to say, he was so surprised. Bill again gestured for Gurnak to continue.
‘Now, in the light of recent events concerning your break in and robbery of the bank, the goblin community will not let you enter the bank or withdraw any money by any means. This will remain the case unless you return, as you had promised Gurnak you would, the sword of Godric Gryffindor. Furthermore, you’ll be required to pay for the repairs that have been undertaken at Gringotts, and the cost is approximately three million galleons.’
Bill frowned at Gurnak.
‘Harry does not have the sword,’ he said accusingly.
‘Actually Bill, I do have it,’ interjected Harry, ‘it’s at the Burrow; Neville returned it to me at the funeral.’
‘Gurnak, Harry does not have the artifact with him...’ Bill must have assumed Gurnak was not paying any attention to anything Harry said, as he just re iterated what Harry had said previously, ‘…I’m sure you don’t want to be carrying it with you now, out in the open. However, either I can bring it to work tomorrow, if Harry would allow it, or when Harry comes into the bank to get money out, he could bring it in under a disillusionment charm. Should he fail to do so, then you will not let him in until he delivers the sword to the bank, is that acceptable?’
Gurnak nodded his head curtly and Harry spoke.
‘You have my word that I’ll return it to you, I’m going to visit Diagon Alley this afternoon in fact as I need to see the vaults for myself, so I’ll bring it to you then. You can take the three million galleons for the repairs from my vault, as soon as I get there later today.’
For the first time in the meeting, the goblin seemed satisfied.
‘That will be acceptable Mr. Potter, if you could please sign this contract to confirm you’re promises.’ The goblin got out a piece of parchment and drew up a contract. Bill read over it meticulously before all three of them duly signed. Gurnak smiled fully for the first time during the meeting.
‘Mr. Potter, simply ask for me at the front desk, and I shall come and retrieve it from you before processing any requests you may have. You shall not be allowed to enter the bank should you not have the sword with you, and that’ll apply every time you try to enter until you have returned it. Is there anything else I can do for you whilst I’m here?’
‘Not right now thanks, but when I come in later I may wish to add someone to my accounts, is that viable?’
Gurnak nodded as Bill looked at Harry with shock; he knew whom Harry meant.
‘Harry, you sure?’
‘Bill, I want to spend the rest of my life with her, and what is mine is hers, I’ve never been more sure of anything.’
Bill nodded his agreement, despite his obvious shock. He turned back to the goblin.
‘Gurnak, that appears to be everything, Harry and I will sign the handover papers now, and that should be it.’
Gurnak handed three pieces of paper to Harry. He read them and then passed them to Bill before they both signed the magical contracts.
With that Gurnak bade goodbye to Bill, before looking accusingly in Harry’s direction once more. Harry couldn’t believe the good news he had heard in the past hour, as so did not care that the goblins were still hostile towards him; after all, he could solve all that with the sword later today. He could not begin to contemplate just how much money he had been left.
‘Bill, thanks for agreeing to be my witness, you were a massive help.’
‘My pleasure Harry, but a word of warning, Ginny won’t accept being put on the accounts, at least not until you’re engaged.’
‘I know she’ll not be persuaded easily, but I’ve got an idea that may help.’
As Harry finished talking, a patronus appeared. It was Kingsley’s lynx. The great silver cat pranced over to where Harry and Bill were sitting and the minister’s baritone voice emanated from it.
‘Harry, I have to ask you, would we be able to use number twelve Grimmauld Place for the Order meeting tonight? Please send me your patronus with the answer, I will do the rest.’
‘Kreacher!’ was Harry’s immediate call. There was a loud crack, and Kreacher appeared.
‘Kreacher, is Grimmauld place ready for visitors? I’d like to stay there tonight, and I’ll be inviting guests if it’s in a fit state.’
‘Master, Kreacher shall get to work right away on getting Harry Potter’s house ready for Harry Potter’s guests tonight.’
‘Thanks Kreacher, I’ll see you tonight.’
Kreacher bowed, and with another loud crack he had apparated from sight.
‘So the Order’s still going to run then I assume?’ Bill asked.
‘You’ll be coming won’t you?’
‘If that’s an invite Harry, then yes, of course.’
Harry smiled and summoned his patronus from the tip of his wand before remembering he didnt know how to use a talking patronus.
'Bill would you mind sending the patronus, only I've never used one before.' Bill nodded
‘Grimmauld place will be ready tonight Kingsley, send Harry your reply via patronus for the time you want the meeting to start and we’ll all meet there tonight.’
With that, Bills patronus leapt from sight.
‘Bill, I’ll see you at Grimmauld Place tonight, but now I’ve gotta start working on persuading Ginny to take my accounts as her own.’
‘Good luck, you’ll need it if you make her angry.’
‘I’ve got contingency plans, but I’ll tread carefully. I don’t want to be attacked by bats anytime soon! See you later Bill, thanks again for your help.’
Bill waved goodbye as Harry walked outside into the afternoon sunshine and apparated back to the Burrow.
As Harry landed, a flash of gleaming red danced in front of him. Ginny jumped up and wrapped her legs around his waist, whilst proceeding to kiss him numerous times.
‘Missed you…’ followed the first kiss ‘…hope you had a good time…’ followed the second ‘…glad you are back!’ followed the third, her words barely escaping her lips which were fully concentrated on Harry’s.
‘Well, I could certainly get used to that welcome home,’ Harry mumbled, regaining his breath. He was grinning broadly, as his green eyes twinkled.
‘So what did you have to do?’ Ginny asked him.
‘I’ll tell you when we get inside, come on.’
The pair linked hands and paced inside the house. Harry was duly mobbed by Hermione and Ron.
‘So what’ve you been getting up to?’
‘How’d it go mate, get it all sorted?’
Harry smiled sheepishly upon hearing Ron’s words.
‘You knew about this Ronald?’ Hermione quizzed, her temper beginning to rise.
‘Yeah, and I promised Harry I wouldn’t say anything.’
Hermione started hitting him playfully as Ron put his arms up to defend himself. Ginny began laughing.
‘Maybe I should do that to you Potter?’ she said, raising her eyebrows in mock anger.
Harry chuckled and winked.
‘Gin, I wanted to talk to Bill ’cos I’ve been given more inheritance, and he works at Gringotts as you know. He was the only person who could’ve negotiated properly with the goblins for me. I need to go into Diagon Alley this afternoon to sort it all out, you fancy coming with me?’
Hermione and Ron had stopped fighting and were listening intently to the conversation.
‘Mum won’t let me go to Diagon Alley without her as I’m still not of age,’ she winced.
‘Don’t worry Gin, I’ve got a plan. I don’t particularly want to go to Diagon Alley alone, or whilst I’m visible, as there’ll be reporters looking for me everywhere and I don’t want to talk to any of them. So I was thinking we can go under the invisibility cloak. Is George still here by the way?’
‘He was sitting in the garden alone.’
She looked down at the ground as she said this. Harry lifted her chin up and kissed her.
‘We’ll cheer him up somehow, don’t you worry.’
‘Harry, is it OK if me and Hermione come to Diagon Alley with you as well?’ asked Ron.
‘Yeah course, we can’t be seen though.’ Harry turned to Hermione. ‘Do we have any polyjuice potion left Hermione?’
She shook her head. Harry groaned and thought to himself for a few seconds.
‘I wonder if George has anything that can help us?’
George had just entered the room from the garden.
‘Help you with what Harry mate?’
Harry jumped in surprise.
‘Hey George, you startled me…’
George shrugged his shoulders and waited for Harry to finish.
‘…well, the four of us wanted to go into Diagon Alley, but don’t wanna be seen. Everyone will want to speak to me, Ron and Hermione. You don’t have anything that can change our appearance do you? I’m sure you must have something?’
George smiled for the first time that day. Ginny’s eyes lit up when she saw this.
‘Well Harry, Fred and I were working on a new cloak that changes the appearance of the wearer when the hood is up, but the charm on it isn’t very strong at the moment. We stopped making them when we knew the death eaters could use them during the war. So we only have a few of them left, they should last an hour, maybe two. I’ll need to cast the charm on them first though; you reckon they’ll do?’
A grin flashed across Harry’s face.
‘You do realize how brilliant you are?’
George smiled again, winking.
‘Actually it was Fred’s idea…’
A tear rolled down George’s cheek. Harry got up and was about to say sorry.
‘…no Harry, you don’t need to say sorry. I’ll get over his death, but it’ll take time. I just need to be by myself right now, so I’d better go charm the cloaks for you.’
George flooed to his flat in Diagon Alley and was right back at the Burrow within five minutes.
‘Here you are Harry, they should last two hours maximum, you’ll all have distorted features, but you’ll be instantly recognizable if you pull the hood down from your head. I’ll deal with mum if she asks where you are, she’s having a nap right now. You can floo to my flat and back from there if you like as the shop’s not open at the moment.’
The four of them all smiled and thanked him as they each took a cloak.
‘George you’re a genius,’ exclaimed Ron.
Harry laughed in agreement.
‘You really are George, Fred would be proud,’ added Hermione.
George grinned before trudging back off into the garden to be with his thoughts. The four friends looked at one another. Ginny and Harry looked into each other’s eyes and for the first time in days they communicated in their heads.
‘Gin, you’re gunna have a big shock in Diagon Alley, but one I’m sure you will like. It’s been a while since we’ve spoken like this.’
‘Harry, I almost forgot we could do this! What’s this surprise?’
A look of delight spread across Harry’s features, and he had to stop himself from laughing upon seeing Ginny’s obvious frustration.
‘Potter, you’re despicable, this better be good, or my bat-bogies may be having a lot of fun later.’
Harry stared at her with a mock look of fear on his face. Hermione and Ron appeared thoroughly confused by the exchange.
‘Come on you two, let’s get going,’ Harry called, ‘…oh hang on, I need to get something first.’
Harry ran outside, walked into the broom shed, and picked up the disillusioned sword of Gryffindor. He walked back into the house and explained that he needed it to get into Gringotts. The quartet then flooed to George’s flat above Weasley’s Wizard Wheezes.
Not wanting to pry on George’s property, they all decided to head downstairs immediately.
‘Right, I need to go to Gringotts first,’ spoke Harry, ‘I don’t want to use the hooded cloaks for this, so we can go two at a time under the invisibility cloak. Ginny, you and I will go first, and then you can wait inside Gringotts. I’ll come back and get you Ron, then you can do likewise for Hermione. Then we can meet inside the bank…got it?’
Ginny, Ron and Hermione nodded briskly. The four of them made it to the bank with no problems, but all were rigorously searched with secrecy sensors as they made their way through security. Once they were gathered together, Harry stuffed the invisibility cloak away in his pocket and led the others to the front desk.
‘Hello, I’m looking for Gurnak, head of inheritance; he told me he’d see me at the front desk this afternoon.’
The goblin looked up at Harry, and upon realizing who it was, glared back with a look of thunder in his eyes. It was obvious that all of the goblins had received prior instructions for when Harry came in.
‘Have you brought it?’ croaked the goblin, his giant eyes darting from side to side.
Harry nodded, and cast an illusionment charm on Gryffindor’s sword. The goblin’s eyes widened greedily and he reached a hand out for the glistening ruby hilt. Harry drew back slightly, refusing to hand it over just yet.
‘Gurnak said he’d take it from me, and that he’d be the one to show me my vault,’ Harry began, ‘but if he’s not here I’ll return later. If he is however, then please go and get him.’
The goblin looked disgusted at this rejection, but nonetheless clicked his fingers. Gurnak appeared next to him, looking as sullen and ragged as ever.
‘Ah Mr. Potter, I see you’ve brought it,’ said Gurnak with a smug look on his distorted face.
Harry forced a smile; he was surprised that Gurnak had acknowledged him at all. Gurnak held his hand out for the sword and Harry handed it to him without further argument. The goblin grinned distastefully.
‘OK Mr. Potter let me show you to your new vaults,’ he croaked, ‘but I’m afraid that Mr. Weasley and Miss Granger will not be allowed to accompany you. After the break in, it’s been decided that the three of you will not be allowed into the bank together unless accompanied by the minister for magic.’
Harry didn’t look at all pleased, but had no choice other than to agree.
‘Miss Weasley will be able to accompany us however.’
Ginny beamed and grabbed Harry’s hand. Ron looked totally disgruntled and Hermione’s face betrayed her obvious embarrassment. The two of them waved goodbye to Ginny and Harry and sat down on the imposing dragon hide chairs in reception while they waited.
Gurnak led Harry and Ginny down into the depths of the bank. Harry knew this journey all too well now and remained silent as their cart whizzed steeply downwards along the tracks to the Potter family vault. Ginny, however, had never been this deep into Gringotts before, only the very wealthy ever came in as far as Harry was going. Her excitement could clearly be seen through her wide smile. In no time at all, they had reached vault number 923. Gurnak stopped the cart and got off, whilst pulling a large key from his pocket. He proceeded to use the key and perform the magic on the door for it to open.
‘This is your personal account Mr. Potter,’ the goblin said in a matter-of-fact tone, ‘the one which your parents opened for you before you when you were born.’
Harry and Ginny gazed awestruck at the amount of gold lying in front of them; piles upon piles of galleons laced every corner.
‘Harry, I had no idea,’ whispered Ginny, trying to regain her composure.
‘Neither did I Gin…’
‘Mr. Potter, you should find a desk in the far right corner, upon which should be certain items as described in this letter I have with me. But first I must take the gold that you owe to Gringotts for the damage you and your friends inflicted on the building.’
Harry nodded, slightly annoyed, as Gurnak spoke some kind of mumbled incantation. They all watched as gold disappeared from his account; a piece of parchment that had appeared in the goblin’s hand was totaling the amount taken. It stopped at three million galleons, one-hundred and seventy-two thousand sickles, and eighty-nine knuts. Despite the payment, the vault was still over half-full with coins. Gurnak then handed Harry the letter he had described moments earlier. He began to read.
If you’re reading this, then you’re in your vault, and you’re of age. Your father and I have sadly passed away. On the desk in a bag are some things that were your father’s and mine. We leave them to you, our only child. We are so sorry we could not be there to watch you grow up.
Remember we will always love you,
x Mum and Dad x
Harry bit his lip hard, drawing blood, to prevent himself from weeping uncontrollably. His eyes welled with tears and Ginny pulled him close. He showed her the letter and she proceeded to hug him more tightly.
‘Stay here love, I’ll be back in a second, I want to collect the things my parents left for me as well as some money,’ said Harry, his voice full of anguish.
He walked into the vault and without looking around, headed towards the small wooden desk in the corner. He proceeded to pick up the envelope and the bag lying on its surface. The bag was mokeskin and seemed to have the same properties as the bag Hagrid had given him for his seventeenth birthday. Harry smiled as he remembered back to that particularly happy day. His train of thought was suddenly broken by Ginny’s voice.
‘Come on Harry, we shouldn’t keep Won-Won waiting.’
Harry cackled loudly, Gurnak frowned at them. He briskly filled the mokeskin bag full of gold totaling around fifty-thousand galleons and backed out of his personal vault. Taking Ginny’s hand, the three of them made their way to vault 711. This, looking at the name engrained into the silver and green arch above, was the Blacks’ vault.
‘This is the Black family vault, which is now yours,’ Gurnak said as he opened it the same way he had opened the previous one. Harry looked inside, spotting further mountains of galleons and various family heirlooms. However, he decided he would prefer not to go in as he did not want to keep his friends waiting for too long.
‘Gurnak, would it be possible to combine my three vaults into a single vault?’ he asked the goblin. ‘All into vault 923, the Potter vault?’
Gurnak nodded waywardly.
‘Yes Mr. Potter that is possible.’ There was a pause before the goblin croaked, ‘You said at Shell Cottage you would like to add another person to your vault, is this still your request?’
Harry turned and looked at Ginny, who was standing with her mouth wide open.
‘Harry did you want to put my name onto the vault?’
‘Yeah Gin, I want to spend the rest of my life with you and I want this to be the first step towards that. But there is more, hold on’
‘Gurnak, could I first place twenty percent of my total wealth into the Weasley family vault, ten percent into Hermione Granger’s vault, and ten percent into Andromeda Tonk’s vault?’
‘It’s as good as done Mr. Potter,’ replied the goblin, clicking his slim boney fingers at once.
Ginny gasped, ‘Harry, you can’t do that…’
‘Gin, I just have, and please, don’t tell your parents, Andromeda or Hermione where that money came from. They deserve every last knut I’ve given them, besides,’ he grinned, ‘I don’t need all twenty-six million galleons to live on.’
Ginny nearly fell backwards when Harry said this.
‘Harry, y...you have that much money?’
‘Yeah, I don’t know what to do with it, and your family deserves it for what they’ve done for me down the years. I’ve already helped Fred and George; I gave them the start up money for their shop.’
‘Oh Harry, you really are such a selfless person, and if it means that much to you to have my name put on that vault, then I’ll do it, but not right away. I don’t think it’s right for us to have a joint bank account before we’re engaged.’
‘Oh right, Bill said you’d say that. If that’s what you want then I don’t mind, but please promise you won’t complain or moan at me if I spend any money on you or your family. I’ve got nobody but you to spend it on.’
Ginny nodded at Harry, not wanting to argue with him. She could tell he was still feeling sensitive about his parents, and she never knew he had so much money. Maybe it was better if he spent some of it? He was so generous and giving made him feel better she thought. There would be plenty of time to discuss this later.
‘…oh Merlin I nearly forgot, Gurnak can you also put five percent in William Weasley’s account and five percent in Charlie Weasley’s account as well please?’ Harry asked quickly.
Gurnak looked surprised, and perhaps disgusted that somebody was giving away their money, but nodded and clicked his fingers once more.
‘Come on Gin, let’s get back to Ron and Hermione.’
Ginny, who was rendered speechless once more by Harry’s act of kindness, followed him and Gurnak back to the cart without a further word.
When they arrived back into the magnificent reception of the Gringotts, Harry thanked Gurnak, and walked over to Ron and Hermione with Ginny. Without delay, the quartet pulled on the cloaks George had given them and walked out into the hustle and bustle of Diagon Alley.
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