Chapter 14 : Another Piece of the Puzzle.
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Mrs. Weasley sat in the Headmistresses office, allowing old memories to wander at will across her mind. Pictures and scenes replayed themselves in her mind, from a reprimand in this very office from Headmaster Dippet for being caught out after curfew with Arthur in the astronomy tower, to being made prefect in her final year. In her hand she held a piece of parchment, the reminiscence a distraction, to delay making a decision on its contents.
The door opened behind her and Arthur Weasley and Professor McGonagall walked in, taking their seat waited for Molly to speak.
Smiling a wan smile at her husband Molly began, “I was just remembering sitting here as a child and being reprimanded for being out after curfew. I almost got away with it but the Fat Lady reported me to Headmaster Dippet …”
“You were lucky Molly, I was caught by Apollyon Pringle and I still have the marks to prove it.” Arthur winced.
“Molly you said you wanted to see me, on Order business, I assume it’s something important …” the Headmistress said, in her usual brusque manner, blocking all the portraits from hearing or seeing what was said in the room, except for Professor Dumbledore’s.
“Yes … yes Minerva … where to begin.” She took a deep breath and steady herself, “When Ginny was born, we almost lost her. Professor Dumbledore saved her life at great risk to his own … he was the one who named her … after Guinevere or Uindosíabar as Merlin knew her … it means ‘White Magic’, in old Irish.” Pausing to wipe a stray tear from her eye she continued.
“I tried to thank him, but he rebuked me like an errant student about to receive a detention … he said, ‘if I’m right this little lady will give more than any of us can as yet imagine, let’s hope that we will all prove worthy’ … I didn’t know what he meant at the time, I was just so grateful to have my baby safe and healthy in my arms.” This time the tears proved too much. Arthur got up and gave his wife a hug, before continuing the story for the Headmistress.
“It was two years later before we got an inkling of what Dumbledore meant. He called to the Burrow one fine spring morning, as breakfast was being served …
“Good morning Arthur, good morning Molly … oh I do hope I’m not disturbing your breakfast.” Dumbledore said, in his quiet, alert voice.
“Good morning Professor, will you join us, if you haven’t already eaten?” Arthur said.
“Of course you’ll join us, there’s always room for guests at this table.” Molly insisted, pulling out a chair for the Professor and sliding a warm plate in front of him.
“Albus, please Arthur.” Dumbledore insisted “How could I refuse such warm hospitality and such delicious looking food.” Dumbledore replied, with a mischievous grin.
“To what do we owe the pleasure, Albus?” Arthur asked, as he helped himself to some bacon.
“It may be nothing Arthur, but I’ve come to ask you and Molly to accompany me today, to the Department of Mysteries.”
“Whatever for, Professor?” Molly asked surprised.
“Albus, please Molly.” Dumbledore said, waggling his finger at Molly “I have reason to suspect that there exists a prophesy, that may relate to one of your children, I’d like to confirm or refute that connection.”
“One of our children Prof … Albus. Are you sure?” Molly asked, slightly startled by the idea that one of her children might be marked by prophesy.
“No Molly I’m not … that is why I would like you to accompany me to the Department of Mysteries. You see, the only people who can remove a prophesy from the shelves of the Department of Mysteries, once it has been officially recorded, are those to whom it pertains.” Taking a bite from his plate of bacon, eggs and mushrooms, Dumbledore closed his eyes in gastronomic delight, “Molly these mushrooms are exquisite, you really are an excellent cook … I should release all the House Elves at Hogwarts and have you come and cook for me.” He smiled at his worried and embarrassed host.
“Thank you Albus … but about the prophesy …” Molly steered the Headmaster back to the topic on hand.
“Yes yes of course … I’d like you, Arthur and Ginny to come wi …”
“Ginny!” Arthur interjected “You think Ginny may be …?”
“…th me. I merely suspect.” Dumbledore finished.
“So we went and Ginny plucked the prophesy off the shelf with ease after I had tried and failed. We got to hear it, there and then, for all the good it did us.”
“What do you mean Arthur.” Professor McGonagall enquired.
“Well this is what it said;
An corcra agus an ailíniú dhaoradh
De réir mian meantóirí agus saol rogha
Fola Toirmiscthe caillte go ham
Dhoirt trí ghníomhaíochtaí meargánta, faoi dhó
Chaitear le grá a mbuaileann sí a deireadh
Sula Beidh leanbh dílleachta a thuiscint
Gcaitheamh na gráin a éileamh ar an dáta
An páiste a ríchíosa pas dílleachta
An mícheart a cheartú de cheart diúltaithe
sclábhaíochta le mórtas cine ársa's
athrú iomlán ar an dúlra a
arís rugadh an cine theaghlach
… you see our problem. At the time I couldn’t even pronounce half those words, never mind understand them.” Arthur concluded.
“It sounds Gaelic …” McGonagall suggested.
“It is. And very, very old, this prophesy was made well over a thousand years ago by an unknown seer. Long before the doors of this illustrious school were hung, never mind opened.” Arthur confirmed.
“Have you had it translated …” McGonagall inquired.
“Oh yes, and retranslated, we even learned to speak Irish to translate it ourselves.” Arthur stated.
Molly began to recite;
The purple and the damned align
By mentors wish and life’s choice
Forbidden blood lost to time
Spilt by reckless actions, twice
Consumed with love it meets its end
Before orphan child shall comprehend
Consumed of hate to claim the last
The orphan child to royalty pass
The wrong corrected the right denied
of slave to ancient serpents pride
change absolute to nature be
reborn the serpents family.
“Have you had any success deciphering it?” McGonagall asked.
“Only that it relates to Ginny and the one she loves …” Arthur began.
“… and it seems to mention their deaths and Slytherins rebirth.” Molly finished.
“Molly we don’t know that …” Arthur replied.
“Consumed with love it meets its end, Arthur … its end … what else could it mean?” Molly cried. “Reborn the serpent’s family … Slytherin’s family sign is a snake, nobody else’s family took that symbol as their own!”
“Molly, to take such things out of context can lead us to erroneous beliefs.” the portrait of Professor Dumbledore interjected from the wall.
“Albus, what does it mean, please tell me my little girl won’t die.” Molly begged the portrait of the old headmaster.
“Molly I don’t know what it means, but I think the time has come to divulge the last piece of information I have on this matter. I’m sorry I couldn’t be here in person to tell you, but I made a promise to say nothing of this matter, a promise that only death could release me from. Now that I am only a memory I can divulge what before I was unable to mention.”
“The day I helped rescue Ginevra, the day of her birth, another being both hindered and helped. I’d met with this being before and had befriended her and we both benefited from that friendship.” Dumbledore paused as if remembering.
“Minerva I must ask you to make sure that this room is secure before I continue? … and if I might remind you of Ms. Skeeter trick for gleaning valuable gossip, used here in this school, right under my very nose.” Dumbledore asked as he looked over the top of his half-moon glasses, a steely glint in his clear blue eyes.
“Of course Albus.” the headmistress replied and began a list of complicated enchantments and spells to ensure the security of the room.
“Now before I continue, I must insist that everything discussed at this meet never leaves this room, unless all three of you agree that the information may be imparted to someone else. Also I must insist that you all make an unbreakable vow to that effect.” Dumbledore declared.
“Albus! … an unbreakable vow, is that really necessary?” Professor McGonagall asked in astonishment.
“Yes Minerva, I’m afraid it is. What I’m about to tell you, has caused the death of more innocents than all the Death Eaters together have ever killed. If this information were to fall into the wrong hands, the results would be … unpleasant.” Dumbledore confirmed.
“Arthur, Molly what do you want to do …?” Professor McGonagall asked the unhappy couple.
“If it will help me save my baby, I’ll make the vow.” Molly confirmed.
“Me too.” Arthur confirmed.
“Very well Albus, we’ll make the vow.” Professor McGonagall held hands with Arthur and Molly and each one recited the vow. “I will not divulge to anyone the information divulged at this meeting of the 15th August 1997, unless all those making this vow agree it is allowed.” Tapping there wands to their conjoined left hands as each one took the vow.
Once done the portrait of Albus Dumbledore began to speak “As those of us who managed to stay awake during Professor Binns History of Magic classes know, long before Hogwarts was established, muggles and wizards shared beliefs. Muggles knew of unicorns and goblins, elves and ghosts, magic and the magical world, in all its fantastical forms. Wizards ruled or controlled ruling muggles and enjoyed, what Tom Riddle would agree, was their rightful place at the head of the food chain. All this time wizards and witches were isolated, without a centre of learning and a repository of knowledge. Each new witch or wizard was as much a treat to those above them as an obstacle to those below. Without wizarding laws and a ministry to enforce them, might was right and dark wizards flourished, flaunting their destructive powers. Then along came an opportunity like no other, Christianity. It spread across the lands and gave the first gathering of wizards the chance to influence the greater world. Rome attempted to fight against its growing power base, Emperor Diocletian’s Great Purge of 303ad the last great push by the Roman’s to silence this new shift in power, until Constantine a half-blood wizard managed to work his way onto the throne, and adopted Christianity flourished.
However around this time there was a group of wizards that used Christianity to search out the Elder Dragons and try to acquire their knowledge. Their ranks grew and eventually, after many centuries and many failed attempts, they succeeded. The Knights Templar, as they became known, captured Bahomet and bound him in the Temple Mount in Jerusalem in the first crusades. Capturing and losing control of this Elder Dragon over the many crusades to follow. They bound him magically and the Grand Master of their order alone was allowed to consult with him. What knowledge they extracted from Bahomet is alas unknown. Around that time this school was built.
It was at this point that the idea of a separate wizarding world to the muggle world took hold as ordinary wizards realised that they could not steal the elder dragons abilities. Over the next few centuries, a pogrom was initiate culminating in 1307. Any wizard who had learnt any of the forbidden was declared a sorcerer, in league with the devil. All this, done to protect the power base, that Christianity had provided for these ordinary wizards. The power hungry Templar’s were hunted without mercy.
And so over time, Christian Wizards crushed the muggle population into ignorant belief and the wizard population, into the sanitized magical straight jacke,t we find ourselves in today. The Spanish Inquisition for example, was a dragon hunt, killing thousands of innocents to find and destroy a few of the Elder and their followers. The Ministry of Magic decree of 1631 preventing magical beings other than wizards and witches from carrying a wand, to stop other beings from toppling the wizards power base, that of legitimate magic. And so it has been throughout history, until Harry Potter’s, many times removed Grandfather Charles Peverell fell in love with a beautiful muggle born witch, Ms. Olly Nathairríoga from County Armagh in Ireland. She left her husband shortly after their first child was born and was never seen by him again, she was the last of the Elder Dragons Ollipeist, the greatest of their kind. She was the being who helped to rescue Ginny, but at a cost ... she resides within Ginny’s mind, although Ginny has no knowledge of this.
“What!” Arthur said leaping to his feet “A dragon is living inside my daughter’s ... head!”
“She resides their waiting for another vessel that she can occupy Arthur.” Dumbledore explained, with a pained expression on his face, “It was part of the agreement I made to save your daughter. Ollipeist had intended to occupy Ginny’s body and allow Ginny’s soul to stay in the spirit world; I wouldn’t allow this. The compromise saved all our lives, we reached an impasse, we all lived or we all died.”
“Albus, what does this mean ... is Ginny really my daughter?” Molly asked in shock.
“Yes Molly ... Yes ... never doubt that for a minute. She is you daughter and only your daughter, Ollipeist merely resides within her mind, like a locked room in a castle. Unless Ginny went searching for her, she is very, very unlikely to find her.”
“Albus you said you had met this being before ...?” Professor McGonagall asked.
“Yes, I aided Ollipeist in the last war, when Grindlewald sought to capture her and extract her secrets. We became friends and she shared with me some knowledge of the Forbidden.”
“Albus ... the Forbidden is branded as the worst form of sorcery imaginable; dark, dark magic ... its use, carries with it a punishment of the dementors kiss, without trial. The Loa were the last know sorcerers ever to exist and they had only partial knowledge acquired with deceit. Magic passed on from those who had sampled the forbidden; Damballa or St. Patrick and his disciples.” McGonagall gasped.
“You see Minerva, even you have been programmed to react to the magic of the Elder Dragons with revulsion, hatred and dread. My ability to use wandless magic, never struck you as odd?” Dumbledore asked, with a raised brow.
Professor McGonagall looked shocked and slightly disturbed.
“That was the knowledge that Ollipeist granted me, for the service I had rendered her. Is that really so dark and dreadful, Minerva?”
“Harry Potter!” Professor McGonagall gasped, as she stood abruptly clasping her hand over her mouth.
“What is it Minerva?” Molly asked “What’s wrong?”
“He’s been performing wandless magic for a couple of weeks now. But lately Albus, he has been performing wandless magic of startling proportions. Beyond even your capabilities ...” Professor McGonagall exclaimed, dropping back in to her chair as if she had lost the ability to stand.
“Has he learned any new languages lately?” Professor Dumbledore asked artlessly.
“Albus, what is it you know about Harry Potter ...?” the Headmistress demanded.
“I may have asked a friend to teach him a thing or two ...” Dumbledore answered, with a hint of a smile playing about his lips.
“Deniz and Nehir’s Father ... Yargic.” McGonagall answered.
“How do you know Deniz and Nehir?” Dumbledore enquired “They are two delightful ladies.”
“They returned with Harry and have enrolled in Hogwarts for next term.” Professor McGonagall confirmed.
“You know what they are …?” Dumbledore’s facial expression showed more than his words implied.
“You mean who they are Albus? They are honorary members of the Honourable House of Potter and shall be enrolled as such.” The Headmistress replied, with a perfectly straight face. “This has been confirmed with Lord Potter himself.”
Molly Weasley was tracking the conversation between the Head-teachers, like a spectator at a tennis match, who didn’t understand the sport. “But what does it mean … what will happen to them …” she asked of the head teachers.
“Molly, I don’t know for sure, but I believe that they may have been given the same gift that Charles Peverell was given … they are of dragonkind, they are both in essence Elder Dragons.” Dumbledore confirmed.
“But what does it mean Albus …?” Molly almost cried.
“It means, that they are capable of learning all of the Elder Dragon lore, including the Forbidden. It means, that they could become two, of the three most powerful practitioners of magic, on the face of the earth. It means, they may be hunted and killed, by the very institute that has hunted the Elder for centuries. It may be their salvation and their doom at the same time.” Albus Dumbledore’s portrait confirmed.
The three of them sat in silence, each one lost in their own thoughts.
“I must ask one thing more of you all, before we finish …” Dumbledore’s portrait said before breaking the silence “I need you all to include me in the unbreakable vow. I have long known, that this information had to be restricted, so I included the vow as part of my portrait. All I need is for each of you to touch your wands to my portrait and say ‘vow accepted’ and we shall be four that know of the forbidden, but cannot speak of it, without the permission of all.”
“I would suggest that the popular idea that Harry is the next Dumbledore, be used to explain his new found abilities. No-one ever questioned your abilities, Albus; perhaps that will suffice to avert suspicion.” Professor McGonagall suggested.
“Harry should be warned however, to keep his wandless magic to a minimum.” Arthur added “That little stunt he pulled with Ginny’s ring; I’m not sure I could do that with a wand, never mind without one.”
“Would this also explain Ginny’s bouts of powerful, unintentional magic …?” Molly asked the old Headmaster.
“It may be her dragon core or it may be Ollipeist’s presence, or both.” Dumbledore agreed.
“Should we warn them Albus, do they need to know how closed to being hunted they are?” McGonagall asked, the fear evident in her voice. “Should we tell them of the prophecy?”
“No Minerva, Harry already has one prophecy hanging over his head; I don’t think he needs another to worry about. As regards the rest, I think they’ll find out for themselves, Deniz and Nehir will defend them at all costs. They could not have selected two more potent bodyguards.” Dumbledore surmised “However, the use of caution, should be stressed to both of them …”
“Those two lovely girls that Harry brought with him … bodyguards … Albus there must be some mistake …” Molly began.
“No mistake Molly, those two young girls are very powerful magic practitioners; soon to be powerful witches.” Dumbledore replied, looking over his half-moon glasses at Professor McGonagall. “And they are totally loyal to Harry and Ginny.”
“Oh no! Two more to worry about!” Molly whimpered, as Arthur gave her a comforting hug and the meeting collapsed into the expression of hopes and fears for Harry and Ginny and the salvation of the wizarding world.
It was early morning, when Harry and Ginny stepped out of the castle doors and walked hand in hand towards the gates of Hogwarts. Only sixteen days ago, Ginny had been miserable sitting behind the marquee at Bill’s aborted wedding, trying not to cry and ruin her make-up. Now here she was, walking hand in hand with Harry … Harry Potter. Just looking at him made her feel good; he glanced at her noticing the smile on her face, “What?” he asked, smiling back.
“Nothing!” she said blushing, embarrassed she’d been caught staring again.
Picking her up and twirling her around, he laughed, “Those rosy cheeks tell me a different story, Ms. Weasley.”
Laughing, she luxuriated in the feel of his strong arms about her waist, “This feels like a dream, Harry …” she said, as he brought her feet back to the ground “… and I’m afraid that any minute now, I’m going to wake up and you’ll be gone.”
“This is a dream, Ginny, a dream come true, so don’t be afraid. Each and every day we’ll make this dream come true.” He replied, looking deep into her sparkling brown eyes.
“Gods when he looks at me like that, I just want to snog him to pieces.” She thought “Harry, how can you be so sure … Voldemort wants to destroy everything we have … he tried to kill us all …” she said.
“Ginny stop, don’t let him do to you what he did to me. I told Tom Riddle that he would never take anything or anyone I love ever again. I meant it. I can’t kill him yet, but I’m sure as hell not going to let him kill anyone I care for. Especially you.” He said, leaning down to kiss her lips.
They continued to walk towards the gates, Ginny with her hand in Harry’s back pocket, Harry with his arm about her shoulders. Her physical touch made Harry feel as if he could do anything, “She is intoxicating” he thought, “and I’m addicted to her, hooked.” Pulling her tighter he could sense her smile and his own face responded in kind. They reached the gates and stopped, “Let’s call Comus and Calista from here and if we need to, we can step outside the wards and apparate.” Harry said, calling the two House Elves they appeared.
“Master, Mistress …” they both greeted Harry and Ginny together “… are you ready to come home?” Comus finished.
“We’re ready to go to the Potter Mansion; can you take us there, or do we need to apparate?” Harry asked.
“We can take you there Master, but like Hogwarts, it is not possible for a wizard to apparate inside the Mansions grounds.” Comus confirmed “If Mistress would take Calista’s hand and Master mine, we shall be on our way.”
Unlike apparition, the House Elves travelled with a sudden pop, that left both Harry and Ginny slightly dazed. When they had steadied themselves, they looked around and gaped in wonder at the sights before them.
The mansion stood half a mile away, perched atop a slight rise, four stories tall with towers and chimney’s arrayed against clear blue sky; it looked like something out of a Disney movie, to Harry.
“Welcome home Master.” Comus said, bowing low to Harry.
Harry stood and stared at his ochre coloured home; the front doors, thirty feet in height, glittered gold and bore the Potter crest in their centre; the arched windows spread on either side for hundreds of feet and the afternoon sun reflected the warmth of the stonework, twisted into fabulous gargoyles and reliefs, that leapt out of the roofline and scaled the walls.
“Harry, that’s magnificent.” Ginny finally said, after absorbing the sight for a full minute.
“Would Master and Mistress like to enter?” Comus asked, surprise at their reaction written all over his face.
“Yes … please Comus … lead the way.” Harry said as he took Ginny’s hand and they started the walk to the grand entrance, pointing out to each other, features of the house and gardens that caught their eye.
“Harry look, encircling the two end towers, between the second and third floors … dragons!” Ginny exclaimed, pointing. The Dragons looked so real, their scales glistened emerald green in the afternoon sun.
Reaching the giant doors, Comus waved his hand and a concealed set of normal sized doors opened in the middle of them and Harry and Ginny entered. A huge courtyard spread out before them. Lined up from where they stood, to the doors to the house at the top of a grand staircase, stood many of the mansions staff. There were easily two dozen house elves and four security trolls. They all bowed as Harry and Ginny walked, hand in hand, towards the white marble staircase that lead to the shimmering glass doors of Potter Mansion. Carved statues, of former lords and ladies of the Potter and Peverell families, lined the sides of the courtyard. In its centre, a crystal fountain sparkled in the mid-day sun, its central figure, that of a mermaid seated upon a rock, the likeness to Deniz and Nehir took Harry’s breath away and he pointed this out to Ginny.
“It’s them … isn’t it Harry? But how could it be?” Ginny wondered
“I don’t know Gin but I think it is them.” Harry replied.
As Harry and Ginny reached the doors, they opened and Kreacher bowed, “Welcome home Sir, my Lady,” he said “I hope you find everything to your liking.”
Two hours later and Harry and Ginny sat in the west wing exhausted. They’d been given a whirlwind tour of the North and West wings of the house and Harry was sure he’d need a map to find his way back. The house elves had out done themselves, providing a lavish lunch for the young couple and they ate in contemplative silence at a modest dining table, set in a bay window overlooking the lake.
“I feel like I’m an intruder here.” Harry finally said, in a hushed tone.
“Harry, this is rightfully yours … it might not be decorated to your taste, but that could be changed. Once you make your mark on the place, it’ll start to feel like home.” Ginny said, a speculative look in her eye as if she was already redecorating.
“I suppose your right … it’s just … well, I’ve never had a home, before … so, I don’t know …” Harry’s thoughts trailed off as they always did when he had to address some deficit from his childhood.
“Don’t you want your children to have all the things that you never had?” Ginny said, blushing slightly at the thought of having kids with Harry, or someone else having his kids … never!
“Of course I do, Ginny, it’s just … I don’t know … a lot to get my head around.” He concluded lamely, when a thought occurred to him, “Calista!” he called.
With a pop Calista appeared, “Yes Master.” she said, bowing low to Harry.
“I’m going to have to do something about this, Master business …” Harry thought “… it worked with Kreacher.”
“Calista do you know how much money I have in Gringotts at the moment?” Harry asked.
“Not exactly, Master.” Calista replied nervously “But Calista can give Master an approximate figure.”
“That would be fine Calista.” Harry replied, with a kindly smile to the petite elf.
“Master has, between the Potter Family fortune and the Black family fortune, approximately eight hundred and forty three million galleons, excluding assets and properties.”
Harry and Ginny stared at each other in utter disbelief. Harry finally broke the silence “Ginny … what the hell am I going to do with all this?” He pleaded.
“Enjoy it Harry … enjoy it!” she laughed and soon he joined in.
“Calista, can you enquire with Gringotts if I may visit my vaults today?” Harry asked the waiting elf.
“Master, Honourable Kreacher has had Gringotts transfer all Masters Holdings to one large, maximum security vault. Master may visit this vault whenever Master wishes.” Calista answered.
“Can we floo from this fireplace?” Harry asked, pointing at the large marble affair at the side of the dining room.
“If Master wishes, but Master also has a Goblin gate in his private study, if you would prefer?” Calista volunteered.
“A Goblin Gate, Calista, what’s that?” Harry asked.
“It is a gate provided by Gringotts to its most profitable customers Master. It allows them to visit their vaults, without any of the inconvenience of leaving home.” Calista answered.
“Can you show me where my private study is, please Calista?” Harry said.
“Yes Master, if you’ll follow me.” She replied.
“I’ll wait here for you, Harry.” Ginny said, looking away from him at the stunning view offered by the large bay windows. “It’s kind of private and I don’t want to … well you know.”
“Ginny? … What’s wrong?” Harry asked, worried at her sudden lack of interest.
“Nothing Harry, it’s just … well this is all yours and I … I don’t want to intrude … in your personal …” she trailed off, with a little shrug.
“Ginny! You are my personal … and you’re not intruding. I can’t enjoy this Ginny, unless I have someone to share it with, otherwise it’s just large empty rooms and valuable, joyless things. Please come with me?”
“Are you sure Harry? I Don’t want you to think I … for people to think it’s about all this.” Ginny asked, a worried frown marring her perfect features.
“Ginny, do you want all this?” He said, spinning around indicating everything around him.
“No Harry!” she replied, a little stung by the accusation.
“Do you want me?” he asked her quietly, the trepidation evident in the shakiness of his voice.
“Always Harry …”
“Then you have to try and accept all this too, Gin. It kinda comes as part of the package.” He explained “It’s all new to me too Gin, I used to sleep in a cupboard and wear hand-me-down clothes, from a boy twice my size …… Come on Gin, let’s go roll in gold, throw rubies at each other and sleep on a bed of diamonds.”
“OK Harry … if you’re sure.”
“I’m sure Ginny, very sure.” He leaned down and kissed her, putting all the love he felt for her into one tender kiss. “Come on, let’s go.”
Hand in hand, they followed Calista to Harry’s private study door, where the little house elf stood aside to allow Harry to open the door. “Master must open this door, Calista cannot.” She said.
Harry touched the door with his signet ring and it opened soundlessly. Stepping into the room Harry immediately thought of Hermione. The walls, twelve feet high were filled, floor to ceiling with row after row of books all bar one small section. In this section stood an ornate silver archway, decorated in exquisite detail, the Potter crest evident at its peak. On either side the words ‘Qui vult intrare siqua indigent auctoritatis metus.’ And ‘Sine fur nodosa permittit nisi congregabo dolor et luctus.’ were worked in gold in a beautiful flowing script. The archway held no door; instead a pale shimmering light filled it.
“It’s beautiful Harry.” Ginny said, admiring the craftsmanship of the archway, “I wonder what the words mean?”
“Mistress if I may …” Calista piped up nervously “It says ‘He who seeks to enter here, if authorised need nothing fear. Without permit the ragged thief will gather naught but pain and grief.’ Is what the words mean Mistress.”
“What does it do Calista? How do we use it?” Harry asked, the nervous house elf.
“Master is the only one who can open the door, by placing Masters ring here.” The little elf pointed at a small indentation in the silverwork. “As long as Master has the door open anyone can enter. Only Master can enter, without using Masters ring.”
“Is it safe Calista?” Ginny asked.
“Yes Mistress, very safe. The Goblins would not wish Master to be cross with them.” The little house elf replied, earnestly.
“OK Gin, after you.” Harry said, placing his ring in the prescribed spot. The archway cleared and a large door appeared in place of the shimmering light. “Will you come with us Calista?”
“If Master wishes.” she replied, opening the door and holding it for Ginny “Mistress.”
Ginny and Calista walked through the door and stood, as light sprang to life around the room. Harry removed his ring from the archway and the shimmering light re-appeared. Gritting his teeth, Harry walked into the light only to appear beside Ginny in a room the size of the great hall at Hogwarts. Piles of gold as high as the ceiling, lay splattered around the floor amidst overflowing chests and barrels. Jewels of all shapes, colours and sizes were squeezed into bags and boxes. Walking open mouth among the scattered riches, Harry spotted a large desk with four chairs. Taking the main chair, Harry gawped around him at the unimaginable wealth … his wealth.
He wasn’t sure how long he sat there, when something hit him in the chest. “What!” he mumbled, coming back to reality and his surroundings? ‘Thump’ something hit him in the chest again and fell tinkling to the floor. “What was that?” he said out loud, bending down to pick up a ruby about the size of a small grape.
“Where’s my bed of diamonds?” Ginny said, smiling at a bemused Harry. “I’ve rolled in gold, thrown rubies, now I want to sleep on a bed of diamonds.”
“Funny Weasley … real funny.” he said, smiling at his grinning girlfriend.
“You looked lost.” she said, walking up to him and slipping her arms about his neck.
“And you saved me.” He said pulling her near. The faint smell of wild flowers that always accompanied her presence filled his nose like an intoxicating perfume. Her slight frame shook in his arms, as he ran his hands up and down her back, revelling in her proximity.
Looking down at the lithe, beauty in his arms, he forgot all the riches around him, they meant nothing, were worthless compared to the precious worth of the love this woman gave and inspired in him. ‘but he will have power the Dark Lord knows not’ the prophecy said, and for the first time, Harry understood what it and Dumbledore meant about the power of love.
“Calista, can you make a list of everything in here, what it is, where it is, what it does etc. etc. and bring it to me when you are done? Get whatever help you need, but please get it done as fast as you can.” Harry asked.
“Yes Master … Calista has already taken the liberty of drawing up such a document, at Honoured Kreacher’s orders, Master.” she said, handing Harry a thick scroll.
“Ginny?” Harry looked seriously at the woman by his side.
“What is it Harry?” Ginny asked, alarmed, as always when Harry’s mood turned serious.
“I’ve just had a wonderful idea.”
“Calista does the mansion have a ballroom and a chapel?” Harry asked the small house elf.
“Yes Master.” Calista replied.
Ginny heart was in her mouth “He wants to marry me …” she thought “Merlin’s beard … we’ve only been dating for a few weeks … what do I say … I love him but …”
“Let’s get …”
“Harry isn’t it a bit early to be …
“… everything organised for Bill and Fleur’s wedding here at the mansion.” Harry stopped and looked quizzically at Ginny “A bit early for what Gin?” he asked.
“Oh! Emm … I meant a bit costly to be … eh setting up an entire wedding …” she replied, in a lame attempt to cover her blunder.
“Ginny look around you, there’s more money here than we’ll spend in the rest of our lives together. I want to make it up to Bill and Fleur; I ruined their wedding so I want to give them another one, the most lavish wedding imaginable. What do you say?”
“He just said ‘…the rest of our lives together’ oooh! That sounded good.” she thought “Not too lavish love, I want our …” she started to say our wedding, but stopped in time, blushing furiously and hiding her face in Harry’s chest.
“The second most lavish wedding imaginable …” Harry said quietly, holding her tight “We’ll save the most lavish one for later, OK?”
“I love you, Harry Potter.” Ginny sighed, into his firm muscled chest.
“Love you too, Gin.” Harry said, sitting down and pulling her into his lap.
“Hmmm this is nice, better than a bed of diamonds.” she said, snuggling into him.
“Calista, can you and Comus help Kreacher make the preparations for Bill Weasley and Fleur Delacour’s wedding at the mansion, guest suite for everyone and no expense spared for food, drink, entertainment etc. OK.” Harry instructed the little house elf.
“Yes Master.” she replied.
Turning his attention back to Ginny and the scroll in his hand, “Let’s see what magical mysteries are contained in this dark and dank cellar.” he said, unfurling the scroll to the list of heirlooms.
“A Grecian Glamour Girdle, guaranteed grace, glory and gratification … sounds like a bad television commercial.” He laughed, “Hungarian Horntail Heartstring Staff … unusual … What!! … Calista!!” Harry jumped out of the seat nearly dropping Ginny on the floor.
“Harry!” she said clinging to his neck as he stood still holding her in his arms “what are you doing …?” she laughed, as she put her feet on the ground.
“Yes Master.” Calista said running to Harry’s side, a worried look upon her face.
“Calista show me where this is.” Harry said, pointing at an item on the scroll.
“This way Master.” Calista said, moving rapidly across the vault, stopping in front of a large glass cabinet.
“Harry what is it?” Ginny asked, as she caught up with him at the cabinet.
“There’s no door!” Harry exclaimed, “Calista can you open this cabinet?”
“No Master, it resists all attempts to open it.” Calista replied with drooping ears.
“Calista, where did this cabinet come from?” Harry asked the sad little elf.
“Master it came from the Black Family vault.” She replied.
Reaching inside his robes Harry withdrew the Black Family signet and touched it to the cabinet. The glass vanished and Harry, closing his eyes, held his hand near the cup feeling the magic. His skin felt like it was being caressed by foul maggots, rotting, dirty corrupt. He withdrew his hand and opened his eyes in time to see Ginny reaching for the cup. “No! Ginny!” Harry screamed, trying to grab her wrist before she could grasp the cup. Too late, he watched in slow motion, as her fingers closed about the handle and the bottom fell out of their world.
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