Title: Birth of the Serpent King
Author: Keira Marcos
Fandom: Harry Potter
Genre: Romance, Alternate Universe
Rating: R (sexual situations and violence)
Word Count: 105,062
Betas: Chris King & Ladyholder (all remaining mistakes are the author’s fault)
Warnings: Written by an American author who attempted to use every cliché she could think of, habitual abuse of canon characterizations and events AND under aged consensual sexual contact.
Disclaimer: Not mine. Entertainment purposes only. No infringement intended. If I owned Harry Potter—I’d live in a castle in Scotland with several beautiful younger men to cater to my every wish.
Author’s Note: My thanks to the HP Fandom for entertaining me thoroughly while I was broken and laid up wishing death and mayhem on my neighbors.
Summary: What if Lucius Malfoy had interfered and saved Harry Potter’s life during the third task? The Harry that returns to Hogwarts after the resurrection of Voldemort has been tempered by fire, the Potter Family legacy, and a relationship he couldn’t have ever expected. In the wake of his father’s redemption—Draco Malfoy finds everything he could have ever wanted in the man that was once his enemy.
– – – –
The letter he’d written to the Malfoys was the only one Hedwig had been able to actually deliver. The others—to Ron, Hermione, and even Sirius had been impossible. The wards around the house on Privet Drive wouldn’t let her leave with them. Harry knew to blame Dumbledore for that and after a few tries he stopped upsetting Hedwig with tasks she couldn’t complete.
The surprise came a few days after he had sent the letter to the Malfoys—the regal black bird who was perched on his window sill stunned him. For a minute, he held his breath because he’d been alone for weeks and it was obvious that no one was coming to see him or get him. The hurt that had festered in his chest lessened a little and he carefully retrieved the letter from the owl. He offered a treat and the bird took it with a little nip at his fingers before leaving.
There were two letters folded together.
Thank you. I know that your experiences with my husband were trying at best and you have no reason to speak kindly of him even after death. Your condolences and your explanations regarding his death have done my son and I great service.
I must apologize that your beautiful owl had to wait for so long at our gate. We were not expecting any communication from you and our wards refused her. We treated her with great care upon discovery and made sure she had a good meal before she returned to you. She will not be relegated to the front gates should you chose to communicate with us again.
I am deeply saddened by his death but relieved to know that in his final moments my Lucius redeemed himself. I know it doesn’t erase or even make up for his prior bad acts. He told me once, after meeting you, that he believed you held great power within you and that one day you would defeat the Dark Lord. He believed with his very soul and perhaps that is why he chose to do as he did that night. I am honored with his choice to fight for you so that you may have the chance to grow up and to learn all that you need to know to defeat our mutual enemy.
The House of Malfoy
Harry took a deep breath and closed his eyes briefly. He didn’t like to think about what had happened with Lucius Malfoy but somehow it paled in comparison to how he had been treated by the ministry after his return with Cedric. He frowned and took a deep breath. He’d recovered physically and mentally from the interrogation he’d suffered at Fudge’s demands but he was furious over the treatment.
He folded Lady Malfoy’s letter and then stared for a few seconds at the one beneath it. That Draco Malfoy had chosen to write him personally was something of a surprise.
Thank you for your kind words and the honesty in your choices regarding the death of my father. I realize he treated you cruelly (and that in the past I was no different) so your bravery in the face of the Ministry regarding his actions the night the Dark Lord returned has caused me think about what has transpired between us in the past and the future that is front of us.
My mother and I were both subjected to questioning by the Ministry. I do hope they treated you better than we were treated during that process. Fortunately, my mother never took the Dark Mark. We have warded our estate against him and anyone associated with Dark Mark except for my godfather, Severus Snape.
Thank you for providing my mother and I with some measure of peace regarding the death of my father.
I heard that you were confined to the Muggle world again this summer. Mother and I are going to Diagon Ally this week—is there anything I can send to you?
Lord Draco Malfoy
The House of Malfoy
Harry blinked and then sat back to stare at the two letters. The only communication he’d received in the month he’d been home and it came from two people he would have thought… well he’d figured what he’d revealed about his father would make Draco hate him even more.
He took the two letters and tucked them carefully into a charmed section of his trunk. Then he pulled out paper and his quill. After a few minutes of indecision, he began.
My father was an Animagus. Unfortunately all of the books on the subject at school are in the restricted section and I’ve been repeatedly denied access to the material. I attempted to order it last year but was rebuffed and when I tried to purchase it in Hogsmeade, I was informed that it wasn’t on the list of books approved by the Ministry underage wizards to purchase.
Additionally, I was unable to procure a set of books called “Legilimency & Occlumency by Amelia Snodgrass”.
I would very much appreciate any reading material you could provide on these three subjects and will of course compensate you upon our return to Hogwarts.
– – – –
Draco frowned and then put the letter down next to his plate. He offered the white owl some bacon from his plate and she hooted gently. “He calls you Hedwig, I believe.” She hooted again and fluttered gently when he offered her a piece of his scone. “You are certainly a gorgeous creature.”
“Yes,” Narcissa agreed and then glanced at the letter. “May I see it or was it personal?”
Draco offered her the letter and watched her read it. He wasn’t surprised by the frown that drifted over her beautiful features. “I know. I’m very surprised.”
“I wasn’t aware that the Ministry had started preventing the purchase of certain books…” Narcissa took a deep breath. “I have to wonder how and what Fudge is up and just how ignorant he would prefer your generation to be. Combine a list of banned books with the less than stellar defense education you received from Hogwarts and I’m left wondering if perhaps he isn’t a Death Eater himself. I don’t understand how Headmaster Dumbledore would allow Potter to be so poorly educated.”
“Did you notice his signature?”
Narcissa nodded. “Is he just modest or does he not understand his place in our world?”
“I’m left to believe no one explained it to him. There were times in the past that I made him so angry that I can’t imagine how he wouldn’t have rubbed his status in my face if he’d known. Harry’s had little to no education regarding our social structure in school and it isn’t like Granger would know anything about it either. Weasley… I don’t know why he wouldn’t tell him. Perhaps he was ordered not to by Dumbledore or his mother?”
“Or perhaps, he simply doesn’t know,” Narcissa said gently. “It’s not as if the Weasley family has access to the records regarding the Potter family. It is entirely possible that they’ve been kept in the dark regarding the Potter estates and his responsibilities.”
“What should I do?”
“Go to the library and pick out the books he requires and anything else you think he should have but probably doesn’t. I don’t want to purchase him a set from Diagon Alley because it might draw undue attention to us if they are watching such purchases. It would irritate me greatly if the books were marked for tracking. I will contact your Aunt in France about purchasing him a set for him to keep. For now he can borrow from us. Also, I will provide him with a portkey he can use to come to the Manor and then return to the Muggles at his leisure.” She frowned. “If they will not educate the boy regarding such matters, then I certainly will. It is the least of what I owe Lily Potter.”
“I…” Draco paused. “I don’t understand.”
Narcissa paused and pushed aside her plate. “You are several months older than Harry.”
“Yes.” Draco nodded. “He has his birthday at the end of July.”
“Lily Potter was six months pregnant with Harry when she… saved me. The Dark Lord had called your father to his side and he was gone for several weeks. Aurors had searched the Manor several times looking for your father or Dark Artifacts they could use against him but found nothing. One of them was ill-tempered and rude and I was terribly young. My magic had been subdued by the pregnancy and I was very heavy with you. I couldn’t even perform basic charms because it made me so ill I would pass out almost immediately. Lucius believed that you would be a very strong wizard.” She paused and smiled. “He was not wrong.”
Draco flushed at the praise and then reached out to settle his hand over his mother’s. “You’re shaking.”
“Lily Potter and her husband were not part of the team investigating the manor but their friend, Lord Sirius Black, my cousin was. He treated me with respect and kindness but the others weren’t so… kind. They were ordered leave by the Head Auror when they didn’t find anything but one of them, his name was Michael Castor returned.”
“Did he hurt you?”
“He tried. He said he wanted to see what it was like to be with a noble woman…” Narcissa shook her head. “I won’t repeat his exact words to you but it was vile and I was defenseless against him. Then, she was there. The duel was horrible. I could hardly believe he was treating a fellow Auror that way—I don’t know what he was thinking but she ended up severing his wand hand just beneath the elbow. Then her husband arrived and it was a horrific scene. I went into labor with you.”
“Lily Potter delivered you, Draco. She held you first in this world and her eyes were so beautiful with the joy of it as she laid you on my chest and told me I had a son.”
“What happened to Michael Castor?” Draco demanded.
“He bled to death in the foyer while were you being born in the parlor,” Narcissa admitted. “Sirius Black stood over him while it happened. Lily was special to him, and well, her husband was enraged.”
“Lily Potter delivered me.” Draco repeated with a frown. “You always tell everyone I was born in France and that the labor lasted for hours and that’s why you never had another child.”
Narcissa laughed sadly. “It seemed the only story to tell. I couldn’t very well tell everyone that your father refused to give me another child because he didn’t want me to ever be that defenseless again.”
“I don’t blame him,” Draco snapped and then sat back in his chair. Hedwig suddenly hopped forward and landed gently on his shoulder. She nuzzled against his hair and he sighed. “Potter has the oddest bird.”
“I think she’s charming and beautiful.”
He petted Hedwig’s until the owl had decided he’d been comforted enough and then she flew to sit on the perch next to his own owl. “He probably won’t trust us enough to use a portkey.”
“We’ll send him a few books, the portkey, and an invitation.” Narcissa raised an eyebrow. “What?”
Draco took a deep breath. “Did Father interfere the night the Dark Lord was born because he felt he owed the Potter’s a debt?”
“Lily Potter defended, protected, and then delivered his only son at the risk of herself and own child. I think you know the answer to that question, Draco.”
– – – –
Harry raised an eyebrow at the package that Hedwig carried. He hadn’t expected anything from the Malfoys that night or maybe not even ever. Asking for the books had been a long shot at the very least. He retrieved the package carefully and then gave Hedwig a treat.
The box held four books, one of which was the title he’d specifically asked for. The second one was on Animagus transformation and transfiguration of the body for the purpose of disguise. The other two were separate texts on Leglimency and Occlumency. They all had the Malfoy family crest on them.
There was also a small jewelry box in the box and two more folded letters. He eyed the jewelry box and opened the first letter—breaking the wax seal with an amused smile. He’d seen seals like it at school from other parents and wasn’t at all surprised to see that Draco was taking his place as Lord Malfoy so seriously. The over-pretty git was all about appearances after all. He flushed at the thought but then shook his head.
Mother and I are frankly appalled by the ministry’s recent treatment of you in the press but not entirely surprised considering the current leadership. Minister Fudge is not a man YOU can trust. I hope you know that. Never trust him and never allow yourself to be alone with him.
I’ve included four titles – Mother believed it would be a bad idea to buy the books on our trip next week because the Ministry might be watching for the purchases of those books. She will have my father’s sister in France purchase you a set for your own keeping at a later date but for now you may use the ones from our library. I do wonder why you didn’t visit your own library—surely, the Potter Manor has an extensive collection of books?
At any rate, we wish to send Hedwig back to you before it grows too late and Mother has sent you something as well.
All the best,
Lord Draco Malfoy
The House of Malfoy
Harry lined the books up in a stack on his desk and smiled briefly. A part of him did wonder if Draco could be trusted but he was willing to give him a chance in an effort to somehow honor the sacrifice Lucius Malfoy had made. He picked up the second letter and unfolded it carefully.
I was irritated but not surprised to learn of the issues regarding your education and the Ministry’s interference. Animagus Transfiguration, Legilimency, & Occlumency are not Dark Arts but they are the craft of very talented wizards. I suppose it would not do for you to appear accomplished and well educated in the face of the Minister’s accusations regarding your actions during the third task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament.
He has painted you with a nasty brush over the past few weeks regarding your public statement regarding the return of the Dark Lord. If you were my son, I would be suing the Daily Prophet and Minister Fudge personally for his misuse of your name and the maligning of your character regarding this situation.
It was brought to my attention by my son that you might not be aware of your position in our Wizarding society. You are the heir of the Potter House and all of its holdings. On your fifteenth birthday, you will be allowed to claim your father’s title, his signet ring, and his place in our society as Lord Harry James Potter because you are the last of your line.
Due to this change in your status, you will be considered an adult with all the legal and social responsibilities thereof. If you are aware of this, please forgive my presumption, but if you are not aware and would like to be instructed in the role you will be required to take in our society—I would be pleased to teach you all you must learn.
The box I sent you contains a special bracelet. It was a gift to me when I was little more than a child but after I married Lucius—it became difficult to wear and I placed it in my personal vault. I removed it recently with the sole purpose of giving it to you. I’ve come to believe that it was always my destiny to give you this gift. I realize you have very few reasons to trust my son or me but I swear on the soul of my husband and my own magic that you have nothing to fear from either of us.
I’ve charmed the bracelet to temporarily respond to the word “Sanctuary”. If you touch the bracelet and say this word, you will be brought to Malfoy Manor. I chose this word because I wish to be your sanctuary from what you’ve already suffered this year. Your mother was a strong, valiant woman and I certainly cannot take her place—but it would honor me if you would I would consider it an honor if you allowed me to protect you as much as I can in the coming months and years.
The House of Malfoy
PS—I believe you will have no problems communicating with the bracelet and changing the method by which the portkey works.
Harry opened the box carefully and stared at the bracelet inside. It was a man’s bracelet, appeared to be made of platinum or a similar metal, and it was fashioned like a snake. That didn’t surprise Harry at all. With a smile, he picked up the bracelet and the snake animated immediately. He almost dropped it.
The silver snake slithered over his fingers and around his hand until it secured itself to his wrist with a little hiss of contentment. “Hello.”
Emerald eyes centered on him. “Hello, young one. I belong to you. I can be charmed to allow for five portkey destinations. Currently I will bring you to this Muggle shack when you say the words “Privet Drive” and to Malfoy Manor when you say “Sanctuary”. I will also go to a place called “The Burrow” and a place called “Hogwarts”. Finally, I can take you to the front steps of Gringotts if you say the word “Galleon”. My former mistress believed these would be your most visited destinations. Additionally, I will protect your mind from intrusions and curses. I am pleased to have a new owner who speaks my language.”
Harry grinned. “Can you speak English?”
“It is troublesome,” the snake admitted. “But I learned for Narcissa’s sake when she was a child. She has given me to you and with you, I will stay. I am called Mehen.”
“I am called Harry Potter.”
Mehen recoiled around his wrist. “Sleep Harry Potter and I will keep you safe.”
“Can you activate and portkey me if I’m unconscious?” Harry questioned.
“Only if you are injured or incapable of speech during a dangerous situation.”
“Thank you Mehen, you’re a grand gift.” Harry touched the snake’s head gently. “I should be worried about you but I’m not.”
“I was made with the purest of magic many thousands of years ago in a place far from here, Harry Potter; I cannot be used for Dark purposes. Your magic is strong and it tells you that I can be trusted. My loyalty to you is absolute. As you grow you will learn to trust and even interact with your magic far more than you do now.”
“Why is your loyalty absolute?”
“Because we are kindred. Because I have not known anyone in many thousands of years with such a powerful connection to the magic that makes me.” Mehen’s tongue flicked out briefly. “Sleep, Harry, it is late.”
– – – –
Diagon Ally was the same as it always had been and for Draco that seemed odd and even cruel. The world was apparently no different to anyone else but him and his mother. Well, maybe the people that his Father had used to his own advantage felt a measure of freedom due to his death but perhaps not much. Such people would be and probably were being used by others.
Harry had sent another letter to the manor but only one for his mother. Draco had strived not to be too disappointed and then was somewhat relieved when he’d discovered that it was business and not really a personal missive. He’d been right; of course, Harry didn’t know a damn thing about his estate or his lordship. He didn’t even know who the family solicitor was for the Potter Estate.
They entered the offices of Riser, Mills & Coats quickly and the young witch at the desk stood. “Mrs. Malfoy, Lord Malfoy. Mr. Riser is expecting you.”
Draco gave the witch a nod as he followed his mother and wondered when he’d get used to carrying his father’s title. It seemed wrong to have it now, wrong and completely unacceptable. He knew he’d never be able to truthfully say that his father had been a good man but that didn’t change the agony that stirred in him at the loss of one of his parents.
“Good morning, Mr. Riser. I’ve come on behalf of Harry Potter.” Narcissa sat down in the chair offered and stared hard at the man. “You will tell me why you’ve failed to keep that young man informed of his estates since he re-entered the our world.”
Riser frowned and set aside his quill. “You are not his magical guardian, Mrs. Malfoy. I don’t believe I should…”
“The young man knows nothing of his estate, Mr. Riser. He doesn’t know he’s to receive his father’s title on his coming birthday. He believes he has a relatively healthy trust fund that will see him through his education. He doesn’t know where Potter Manor is. He knows nothing of his family history, his ancestors, nor is he aware of his responsibilities as a peer. I blame you.”
Riser paled. “I… Mrs. Malfoy, he was… he has no idea?”
“None. I imagine it will be quite a shock to him for him to learn but he has asked me to instruct him in his role and to help him as much as I can. His birthday is in one week and he will be fifteen. As he is the heir to the Potter Family, he will be an adult at fifteen rather than the traditional seventeen. He is completely unprepared to handle his financial and social responsibilities. The question is, of course, what do you intend to do about it?”
“His magical guardian assured me that… such matters should wait until after the boy has…” Riser took a deep breath. “But if Mr. Potter wants to accept his father’s title on his fifteenth birthday then legally no one can oppose him on the matter.”
“Additionally, he’d like to know why you haven’t intervened on his behalf regarding the Daily Prophet.”
“His magical guardian has not given us permission to pursue legal action against the paper or the Minister for the slanderous statements,” Riser admitted gruffly. “And I was rebuffed when I protested his participation in the Tri-Wizard Cup last year. He should have never been allowed…”
“Who is his magical guardian?”
Riser blinked in surprise. “Mr. Potter is unaware of this as well?”
Riser sighed, clearly frustrated. “I see. Is Mr. Potter staying with his Muggle relatives this summer?”
“I will go there this afternoon and inform Mr. Potter of his entire situation, Mrs. Malfoy. I assure you that I will rectify this situation to Mr. Potter’s benefit as soon as humanly possible. And anyone who has abused his trust or his estate will pay for it.”
– – – –
Harry sighed and closed the book he was reading. He tucked it into his trunk and locked it up. He didn’t want Dudley to damage his things while he was downstairs and the whale was bound to if he was given the opportunity.
Harry trudged down the hall but forced himself to straighten as he went down the stairs. The man in the foyer was clearly a wizard despite the fact that he was wearing stylish Muggle clothing. That he’d gotten past the wards and hadn’t managed to hex his Uncle Vernon indicated that Harry could probably trust him.
“Good afternoon, Mr. Potter, I am Cecil Riser, the Third with Riser, Mills, & Coats.”
Vernon snorted. “I told him if you are being sued that I won’t be paying any settlements for your freakish behavior.”
Harry flushed and bit down on his lip. “Thank you for not hexing him, Mr. Riser.”
Riser’s gaze flicked briefly towards Vernon who had paled before speaking. “I have had many years to study and learn the ways of Muggles, Mr. Potter. I haven’t hexed one for being ignorant in nearly twenty years.”
Vernon went red in the face. “I won’t have another freak in my house!”
“I am willing to make an exception in your case, Mr. Dursley, if you can’t be civil. I learned to hex at the hands of five very terrible brothers.” Riser put down his brief case and took off his coat with ease. “Mr. Potter, we must speak about several legal matters regarding your family estate and your status as a minor. This cannot wait.”
“Mrs. Malfoy visited you this morning then?”
“Yes.” Riser’s gaze hardened. “I was unaware of your problems or I would have made myself known to you sooner. My family and our law firm have been on retainer for your family for nearly two hundred years. I’ve failed in my duty to you and as such, I believe I owe you a great debt. I will do everything required make amends.”
Harry blinked in surprise but ignored his Uncle’s sputtering. “Why wasn’t I introduced to you before?”
“Your magical guardian informed me you wanted nothing to do with the matters of your title or estate until you reached the age of majority.” Riser paused. “Despite the fact that you’d be able to claim adult status at fifteen due to the demands of your title.”
“What is this nonsense?” Vernon demanded. “This little freak doesn’t have a title.”
Riser’s gaze flicked over Vernon. “I assure you, sir, he does in fact have a title. In six days, with his consent, that title will be conferred on him. He is a landed, wealthy noble from an established and powerful house within the Wizarding world.”
“He doesn’t have any money!”
“We’ll be discussing his trust fund today as well.” Riser looked over at Harry’s clothes and then glared at Vernon. “Upon the death of his parents you were given access to a trust fund to take care of their child—to see that he was appropriately clothed, fed, and educated until he could rejoin our world and attend Hogwarts. I can only be thankful that you didn’t have access to the rest of his money seeing as how you abused, mismanaged, and absconded with the trust fund you did have access to.”
Harry glared at Vernon briefly and then focused on Riser. “We can talk in the dining room.” He held up a hand when Vernon started to talk. “Uncle Vernon, I may not be able to perform magic right now but I assure he is not restricted in that way. It would be best if you controlled your temper.”
Riser allowed himself to be escorted into the dining room where he took out a series of parchments and a large account book from his slim case. Harry sat down across from him but didn’t say anything while Vernon prodded his wife into the kitchen. Fortunately, Dudley was gone for the day.
“Very well,” Riser began. “To start I should tell you that due to the incarceration of your godfather, Lord Sirius Black, your magical guardian is Albus Dumbledore. I believe you were never told that formally.”
“I suspected after I found out I had one,” Harry admitted dryly.
Riser nodded. “You have three magical family properties as well as interests in many magical and non-magical businesses. At one time, there were over one hundred properties but your father sold much of that shortly after he came into the title. He kept the ancestral property in Godric’s Hollow, the Potter Manor, which is unplottable, and a country house in Scotland. As I said The Potter Family has stock in a variety of Muggle and Wizarding companies that my firm has managed for four generations with the help of your account manager at Gringotts and an a wizard accountant who has been directed by your account manager since the death of your parents. Your father was actually the one to suggest some of the Muggle investments—your mother’s influence—and I must say the investments have done very well.”
Harry nodded. “Okay. So, I’m solvent?”
Riser offered him a small smile. “Yes, you are very solvent. You’ll never have to work a day in your long life unless you wish to. You are heir to a fortune, Mr. Potter.”
Harry winced at the outraged gasps from his Aunt and Uncle. “I see. How much was in my Muggle trust fund?”
“Your parents were generous of course. They wanted only the best for you, 250,000 pounds. Additionally, there was a provision for more should you prove to be a squib.” Riser paused. “But that was certainly not the case.” He unrolled one scroll and passed it to Harry. “I believe you will notice that your Aunt and Uncle paid off their house, bought a new car, and redecorated their home shortly after they received access to your trust fund. The rest of it appears to be paying for their son’s private education.”
Harry glanced over the parchment without looking at his Aunt and Uncle and then frowned. The sheer amount of money at his disposal was obscene and it slapped at him—reminding him that he had it all because he was the last of his family. “I see. Very well, transfer another 250,000 pounds into the account for them.”
“If you are sure?”
“I am.” Harry handed the scroll back. “We’ll just consider it combat pay, shall we?” He spared them a glance and found his aunt pale and his uncle looking at him as if he might be attacked at any minute. “I didn’t mean combat with me!” He huffed and focused on Riser. “Do I need to do anything about the businesses or the stock?”
“Not at this moment. You will start receiving stock reports and the like from both your account manager at Gringotts and the wizard that oversees your Muggle investments. I trust that you will be taking the title on your birthday?”
“Yes.” Harry nodded. “Do I have any living relatives?”
“You are distantly related to many of the pure blood families you have heard about at school. I believe your closest living relative is Augusta Longbottom, she is a third cousin. You go to school with her grandson, your fifth cousin. You are very distantly related to both the Blacks and the Weasleys. There are spells and rituals that can be done after your Family Magic settles to find out more about your distant relatives.”
Harry nodded. “Okay.”
“You own several rental properties in Diagon Ally including a series of townhouses. Gringotts handles the rental agreements so that’s nothing for you to bother with unless you wish to. Your estate manages itself Mr. Potter but you can be involved as much as you want now and when you get older. Granted, experience has taught those involved with your family that Potters have a unique ability to make money. Your input will be considered important by both the goblins and your business partners based on that fact alone. Most nobles your age are content receive reports, make more money than they spend, and educate themselves.”
“Do I have any employees?”
“All three of your personal properties are maintained by house elves,” Riser admitted. “They travel from property to property handling cleaning and maintenance. Currently they are at Potter Manor because they believed that would be your first stop after you claimed your title.”
“How will I get there if it is unplottable?”
“Your Head elf, Willaby, will make himself available at your leisure, sir. We can meet my office to claim your title unless you’d prefer elsewhere?”
“All things considered, Gringotts might be a better choice.”
Riser paused and then nodded. “Agreed. I have wards but nothing like what you have here at the house or what the goblins have at the bank.” He placed a book in front of Harry. “This is your family grimoire, Mr. Potter. I thought you might like to have it. It is self-updating so you will find several chapters about your own adventures relayed in the most dry, brutally honest manner imaginable. To be honest, I live in fear of ever meeting the dead ancestor of yours that conjured that particular book into existence.”
Harry laughed but his hands curled around the books edges gently. “Thank you, Mr. Riser. This has been an enlightening conversation. I will owl you about the meeting for my birthday.”
“Of course.” Riser stood and then paused briefly. “I must say you have a fierce and determined benefactor in Mrs. Malfoy. She was quite incensed on your behalf.”
“I find myself with new friends lately,” Harry admitted.
“I believe.” Riser paused and then seemed to consider his words carefully. “I believe that in the wake of her husband’s death, that our world will find Narcissa Malfoy to be something else entirely when it comes to her actions and intentions.”
Harry made quick work of showing the lawyer to the door and wasn’t surprised to find his Aunt and Uncle still hovering in the kitchen. He picked up his book and made of show of straightening the tablecloth. “I’ll not hear another word from either of you the entire time I’m here. You won’t call me ‘boy’. I won’t be doing any chores for you or cooking any of your meals. You won’t talk to me at all. I will probably have to stay here the rest of the summer unless I can trust other arrangements but once I leave for school in the fall I will do my level best to never set eyes on you again. I would be relieved if you’d make the same effort.”
– – – –
Thank you for the help regarding my legal status. Mr. Riser was a great help and I would be pleased if you and Lord Malfoy would meet with me in Gringotts on July 31st to witness my acceptance of my father’s title. Mr. Riser will contact you with a time. I’m told that having another noble witness my claim is the thing to do and it would be an honor if Lord Malfoy would stand as my witness.
All the best,
Harry James Potter, Heir Regent
The House of Potter
PS- Thank you very much for Mehen, he is an interesting and very smart accessory in my life. I find his wisdom on certain matters helpful and he’s very funny.
Narcissa handed the second letter to her son without reading it. “Mr. Riser has given young Harry all the information he needs regarding his legal status and you’ve been invited to Witness his acceptance of the Potter title on the 31st.”
“That’s his birthday, I think.” Draco fingered the edges of his unopened letter. “You know the oath I took over father’s grave.”
Narcissa nodded. “I do.”
“I’d like to make another on behalf of our entire family.”
“To Harry himself, I take it.”
“I want him to trust me, Mother.” Draco looked away from her. “I want his trust more than I’ve ever wanted anything in my life. Father gave his life for Potter and Diggory. In order for me to honor his sacrifice… I want to swear a Liege Oath to Harry Potter.”
Narcissa nodded. “Very well, you are the Head of our family, Draco and your will be shall done. You do realize that your father’s younger siblings have never had any part in the Dark Lord’s dealings. You should write a small, succinct missive outlining your decision and I will see that it is distributed throughout the Family. No one will publically disagree with your decision and they will be honor bound by the oldest of magics to adhere to it.” Narcissa paused and closed her eyes. “I owed Lily Potter a Life Debt, Draco, and I was never able to satisfy it. The night the Dark Lord found the Potters—I begged your father to intervene, to help them but he would not go against… he feared for our safety if he defied the Dark Lord.”
“I understand.” Draco stood from the table. “I’d like to write Harry a response after I read his letter. Will you be sending one as well?”
Narcissa shook her head. “No. I will, however, be sending the child some help. Mr. Riser informed me that Harry was very thin and pale. I must speak with Dobby!”
The elf appeared in a flash and clapped excitedly. “Mistress Malfoy!”
Narcissa smiled briefly and then frowned. “Dobby, did I not give your Oath of Service to Harry Potter? Are you not his elf?”
Dobby’s ears quivered and his eyes grew wide. “Headmaster Dumbles says I is not to visit Harry Potter this summer because he could be in grave danger if I do. I is scared for Harry Potter, Mistress.”
Narcissa propped her chin on her hand and regarded the elf for several seconds. “Dobby, you belong to Harry Potter not to Albus Dumbledore. I realize the deception we’ve asked of you bothers you but it was necessary when we gave your Oath to Harry. We had to make amends for what he suffered in the Chamber of Secrets. As such, Headmaster Dumbledore’s orders are not yours to follow. Your Harry Potter is very lonely, eats very little every day, and no one is taking care of him. Is that what you want?”
Fat tears rolled down the elf’s face and Draco winced. He knew exactly how Dobby felt—no one could lay on guilt and horror so gently as his mother. “Dobby, I believe you can make up for this matter by going to Harry Potter immediately and seeing to his needs.”
“Yes! Dobby go save his Harry Potter right now!”
Narcissa chuckled when Dobby popped away. “Harry might not thank us.”
“At least he’ll be taken care of,” Draco growled. “I can’t believe Dumbledore would… it’s like he wants Harry to suffer as much as possible in life so he won’t care if he has to die…” He closed his eyes. “That’s it, right? That’s what Dumbledore wants—he’s creating a situation where Harry has nothing and no one to live for, not even himself. But at the same time giving him every reason to sacrifice himself for the rest of us.”
– – – –
Harry shot up straight in the bed at Dobby’s appearance, startled by the sobbing elf. “Dobby!”
“Master Harry!” Dobby buried his face in the thin blanket on Harry’s bed. “Yous suffers and I isn’t here to take care of you!” He wailed and slapped the back of his own head for several seconds before Harry grabbed his hands to stop him.
“It’s okay, Dobby.” Harry patted the elf awkwardly until he stopped crying. “Why are you here now?”
“Mistress Narcissa be telling me that your no good Muggles starve you!” Dobby patted his arm. “I will take care of this. We will get you potions to heal you, make you better.”
“Not from Hogwarts,” Harry murmured. “I don’t want to get the Headmaster’s attention—he hasn’t been all that interested in how bad off I am after a summer here.”
Dobby reached and wrapped one hand around Harry’s wrist. A soft glow grew between them briefly and tears welled in his eyes again. “I see, Master, I see very well.”
Harry was quite afraid he did. “You mustn’t tell anyone, Dobby.”
“I would never betray Master Harry’s trust that way!” Dobby released his wrist. “I will arrange for you to visit a private healer in a very, very safe place, Master Harry. It will be done.”
“I’m not your Master, Dobby.” Harry frowned at the horror that flash over the elf’s face. “What’s wrong?”
“You is my master. Mistress Malfoy gave you to me in service. Lord Lucius helped make it happen. He makes Dobby the happiest elf ever! I serve you! I was bad! Never will I listen to anyone else! I is at your side, Master Harry from now on. I promise.”
Harry took a deep breath. “He really was a Slytherin to the very core. I thought I freed you, Dobby.”
“Oh no,” Dobby shook his head. “It would be such a bad thing—so horrible to be freed. I is good elf, from a long line of good elfs. Master Lucius Malfoy cared very much for my mother.”
“So he wouldn’t have dishonored her son,” Harry murmured. “I see and he pretended to treat you badly…” He frowned. “What about Winky?”
“Mr. Crouch was very mean to Winky, Master Harry! Very mean! She is a good elf. He made her do bad things for him.”
Harry nodded and frowned. “Dobby, on the 31st I will accept my title as Lord of the Potter House.”
“Oh.” Dobby’s eyes widened. “It is a Noble house, sir. Very Noble and long established.”
Harry nodded. “I will call for you on that day as I wish for you to bear Witness.”
Tears welled in Dobby’s eyes. “I am honored, sir. So honored!”
Harry smiled and slid out of his bed. “I have a letter for my godfather but the wards around the house won’t let Hedwig leave with it. Will you deliver it? You must do it so that no one else sees him receive the letter.”
– – – –
I realize your situation is difficult and that you are under the watchful eye of many. I try to understand Headmaster Dumbledore’s insistence on my isolation this summer but I resent it. It’s as if he doesn’t care what I suffered that night—like he doesn’t want to understand how much I need to talk about it with someone who will care.
My Muggle relatives are hateful, greedy, and abusive but at least I know exactly what to expect from them. I find I can’t say the same about anyone else in my life. It is true that we barely know each other and that is something I also blame Dumbledore for. I can’t for the life of me fathom how he allowed you to be put in prison without a trial except for the fact that I would have lived a much nicer life with you if you hadn’t. I wouldn’t have been starved, kept in a cupboard like a house elf, and made to work like a slave in what should have been my home.
I find that I do not trust most of the Wizarding world and for that, I also blame him. I am so weary of his games and his puzzles and his mysteries. I tired of the secrets and the ambition and the knowledge that I’m expected to fight and defend myself with the least amount of information possible.
It’s as if he means for me to die.
Sirius sat back in the chair and stared at the fire in front of him for several minutes before focusing on the elf that had brought the letter. “You serve Harry Potter?”
“You are bound to him?”
“Yes, Lord Black.”
Sirius nodded. “What does he need?”
“I is taking care of his needs. Yous to write him a letter. He’s lonely!” Dobby glared at Sirius briefly and then looked around the room. “Kreacher keeps a poor house.”
Sirius snorted. “Yes, he does but he is old.”
“Unfilled,” Dobby corrected. “And lazy.”
“I will write Harry a letter. You may return in one hour for it.”
– – – –
I am overwhelmed. It was always my belief that you were in a secure and loving home. Had I known… or ever even suspected that was not the case I would have escaped long before I did. I was angry and I admit I never fought for myself. James and Lily were my best friends and Peter’s betrayal cut so deep I could barely function for months.
In fact, I was Padfoot for most of my imprisonment. Losing myself in my Animagus form might have served to protect me but it did you grievous harm. I can’t imagine how I will ever make up for it.
Albus has refused to listen to me about the Dursleys. Just as he has everyone else in the Order regarding your so-called family.
I am unsure of Albus’ plans but I will tell you that he has called upon us to revitalize a special rebellion force called the Order of the Phoenix to fight Voldemort. He doesn’t want you to know about it. I was, in fact, ordered to tell you nothing. I didn’t agree with the plan but Molly Weasley has convinced everyone that you are too young to be involved.
At this point, Dumbledore has requested that I do nothing in a bid to see myself free. He believes it will lead to undue attention and perhaps attract Voldemort. I don’t agree but it’s not like I have a choice—the man has the power to see me returned to prison if I go against him.
Lord Sirius Black
The House of Black
– – – –
Thank you for the books. I appreciate the time you took to find exactly what I needed. I’m afraid that I don’t understand much of it and that is pretty frustrating. Even using my textbooks from Hogwarts as a guide, I feel as if I’m lost on some of this merely for due to the fact that I was raised by Muggles. I barely understand the origin of my own magic and I could scream!
I look forward to seeing you on the 31st. I have to admit it is odd since you’ve always been such an utter prat to me. When I look back on our history—every moment we’ve spent making each other miserable and brewing hate between us I’m ashamed because I don’t think that’s the kind of man my mother would want me to be. My dad, apparently, had his moments on that front but my mother was different and I would much prefer to be like her despite how much I look like him.
Your mother is a force of nature and her kindness in the face of her own loss is humbling. I feel that I owe your family a debt for the sacrifice your father made on my behalf. In part to repay that debt, I’m going to do everything I can make myself a worthy, honorable friend to you—even if you don’t agree.
Harry Potter, Heir Regent
The House of Potter
– – – –
While it is not in my nature to be forgiving, in the face of my father’s sacrifice and your unrelenting honesty in relating those events despite the wishes of Minister Fudge I find myself unwilling and unable to be anything less than your devoted friend. You may come to regret it but that’s hardly my problem.
I look forward to seeing you on the 31st.
Lord Draco Malfoy
The House of Malfoy