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Standing on His Own

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“Professor, I was wondering if I could have a moment of your time?” Harry asked catching Professor Flickwick as he was gathering supplies from his last class.

“Ah, I had a grading matter I wished to discuss with you, Potter. Come to my office.” Flickwick said waving Harry through the door and setting a number of wards before taking a seat at his desk.

“May I cast a few spells of my own, Professor?” Harry asked glancing over the faintly glowing runes that covered the doorway.

“You may,” Flickwick said looking on as Harry cast a string of wards that covered both sides of the door, windows, and paintings.

“Some would call such casting paranoid but it is a sound use of warding given the circumstance, ten points.”

“Thank you, Professor.”

“I take it you were the student responsible for the recent chaos at Gringotts and before you ask I have been purged and tested. I will be escorting a number of students to Gringotts next weekend and every Head of House has received similar requests from their students. Those that were denied will be allowed to floo home and have a guardian take them if they insist. I will ensure it.”

“You don’t seem surprised.”

“I’ve known something was off in the wizarding world for decades but few would listen to a half breed with no proof.” He said with a sigh, “When will the aurors bring the case forward?”

“Soon, I was trying to wait until the summer break but with the changes that happened this week I’m afraid he’s going to speed up the timeline.”

“Yes,  it has been many years since I saw the headmaster show his true age quite so openly. How are things on the other war front?”

“Are you willing to join us in those efforts as well?”

“I am wiling to swear allegiance to House Potter for the duration of the current war and perhaps longer if needed however I will not swear and oath to you personally.”

“I don’t expect an oath of loyalty.”

“Dumbledore does, that was why I never joined his precious order. He always was controlling, even if it was cloaked in an effort for the greater good. The order spoke of great deeds and morals but they actually did very little to affect the war or even to save many lives. Most of the people the order tried to protect died anyway, he refused to teach his students advanced defense techniques or offer shelter to anyone unless he saw a useful way to use them or needed them to fund the order.”

“Yes, Gringotts is investigating his accounts as we speak along with every key he has ever been given access to. The bank is going to start locking him out of many of the accounts as well if they were orphan or hereditary accounts that should have passed on to the next family member.” Harry said watching the professor, “I’ll see if that can get moved up. It could work as a distraction while the castle continues to heal.”

“The castle was damaged?! That was the tremors last month?”

“Dumbledore no longer controls the wards, the castle stripped him of that ability when Fawkes abandoned him.” Harry said carefully not wanting to reveal too much just yet.

“Abandoned him?” Flickwick blinked, “He is spreading the rumor that the Phoenix is traveling to track down someone needed in the coming battle.”

“Voldemort is also rumored to be on the move. He is frantically hunting new recruits after some families disappeared from his ranks without a trace.”

“Lupin was traveling to try and gather the werewolves to Dumbledore’s side but many have already joined Voldemort.”

“I have a third party offering them another option. I hope to hear a response from the pack leaders soon.” Harry offered hoping Bill wouldn’t regret taking on the assignment.

“Will Remus be offered the same?” Flickwick asked with a knowing look.

“Not if he continues to support Dumbledore.” Harry said with a grimace, “So far he has refused the bank’s urging to come in to have his vaults inspected. He probably suspects it’s an attempt to have him arrested on charges of werewolf assault.”

“He would go if you offered, Harry.” Flickwick said gently with a sad sigh.

“He had all of third year and after to reconnect with me and tell me about my parents, Professor. He ran away instead. I won’t guilt him into doing the right thing.”

“Would you be willing to have more meetings like this? I would be willing to be an ambassador to my goblin clan but few are going to listen to a half breed.”

“They will when Lord Ragnok backs the proposal.” Harry said with a smirk.

“The Lord is backing your alliance?”

“He is, he is also offering troops for the final battle and other efforts should they be needed.”

“There won’t be much more I can offer you,”

“You can help with the school, we need someone to keep the students safe and learning to protect themselves. I also wouldn’t mind another person to bounce idea off of as the battle gets closer.”

“Have you received advanced dueling training? You acquitted yourself rather well against Professor Richmond.”

“I apprenticed to a dueling master over the summer, he hopes to allow me to test for my first Mastery this summer break.”

“Mastery? You have made amazing progress then.” Flickwick said smoothing his robes, “Let me know if you have need of a dueling partner or additional assistance.”

“That would be wonderful, Professor Flickwick. I’ll have to see where I can fit it into my schedule.” Harry agreed with a grin.

“One thing you do need to deal with soon is your wand,” Flickwick said with a frown, “How much trouble is it giving you exactly? I’ve noticed you have trouble with the more powerful spells in classes and it sparks during casting which is a sign of a stressed core.”

“I was told over the summer that my wand isn’t suited to me, I had it adjusted but I’m honestly more comfortable using an heirloom wand of the Potters I found. The problem is it looks nothing like my holly wand and it’s well known that Harry Potter uses a holly wand that is the brother wand to Lord Voldemort’s yew wand.”

“I doubt you are going to be able to complete exams with your holly wand the way it is acting, much less the more advanced spellwork of seventh year.”

“Could you recommend I be allowed to use a different wand? Or simply to carry a second wand to classes?”

“I’m afraid that allowing the use of a second wand would need Ministry permission, but Mcgonagall should be able to take you to purchase a new wand in Diagon Alley with your guardians’ permission.”

“My relatives won’t approve that during the school year and Dumbledore won’t approve getting a new wand because it would highlight what he sees as me leaning away from the light.”

“What is your new wand?”

“Ebony with griffon and ice owl feathers suspended in phoenix tears.”

“It is rare to see two mixed cores in recent years, even in my childhood it wasn’t exactly common.” Flitwick hummed to himself.

“Would there be a problem if word got out?”

“While some families would have issues of the change from Holly to Ebony, most would understand that powerful wizards often need to change wands or tools as they grow into their power. You might be able to guide views that way if you give an interview before it becomes public knowledge.”

“Are there any traditions I should worry about? I know my education was lacking in some areas of magical culture.”

“Some families do believe that inherited wands are stronger, perhaps mention that it was a wand found in the family vaults and not one crafted recently, it would make the more traditional public more accepting to the change.”

“Would you be willing to help with a small piece for the Quill on goblin wizard relations?” Harry asked on impulse, “They are looking for more cultural content to broaden the readers viewpoints.”

“Are you affiliated with the paper?”

“I own it,” Harry said with a small grin, “I wanted something less biased than the Prophet available to the wizarding public. I’ll only be supplying interviews to their papers given how badly I’ve been treated by the Prophet.”

“If word gets out that the Potters own the paper there could be backlash.”

“It’s through an allies family, I simply provided funding.” Harry said with a shrug, “I’m aware there is a potential for backlash but that’s true of most of my actions. There isn’t going to be a change in the wizarding culture without a few bad reactions.”

“You have large aspirations, Mister Potter.”

“You need to meet with my account manager, Gold Kris, he’s been extremely helpful in implementing some of the changes I’ve needed and is leading the alliance from the goblin side.” Harry said standing and offering his hand, “I hope we can continue to work together now that you know what side I’m on and how things might change.”

“I’ve seen other revolutions fail, Mister Potter. I can only hope yours is the one to finally leverage the world into action.”

“It’s Lord Potter actually.” Harry said with a grin gathering his things and moving to the door, “There were a lot of changes this summer.”

“Be careful with who knows your new status, Harry. The headmaster is sure to try and take advantage of it or to place you in a longer guardianship if he is able.”

“I’m aware, thank you for meeting with me, Professor.”

“Good luck, Lord Potter. You may need it in the coming months.” Flickwick said standing and taking down his wards while Harry did the same.

“Thank you, Professor.”

 

****

 

“Professor Mcgonagall, do you have a moment?” Harry asked waiting as the rest of the class headed out.

“Of course, Mister Potter, what is the matter?”

“I’ve been having issues with my holly wand this year and I wanted to know if there is anyway for me to get a new wand without my old wand being destroyed?”

“Generally an old wand could be required to be stored.” She said with a frown, “However in you case they might make an exception, the headmaster will need to ask the ministry. You’ll need a letter from Hogwarts to go receive a different wand or even to test for a new one. I can arrange it however it might be several weeks  before someone can take you, I will ask during this evening’s staff meeting.”

“Thank you, Ma’am.” Harry said thankfully and quickly made his way to his next class.

 

He wasn’t surprised to receive a note as he was leaving his last class of the day to see the headmaster after dinner. He wasn’t going to enjoy this but he wanted to use his ebony wand as his primary wand.

Harry had to force his occlumency shields up hard to hide his reaction as he entered the headmaster’s office only to find the Minister and Madame Bones waiting for him beside the fireplace.

“You wished to speak with me, Headmaster?” Harry asked as mildly as he could blinking at the unexpected arrivals in politely clueless surprise.

“Yes, Harry;” Dumbledore  said with a bright smile, “Please come have a seat, Professor Mcgonagall tells me you have asked about having your wand tested for possible replacement. I wasn’t aware you were having issues.”

“Just so far this year, sir;” Harry said giving the other two a long stare, “How exactly does that affect the ministry and aurors?”

“It requires a special dispensation to carry two wands, Harry. It is something I believe you would need if your other wand has become incompatible with you.”

“Incompatible?”

“It is nothing to worry about, a powerful young man like yourself is bound to need a more powerful wand as you come of age.” Minister Scrimgeour said with a tight smile, “The Boy Who Lived should be protected as much as possible given the events in the last few years. You still wish to become an auror when you graduate, correct?”

“That is the plan, sir.” Harry agreed easily while mentally rolling his eyes, there was no way he was joining the aurors.

“Wonderful, perhaps this summer we can have you by to tour the training rooms.”

“So you are willing to allow Mister Potter to carry two wands?” Madame Bones asked raising an eyebrow.

“Of course, why would we not?” The minister sputtered as Madame Bones looked on in amusement.

“Do you have a second wand chosen or will you be choosing a wand from a shop?” She asked gently dismissing the minister.

“While I was at Gringotts this weekend I asked to see the wands in my House vault. I found one that worked much better then my Holly does.” Harry said with an apologetic smile pulling out the ebony wand.

“What is the core?” Dumbledore asked scrutinizing the wand, he clearly wanted Harry to hand it over but he had no intention unless he made it an order.

“Ebony with griffon and ice owl feathers suspended in phoenix tears.” Harry said with a smile.

“An unusual combination but a powerful one,” Dumbledore mused, “Did the vault inventory list who the wand belonged to?”

“No, only that it was a Potter family member.” Harry said with a shrug.

“I see no issues with using a family wand, many children use the wands of their relatives if they are a match.” Madame Bones said giving both of the man a hard glance, “My own niece uses a family wand.”

“Do you have a second holster or will you be carrying only one wand at school?” Scrimgeour asked, “I can arrange to send you a professional auror holster, it allows for a much faster draw.”

“During classes I plan to only carry the ebony but if I leave Hogwarts I’d have both.” Harry said with a nod, he planned to carry both at all times but there was no reason for Dumbledore to know that.

“I would advise carrying both at all times, Harry.” Dumbledore said with a serious look.

“Very true, get used to the feel and draw of both wands now while you are safe. First rule of being an auror.” The minister said with a grin.

“I thought the first rule was constant vigilance?” Harry asked with a grin. He might have liked to train with the crazy auror before he started this path, now he suspected he was past his help.

“Very true, very true.” The minister chuckled, “Now that the issue of wands is dealt with, we should be going. We will owl you the necessary paperwork Headmaster.”

“May I have a copy as well?” Harry said quickly, he didn’t want the headmaster hiding the documents and trying to accuse him of illegally carrying two wands at a later date.

“Of course, you should keep one copy on you person should you travel outside of Britain.”

“Thank you, sir.” Harry said happily putting his wand up for now, next year he would enjoy being able to be himself. Constantly putting up this nieve front was exhausting, did everyone really expect him to have learned nothing since he arrived in the wizarding world?

He’d never looked forward to his birthdays since the Dursley’s didn’t celebrate anything attached to Harry’s existence. Heading back to his dorm rooms he activated his wards and pulled out the shrunken portraits.

“Harry, one of these days we are going to curse that man from the grave.” Dorea snapped pulling  a painted wand and blowing up something in the background of the picture.

“I take it you heard most of that?” Harry asked enlarging the portrait and setting it on a waiting eisle while he puttered about taking off his shoes and robes, “I’d hoped you would be able to since the portraits aren’t in stasis anymore.”

“Tea, dear; This conversation requires some sugar.” She chided him gently as he pulled out several thick notebooks from his bag.

“In a moment, Grandmother, I want to take a few notes on things while it’s fresh in my mind.” Harry chuckled finishing changing and setting things out on the table, a moment later he had tea delivered while he set up his stationary.

“How are you holding up, Harry?” Dorea asked while Charles arranged a small tea table in their portrait and poured each of them a cup. 

“Surprisingly well considering how crazy my life is becoming.” Harry said with a sigh, “I have a feeling things are going to be moving faster and move erratically now that we are starting to show our hand.”

“It had to happen eventually, you know the Headmaster isn’t going to be happy when you disappear this summer. He may try to whisk you away to re-educate you this summer or during the breaks. You need to be on your guard.”

“I will be and Hogwarts is willing to alter the wards to prevent even portkeys until I leave the grounds for summer break.”

“Generous of her, that will be a drain on the castle’s strength.”

“Now that the spellwork is being repaired and most of the house elves are unbound she is more able to use her full power. The headmaster doesn’t know that he wasn’t just handicapping the teachers with the corrupted spells, he was also limiting what he was allowed to use of her strength as well.”

“More fool him,” Dorea snorted, “Has anyone commented on your new jewelry? It isn’t in fashion to wear charm bracelets currently, I doubt it’s been done since my mother’s time.”

“Hermione fixed that, at the last gift exchange she gave me a charm to add. We plan to exchange several more over the next year. Most will be protections and wards but some will simply before remembrance. It is an old fashioned muggle fashion as well but she wore one for a while before coming to Hogwarts as her mother gave her several charms from her own bracelet.”

“Would Lily have had one?” 

“Perhaps as a child, I’m afraid I can’t say for certain.” She said with sigh watching as he poured himself a cup of tea and a sandwich from the stack the house elf had brought in.

“What do you think of the Minister?”

“Scrimgeour is a good auror but perhaps not a competent Minister, he seems to be pressing for your open endorsement.”

“Everyone wants The Boy Who Lived as a champion to their cause when the public is in my favor.” Harry said tiredly, “I will be happy when I can discard that title even if it is only to exchange it for another.”

“Are you planning to give up being Harry Potter?” She asked looking concerned.

“No, I am tempted to retire to the estate and continue as Thorburn after school but I doubt the public will ever fully leave me alone.” Harry said with a huff, “I would rather be myself then hide but there are too many people with preconceived notions of how the great Harry Potter should act in Britain,  I’m tempted to leave and travel once my affairs are in order here.”

“Travel is never a bad idea, some time and distance will let the public find others to iconize.” Charlus agreed.

“That is my hope,” Harry agreed setting out several letters, “back to the present, Dumbledore didn’t seem bothered by the ebony wand components. Do you think it will become an issue?”

“Let’s not borrow trouble where there might not be any.” Dorea suggested, “You can use your ebony wand from here on out unless Voldemort attacks for now. Have you had any luck tracking the dark marks?”

“The wards here are now set to repel anyone wearing the dark mark, I believe I will be able to set up a map with similar spells to the marauders map to track those with a dark mark but it would only work if they can be tagged with a long range tracking spell outside of set spelled areas.” Harry said with a grimace setting his notes for the project to the side where Charlus could read them, “I have asked the goblins to incorporate the warding into their wards where able. We should catch some of the death eaters before word gets out the banks are warded.”

“What are your plans for the coming break, you will be staying at Hogwarts?”

“Yes, everyone is planning to go home to their families so I’ll be here alone except or a few fifth and seventh years who are using the break to practice for their exams. I need to use the time to brew some potions and work on a few experiments of my own. There just isn’t enough time with homework and classes during the week to really get in solid practice time.”

“We need to arrange for Dumbledore to be away from the castle to give you a bit more freedom of movement.” Dorea sighed, “You are close enough to your majority that using a time turner wouldn’t hinder your growth, would you be willing to ask the ministry for one if we can’t find one soon? You need to be out growing your allies and working with them to ensure their safety.”

“Honestly, I am afraid to ask. Scrimgeour would want my backing for his next election and once we are out of a war time footing I doubt he would be the best choice for a leader. He is willing enough to fund the aurors and protect the population but he still has too much affection for Dumbledore for me to trust him with something that sensitive.”

“Has there been any news recently? We have the house elves reading the Prophet to us in the mornings and it has not improved with time.” Charlus said with a snort, “The White Quill is quite competent however, is the readership growing?”

“Yes, and we are starting to receive threats and offers of a buy out from several fronts. Voldemort doesn’t like that they are telling people the truth and how to protect themselves. It was a good idea to keep the press and offices on a Potter property, the house elves are dealing with the paper deliveries and several workers have asked to move to the property while the war is on going.”

“Have you given up on having a normal school year then?” Dorea asks with a sad sigh, “I know we have planned for every eventuality but I had hoped you would have at least one year of peace.”

“I don’t think that is in my fate.” Harry said with a snort, “Charlus, does the Potter line have any specific abilities when it comes to dueling? I keep finding records of dueling masters in the records but nothing about their specific abilities or House abilities.”

“It is a hard kept secret,” Charlus said watching him with knowing eyes, “Are you hearing the spells cast nonverbally or knowing what will be cast before it is?”

“Both,” Harry said flipping through his notebook to the pages of spells he’s been practicing, “I’ve never had to practice spells like the other students but since this summer I just instinctively know how to cast things even if I’ve never tried it before. During duels I know what my opponent will cast and I’m dodging spells before they even cast them.”

“Crafting your own variations as well?” Dorea asked looking impressed, “Your mother used to get James to test her creations, he compensated automatically for any changes needed and could explain to her what was missing in the wand movements. James never liked to work on spell craft himself.”

“I don’t mean to speak ill of your son but everything I have heard makes him seem rather selfish.” Harry said glancing over his rune charts and spell creation notes that sat next to lists of potential allies and future projects.

“You must remember he grew up in a time of safety, Grindelwald had been defeated and until Voldemort started attacking openly it was considered a time of peace. He had no reason to push himself as you do, Harry.”

“But Lily did because she was the first witch in her family.” Harry said fiddling with a pen, “You changed the subject, or I did. What is the family magic? Anticipating spells?”

“Honestly, it has never been narrowed down. Potters tend to be talented duelers of varying abilities, those that are naturally skilled in the mind arts have a more controlled ability to read what spells are being cast by their opponents. It is believed to be an undiscovered branch of mind arts, so subtle that even skilled occlumency masters have never detected it so the skill may be more magical then mental.” Charlus offered with a shrug, “Not every family member receives the skill and it mainly is given to those who will have a need for it.”

“So our family believes in the will of Magic?”

“Can you say it doesn’t have a will and personality of its own after holding the house wards or being at Hogwarts?” Charlus asked raising an eyebrow, “Magic grows the longer it is in one place, it grows protective of those who live there and can give those born in a magical family gifts you don’t see in muggleborn wizards and witches.”

“A fact that will drive my friend, Hermione, insane.” Harry huffed, “I know Hogwarts and our House wards have a personality but is that a product of magic itself or just having a family hold the wards for extended generations?”

“Even unwarded areas can gain a will of their own when it comes to ley line infused areas.” Dorea pointed out, “Why do you think Stonehenge was so popular for such a long time. It is no longer used for the seasonal rites but it still is a place of power.”

“Wards take on the personality of the families they protect but an unwarded area would still be influenced by those who visit or live there.”

“It is something that has been debated for centuries, are the wizards the cause of magic’s influence or is it innate to magic itself. There is on true way to test such a thing, as soon as we enter an area and interact with the magic we are influencing the flow and how it reacts to our own magic.”

“Going back to the House beliefs, we celebrate most of the old rites of the seasons and once you are finished with school it would be nice to hold a rite during the holidays.”

“Most of the books I’ve read refer to wild magic when talking about rites,” Harry said with a frown, “Do the rites work on warded land?”

“They do if you have ley lives crossing the land which the Potter Mansion does.”

“So you still need a source of outside, uncontrolled magic?”

“They can be done anywhere that is considered magical, I’m surprised you haven’t found the chapel at Hogwarts yet.”

“Chapel?”

“That is what we called it when I attended, it had fallen out of favor with the Headmasters but the old families still held the rites there if they were unable to return home. It was something of a tradition for those of the pureblood lines to attend the Hallows eve rite with the ghosts.”

“I take it you don’t mean the death day parties.” Harry chuckled, “I doubt nearly headless Nick is a fan of the old rites.”

“No, but the Grey Lady and several others came whenever I was able to attend.” Dorea said with nod, “The castle moves the entrance around but you should be able to find it on the next solstice.”

“I’ll be here for Christmas break, I’ll try to look through the Black books for something about the rites I should be acknowledging.”

“Just be careful of how you word any requests, wild magic, even magic tempered by Hogwarts wards might answer in unpredictable ways.”

“Is that where all the dealing with fae stories come from, asking wild magic to fix problems?”

“It is possible however many of what muggles consider fairies are actually magical creatures who can use wild magic when they see themselves in danger.”

“Rip-van-winkle was a probably a squib who ate a magical ingredient for instance,” Charlus pointed out, “Most of the muggle stories have a magical reason for how they happened but they have also been exaggerated and expanded on for centuries, it would be impossible to figure out what is true or not at this point.”

“Maybe I will find something to fix my time turner issue over the break at least. Hogwarts wants me to review the vaults under the school but I just haven’t had time with classes and homework.”

“It can wait until the summer if you don’t,” Dorea said sipping her tea, “What are you plans for the break beyond the rites and research? Are any of your friends staying?”

“No, I asked them to go home. They did offer to stay but if the summer goes as I like they need to spend time with their parents.”

“You don’t think the parents will come over the summer?”

“I think Neville’s grandmother will be to busy rallying support for the alliance. Hermione is convinced we will all be studying this summer but I’m going to have too much outside of the mansion to do much studying.”

“You still need to plan at few evenings with your friends, it would not do to leave them alone to work all summer trying to catch up to you.”

“You know I don’t expect that.”

“Do they?” Dorea asked, “You know they want to stay by your side. You have a summer of studying ahead of them and even giving them many of the same advantages you had they may not reach the same level of power you have.”

“They don’t try to match me, just to stay my side, Grandmother.”

“It will take a powerful witch or wizard to stand beside you, child, will they be willing to wait for you to return from battle if they are not up to the task?”

“I can only hope so, Grandmother. I can only hope they will be willing to let me lead, if they won’t then there is no hope of an easy battle no matter how hard we plan.”

“Soldiers need pride in their ranks, pride in their commander. Learning to protect yourself is all to the better but to know you march to possible death is something different. You must unify your force and make them see themselves are part of a whole.”

“I don’t have a catchy slogan or name, Grandfather.” Harry said with a huff, “Why must the group have a name? Can’t it just be the House Alliance?”

“People rally behind a name, a random group of allies will fight and pull against each other is someone isn’t appointed as the head. You have your war council but you have the deciding vote.”

“It can’t be something related to the Potters, that would be too easy a secret.” Dorea pointed out looking a bit smug, “Charlus thought you would have a harder time accepting that you are the commanding officer here, Harry.”

“Who else?” Harry said setting the next letter to one side as he finished writing, “I’m the one Voldemort and Dumbledore are after, I’m the one who needs to lead in the end to get the public behind our revolution.”

 

 

***

 

Remus Lupin had been ignoring the nearly weekly owls from Gringotts asking for him to come in to review changes to his account.  Considering how little he had in his vault at Gringotts, there wasn’t a reason to rush the visit. Between a brutal full moon and his latest efforts to find gainful employment he was worn to the bone and knew he looked a mess trudging his way into the branch at Edinburgh.

“How can I assist you?” The goblin teller asked with a sneer.

“I have received several letter asking to review my accounts, I wished see if I could settle it at this branch?”

“I am afraid you must meet with your account manager at the main branch, we can supply a portkey if it is necessary.”

“No, I can’t spare the expense.” Remus said with a wince, he’d already spent too much on pain potions thanks to the change this month. Something had Mooney violently fighting to get out of the cage he used, leaving bite wounds and broken bones in his wake.

“Due to the urgency of the matter, Gringotts is willing to waive the charge once to ensure this meeting takes place, it affects the standing of some of our more valued clients.” He said snapping a wooden onto the counter, “The activation word is Gold and you will be meeting with Account Manager Goldkris.”

“Right, thank you.” Remus said gingerly taking the stick with a bandaged hand, Sirius hadn’t been a valued customer but the Black family might have earned enough to press the bank into such a service. He could only hope this didn’t lead to a jail cell, not that Gringotts would ever do such a kindness for the Aurors.

“Gold,” He muttered bracing against the nauseating spin of the portkey and after what seemed like an eternity, slamming down to rest on the marble floor of the main branch of Gringotts in London.

 

“Who are you to see?” A goblin asked taking the stick and tossing it in a box of other miscellaneous junk.

“Um, Account Manager Goldkris, I received a few letters about my account needing review.”

“Follow him,” The goblin said pointing to a waiting goblin, “Rodrip will show you to the correct office.”

“Thank you,” Remus muttered swallowing thickly and forcing his aching limbs to move, what was so important to the goblins that they were willing to spend gold on a werewolf.

“Please have a seat, Remus Lupin.” Goldkris said indicating the chair before his desk, “There has been a breach within the bank and a number of account owners were found to be spelled or own objects that bore harmful enchantments. You vault was one singled out in our investigation.” 

“How can I assist Gringotts? There are no objects in my vault.”

“As part of a general cleansing we are offering to check all account owners for foreign enchantments.” Goldkris said handing over several sheets of paperwork, “As you did not attend the will reading of Sirius Black we also have several other items to review.”

“Dumbledore attended for me, he informed me there was nothing in the will left to me.” Remus murmured wilting further into the chair, why did everything come back to Sirius and his dead pack?

“Will you allow us to administer a magical purged and have a healer and ward breaker examine you for foreign spells?”

“You believe I’ve been enchanted?”

“Nearly everyone mentioned in the will have been tampered with in some fashion.” Goldkris said eying the dispirited man with disgust.

“Everyone, even Cub?” He asked perking up as his wolf growled at his pack being harmed, “Is Harry okay?”

“I cannot discuss the investigation until you have been through the purge and scans. Are you willing to begin?”

“Can you at least tell me that Harry is okay?”

“He is at Hogwarts and as safe as he can be made to be.” Goldkris growled, “Are you willing to be purged and scanned?”

“Yes, as long as the healers are aware that I am a werewolf.”

“They have been alerted.” Goldkris huffed calling for a goblin to take the wolf to the healer’s rooms, he needed some care before the magical purge could be done.

 

Three days later the werewolf was back in his office and growling to himself as they reviewed the spells and potions that had been layered into his system. Enchantments to make his wolf more violent, to make the transformations more painful, multiple coercion and mood changing hexes, memory removals and tampering littered the long list.

“I’ll kill him,”

“You have been bound to silence as part of the agreement already, Lupin. Unless you wish to be executed as a feral werewolf, I suggest you rein yourself in.” Goldkris snarled back, “Lord Potter is doing all he can to make sure himself and his allies are safe from the Headmaster’s and the Dark Lord’s control. Until he reaches his majority this coming summer we are forced to hold our sword in readiness.”

“What do you need from me?”

“Copies of your memories from both your school years and all your interactions with Dumbledore.” He said pushing the waiting box of empty vials forward and watching at they were quickly filled.

“Is there anything Harry needs from me? I’d planned to write and speak to him during our training sessions in third year before Dumbledore stopped me. I didn’t intend to abandon my cub.” Remus said pacing while he tried to calm himself, for once him and his wolf were in perfect agreement that they had to protect their cub and kill whoever had done this to them.

“You consider him part of your pack?”

“I always have, I would have been named a godfather along with Sirius if not for being a werewolf.”

“For now I would ask you to retreat to Amber Cottage as Lord Black requested. I have sent a team to upgrade the wards and a Potter house elf will be made available. Once I have spoken with Lord Potter we will speak further on ways you may be of use.”

“Of course, thank you.”

“Might I suggest a discrete shopping trip in Knockturn Alley or one of the international alleys? You will need to shed the… pauper look,” Goldkris said with a grimace at the man’s attire, “if you wish to help the Lord.”

“I am skilled in research if it is needed and I helped Sirius and James as a steward for several years after Charlus died.” Remus said with a frown.

“That will be Lord Potter’s decision. I will send an message through your mail box when I have more information.”

“Thank you, Goldkris.” Remus nodded, “Dumbledore will have much to answer for. For now I’ll send you any letters he sends me, he hasn’t needed me since I was forced to leave Hogwarts. He wants to sway the werewolves away from Voldemort, but without access to healthcare and safe dens they won’t join either side.”

“I will mention the need in my next letter.” Goldkris agreed seeing the werewolf to his door, “You will be contacted once we are ready to continue discussions with House Potter.”

“I will take whatever oaths Lord Potter requires to prove my loyalty.”

“You will be contacted with the date of the meeting when it is arranged.”

“Thank you,” Remus said with a bow heading out of the office and toward the floo room, he had a lot to work on before he finally met Harry next.