Author: StarLight Massacre
Title: The Beguile and Devotion of a Black Heir
Warning: Slash, explicit language, mentions of blood, torture and violence in future chapters, Mpreg.
Pairing: Rabastan Lestrange/Harry Potter
Disclaimer: I do not own anything from Harry Potter; all rights go to J. K. Rowling. I make no money for this piece of fictional writing and never will.
The Beguile and Devotion of a Black Heir
Chapter One - Enlightenment
Harry rolled over the side of his small, narrow bed until he was sitting up, his eyes darting around the room frantically as he gasped raggedly for breath, his heart beating a mile a minute as he tried to calm himself down.
He swallowed back the acidic bile that was climbing its way up his constricting throat, his Uncle would be absolutely furious if he actually vomited on any floor of his house. Not to mention that it would likely be him cleaning it all up after he’d been shouted at and sprayed with saliva for an hour. Not a thought he relished.
He was drenched in a cold sweat that made him shiver uncontrollably even as he furiously kicked the thin, tangled blanket that he had covered himself with last night from his body, ripping it from where it was pinned underneath himself, despite the fact that it made him shiver harder. He swallowed hard past a fear clogged throat and breathed slowly, in through his nose and out through his mouth, his mind racing around the nightmare that he’d been forced to suffer through.
Dragging a hand over his face to get rid of the chilling sweat, Harry’s hand found its way up to his damp hair, the messy tufts sticking up even more than normal through the amount of sweat he’d produced that had slicked it in all angles while he’d tossed and turned, caught in the nightmare that he’d been unable to wake from.
The reoccurring, horrific dream had been about Sirius, his beloved Godfather, who had died just days before the end of the last school year, only a few short weeks ago, and the memories of it, the emotions he felt, were still so raw and painful. He swallowed and stood up from where he was sat on the side of the bed, he had to get out of this house, he had to get out, being trapped and locked up in this house with his disgusting, hateful relatives was driving him insane, but he’d been told inexplicitly that he was not allowed to leave the safety of Privet Drive by Dumbledore at the end of the last year. He had also seen for himself the guard that he had continuously around the clock, more than likely Order of the Phoenix people, who were always watching the house, always watching him and likely reporting every single move and sound that he made back to Dumbledore.
Harry wondered how heavy his night guard was when they logically thought that he was in his bed, fast asleep. He kicked open his trunk and dug out some clean clothes, dressing himself quickly before grabbing his wand and his money pouch, making sure that he had his Gringotts vault key in his pocket twice, just in case.
He needed to get out of here, out of this horrid, clinical, hateful house, just for a few hours, a bit of retail therapy around Diagon Alley, having a bit of exposure to the magical world that he’d all but been cut off from, and he’d feel less trapped, less enclosed, he was sure.
He slipped his peeling trainers onto his feet, both socks had holes in them, and he cracked open his bedroom door. His Uncle had stopped locking him in when Harry had ‘casually’ mentioned that he had a guard watching him at all hours, day and night.
Harry first went into Dudley’s bedroom. His cousin’s snoring was so loud that Harry didn’t even bother being quiet as he crossed the large bedroom to his cousin’s dresser. He eased open the top drawer and snatched a few of the notes lying scrumpled up inside. He didn’t take too many, if he had taken them all then Dudley would have known, but if he only took a few then Dudley wouldn’t even notice them missing, which was sad as Harry would have given anything for a few pennies as a child, even if he couldn’t have spent them, he could have still played with them and known that he had something of monetary value, even if it was just a penny.
Harry walked back out of Dudley’s room and slipped down the stairs, he knew logically that his guard wouldn’t be sat on the doorstep or behind his Aunt’s begonia bushes; they were more likely going to be in the corner of the front garden, where the two garden walls met, where they weren’t likely to be found or accidentally trodden on and they’d be under one of Moody’s invisibility cloaks so they wouldn’t be seen by anyone who cared to look into his relatives front garden. Harry easily outsmarted them, he went out of the back door and fence hopped over the Dursley’s fence, over the neighbour’s fence, going around Wisteria Walk, thus avoiding Mrs Arabella Figg, not that he expected her to be up at five in the morning, but it was better to be cautious, just in case and he set off in the direction of Surrey town.
The only thing that could ruin his break for freedom now would be if it was Moody himself who was on guard tonight, thus he’d probably have his magical eye trained on him, but he’d gotten this far already, so he hoped that it wasn’t Moody on guard duty tonight. He really needed this moment of freedom.
Harry slipped down Magnolia Road and past the park and revelled in the early morning air. He was feeling better already and the lingering effects of his reoccurring nightmares that had been plaguing him for the last month were eased away with the fresh air. He couldn’t believe that he was out in the open and as he walked further and further away from Privet Drive, he found his breath coming easier and more steady from the attack of emotions that had woken him up early that morning. Pain, fear and horror had grown and grown inside of him as he tossed and turned in his dreams until he had woken like a shot, only to be confronted with the lingering emotions and the pain of his reality.
He still couldn’t believe that Sirius was gone, his last official family member and he had nothing to remember him by, just a few memories and his beloved Firebolt which he took excessively good care of. He treated it at least once a week and waxed it until he was sure he would slide right off of it if he were to actually fly it, but the polished ebony handle gleamed in the light, he made sure to buff the goblin made iron work on the frame until his elbows ached and it always looked utterly pristine with not a birch tail twig out of place. Every time he so much as looked at it he would smile and he could see Sirius and he would remember that Sirius had bought this for him, he had touched it and he had wanted him to have it. It helped him feel closer to the memory of the man that he could no longer see, touch or talk to.
It was nearing quarter past six in the morning when he made it to Surrey town from his leisurely walk and he went into the nearest open café and got himself a coffee. Sirius had always drank coffee, from morning until night, Harry hardly ever saw him drinking anything else when he actually had a choice in the matter, and when Harry had asked why he drank so much of it his Godfather had let out that bark like laugh that always made Harry smile and told him that it was to keep himself awake and functioning.
His ordered coffee was hot and bitter, despite how much sugar he’d put into it, but he forced it down and went to the train station, he was going to stay in London for as long as he possibly could and he was going to need the coffee to keep himself awake while he shopped. He hadn’t been getting a lot of sleep lately, so he was going to need a lot of coffee.
An hour later found Harry in central London. The train ride had taken him just forty minutes and he remembered exactly how to get from the train station to Diagon Alley from his trip with Hagrid when he was eleven. He was tapping bricks before eight in the morning and he couldn’t believe how good he felt just being out in the open air and really, it just felt better because he’d been told that he wasn’t allowed to leave the Dursleys house. He was done with being told what to do, how dare anyone think that they knew what was best for him! He knew himself and he knew what was best for himself better than anyone else and he would not allow others to push him around just because they believed that they had the right to.
He came into Diagon Alley as it was still quiet and sleepy, shops were only just open and there were yawning witches and wizards here or there, but the bustle of the last months of the summer was not here, not at this hour of the morning, not yet.
Harry went to a small, out of the way eatery, Harry wanted to call it a café, but it was just too small, it had just three, two seater tables and one small stretch of counter and a tired old man yawning behind it on a firm, solid and padded chair.
“Good morning.” Harry said cautiously.
“What’s so damned good about it?” The old man grumbled, but he smiled at him regardless.
“I suppose I deserved that.” He allowed wryly.
“Ignore me; I’m a grumpy old man with too many pains and not enough potions to cover them all. What can I do you for?”
“I was looking for a place to have a drink and maybe something to eat while I wait for Gringotts to open for business.” Harry answered.
“Come in then, what do you prefer to drink?”
“I believe I need some toast and I think I need coffee to stay awake this early. I tried some earlier and it wasn’t all that nice.”
“First time? Coffee’s an acquired taste, much like Firewhiskey. The more you drink it, the more you fool your brain into liking it.”
Harry laughed as he pulled a chair up to the counter and sat opposite the man, who merely waved his wand and clinking and tinkering sounded from the room through a door behind him.
“Don’t think I don’t know who you are, everyone knows Harry Potter, even if you age and grow, that scar will always be there. What business can you have at Gringotts, unless you mean to claim your Lordship early? Most little Lords do you know.”
“What Lordship?” Harry asked curiously as he took a cautionary sip of the deep mug that had landed in front of him, it was strong and sweet and much better than the coffee flavoured sugar water he’d bought that morning. He was never going back to that coffee shop again.
“Your Father was Lord James Potter, his Father was Lord Charlus Potter before him, surely you have been told this?”
Harry shook his head as he nibbled on his lightly browned toast. It was buttered just the way he liked it.
“I don’t understand why you haven’t been told, it is your birth right after all, you should have at least been told and taught about what it entails, even if you are too young to claim it without a special request from the goblins.”
“What is a Lordship?” Harry asked curiously.
“All Pureblood families have a Lordship, a seat on the Wizengamot and a voice in the Ministry, surely you know this?”
Harry shook his head with a frown. “I don’t know any of this, there’s nothing about this at Hogwarts.”
“They won’t tell you in school, school is for general learning and only a single handful in that school will even have a little Lord who will claim their Father’s Lordship upon his death. Who is your guardian? He should have told you all about this.”
“My guardians are Muggles.”
“Not those guardians!” The man snapped impatiently. “Your guardian in the wizarding world.”
“I…I don’t think I have one.” Harry said with a frown.
“Of course you do, all little Lords have a guardian if their parents have passed. They need one to tell them about all the things they need to know; the running of their house, their responsibilities in the Ministry and the Wizengamot, how to manage their family and their finances, that sort of stuff.”
“I’ve never met mine.” Harry said thinking hard.
“You must have. It’s usually a Godparent, though I heard of the mess with yours, anyone could have lain claim to you as theirs after that, though I believe someone would have stopped just anyone from claiming you, as special as you are, so I believe the Headmaster of your school would have taken over, that spineless Minister for Magic, Fudge wouldn’t have stood up to or stopped him, so Dumbledore should have told you all of this.”
Harry frowned hard, trying to remember if Dumbledore had said anything about him being a Lord, or his Father being a Lord. He was sure he would have remembered being told that he would one day be a Lord. But then surely Sirius would have told him about this as his Godfather, or at least mentioned it to him, but then Sirius hadn’t been in his right mind and half of the very short, limited time they had actually spent together they’d been getting to know one another after Sirius’ wrongful imprisonment which didn’t leave much time for such…seemingly, trivial things.
“I would remember being told such things.” Harry said softly. “No one has ever so much as mentioned it to me.”
“Then someone somewhere has done you a grave insult and a serious injustice too. That someone would have his arse parked in your seat on the Wizengamot.”
“Are people allowed to hold two seats?”
“They can only have two seats if they’re the Lord of two houses, very rarely that happens, those Purebloods always make sure that they have an Heir to pass their seat to and failing that there’s always a lesser male Heir to take the seat, though if the Heir is also the only child to another Pureblood family, they could then claim two seats when their Father passes his Lordship onto his son.”
“Doesn’t Dumbledore have his own seat? Isn’t he the Chief Warlock or something, why would he need my seat too?”
“Who says he needs it?” The old man grunted. “Could be he just doesn’t want you in it.”
“But why?” Harry said with a considering frown.
“I say ask the goblins, they’ll sort you out, but only if you ask for their help, vile beasts that they are, they won’t do anything for anyone unless they beg like a common Muggle, but they’re still very shrewd and they’re always willing to help for a price.”
Harry scowled at hearing the man calling the goblins vile beasts, but he said nothing. This man had helped him and Harry knew all too well the views that some people in the magical world held of what they considered as ‘lesser beings.’ It disgusted him, but just this once, he held his tongue.
“Thank you for the advice.” Harry said as he handed the last few Galleons in his money pouch to the old man. “And for the toast and coffee too, but you’ve given me a lot to think about and I really need to see the goblins now, for more than what I bargained for it seems.”
“You tell them that you want to claim your Lordship early, they won’t do squat all if you don’t turn around and tell them what to do and then you get yourself to Flourish and Blotts and get yourself books on Lordships to help you.”
Harry nodded his understanding and he waved away the few silver Sickles that the man tried to hand him as he left. He really did have a lot to think about and now that he had a real agenda for being here today, he strode purposefully towards the bank, for more than just the quick withdrawal from his vault that he’d been planning on earlier that morning. He’d only wanted to do a bit of shopping and get some retail therapy done, why did these things always happen to him?
He was sat in an office, it was quite bare really, but he was here to ‘validate his claim’ whatever the hell that meant, maybe he should have gone to Flourish and Blotts first, but then he wasn’t the fastest of readers and he only had today to do this, he had no doubts that the end of month rush for school supplies would leave him very little time to do much other than to actually get just his school supplies. It would be too busy and too hectic to do anything else and with the Weasleys watching over him like a hawk and Ron always trailing after him too, this would likely be his only chance to get this sort of thing done.
He’d done as the man in the small café had told him to do, he’d told the goblins why he was there and what he wanted, as politely and respectfully as he could manage. Just because he had to tell them that he wanted something, didn’t mean he had to do it rudely or disrespectfully, especially as he had a very high respect for the goblins.
His leg was bouncing nervously as he waited and he couldn’t seem to help thinking that he’d made a mistake, what if the old man had been wrong or was just playing him for a fool? What if he wasn’t a Lord at all? After all he’d never heard of anyone in the wizarding world being a Lord, surely if all Purebloods were Lords then Malfoy would have at least tried to rub his nose in it.
Before he could really work himself up the door opened and he jumped as a particularly gruesome looking goblin waddled in and slammed the door shut again before climbing onto the chair behind the desk.
“You wish to claim your Lordship early, I hear. What makes you think that you deserve it early?” The goblin demanded of him.
Harry blinked and rubbed his sweaty palms on his ripped and worn, far too big, baggy jeans.
“I…I don’t know. I didn’t know anything about it an hour ago.” Harry explained nervously.
The goblin reared back and blinked in shock.
“You weren’t told?” He demanded angrily.
Harry shook his head. “A stranger told me that I should come here and claim my Lordship, but before then I had no idea about it.”
Snarling, the goblin snapped his fingers harshly and loudly, making Harry flinch. Nothing happened to him, but a large pile of parchment appeared on the desk and the goblin completely ignored Harry in order to read through the stack in front of him.
Bewildered, nervous and not entirely sure he should have mentioned anything, Harry sat restlessly opposite the goblin and his leg started bouncing again, but he also started getting angry, that small build-up of cold fury he’d been getting every now and then, ever since Sirius had died a few weeks before. He’d only felt this cold rage a few times before then and all of those times had happened during the last year and had been to do with Voldemort. He tried to calm himself, getting angry at the goblins would yield nothing, except perhaps get him thrown out of the bank, wouldn’t that be a lovely spectacle for the people on the street? Not to mention the office building for the Daily Prophet newspaper was just around the corner.
He breathed as evenly and deeply as he could, trying to dispel the rage that he felt growing inside of him, his knee jumping more vigorously as he bounced it harder against the floor.
“Your guardian is one, Albus Dumbledore. Is this information correct?” The goblin said suddenly, startling Harry.
“I…yes…I don’t know.” Harry bumbled. “The stranger told me that Dumbledore was my guardian, but I wasn’t told that before either, I thought he was just my Headmaster. I didn’t know what a magical guardian was.”
The goblin bared his teeth and stood up and left. Harry wasn’t sure what he was supposed to do so he just sat where he had been left, bouncing his foot against the floor. He couldn’t believe this was happening; he’d only come here for a quick withdrawal, but one short meeting with a complete stranger had him here for other reasons and now he was stuck, floundering, unsure of anything and everything that was happening around him, despite these happenings being about himself.
The door slammed open once more and the goblin came back into the room and sat back behind his desk, snatching up more parchment and reading angrily, flipping pages over to read those underneath it.
“What’s happening?” Harry asked quietly, even though he wanted to shout, scream and rage, demanding answers from the goblin in front of him.
“I have contacted the Ministry and have informed them of this case of Lordship neglect, they are sending one of the Lords involved in the Wizardry Protection Movement. We will proceed once he has arrived.”
“What’s that?” Harry asked curiously.
The goblin gave him such a look that Harry regretted ever opening his mouth.
“Do you have no idea of anything of the world in which you are a part of?” The goblin demanded furiously.
“I…” Harry swallowed and shook his head. “No. I don’t know anything about this sort of stuff, I was never told and it’s not taught at Hogwarts.”
The goblin snorted. “That’s a surprise.” He said nastily, but he countered his harsh tone and sneer by grabbing a small piece of memo parchment and scrawling a list on it. “Buy these books and read them carefully, repeatedly if you must.” He all but ordered and all Harry could do was nod.
A sharp knock on the door had the goblin barking out an order for whoever it was to enter. Harry leapt to his feet when a pristine and regal looking Lucius Malfoy walked through the door.
“What’s he doing here?” He all but snarled.
Lucius Malfoy raised a perfect, platinum blond eyebrow. He was wearing glorious robes in resplendent dark blue and every stitch screamed wealth and propriety as his usual snake headed cane, which concealed his wand, was held in a gloved hand and even they weren’t simple gloves, but made from high quality dragonhide, dyed a blue that perfectly matched his robes of the day.
“I happen to be the lucky wizard chosen to come and enlighten you as to your role in our world, Mister Potter.” Lucius told him silkily. “As a founding member of the Wizardry Protection Movement it is my sworn duty to help young wizards who are struggling to come to terms with Pureblood etiquette and the running and ruling of their house.”
“What house?” Harry asked with narrowed eyes. As far as he knew he didn’t have any houses.
Lucius Malfoy sighed. “I understand now why you asked for assistance, Nagnok. Do you know anything about your heritage, Mister Potter?”
“What heritage?” Harry asked, deflating a little, but he kept his hand on his wand.
“Sit down.” Lucius ordered as he sat in the second chair gracefully. “We are going to be here for a long while I imagine.”
Harry carefully eased himself into the seat beside Lucius Malfoy, but he remained on guard, he was burning with curiosity, but not enough to forget that this man was dangerous, though he hoped he knew the man enough to know that he wouldn’t attack him in a bank, even if they were in a private office. Lucius Malfoy cared for his public appearance after all and had been deeply embarrassed when Mister Weasley had attacked him in Flourish and Blotts four years ago now.
“How much do you know about Lordships?” Lucius asked him.
Harry shrugged. “Nothing, a stranger told me that I should come to claim my Lordship, so that’s what I did.”
Lucius sighed, Harry watched him closely as he put his cane down, he noticed with curiosity that Malfoy had put the cane down on the table in front of him, but the snake head, and thus his wand, was aimed at him and as Malfoy tugged his gloves off of long, nimble fingers, Harry wondered why the man had put his wand out of his immediate reach. He would be able to draw his wand on the elder man before Malfoy even touched the snake head of the cane…was that perhaps why he had done such a thing? As ridiculous as it sounded, the only reason Harry could think of was that Lucius Malfoy was trying to put him at ease and give him subtle signs to show that he wasn’t going to just up and attack him in the bank.
“So you believed this stranger, who just wandered up to you and blurted out that you should come and claim a Lordship that you had never heard about and you just did what he asked?”
It was Harry’s turn to sigh. “No. I was having coffee with him while I waited for the bank to open this morning and he wanted to know why I was in Diagon so early, so I told him I was coming here and he asked me if it was to claim my Lordship early. The conversation went from there.”
“We need to validate your claim, but you are underage so we need the permission of your guardian first before we can proceed.”
“My guardians are Muggles and wouldn’t even come here under threat of death and Dumbledore was the one who was supposed to tell me about this stuff in the first place and he didn’t.” Harry said heatedly.
“He has a fair point, Nagnok, perhaps I should stand in as his guardian, after all, I am a founding member of the Wizardry Protective Movement, it is my duty to help and protect young wizards, to educate them. That Mister Potter doesn’t even know about his own Lordship is very neglectful, think of the power and influence that Dumbledore gains from holding Mister Potter’s proper titles from him…why, it is almost criminal.”
The goblin nodded and snapped his fingers once again and a box appeared in front of him. He opened it and took out an empty vial and one filled with a strange liquid.
“I will need your blood.”
“Excuse me?” Harry asked, his brows lowering.
“Blood never lies.” The goblin told him. “Potions can be messed with, appearances may not be what they seem, mannerisms can be learnt, but blood never lies.”
“Simply prick your finger and place a few drops of blood into the empty vial.” Lucius Malfoy told him smoothly.
Harry looked at him strangely. “How do I make myself bleed?”
“Surely you know the charm to make a small cut? What is Hogwarts teaching you children these days?”
Harry went red cheeked and silently fumed. He startled when the snake headed cane vanished just on the edge of his vision and he heard Malfoy sigh before his hand was snatched by one of those long fingered, pale hands and Malfoy had his wand out in his other hand. Before Harry could so much as react or give him a good kick, the tip of his index finger was split open with a small, half a centimetre long cut and Malfoy caught the small flow of blood into the empty vial before another simple charm healed his finger again perfectly, not so much as a red mark to show where the cut had been moments before.
Harry fumed silently as he stuck his finger into his mouth to suck off the remaining blood. Malfoy scowled at him, he was holding out a square of cloth, a handkerchief, but he slipped it back into his pocket as Harry glared at him defiantly, still sucking the traces of blood off of his healed skin. Harry wasn’t that stupid, he wasn’t giving his blood to Malfoy of all people.
He watched suspiciously as Malfoy inserted his wand back into the cane and clunked it back onto the desk; the snake head was again facing Harry.
He turned back to the goblin who had mixed the strange liquid in the second vial with his blood before shaking it vigorously and then tapping it with the tip of his finger, which he then tapped on a piece of large parchment.
Harry watched in fascination as runes started spreading out over the parchment, he wished he could read them. The goblin, Nagnok, then uncorked the vial and tipped it over the parchment and Harry was amazed when it started forming letters and then words.
“Harry James Potter, born in July of nineteen-eighty to James Doran Potter and Lily Potter née Evans.” Nagnok read out questioningly.
Harry bobbed his head. “That’s right.”
“You were legitimised on the twenty-sixth of September nineteen-eighty, correct?”
“Legitimised? What does that mean?” Harry asked, looking from Nagnok to Malfoy in confusion.
“Your Father wanted you to have the Potter Lordship, which he couldn’t have given to you if you had remained a Halfblood, so he had you legitimised by naming an appropriate Pureblood as your Godfather.” Lucius replied smoothly. “If you marry an appropriate Pureblood, then the Potter line will remain in the Pureblood Directory, if you marry someone who isn’t a Pureblood, then the Potter family will be taken from the Directory and your children will be unable to claim your Lordship when you pass and it will fall into the hands of the Ministry unless you declare your seat voided.”
“What if I name a Pureblood as their Godfather?” Harry asked thinking of Ron.
“As you yourself are not fully pure and your spouse will not be pure either, then your children cannot be legitimised whereas if you marry a Pureblood, you may then be allowed to legitimise all children you have to claim them as Pureblooded, the lines of the Potter family will remain unbroken, they will be bent a little due to your Muggleborn Mother, but still legally pure as she was still a witch and not a squib or a Muggle.”
Harry’s head spun with all this new information and he nodded his understanding. He wasn’t planning on marrying anyone for a long while, so he had time to figure out how important this Lordship was and if he wanted to pass it down to his maybe children.
“Why does me being legitimised show up on a blood test?” Harry asked instead.
“To fully legitimise you, your chosen Godfather would have given his blood to you, so his blood, which was pure, would run through your veins to a lesser extent than your parents’ blood, to make up for your Mother’s impure blood, but it is still picked up by the blood test administered.”
Harry nodded again.
“With the recent passing of the Black Heir, Sirius, who was named your Godfather on the twenty-sixth of September fifteen years ago, you also have the most legal claim to the Black Lordship.”
Harry felt Lucius Malfoy stiffen beside him and his hand slid down further to touch his wand handle instead of merely hovering over it, just in case.
“Would you claim this as well?”
“I don’t even know what they are.” Harry sighed exasperated.
“I would advise you to claim them both.” Malfoy told him, completely surprising Harry. “Draco is a candidate for the Black Lordship through his Mother’s side, but as Black’s actual blood runs through your veins as his Godson, you are the closest thing to an actual son that he had before his passing. Draco needs to focus on his studies more, I fear a Lordship would be…ill-suited to him at the moment.”
“Why not just let him have it?” Harry asked curiously, wondering why the hell Malfoy was passing this opportunity over. “It must be a huge honour from what the man in the café was saying for someone to have one Lordship, let alone two.”
“It is, but it is yours by rights and I would prefer that Draco focused more on his studies. He is already very distracted lately, it seems he spends more and more time with his little friends than he does studying and his subject grades are…declining.”
“He and Pansy were getting very close last year, a Ravenclaw swore she saw them coming out of a broom cupboard all mussed up.”
Lucius Malfoy’s eyes widened slightly and his nostrils flared, but that was the only outward sign he gave that he’d even heard Harry.
“How would you know of these things?” He asked smoothly, seemingly unable to ignore the conversation now that it had started playing on his mind.
“Things like that don’t stay a secret at Hogwarts. There were stories too about Pansy taking early morning visits to Madam Pomfrey; apparently she’d had a pregnancy scare.”
That got Harry the tightening of a fist and he saw the visible effort it took the elegant man opposite him to keep from immediately standing and leaving to chase down Draco and demand the truth from him.
“Thank you for informing me of this behaviour, I’ll be sure to correct Draco of his wrong doing and inform Lord Parkinson of his daughter’s behaviours and advise that she has a purity test done, such loose, sleazy behaviour is beneath Purebloods. Her betrothal match will reflect her behaviour accordingly.”
“Draco isn’t the worst, just the most sought after. Blaise Zabini is the worst; he’ll sleep with anything that so much as moves.”
“If we could get back on track.” The goblin demanded.
“So I’d have two Lordships, the Potter and the Black?” Harry questioned after a long silence. “Why did no one tell me this before?! No one has so much as mentioned it in passing to me, not even Sirius.”
“They obviously didn’t want you to know.” Lucius told him simply. “All of the sacred Pureblood families have a seat on the Wizengamot; did it never occur to you to ask why Dumbledore, a Halfblood, was the Chief Warlock when he had no rights to a seat?”
“No.” Harry replied easily.
Lucius sighed. “Dumbledore is using your own seat to preside from, in your name of course. If you claimed your Lordship, he’d have to…step aside, to make room for you. I don’t believe that he’d enjoy relinquishing such power and then to have a new Chief Warlock voted in, one that perhaps won’t be deep in his pocket and willing to play puppet to him. After all, nearly every person on the Wizengamot is Pureblooded; only certain exceptions are made, as the Heads of all reputable departments also have a Wizengamot seat.”
“So he’s sat in the seat that I should be in? Who has the Black seat?”
“It’s currently being held by Dumbledore too as the Chief Warlock of the Wizengamot, fancy that.” Lucius sneered. “Two seats that you should have control over are being presided over by him and he didn’t even tell you about them.”
Harry’s hand clenched tight as the fury rose in him again. Even if he didn’t know what to do with his two seats, he didn’t want Dumbledore to have them. It would serve him right for locking him back up with the Dursleys after Sirius’ death and ordering him not to leave the house and ordering him not to send out any owls or for his friends to send any to him.
“I want to claim my Lordship, both of them.” He said firmly.
Nagnok nodded. “We will set this up for you, for a fee of course.”
“I think I have enough in my vault to pay a fee, I don’t think I’ll spend all that gold on school things when I only have two more years left.”
“What do you mean?” Lucius asked him carefully.
“The vault I have here, I think there’s more than enough gold in there to see me through the next two years of schooling and to pay a fee.”
Lucius sighed. “This is much worse than I feared. I take it that no one has told you the difference between house vaults and trust vaults.”
Harry frowned. “I…no.”
“The vault that you are using now would be a trust vault, money laid aside for your use by your parents. Your Father, as Lord Potter, would have had control of the house vault, which would be considerably larger than a mere trust vault, he would then lay aside trust vaults for all those in his house and supply the trust vault with a sum of money, he could choose a lump sum or he could choose to top it up weekly, monthly or yearly with a fixed sum for however many years he wished to, which would then be taken from the main house vault. With his death and with you being so young, that vault would have been sealed off until you either came of age or claimed your Lordship.”
Harry swallowed hard. He felt sick to his very stomach. “No one told me that either.”
“After fifty years have passed and no one has claimed them, then anything inside the vault goes to the Ministry. The Potter vault has been sealed now for fifteen years already; I can’t begin to imagine the amount of interest that that has stacked up over the last decade and a half.”
“It is a substantial amount.” Nagnok nodded. “Lord Potter and his Lady Wife rarely touched the house vault and Lord Potter chose to deposit a lump sum into a trust vault for his son. I believe they only took out what they needed for food and small items and Lord Charlus and his Lady Wife left their son a vast amount to begin with after their untimely passing. If we add in the considerable Black family vault too, which has been sealed for eleven years after the passing of Lady Walburga Black, then you are a very wealthy young wizard.”
“Sirius was using his bank vault.” Harry pointed out confusedly.
“Sirius was the rightful Heir, but he never claimed his Lordship after his Father passed away and neither did he claim the house vault after his Mother passed away six years later.” Lucius told him patiently. “I believe he was still using his more than considerable trust vault.”
“Oh.” Harry felt overwhelmed and a little shocky.
“I understand that this is a lot to take in.” Lucius told him and placed a gentle hand on his shoulder.
Harry reacted violently and he all but shoved the man’s hand off of him.
“Don’t touch me. You have no right to touch me!” Harry shouted, his mind flashing to the events of the graveyard and those of the Department of Mysteries, where Sirius had died that night.
“As you wish.” Lucius said silkily. “If we could hurry this meeting along, Nagnok.”
“Of course, Lord Malfoy. Now that we have validated who you actually are and that you are Harry James Potter, Heir to the Potter and Black families, we can now start the claiming process.”
“What do I need to do?”
“This will disrupt your education.” Lucius cut in. “Meetings can be called at any time of day, though we do tend to wait until the next morning if a situation occurs in the night, unless it is gravely urgent of course and cannot wait, but you will be given your Lordship rings and when they heat up, you are to make your way straight to the Ministry for a meeting, one that cannot start until everyone called arrives. Your professors cannot stop you from going to these meetings, but likewise you will not be allowed to slack off on your education, you will have to work doubly hard at your studies than everyone else in that school.”
Harry nodded his understanding, he was sure that Hermione would be thrilled if he started taking more interest in his studies.
“Can you handle such a workload?”
“What does being on the Wizengamot actually entail?”
“You will need to give your vote to laws and proclamations that you feel should or shouldn’t be passed; you will need to pass judgement on criminals brought before the Wizengamot based on the reports we are given and the trials we witness and discuss matters brought before the Wizengamot by members of the public, among other things.”
“So it’s all of our own opinions?” Harry asked a bit relieved.
“There are certain politics to be observed as well.” Lucius told him. “For example, Bellatrix Lestrange is a daughter of house Black, Lord Orion Black, when he was living, couldn’t go against Lord Xerxes Lestrange without damaging his daughter’s union to one of Lord Lestrange’s grandsons.”
“So it’s all political rubbish to do with marriage and stuff?” Harry pulled a face of distaste.
Lucius smiled. “My Wife is a daughter of house Black as well; you are the new Lord Black.”
“I won’t be deferring to anyone.” Harry said stubbornly. “If you don’t like your Wife now after all these years and with Draco too then that’s your problem and I couldn’t give a fuck about Bellatrix having a happy union, she can go die for all I care.”
Lucius actually chuckled and nodded to Nagnok. “Let us wrap this up, Nagnok and then I can take Mister Potter to buy the books that he needs.”
“I have all of the legal documents here, fully written out.”
“When did you do that?” Harry asked in amazement.
“When you first asked to claim your Lordship earlier this morning.” Nagnok replied as if Harry were particularly stupid.
“Now now, Mister Potter is quite ignorant of all of these proceedings, we need to be patient with him.”
The goblin nodded and snapped his fingers and a stack of parchment appeared before him.
“You just need to sign here.”
Lucius’ hand intercepted his as he went to pick up a very familiar black quill with an abnormally sharp point.
“Never sign anything without reading it first, you stupid boy.” Lucius chastised him. “What if you didn’t like the terms? What if the other party have verbally agreed to do something that isn’t in the formal document? What if you are signing away everything you own on the trust you hold for someone that you’ve known for all of five minutes? Read everything before you sign it, even from someone you trust and have known for sixty years, even if it’s your own Wife or child. You always read everything before you sign it.”
Harry swallowed and nodded, feeling very foolish, but he picked up the first page from the large stack of parchment and he started reading it slowly and carefully. He had never been a fast reader.
It took him an hour before he finally finished the last page and he felt very self-conscious and embarrassed that he’d kept Lucius Malfoy and a Gringotts goblin waiting quietly for a whole hour while he read through everything, trying his hardest to understand it.
“Did you understand half of what you read?” Lucius asked him knowingly.
Harry shook his head, feeling even more humiliated, but he saw no point in lying. He hadn’t understood a lot of what he had read on those pages. Lucius hummed and Harry only just noticed then that as he had put a page down, Lucius had picked it up to read it.
“This is all in order, nothing I didn’t expect.” He said. “You’re free to sign if you’re willing to accept full Lordship for both the Potter and the Black houses and responsibility for both house vaults, all trust vaults attached to them and responsibility for all patrons connected to your houses.”
“Will…will you find me a book that helps me understand the things that I didn’t know? Just in case I need to do something like this again in the future.” Harry forced himself to ask, feeling sick with himself just for asking something of this person, but Malfoy had offered him no aggression or violence, he was just sat there, helping him. It galled him.
“Of course I will.” Lucius agreed amiably.
Harry picked up the quill and scowled at it, his hand clenching around it tight.
“This quill will be unlike anything that you have ever used before.” Lucius told him. “It is used for signing official documents only and it will draw blood from you as you write. As you’ve likely figured out, blood is very important to magic, so naturally all legal, binding, magical contracts are signed in blood.”
“I have used a quill like this before, last year.” Harry said grumpily.
“I fail to understand how.” Nagnok said. “Only Gringotts and the Heads of each department at the Ministry of Magic are allowed to even have one of them. There are only a handful of them in use at any one time. The loss of one is punishable by a hefty fine and even suspension and loss of position at the Ministry of Magic. One has not been lost in several decades, nor has one of these quills been given to Hogwarts school. They are heavily regulated and all of them are tracked regularly to make sure that they are where they’re supposed to be and with the person that they’re supposed to be with.”
“What did you sign with one of these quills? Was it for Dumbledore?” Lucius asked him a bit frantic.
Harry frowned at them both. “No. Umbridge.”
“What did you sign for that woman?” Lucius demanded. “She had no reason to ask you to sign anything, least of all in a magically binding document signed with blood.”
“She wasn’t making me sign anything; she was forcing me to write lines with it during detention.”
Lucius looked aghast. Harry was confused, why did the man care so much? Why was he helping him, he wasn’t sure what the hell was going on here, his brain was telling him that he should be careful, that he should be afraid, but his body was refusing to react. He felt at ease, curious and overwhelmed sure, but he didn’t feel like he was in any danger.
“Didn’t Draco tell you?” Harry frowned harder.
“I sincerely doubt that he knew.”
“He was part of her Inquisitorial Squad that year, of course he knew, he was even there when she threatened to use the Cruciatus curse on me to get information that she wanted from me, I bet he never told you that either.”
The look on Lucius’ face told Harry that he didn’t know about that either, he tried to hide that fact, but he seemed to be genuinely shocked, which confused Harry even more.
“Overuse of this type of quill can cause permanent scarring.” Nagnok told him.
“I know that too.” Harry said as he held out his right hand, twisting it to the candlelight to show the pale white scars in his own handwriting. ‘I must not tell lies.’
Lucius actually seized his hand and checked the scars over, brushing over the five words with the pad of a smooth thumb.
“This…this is diabolical!” He hissed furiously. “That a student of Hogwarts would be treated this way, that a contract quill would be misused as a punishment for underaged wizards. A fifteen year old!”
“Oh I wasn’t the youngest, she had a whole class of first years writing lines, they were openly crying by the end and one little girl wanted nothing more than to just go home and never come back, her shirt was so blood stained that the house elves had to clean it twice to get rid of the stain.”
“What were they doing to deserve this treatment?” Lucius demanded.
“They were practising their spell casting during their break in the courtyard. She didn’t like us using magic.”
“She would never have done this to Draco, never. He wouldn’t have allowed it.”
“Like I said, he was part of her Inquisitorial Squad. She left the Purebloods alone, anyone who was a Slytherin was safe, it was everyone else who had to worry, even the first years.”
“Are they permanently scarred as well?”
Harry shook his head. “No, they never used the quill often enough. I was purposefully targeted because of the Ministry witch hunt against me last year and I was there nearly every night, she found reasons to give me punishment, even for things she just thought I’d done and had no proof of, just because I told her that Voldemort was back and had killed Cedric and that Fudge was a bumbling fool and the wizarding world would be better off if he stepped aside. I think she loves him.”
“I am so glad that you have brought this matter to my attention. I will have that woman in Azkaban before the month is out.” Lucius hissed.
“She told us that she could do it, she said she had permission from Fudge.”
“A bumbling idiot he may be, and an utter incompetent fool, but I very much doubt that he knew anything about this, he wouldn’t have allowed any magical child to be abused in such a way. Not when half of the governors’ children are currently attending Hogwarts and when half of the Wizengamot have young relatives in Hogwarts.”
“Where do I sign?” Harry asked as he looked at the pile of parchment.
Nagnok snapped his fingers again and a bowl of a very familiar liquid appeared. Essence of Murtlap. Harry steeled himself, he’d done this countless times before, once he had even done it for so long that he’d almost passed out from blood loss on his way back to the Gryffindor common room.
Harry scrawled his signature and ground his teeth together as the familiar, itchy sensation came back to him, his hand had opened with his own name and then it had healed almost instantly, but the back of his hand was a bright, cherry red already.
He signed his name everywhere that Nagnok pointed and it took just three signatures before his hand stopped closing over, blood quickly covering the back of his hand and slipping down his wrist.
Lucius wrapped a handkerchief around his wrist to keep it from staining the documents he was signing, the same one that he had offered when he had cut his finger for him.
Harry finished signing his name and his hand was on fire, but it was immediately submerged into the bowl of Murtlap tentacles and it was soothed instantly.
“You’re going to have trouble signing these sorts of contracts for the rest of your life; the quill has left permanent damage.”
Harry nodded his understanding.
“I sort of understood that. I knew she was doing permanent damage to me, she knew it too, but still she had me writing the same line over and over, sometimes she’d press her thumb to the cut to see how much it hurt me and if I didn’t try to pull away or gasp with pain, she’d have me coming back the following night to ‘get the message to sink in more.’ She wanted to do me permanent damage.”
“But you hadn’t done anything further to earn an additional detention?” Lucius clarified.
Harry shook his head. “I told you, half of the detentions I served with her didn’t have a real reason, she just kept adding them on and drawing them out by saying I hadn’t written enough lines to serve as a proper punishment and I’d have to come back again the following night and then I’d have more detentions because I was missing homework because I spent half the night with her and I was too drowsy and weak afterwards to stay awake to finish my homework.”
“How long were you doing this each night?”
“Straight after dinner until whenever she would release me, it went on until midnight once and I almost passed out from blood loss.”
“She made you write with a contract quill for seven straight hours?” Lucius demanded furiously.
Harry nodded. “Hermione was the smart one; she figured out what was happening and always had a bowl of Murtlap Essence waiting for whenever I got back to the common room.”
“If she were truly smart then she would have told an adult.”
“All of the Hogwarts staff already knew.” Harry shrugged. “They couldn’t do anything, not even Dumbledore, she had too much power at the school by then and she knew it.”
“I will sort this out, she won’t get away with this, my son was at that school and a Pureblood had been injured.”
Harry frowned at that as he tried to recall an injured Pureblood. Lucius sighed at him and looked at him as if he were completely hopeless.
“You have claimed two Lordships, you are by rights and by legitimisation a Pureblood and you were injured by that woman.”
Harry flushed a faint pink and ducked his head. “Are we done here?” He asked, wanting nothing more than to slip away and think about everything that had happened, least of all Lucius Malfoy actually helping him.
The same Lucius Malfoy who had cornered and threatened him and his friends’ just weeks ago, the same man who had escaped from the Department of Mysteries with a certain few others to escape the clutches of the Aurors and who was now sat next to him as if none of that had ever happened! It was too much, he was going to explode into a rage if he didn’t get out of here soon, it was too weird for him to handle at this moment.
“You just need your house rings, remember when they heat up, no matter what you’re doing, you have to make your way to the Ministry immediately.”
“How often can I expect to be called so I know what schedule I need to set up for school work and how will I get there? I’m still too young to Apparate by myself.”
“Your rings will act as a Portkey while you’re so young.” Lucius informed him. “It will give you fifteen minutes to get out of the school wards before activating, if you miss that then you’ll have an additional Portkey activation five minutes later, if you miss that then you have to make your own way to the Ministry, remember we cannot start until every member is there. As for how often, it differs, we usually meet every other month or so to catch each other up on events that might have been missed and to discuss things that may need monitoring or changing, but trials can happen at any moment, day or night.”
Harry nodded and Nagnok handed over two ancient, chunky rings. One was large, golden and engraved on the band was the Black family crest and motto. It was the other ring that made him catch his breath however, because he knew his Father and before him his Grandfather, had also worn this ring. It was smaller than the Black ring, but no less chunky, both bands were thick with gold, but the Potter ring had a small ruby inset in the band and on the face of the ruby, the Potter insignia was carved carefully, likely by hand.
“Which fingers do they go on?”
“It will take a while to get used to it, as they will both sit on the same finger, the Potter ring first and then the Black. They will both sit on the fourth finger of your right hand.”
“Left is for wedding and engagement rings.” Harry nodded as he slipped both rings onto his finger, surprised that they both fit him perfectly. He loved magic.
Lucius nodded and he stood, snapping his gloves back on and picking up his cane.
“Come along then, we still need to go to Flourish and Blotts.”
“I need to withdraw money.” Harry said as he took out his vault key, remembering the whole reason he had come to Gringotts in the first place.
Nagnok handed him over two new, small vault keys, a long rectangular booklet that looked like Uncle Vernon’s cheque book and two huge, thick dragonhide portfolios filled with smaller folders and a lot of parchment.
“Purebloods don’t carry around pockets full of coin.” Lucius informed him. “We have exchange books. You write the amount you owe onto the slip, your vault number and then sign your name, you won’t need to sign it with blood, it’s not a formal contract so normal ink will do, and then the shop owners can then come here to the bank and exchange these slips with Gringotts, who will take the gold from your specified vault and hand it over. After validating the signature first, of course.”
Harry nodded and smiled, slipping all three of his keys into the same pocket along with the little book and he carried the portfolio cases of parchment that he’d been told were the accounts for all of his vaults and that he had to review them and change what he didn’t like. One was for the Potter family; the second was for the Black family.
“How many books will I need?” Harry asked.
“A fair few.” Lucius said mockingly. “You need to act like a Pureblood, not like the little commoner you have been. Act more like Draco.”
Harry snorted. “So be a selfish, self-centred, boastful prick who taunts and bullies everyone, literally kicks the first and second years out of his way, has no real friends and likes bed hopping with Pansy Parkinson and Daphne Greengrass? Yeah, that’s seriously not happening.”
“You’re the Lord of two houses; try to remember that when speaking so crassly in a public area.” Lucius bit out through gritted teeth.
“I don’t know how to act like a Lord.” Harry hissed. “I didn’t even know about it until a few hours ago!”
“It was purposefully kept from you, I have no doubts certain…people, were involved too.”
Harry’s eyes narrowed. “What do you mean?”
“The Weasleys are blood traitors, but they’re still a Pureblooded family, do you really think that they didn’t know that you should be Lord Potter? Foolish they may be, yes, but even I can’t believe they’re that ignorant.”
“So Mister Weasley has a seat too?” Harry asked his mind was already running around too much information to take anything else in.
Lucius Malfoy let out a small, short, sarcastic laugh. “Of course not, they’re blood traitors, Potter. When they renounced their blood, they renounced the Lordship of their family too.”
“Why don’t you like the Weasleys?” Harry asked in a flash of courage. “It can’t just be that they’re blood traitors.”
Lucius gave him a look and sighed. “Catch up, Potter. I have no wish to shout my business up and down the street for all the shoppers on Diagon Alley to hear.”
Harry jogged a bit to catch up and stood by Lucius Malfoy’s side, matching him stride for stride as best as he could, the Malfoy Lord had seriously long, slender legs. In fact everything about him was long, slender and elegant.
“You doubtlessly know that all Pureblood families are interrelated.” Harry nodded, giving his full attention to Lucius Malfoy as he listened intently.
He’d always been so curious to know why the Malfoys hated the Weasleys and he hadn’t felt comfortable asking Mister Weasley and asking Ron only garnered him a furious tirade about ‘those evil Slytherin bastards’ which left Ron red faced and him still not understanding the situation.
“My great-great grandmother Amorette Malfoy married Lord Bilius Weasley, back when they were still a respectable family, if you can imagine such a thing.”
“What happened?” Harry asked as he sensed how…sad the man next to him seemed.
“He dragged her down and into the mud and he utterly humiliated and disgraced her. Malfoys…we’re not known for our fertility, Potter. Most of us struggle to get two children, why do you think Narcissa and I only have Draco?”
“I thought that maybe you only wanted the one. Believe me, Draco’s more than enough for any parent to handle.”
Lucius shook his head. “No, we are infamous for our lone child pregnancies, male or female, it doesn’t matter, we are…cursed almost, with low fertility, but Bilius Weasley wanted more children. More than the two Amorette could give him, the two smart, beautiful children that she almost died to give him. He blamed her for their lack of children, quite rightly, but it was not her fault, he knew that Malfoys struggle to conceive, everyone knew, but he was enamoured by her beauty and overlooked all of the important qualities. He had a secret affair with a Muggle woman, completely disgracing Amorette and the Malfoy family; he had four further children with the Muggle. Amorette was broken hearted and she died not long after she finally found out about her Husband’s affair nearly twelve years later, upon which Bilius Weasley finalised his complete and utter disgrace of her and the Malfoy family by marrying the Muggle whom had given him four additional children and bastardising the two children he’d had with Amorette. The Black family, out of respect for the Malfoy family, actually disowned a daughter when she married Septimus Weasley despite what his Grandfather had done to my own family.”
Harry scowled. “That’s terrible. I can understand wanting children, but if you love someone, you deal with it. You don’t just go out and have an affair just to have more children. That’s despicable!”
“I am pleased that you see things from my ancestors’ side. After that the Malfoy family swore a feud with the Weasley family until such a time that they disowned Bilius Weasley from their family for what he’d done to our family; they have thus far refused to do so, so the feud carries on to this day.”
Harry went silent, thinking fast and hard. He was only just realising that things weren’t always what he’d thought they were. He’d thought that the Malfoys were just snobby, stuck up pricks who bullied Mister Weasley merely for his lack of money and ambition; he’d had no idea of the story behind what had started their feud. He was ignorant and he was beginning to think that maybe Hermione had the right idea; books contained all sorts of information and as Mister Malfoy led the way into Flourish and Blotts, Harry promised himself that before he went back to Hogwarts, he would do his best to read every single book he bought here today, even if there were twenty of them.