Poison Pen

Harry has had enough of seeing his reputation shredded in the Daily Prophet and decides to do something about it. Only he decides to embrace his Slytherin side to rectify matters.

https://www.fanfiction.net/s/5554780/1/Poison-Pen

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4. Damage Control

The Leaky Cauldron was having a slow day. Xeno Lovegood had just dropped off the twenty-five copies of this week's Quibbler. Tom picked up his complimentary copy and looked it over. Ol' Lovegood was a decent chap in the old bartender's opinion, if a bit mental as it were.

Flipping through, his eyes caught the strange letter to the editor, then they widened. 'What 'n Merlin's name?'

"Hold'er down, Mel. Got ta run ta the Ministry," Tom called as he whipped off his apron.

0O0o0o0

Xeno lovegood was well pleased with this week's issue of the Quibbler. Granted, his subscription rate had risen by some 200 more copies than last week. That just meant more work for him, but it was worth it. He had to thank Oliver for his challenging letters. Maybe offering a year's subscription or two, or even perhaps a column of his own? Hmm. He would have to think about it.

Xeno also wondered if he should hire another assistant to help out since Luna was gone for most of the school year.

0o0o0o0

Harry Potter was sitting under a shady tree in the orchard behind the Burrow. Thankfully, most of the Weasleys were busy and for once, Harry had some much needed privacy. On his lap and piled beside him were several files that he'd received from Gringotts and his barrister.

Now that was a kick in the bum! He, Harry James Potter, had a family retainer who was a Lord – of both Realms! And come to find out, he, Harry 'Who Is a Pain in the Arse' Potter, was also a peer in both worlds!

'Bloody Hell! My life just got more complicated,' Harry thought as he banged the back of his head against the trunk of the tree. He closed his eyes for a moment as his mind took in the fact that he had a seat both on the Wizengamot and in the House of Lords! 'Merlin's bloody bollocks!'

Returning to the files as he brought his mind back to the matter at hand, Harry read over the stock reports of several companies he owned. According to what he was reading, it seemed the Potters were in the top ten percent of the richest families in the Wizarding World, and in the top twenty-five percent in Muggle Britain! What was Dumbledore playing at? Sending him to the Dursley's all those years ago? To live like a house elf and dress like a pauper? Why was he keeping him so ignorant of his inheritance and his titles? Why wasn't he being trained in dealing with his responsibilities as head of an ancient and noble house?

Bolting straight up, he whistled as he stared at the file in his hand. He couldn't believe it! He owned controlling shares in the Daily Prophet, half owned the Quibbler and oh Merlin, a quarter of the businesses in Diagon Alley! Bloody Hell, he even owned the land that Hogwarts and Hogsmead sat as heir to the Gryffindor line. He may only own a quarter share of Hogwarts, but still. He turned to the next page.

What's this? A yearly tithe? What the Hell? What kind of special vault? According to what he was reading, it could only be accessed by three people, himself as the Potter heir, and under specific criteria, the current headmaster and the Director of Gringotts. As of this date, Albus Dumbledore had accessed it three times in the past five years, in his tenure as headmaster, draining about a quarter of the available funds from the vault.

'Wonder why? Too bad, it doesn't list the reason for the withdrawal," Harry thought, making a note in the journal he kept handy to inquire at Gringotts what criteria had to be met to make a withdrawal.

Picking up the last file, his eyes started to scan the list of muggle properties and again he had a shock. "Oh Sweet Merlin!" He whistled softly.

He quickly shuffled through the stacks of files until he found what he was looking for. He frowned, 'Why those thieving, back-stabbing arses!'

0o0o0o0

Vernon Dursley was having a good day. Grunnings' stock had recently risen two points on the market shares, netting him a hefty bonus from old man Grunnings.

Dudley had been given a clean bill of health from his ordeal with those unnatural thingies that went after his freakish nephew. He couldn't wait to get his hands on that freak next summer. He'd teach him a thing or two!

Awaiting at his desk was a slender stack of the morning post left for him by his secretary. Taking a sip of his fifth cuppa for the morning, Vernon reached for the first opened envelope. He took another sip as he glanced over the letter, only to spit out the mouthful, choking as he reread:

From the office of Peter J. Flinchley-Addams, Barrister, Lord of the Realm:

To: Mr. Vernon C. Dursley,

It has come to our attention that there has been misappropriation of funds. Therefore an audit was been ordered on all records in all departments dating back to 1981.

You are hereby required to present all records and accounts for inspection Tuesday next. There will be an audit of personal expense accounts for all department heads performed as well.

Compliance is mandatory. Any department head failing to cooperate will be suspended without pay pending such time as the audit is final where upon disciplinary action will be taken if necessary.

Thank you for your co-operation.

Lord Peter Flinchley-Addams
Retainer-At-Law

cc
Ragnok, Director of Gringotts Bank

All Stock Holders, Grunnings Inc.
All Heads of Departments, Grunnings Inc.

Vernon stood up as coffee spilled down his pant legs. "What the F. . .! Martha! Get your arse in here, bring your notepad!" he roared, grabbing the phone, and angrily punching his home phone number as his secretary entered. "Pet! . . . "

0o0o0o0

Lord Peter Flinchley-Addams polished off the document needed to free Lord Potter from Albus Dumbledore's control adding it to the swiftly growing Potter file. He mused on the young lord leaning back in his chair.

Harry James Potter had surprised him. The rumors surrounding him bore no likeness to the young wizard he met right after the trial. Time had not allowed for them to go into details of Lord Harry's life to date and with a third party listening in, it was more than awkward. However, his impression of Harry was very favorable. It appeared that the lad inherited his parents' high intelligence and high levels of magic, belying Harry's mediocre academic records and poor press reviews.

How did the lad manage to hid his talents so well? He could see that Arthur Weasley was out of his depth and flabbergasted at the few details that Harry had revealed. He hoped the man would shake his blind allegiance to the conniving Headmaster and open his eyes to the wrongs done to an innocent child.

The secret letter exchange he and Lord Harry were carrying on was proving to be very enlightening. This is where the lad's true abilities shone through. If they adhered to the agenda the lad wanted, they could set the wizarding world on it's ear. Something that was long over due, in Lord Peter's opinion.

0O0o0o0

Tom was leaning over the bar with the Quibbler beside him and next to the rag was an official looking parchment carrying the Ministry seal. He was checking between both of them with great interest.

"Wotcher Tom!" called one of his regulars as he plopped down on a stool across from the bartender. "Watcha doin', mate? Why'ncha readin' a real paper like the Prophet?"

Tom looked up. "Comparin' notes 'n bloody hell, ol' Xeno was right on! The Prophet didn't tell the truth by half."

"That so?" the scruffy-looking wizard asked. "Be a first, iff'n ya ask me."

"Oh Xeno's been right afore," Tom snorted, pouring out a stout and handing it off.

The customer pulled the Quibbler and the document over to read. "Hey! This'n is a court record! Bloody Hell! Where did ya git this?"

"Hall of Records, t'wasn't sealed, court records are open to the public. This is Potter's trial from a few days ago," Tom replied, setting his copy aside for the moment.

"What? Thought the boy got off on a technicality or the like? 'Eard the Minister wasn't happy," came from a nearby table.

"Right 'nuff! They're arsed off! Seems what was in the Prophet was only half the story, as usual," Tom snorted. "Right after I got my copy of the transcript, Ol' Fudge came stormin' in and sealed this record 'n all other records regardin' Potter."

"Tryin' to cover his muck-up, eh?"

"A tad late iff'n ya ask me," shouted a hag from a nearby table with a cackle. "Iff'n the Min'ster tried that with my bonny lad, I'da hexed 'em good 'n proper 'n taken me chances wif the D'menters, I would!"

Several customers nodded in agreement. From a table in the back, a slurred voice called out, "Wonder what they's tryin' ta tuck 'way? Ol' Fudge 's good 'bout speak'n out both sides of his mouth, he is!"

"Aye!" shouted several of the pub's denizens, raising their mugs in agreement.

0o0o0o0

Fudge fumed and ranted. His beet red face contrasting garishly with his green pin-striped robes. Since the Quibbler came out yesterday, his office had been fielding mail and howlers all day. Good thing he managed to seal Potter's trial transcript and records. Too bad he hadn't been fast enough. Well, he learned his lesson.

With almost 50 copies of Potter's transcripts out and about, his office is working overtime on damage control. How did this get out of hand so quickly? He knew it was Xeno Lovegood's fault for running that damn brat's letter. Well, he'd fix both of them! See how they like spending some time in Azkaban! He'll pass a law to seal all trial transcripts from now on.

Thankfully, Delores is going to Hogwarts this term. With her there, he'll have a foothold in the school. Hopefully, she'll ferret out who this Oliver Twist is and get him expelled for starting this mess.

0o0o0o0

Albus stared at the letter that had arrived from Gringotts. He had been so sure that he could use that vault for the greater good. He didn't think he would be called on it by the Goblins. It had been almost three years since his last withdrawal. He would soon need more and just where was he going to get the funds? He was sure the Goblins would not allow him access to the Potter vaults as they are now watching them so closely.

Unto Albus Percival Wulfric Brian Dumbledore, Headmaster of Hogwarts.

During a routine audit on all of our outstanding vaults, it has come to our attention that the Hogwarts vault set up by Godric Gryffindor to maintain Hogwarts and Hogsmeade's lands in perpetuity has shown recent activity. This vault can only be accessed by Gryffindor's heirs, and/or Hogwarts Headmaster and the Director of Gringotts. As you know these funds were set up for care and maintenance of both Hogwarts and Hogsmeade.

It has come to our attention that you have accessed these funds three times in the past five years, withdrawing over a quarter of available funds. We require proof of the usage of these funds in the form of receipts and/or bills of lading. If we find these funds were used inappropriately withdrawn, you are required to make restitution with interest.

Compliance is mandatory. Failure to comply will cause all vaults to which you have access to be sealed until this matter is resolved.

Ragnok

Director of Gringotts

0o0o0o0

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