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.



25. The Sound of Goblin Laughter

Harry left the meeting with Lord Peter, Sirius and Remus. When they stepped out the door Arthur and Molly were waiting for them.

"Harry is emancipated," Sirius said with a sad look in his eyes.

"Emancipated!" Molly screeched. "Of all the idiotic ideas! Harry James Potter! You aren't old enough to make adult decisions, you're just a child!"

Harry sighed, as he side stepped Molly's move to smother him in an embrace. "I'm sorry Mrs. Weasley, but the Ministry and Professor Dumbledore don't agree with you."

"What do you mean, Harry?" Arthur asked as he tried in vain to calm his hysterical wife.

Harry shrugged. "I don't know all the legal terms, but last year both the Ministry and Professor Dumbledore agreed that I was adult enough to participate in the Tri-wizard tournament, and old enough to be tried as an adult for underage magic. Therefore I must be an adult, right sir?" Harry looked up at Lord Peter.

"That is correct, Lord Potter," the barrister smiled. "Come this way please. There are papers that need to be signed. The goblins should have your family rings ready." Lord Peter ushered his three companions ahead of him with a slight bow, leaving the Weasleys trailing in their wake.

"Harry?" Sirius was heard to query fretfully, " What else do we need to do here?" Remus just pushed him in the direction indicated as the four men walked down another hallway.

"Come along Sirius," Harry said with a patient smile. "I'll explain things to you." He sighed in frustration as Molly dragged Arthur along behind them.

"Harry, my boy," a commanding voice grated.

"Oh Merlin, let's get out of here," Harry groaned as the headmaster bore down on everyone.

"Go, Harry," Remus said. "I'll keep him busy but you owe me."

Lord Peter, Harry with Sirius and the Weasleys following slipped into Ragnok's office. Molly was still huffing about how Harry shouldn't have to deal with adult affairs. In her opinion, he was way too young.

After everyone was comfortably seated in Director Ragnok's office, the goblin pulled out two antique wooden boxes. "I have your rings Lord Potter. Here is the Potter Lordship ring," he said, holding out one of the carved boxes. "And the Gryffindor ring. Go ahead and put them on one at a time. Wait until the first adjusts to your finger, then put on the other."

"Harry, think about what you are doing!" Molly beseeched.

"Madam, you are here as a courtesy. Please remain quiet," Ragnok said, harshly.

"My wife meant no disrespect, sir," Arthur said, placing a hand on her shoulder to keep her quiet.

Harry placed each ring on, one at a time, allowing the rings to magically mold themselves to his finger. The family magics accepted Harry as their own.

As one, they in the room stood and bowed, just as Remus walked in along with Albus Dumbledore.

"Sorry, I'm late but the Headmaster couldn't take no for an answer, again," Remus shrugged, stepping up to Harry. "I see the rings accepted you, Harry. Welcome Lord Potter-Gryffindor."

"Harry, my boy," Albus Dumbledore said, with his grandfatherly disappointed frown. "Do you know what you have done?"

"Yes sir, I do," Harry said. "And it's Lord Potter to you from now on. I took the first steps away from your careless neglect. You are not god, headmaster. You don't know everything."

"Harry! That's no way to speak to the headmaster," Molly chided.

Turning to Lord Peter, and ignoring Molly, Harry said. "Let's go, sir. I am done here for now. Thank you Ragnok." Harry gave the goblin a slight bow.

"Wait for me!" Sirius said, jumping in, taking hold of Harry's robe.

"Wait!" Albus said, reaching out only to be blocked by Remus as the port-key activated before anyone else could grab hold of Harry.

The three landed in Lord Peter's office. Sirius, after getting his laughter under control, said. "Alright, Harry, spill! I think I've been patient enough."

"Have a seat, Lord Black," Lord Peter offered. "Lord Harry and I have quite a tale to tell you."

"First order of business," Harry said pulling out a walkman. "Sirius, you need to hear this. This was recorded a few days before the Leaving Feast when everyone was so concerned about where I was going to spend the Christmas hols. Remember, Dumbledore sometime last fall mentioned closing the school to upgrade the wards. Well, just listen."

"Albus?" came McGonagall's voice from the walkman.

"Come in, my dear."

The sounds of someone sitting and tea pouring were in the background as the two talked.

"So has Harry mentioned were he was going for this holiday with the school closing?" Albus asked casually.

"Sirius has invited him to spend the holiday with him."

"He can't! Harry must return to his relatives. He will be safer there."

"I'm afraid Albus since Sirius is his godfather, he has every right to host him for the hols."

"I fear that Mr. Black just isn't stable enough yet to handle Harry's safety. No, Harry must go to the Dursleys."

Minerva sighed. "I'm afraid you have no say in this Albus. Besides, with the ward updating, he can't stay here."

"Sirius will do what he is told," Albus stated firmly. "However, I will just reschedule the wards. Harry can not be allowed to go with someone as unstable as Mr. Black."

The sound of someone choking on their tea was clearly heard. "Albus! You can't be serious! We need those wards adjusted! You can't sacrifice the safety of all our students for the sake of one."

"It is for the Greater Good, my dear."

Sirius started to growl. Harry sighed as he shut off the walkman. "I'm sorry Sirius, but as you heard, he's willing to sacrifice everyone, even you, to control me."

"What the hell more has he done to you and me?" Sirius snarled.

Harry put the walkman away as Lord Peter called for tea and sandwiches to be served. Harry began his tale. He and Lord Peter had discussed how much they were going to tell Sirius and had come to the conclusion that they didn't want Sirius to know all his secrets just yet.

There were some things that he really didn't trust his godfather with, such as Harry's identity as Oliver Twist. That must remain a secret for now. Although Harry was sure the old marauder would enjoy the irony.

However, he was able to tell Sirius how he got around Dumbledore's little information blackout by using Dobby and the little magically charmed walkman. He also told him how he found out, through the goblins, that Lord Peter had been the Potter's family barrister for decades and things snowballed from there.

"But why didn't you trust me with all this?" Sirius asked, a little heart-broken.

Harry sighed, running his hand through his hair and shaking his head. "Sirius, I love you, but you weren't there when I needed you. You and Remus are the last links to my parents but you have never put me first. How could I trust you? Dumbledore keeps you close to heel, and you have the tendency to blab to him about things better left unsaid. Like today, you should've just told him your business was personal and left. I just couldn't the chance. "

Sirius hung his head. "When your parents died, I tried to get to you but Hagrid had orders and wouldn't let me have you. I never dreamed he would take you to Petunia. I went crazy. Instead of staying with you, I went after the rat. I am so sorry."

Harry hugged the man. "Sirius, I could forgive you that. You weren't thinking clearly, but after you escaped you still didn't put me first . . ."

Sirius jerked back. "Never, never say that!" he snarled. Then the fight went out of him as he continued. "But you're right. I haven't been a good godfather."

Harry hung his head, with tears in his eyes. "And you always allow Dumbledore to control me. He snaps his fingers and you jump to do his bidding. Just like he did this Christmas. What happened to our plans of a family Christmas?"

Sirius opened his mouth, then closed it. Closing his eyes, he sighed and gave a nod.

"Lord Harry," Lord Peter interjected, breaking the tension. "Director Ragnok has requested that you and I return to Gringotts this afternoon for another meeting."


Amelia Bones was enjoying a bit of brandy with Gretta Marchbanks. Both witches were celebrating putting one over on the old windbag.

"Here's to a successful maneuver," Gretta said, holding up her brandy.

"Here's to getting one over on the old fart," Amelia said, holding up her glass.

A moment of silence fell as Amelia looked over the Potter files. "I just can't believe Albus bungled one of his plans this badly."

"Let's face it, Amelia. The man is getting senile."

Neither witch noticed a small beetle slipping out under the crack in the door. She had her scoop! It wasn't the one she wanted, but it'll do for now.


"The child is coming today then?" The cloaked and hooded goblin female queried softly.

"Yes, Wise One, he is due at any moment," Ragnok answered in a respectful manner.

"Good. I will explain to him the simple ritual words he must speak." She was silent then, seeming to withdraw into her thoughts.

Ragnok stood and with a deep bow, he left the room.


"Lord Harry, now that you are a free adult, I have someone I need you to speak with?" Ragnok asked, ushering the young Lord and his barrister deeper into the halls of Gringotts.

"Director Ragnok, is this necessary?" Lord Peter sighed. "Harry's time is limited and we had thought to celebrate a bit . . ."

"You may have even more reason to celebrate if you will follow me. This goblin has followed our investigation with great interest. This is one of high prestige and to deny her request would bring great insult to the clans." The Goblin leader's feral grin told them he had been up to something.

Ragnok lead them to a pair of high doors with a squad of heavily armed goblins standing guard. Both wizards paused as Ragnok shouted something in gobbledegook. Jumping to attention, the guards moved away from the doors allowing the trio to enter.

Their footsteps echoed off the stone walls. The only light came from torches lining the walls of the room before them. They saw a small cloaked figure sitting in a chair on a slightly raised dais.

Ragnok bowed deeply and addressed the figure with the utmost respect. Confused and a bit overwhelmed, Lord Peter and Harry decided that it would be prudent to follow his example and bow.

"Lord Harry Potter-Gryffindor, Lord Peter Fletchly-Addams, it is my honor to present you to the Goblin Nation's Keeper of Knowledge," Ragnok said solemnly. The pride and awe in his raspy voice told them that this small being was to be treated with absolute respect. "She has come to aid you with knowledge long forgotten by wizard kind."

"L..Lady, I welcome any aid that is offered, to help me in my quest against Voldemort," Harry said as he came up from his bow. Confusion clearly etched in his young green eyes.

"Well said, wizard child," the hooded figure chuckled softly. "Your need is great, Director Ragnok has told me much about you and what it is you face. I was also told that you carry within you a piece of Voldemort's soul from his first life. Is this true?"

"I . . ." Harry looked at Lord Peter in confusion. "HUH?"

"Yes, my lady." Lord Peter looked at Harry with an apologetic nod. "He does indeed carry such a piece, but we had waited to tell him of it until he was free to decide for himself what he wished to do about it. As you know, it will be quite dangerous to remove it."

The Keeper nodded. "Yes, normally it would be so, but there are ways it can be done with far less danger." Concern colored her voice as she continued. "Wizards have all but forgotten the ritual of Renunciation, it is much more all-encompassing than the simple Disowning Ritual used by them today."

She paused briefly, as if contemplating, then continued, "I saw the memory given of the ritual used to bring the Evil One back. He was a fool to use it! Bone of the father, flesh of the servant, blood of the enemy...the absolute fool!" She huffed in scorn.

"Do you realize the bone he used was a muggle's? Where is the magic in a muggle?" she snorted in disgust. "Do you realize the wizard who gave his flesh was not the servant spoken of in the old Magick? The servant required of this ritual is a house elf, for they are magic. They have no core like a wizard, in order to create a core in a resurrected wizard, the magic must come from a being of magic."

A sharp gasp of intake air echoed as Harry stiffened in dawning realization of what she was saying.

"And as for your blood, when he used it in his fouled ritual, he in effect committed the worst offense against the old Magick," she snorted in disgust. "Line theft, and against the head of Ancient and Noble houses, no less! I tell you now, the old Magick is not pleased."

Harry's face paled as he started to tremble. The flickering flames that dotted the room flared wildly around them. Lord Peter placed a hand on the lad's shoulder to calm him.

"You, Harry James Potter," she spoke with authority, "must now reclaim the family magics he stole from you."

She stood, lowering her hood. Her aged goblin face made harsh by the flickering torch light. "This would include the line of Slytherin. A line granted you by Magick itself through the Right of Conquest, for you have indeed defeated him several times."

Her sightless eyes held them in thrall as she pointed a bony finger at Harry and demanded, "Claim the Magick and the ring of the Slytherin! Take your place as the last of that magical line. You are not the blood heir, but his magical heir by Right of Conquest! You are the last of that line and all Slytherin magic, past, present, and future, is yours to keep, to use, to bequeath, to deny, and to undo – as you see fit."

The silence was total until Ragnok's deep, booming laughter filled the room.


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