Faery Heroes

Response to Paladeus's challenge "Champions of Lilith". Harry, Hermione, and Luna get a chance to travel back in time and prevent the hell that England became under Voldemort's rule, and maybe line their pockets while they're at it. Lunar Harmony; plenty of innuendo, dark humor, some bashing included; manipulative!Dumbles; jerk!Snape; bad!Molly, Ron, Ginny



11. Money Matters

Harry was pulled from Morpheus's realm by a soft snuffle. Cracking open one eye, he could just barely make out the white blur sitting on the headboard of his bed. "Morning, Hedwig." As with Dobby and Xeno, somehow she knew that he and the girls were from the future, and she had been quite put out that he had not immediately searched for her. She had thankfully restricted her vengeful pecks to his ears and hands, which he had healed as soon as she was out of sight. Considering how angry she had been, he felt it best that he not even try cajoling her into her cage, but had instead asked that she fly back to Surrey at her own pace.

Now that he was awake, he fumbled for his glasses as his stomach rumbled in protest at not being given dinner. He had fallen asleep practically as soon as the adrenaline from his fight with Vernon had dispersed; his Cruciatus exposure may be healed, but there was still some lingering fatigue from his magical core refilling after the experience. Hauling himself from his bed, he looked out his window and saw that both of the family's cars were gone, which meant he had the house all to himself, not that he would be there for long that morning.

After luxuriating in a warm shower for half an hour and changing into clothes that weren't rumpled from being slept in, he strolled into the kitchen and almost nonchalantly flicked a finishing charm from his wand at the Ministry's ward node. He would prefer to shut down the ward permanently, but that would require disabling all of the nodes, casting a magic-dampening spell on the entire neighborhood, and then using magesight to track down the wardstones and remove them. Quite frankly, he had better uses for his time, especially since he would spend the days he wasn't with the girls rebuilding Potter Manor.

Another growl from his abdomen reminded him of his priorities. "Dobby," he called out, and the elf appeared in a soft pop.

"Master Harry calls Dobby! What cans Dobby does for Master Harry?"

"Could you make me some breakfast? I don't care what, just make sure that Hedwig has plenty of bacon."

Dobby nodded at his usual frantic pace. "Dobby be making lots of rashers for Her Owlness."

Shaking his head at the elf's title for the owl — not that she wouldn't demand to be referred to by it if she could speak — Harry idly watched the pans and food flying through the air, eggs in a conga line waiting to be fried and sausages frolicking in a buttered skillet. Soon enough the entertainment was over, and Harry dedicated his attention to satisfying the beast in his belly while Hedwig, who had joined them midway through the show, contently munched on her greasy bacon. Once finished, he pushed himself away from the table. His plate vanished before he could pick it up, causing the snowy owl to glare blearily at Dobby. If he knew his bird as well as he thought, and he did, she would diligently eat the last crumb of pork before taking her day's rest.

He returned to his bedroom and found the key to his Gringotts vault. He pictured the Leaky Cauldron in his mind's eye, spun on his heel… and nothing happened. Frowning, he attempted to Disapparate again with the same results. Odd, I distinctly remember Fletcher and Dumbledore Apparating and Disapparating around here. He placed the tip of his wand against his right temple. "Oculos magicae."

The magesight charm provided a long-lasting passive effect when cast on lenses, like his glasses or Omnioculars, but it was meant to be used for the short term on the eyes themselves. The dome of the blood ward flared into existence, its surface racing with numbers and symbols. He ignored the formula displayed and twisted his wand as if it were a dial. The ward blurred and faded, but there was nothing outside of its protection, so he slowly spun the holly shaft in the opposite direction. Just inside the blood ward, threads drifting to the Ministry's node, was a thin white ward. He glanced at the runes drifting lazily across the surface and swore. "I was right, an Apparation ward with an additional charm to blind the Ministry to anyone coming in or out. Dumbledore probably cast it, which means he's the only one who can key people in. Well, he may want me isolated in this dump, but there's more than one way to skin a Kneazle."

Harry opened the window, allowing a hot, dry wind to blow in. He vaguely remembered this summer being oppressive, but at the moment, it was perfect for his needs; the high temperature would create a great number of updrafts for him to ride. He pocketed his wand and concentrated on his other self. He initially feared that he would be forced to meditate for several days or weeks to regain his animal form, but he was grateful when he felt his body shrinking, his fingers fusing together, his nose and jaws elongating to a sharp point. His clothing disappeared at the same time as his eyes shifted along the sides of his head and dark feathers sprouted from his skin.

After the first month of the trio barricading themselves inside the manor, they had all decided to become Animagi, and he had been overjoyed to learn that his form was a Peregrine Falcon, an animal that shared his love of diving at high speed after elusive flying objects. He was on the small side for the species, only sixteen inches tall, and that size was to his advantage here. A falcon flying around Little Whinging was an unusual event, but one that could be easily ignored; a teenager on a broom doing the same would be far harder to miss, and would almost certainly cause the Hit Wizards to arrest him for breaking the Statute of Secrecy.

With a hop and a few flaps, he moved to the windowsill and peered out. Snoring came from one of the bushes, so he forewent stealth and dropped off the ledge, his wings catching the hot air and bringing him up to a soaring height with a minimum of effort. He lazily floated away from the neighborhood, savoring the joy of flight once more, but he landed on a nearby rooftop after ten minutes. He was far enough away from Privet Drive by now to be out of the Ministry's ward, so he retook his original shape and again tried to travel to London. This time he was successful.

Diagon Alley was bustling when he entered from the Leaky Cauldron. Not that they knew it was him, of course; it was incredibly what simply changing his hair to a limp mousey brown did to lessen his noticeability. He had gleaned from the headlines of the Daily Prophet that the Ministry was already focused on destroying his reputation. Why else would they have featured a photograph of him right after escaping the graveyard, bloodstains and pallid face included? Shaking his head in exasperation, he began the trek to the marble behemoth of Gringotts.

"Packed with morons, of course," he groused, mocking his first memory of Molly Weasley in the same breath. He impatiently went to the end of the line farthest from the giant bronze doors and waited for his turn with the teller.

The creation of Gringotts Bank was an interesting footnote in the history of Magical Britain. During the goblin rebellion of 1756, the last remnants of the goblin force had been forced back to their stronghold in the northern Pennines mountain range, and the Wizarding Army spent seven weeks attempting fruitlessly to break through the underground fortress's defenses. Just as the Ministry was weighing the risks and rewards of using Fiendfyre on the mountains, so the tale went, a messenger from the Gringott clan brought word that the clan leader wished a parley. Their discourse lasted long into the night, but a deal was eventually struck. A platoon of wizards were guided into the fortress through a series of tunnels the next day and opened the main gate for the rest of the army to enter through.

Once the war was over, the sole remaining clan of British goblins demanded that Ministry uphold its side of the bargain. No one wanted the fighting to continue, so the goblins were given the control of the human's gold they wanted so much. The wizards, though, got the last laugh; the clan leader had been so desperate for the war to be over that he had neglected to read the magically binding treaty thoroughly before signing and missed the section that prevented that greedy and violent race from raising their weapons at the Wizarding World ever again. Their last native enemy defeated, the army was soon disbanded except for the elite Aurora Company that guarded the Minister and Wizengamot. Aurora Company was later merged with the DMLE to defend the country against users of the Dark Arts, becoming the Aurors.

"Next," the goblin called out snidely twenty minutes after Harry entered. He stepped up to the desk and handed his key to the irascible creature.

"I'd like to visit my vault, as well as speak to the account manager for the Potter family."

The goblin looked at the key for a moment, then returned it. "Whiptorn, escort the human to Goldfinger's office."

A younger and — literally — greener goblin appeared as if out of thin air. "This way, human," it sneered, and led him through a grimy entrance behind the desk, down a labyrinthine hallway, and finally to a plain wooden door with Goldfinger's name carved into it. Whiptorn opened the door and unceremoniously shoved Harry through it before slamming it to.

"Sit, boy," ground out the day's third goblin, this one corpulent from sitting behind a desk eating snacks all day if the plates stacked on one end of the desk were any indication. "What business do you have with me?"

"I am Harry Potter, and I need to request an audit of my accounts."

"Prove you are who you say you are, and we can discuss your audit after." Goldfinger handed him a sharp-edged stone and a small saucer. "Fill the vessel with blood."

He glanced at the rock, its surface stained with other people's blood. "I don't suppose I can just swear a magical vow that I'm me, can I?"

"And trust you to know your own identity? Certainly not, you could be deluded or the target of mental manipulation. Blood, however, does not lie. If you do not wish to verify your identity, get out of my office." Seeing no other way, he closed his fist around the stone, its sharp bite allowing blood to flow into the dish. Once he had enough, he set the object down on the desk, and Goldfinger threw him a wad of rough gray cloth that he used to staunch the weeping wound. Magicking it closed would have to wait until he had exited the bank; drawing a wand here was a serious offense, and he didn't want to ruin his morning with a battle to escape the bank.

The goblin drew a black quill from his desk, set the nib into the pool of blood, which was quickly sucked up into the pen, and then placed it point-down on a scrap of parchment. The feather wrote out 'Harry James Potter'.

"Good," Goldfinger stated, though his tone indicated the situation was anything but, "I was convinced that you would be the two-thousand, three-hundred and sixty-fifth person to try to claim relation to the Potter family since your parents' deaths. Now that that is out of the way, which account did you want audited?"

Thankfully, Harry had already claimed his vaults once, though he hadn't asked for an audit. That was simply to reassure himself that Dumbledore hadn't been sticking his fingers where they didn't belong and weren't wanted. "My trust vault, the main Potter vault, and Lily Evans's personal account." His mother, like Hermione, liked to keep as many options open as possible, so she had opened a vault specifically for her 'mad money', as his lover called it. As she had restricted access to herself and her children, his father would have never been able to touch it.

The goblin grumbled at the work he was obligated to perform and pulled a thin book out of the shelf behind him to consult. "Your trust vault currently contains three hundred galleons, and will be refilled from the main vault on July 1 to a total of fifteen hundred. That vault has 80,497 galleons, ten sickles, and twenty-two knuts inside. Your mother's personal vault has a balance of two thousand galleons and five sickles.

"The accounts for the family vault and the Evans vault have not had any other activity after 1981 beyond the removal of security fees and the deposit of interest from their investments, and will continue to have none until you come of age and can legally demand entrance. The only activities for your trust vault this year were a transfer on August 1 to Hogwarts for five hundred galleons, and August 26, a withdrawal by one Molly Weasley of seven hundred galleons."

That was a lot of money, far more than necessary for a single textbook and what he had since learned was a set of basic dress robes. "I didn't authorize for her to take that much from my account; she couldn't have possibly needed more than fourteen or so. Is there any way I can get compensation from her for the excess?"

Goldfinger harrumphed. "If you want to control how much someone can remove from your account, you should not give them your key."

He grimaced, that was a good point. "And you're sure that no one has withdrawn any money from the other two vaults? I have reason to suspect that a… certain individual desires my family's finances."

This prompted a snarl from the goblin. "I do not care if this 'individual' claims to be Khorne himself. Unless this person can prove descent from the Potters or Lily Evans, he will not be granted access. Now, if there is nothing else, begone."

Harry cautiously stepped out the door and found himself in the lobby by the grand entrance. I don't like the goblins much, but I can't deny they're efficient.

After healing his wound, then returned to the bank for another wait to get a ride down to his trust vault, Harry made his way to his other destination, the shop of the reclusive and, if he was honest with himself, creepy Garrick Ollivander. He entered the building, ignoring the bell over the door, and moved his gaze over all of the room he could see. He still remembered being surprised by the elderly man when he first came in here, and he would prefer to not have that happen this time.

"Hello again, Mr. Potter."

He jumped forwards and whirled around, wand out ahead of him while he prepared to cast a shield with his off hand. Even though he was only two feet from the door, the wandcrafter had somehow snuck up behind him. "Do you have to do that?"

"No, I don't have to. I just enjoy it." Ollivander walked over to the counter and sat down behind it. "Now, what can I do for you?"

Harry cleared his throat and joined him. "Have you heard about what happened after the third task of the Triwizard Tournament?"

"I have."

"Then you know that Voldemort has returned."

Ollivander frowned. "I do not know that, I only know that you say He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Named has escaped Death's clutches. Nevertheless, I fail to see why you have come to me."

"Well, when he was throwing curses at me, I cast a disarming hex at him, and our spells connected —"

"Connected, you say?" Now he had the man's full attention. "Connected how?"

"Well, both spells turned gold, and there was a lot of phoenix song and a cage of light," Harry said as he tried to recall the memory. He also knew that he would need to twist the story a little for his request to make sense; he couldn't say that needed a new wand because he survived his girlfriend using a Killing Curse on him, after all. "His wand sent some beads of light into my wand, and now I'm having difficulty casting spells with it."

"His wand forced yours to submit?" Ollivander pondered. "Yes, I can see how that might lose you your wand's loyalty. You are in need of a new one." Harry nodded, and the wandsmith rose from his seat and scurried into the shelves. "Very well, allow me see what I have in stock. We'll try this, and this, perhaps that, these most assuredly, doubtful but possibly, and those."

He returned with his arms loaded with boxes. "Yes, let us begin anew. Beech and dragon heartstring, nine inches, flexible." Harry gave it a wave, and a weak spark came out before Ollivander snatched it back. "Yes, that will happen now that you are accustomed to using a wand. Every wizard may use almost any wand, but those that are proper matches will be few and far between.

"How about hawthorn and unicorn hair, ten inches?" Another weak response.

"6½ inches, walnut and phoenix feather." There was a stronger reaction, but considering it sent a lightning bolt at the box the wand came in, he would prefer using something else.

"Pine and unicorn hair, twelve inches." A yowl of a dying cat, and Harry nearly threw it back at its maker.

They spent over an hour trying out different combinations, and Harry had become very worried about his immediate future, when Ollivander pulled another box from the back. "A strange combination, but you astonished me when you were eleven, as well. Eleven inches, acacia with heartstring from a particularly crafty Peruvian Vipertooth."

He took the wand in his hand and instantly knew it was different. It seemed to hum in his hand, and a short flick created a ball of brilliant blue light. "This fits even better than my old wand did."

"Interesting, very interesting. Your previous wand was holly, a wood excellent for protection, but one that often finds a match in wizards with a tendency for impulsive decisions." He looked askance at Harry, and the boy had the decency to blush. "Acacia, on the other hand, is usable only for wizards who have progressed passed the 'bangs and smells' magics, as I like to call them; wizards who understand the value of subtlety and prudence."

Harry certainly understood being subtle. After his lovers' near fatal accidents and the mass desertion of the various members of the Order, he had realized that he couldn't continue to wade into battle as if he were invincible, for he refused to put either Hermione or Luna through what he had been forced to deal with. Unfortunately, his dueling repertoire was composed entirely of radiant jets of color, so he decided to move away from the field of magic he was used to and look for something that was dangerous over a distance and could not be easily traced back to its source. One of the paths he explored was Mind Magic.

Memory charms, Legilimency, compulsions, even the Imperius Curse. These spells were invisible when they left the wand and, without proper preparation on the part of the victim, were nearly unbreakable. He had tried a few spells, only to find that he had a natural talent for them now that the Horcrux was no longer tied to his mind. It shouldn't have been surprising, to be honest, considering that he was capable of throwing off an Imperius cast by a master of the Dark Arts and that it took Snape several seconds to expel him when he had reflected a Legilimency probe during one of their 'Occlumency lessons'. It even explained why he had such difficulty learning Occlumency to begin with, for the two branches were fundamentally opposed; he could not be receptive to others' thoughts while holding a shield in front of his own.

This was why the Death Eaters feared him so much. There were many witches and wizards who could hold off an assault by themselves for a short while given enough cover, but he was unique in that he would turn a battle into a bloodbath without anyone ever knowing he was there. Adding in his Invisibility Cloak gave him a distinctly unfair advantage.

Ollivander's voice pulled him out of his reverie. "That will be sixteen galleons, Mr. Potter."

"I could have sworn that my first wand was only seven."

"It was," the man explained, "but the Ministry gives me a smaller subsidy for replacement wands than they do for the first. My payment, please?"

He reached into his pocket to pull out his money, but a paranoid suspicion stopped his hand. "Mr. Ollivander, you weren't planning on telling Dumbledore about this, were you? He seemed unusually well-informed about my and Voldemort's wands, as well as their relationship to each other."

"Who I tell about the goings on of my shop are no one's concerns but my own. Is that all, Mr. Potter?"

"Actually, there's one more thing." A Stupefy would have been easier, but a left hook was far more satisfying. He used his holly wand to levitate the unconscious man down the aisles to the back of the building and set him roughly on a chair in front of his workbench. "I really don't want Dumbles to hear about this. Episkey, Obliviate. Ennervate." The waking charm was quick to work its magic if someone had been hit by a stunner, but he knew from personal experience that it left several minutes of disorientation and grogginess when used on someone with head trauma. Pocketing both wands, he left Ollivander's store and the Alley entirely, then Disapparated when he was out of sight of any observant Muggles.

It was time to go home.

It was time to return to Potter Manor.

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