Chapter 2:

Harry was getting ready to leave the house. He had considered the implications of that disturbing memory and he had decided to trust the voice in his head for now. Voldemort-

'Stop calling me Voldemort. Call me Tom instead. I think we trust each other enough now that you can atleast do me this small courtesy.'

Tom he amended had outlined a plan for him to visit Gringotts.

Following the plan, he had placed his pillows in the shape of a human body on his bed to make it seem as though he was still sleeping there. The Dursleys had never bothered to get him a jacket to wear, so he simply wore one of Dudley's over sized shirts over the one he was currently wearing.

He had no money on him to take either the normal bus or the knight bus so he decided to fly to Diagon Alley on his firebolt. It was still early enough so he was sure that nobody would spot him. When he was about to walk out of the front door, Tom's voice warned him against it.

'You can't walk out that way without being detected Harry. Dumbledore has placed warning charms on the front door'

Harry's vision instantly faded to black with glowing motes tracing the outline of the door. He could see other motes around the house. Some were muffled by his cupboard door. He hesitantly walked towards the cupboard.

'Not now, we can reminisce about the past later. If we walk through the front door, Dumbledore will know. Lets go to the kitchen instead.'

As he entered the kitchen, Harry noted that while his vision had returned, the colors were somehow greyed out, Out of curiosity he asked "How did you change my vision like that?"

'I am in your head, you know, I can choose what kind of information I share and how I share it. Right now what I am doing is an elaborate illusion. I am simply overlaying what you would normally see with highlighted magical signatures for the wards and charms while muting the rest of the colors.'

A flash of what seemed like pure information seemed to follow this explanation. Most of the information seemed to flow over Harry's head. He was sure that Hermione would understand what was being shown but he doubted that he would ever get it.

'You would be surprised' Harry didnt know what to make of that. 'I will explain more after we go to Gringotts' Tom muttered in response to Harry's non-verbalised curiosity.

The kitchen door was similarly warded but the window was unwarded. Harry cautiously crept out through the window and then in one smooth motion jumped on to his Firebolt like he would on the Quidditch pitch.

The joy of flight blasted most of the concerns from Harry's mind. He reveled in the thrill of flight while Tom's voice simply chuckled. Harry felt something akin to sorrow as he landed in the alley way behind the Leaky Cauldron. It was just 4 AM.

Tom's voice mentally commanded the broom to shrink. To Harry's surprise the broom began shrinking till he could put it in his pocket. He entered Diagon Alley. The usually crowded street was completely empty, even the shopkeepers were asleep. They would only awake two hours later to open their shops. The only building still open was Gringotts.

Harry walked in to Gringotts. If the goblins were surprised at a Wizard, no less Harry-Potter-the-boy-who-lived, entering the bank so early, they didnt show it. Most of the tellers were idle, so he walked to the nearest teller.

"Mr Potter, To what do we owe the honor of your visit?"

'Let me handle this' Tom then began speaking through his voice

"How rude of a Goblin to use a clients name, especially one of a noble and ancient house, without offering his own in return?"

The goblin grimaced as if he was caught committing some gross indecency.

"My apologies, Heir Potter, I am Grishnakh, How may I assist you today?"

"I am here for the reading of the will of the late Sirius Black, my Godfather"

"As you wish Heir Potter, Blugnar!" the teller called out. "Direct Heir Potter to the Diamond Sitting Room. I will be there shortly with a reader"

Harry followed the indicated goblin to the sitting room. The Diamond sitting room turned out to be a vast room capable of accommodating atleast 40 People. Harry sat down in the front row near the middle where it was closest to the Dias.

Grishnakh came in followed by an older goblin.

"Greetings Heir Potter, I am Reader Fangrip, May your gold always flow"

Tom completed the customary greeting "and May your own enemies fall before you

Please read and execute the Private Will of my Godfather, Lord Sirius Orion Black."

The goblin began reading in a surprisingly deep voice for one so old.

"I, Sirius Orion Black, Lord of the Noble and Most Ancient House of Black, herewith leave all my possessions including the title of Lord Black and all it entails to my heir and adopted son, Harry James Potter, Heir to the house of Potter"

Harry stopped listening then and there as the Goblin seemed to drone on and on. While Tom seemed to be intently listening to what was being said. Harry was barely paying attention, Sirius was referring to Harry as his son. Suddenly the grief of losing Sirius loomed large in his mind. Harry spent the better part of the next half hour regaining control over his emotions.

"In summary, Harry James Potter, henceforth known as Lord Harry James Sirius Potter-Black will have complete control over the Black Title and Estate.

As you are now Lord Black Do you have any wishes as to the execution of the Public Will?" queried the Goblin

"Yes, I would like to stay the execution of the Public Will. Reader Fangrip, Please invite a Ritual Master so that I may be formally sworn in as Lord Black and a Litigator so that we may go over and change the terms of the Public will before its execution."

'What is going on?' Harry whispered in his mind.

'What we attended just now was your Godfathers Private Will Reading.

A Wizards Will, especially the will of a Lord of an Ancient and Noble house is often composed of two components, a Private will and a Public will.

The Private Will is used to declare the Lord's Successor and grant him title of the Lord as well as control of the house and its assets. It is called a Private will because it is done is secret so as to avoid the assassination of the Heir apparent before he can assume the title of the Lord and the protections it entails.

The Private Will must be executed within 30 Days of a Wizards the Private Will is executed, then the new Lord has control over the terms and execution of the Public Will of his predecessor. If not then the Private will is suppressed and the Public Will is executed by default.'

Harry was not stupid. He processed this information along with the fact that Dumbledore had advised him to stay in his relatives place till Dumbledore would come to pick him up this evening. He wouldn't be surprised if Tom could hear Cog Wheels slowly turning in head as he came to his final conclusion.

"Son of a Bitch" Harry whispered.

'Yes, If you had followed Dumbledore's Plans, you would have most surprisingly and coincidentally missed the deadline for the reading of the Private Will. Now I hope you can see that Dumbledore is plotting against you.'

'Wait till we see the Public Will and then we can decide if I should believe you or Dumbledore' Harry thought harshly

'Even so, there was no reason for Dumbledore to withhold this from you. This is something private between you and your adoptive father. Yes, Your father, not your Godfather, Dumbledore never even mentioned that Sirius adopted you. This atleast proves that Dumbledore does not have your best interests at heart. Even someone as thick as you can't ignore this' countered Tom scornfully.

Harry had no answer to this. Tom did not speak and neither did Harry. They both waited in mental silence till Fangrip returned with two Goblins, one wearing gold and crimson robes and the other wearing a black an white tunic.

The goblin wearing gold and crimson robes introduced itself as Ritual Master Bloodmaw. Harry completed the ritual for being sworn in as Lord Black.

He had to drink seven drops of Sirius's Blood while swearing various oaths. He then had to cut his hand and allow seven drops of blood to be collected while asking for a series of oaths from his future successor.

Once again Tom seemed to answer his unasked curiosity as to what he had done. 'Your successor would then swear oaths to accept the title from you and then proceed to set up the next series of oaths for his successor and thus the cycle continues' explained Tom

He then turned to the other Goblin who introduced himself as Litigator Gutrip. Together they went over the Public will. Unlike the Private Will which emancipated Harry and granted him the title of Lord Black immediately as well as control over the Black Estate, the Public will was instead operating under the assumption that Harry was being forcibly detained or already killed by Voldemort which is why the Private Will couldnt be executed.

Thus while granting Harry the title of Lord Black upon his becoming of age if alive, the estate was instead left in the hands of Albus Dumbledore for use to fund the Order of the Phoenix in the war against Voldemort.

He asked the Goblins to leave while he reviewed the wills in private. He began using this time to think.

Harry could see a damning picture of Albus Dumbledore. He began cursing under his breath. He had trusted Dumbledore, seen him as a grandfather, a mentor, a role model even. Dumbledore was someone he would judge his actions against and always found them lacking. Now that man was revealed to be manipulating and controlling him for his own selfish benefit.

Dumbledore was the one who put him with the Dursleys. The same Dumbledore who interceded again and again on Snape's behalf. Dumbledore who never punished Malfoy for any of the slurs that Malfoy spouted. Dumbledore who let Snape rip his mind into pieces. Dumbledore who did nothing about Umbridge and her vile detentions. It was as if all the rage he had against Dumbledore suddenly exploded out at once.

'Now you see what Albus Dumbledore really is. However this is more to it than this.

Remember your meeting with the Weasleys. How had forgotten the platform name. Is 9 3/4 a platform number you would forget?

The Hogwarts express always leaves from the same Platform. Molly Weasley would have dropped all her children off at the same platform year after year for a decade before you came there. She herself had attended Hogwarts and taken the Hogwarts express from there. The same as I did in my childhood. There is no way she could have forgotten the Platform number.

Also What about her shouting at the top of her voice about Muggles in the middle of the crowded Platform? No this clearly was a set up to attract your attention.

Ron Weasley meeting up with you train and coincidentally becoming you first and only wizarding friend? Another set up.

Malfoy may be an arrogant toerag but had you been alone you would have treated his offer of friendship more carefully like you did in Madam Malkin's. Instead Weasley makes you an instant enemy of Malfoy, he has made more friends than enemies with his slurs about the other houses. The Weasleys aren't really the people you should trust or be friends with Harry.'

Tom seemed to be striking while the iron was hot. He was directing Harry's rage and suspicion against the Weasleys. Harry knew he was being manipulated by Tom yet he could not refute the truth in Tom's words. It hurt Harry to think that his best mate for the past 5 years was actually using and betraying him.

Tom seemed to sense Harry's pain. He spoke softer now but his next words twisted the knife even further

'I am sorry Harry for the next few things I am about to say. I hope you can see the truth in them and forgive me for bring these suspicions out in the open. I believe that Dumbledore's manipulations did not begin with you. I think they stretched even further back.

How did James the Rule-breaker/Prankster suddenly become Headboy in his final year at Hogwarts? How did the brilliant Muggleborn Lily Evans who had clearly loathed and rejected James date him in their seventh year?

I believe that Dumbledore had designs for the Potter fortune as well.'

Harry almost hated Tom for putting these doubts in his head. For casting aspersions against the wonderful images he had of his parents. But that is what they were just images, Harry had never really met them or interacted with them. Even the smoky ghosts that came out of Voldemort's wand were just Echos.

'Tom, I am sorry but this is too much to take. Right now I can't trust anybody. I can't trust what people say about my parents. I can't trust the Weasleys who were like family to me. I can't trust Dumbledore. I can't even trust you because despite all you have said and shown me so far as you are still a part of Voldemort.'

'Harry, I know you want to be alone right now but we need to do this immediately before Dumbledore gets wind of what we are doing here. We need to secure your future here. You can do it Harry, you have faced worse than this.'

Images of the Basilisk in the chamber, the spiders in the forest, the Horntail and the Skrewt flickered through Harry's mind. Rather than feeling sapped by these images, Harry slowly began to draw strength from these scenes.

'Yes Harry that is your true nature. You are a survivor. Dumbledore put you at the Dursleys thinking they would crush your spirit, instead you have survived and have grown all the stronger for it. Not even the Imperious could take away your will. It took Snape over a year of weakening your Natural Occlumency Barriers before Voldemort could send a vision through them.'

Harry leaned back in his seat and closed his eyes. As soon as he closed them, Harry found himself facing what initially looked like an older version of the Tom Riddle from the Diary seated there. Curiously his eyes were green rather than blue and his features had a little bit of Harry in them.

Leaning forward, Tom stretched out his right hand which Harry took with his own.

As they began shaking hands as if to seal their alliance, Harry spoke in a quiet voice that somehow seemed to echo despite the words not being said aloud.

'Tom, I will take revenge on Dumbledore and Voldemort for ruining my life.

You have told me that you have lived through my life beside me. I trust you for now.

You have told me that you want to destroy Voldemort. I believe you for now.

But if you betray me...'

Harry let the threat hang. He knew it was foolish to make threats, what could he do against an enemy that was within his head. Tom held all the cards, he knew it, Tom knew it too.

'At last biting back like the snake you are on the inside. I always felt that you would do well in Slytherin. The Sorting Hat is surprisingly insightful' Tom smiled

Strangely these words no longer hurt Harry like they used to. Harry knew that for the kind of revenge he wanted, he would have to act like a Slytherin.

'You will be surprised what you are capable of, Harry, the Black fortune while sizable is not your greatest asset at all.'

Harry under Tom's directions began calling for Bloodmaw and Gutrip again. He had a lot of discussions to be had with the Goblins right now as well as in the future. Right now he would settle for gaining control of his wealth and consolidating his hold over his assets but sooner or later he would broach the topic of an alliance with the Goblins.

His thoughts began cycling between Dumbledore, the Weasleys and the Dursleys.

'Watch out all of you, I will have my revenge on you all for taking apart my life and using me for your own selfishness. By the time I get through with you, even death will be preferable.'