Title: Unusual Inheritance
Feedback: Constructive feedback appreciated, flames unappreciated
Disclaimer: I do not own Hermione, or Susan, or Su Li, or Tracey, or... I would buy them all but I am broke.
Summary: While staying at the Leaky Cauldron after his 'incident' with Marge, Harry finds out that he has an unusual inheritance. One that could change the course of his life forever.
Harry sat on the bed in the room that had been rented for him at the Leaky Cauldron. Ok, blowing up his Aunt like a balloon was not the best idea but hey, it got him away from the Dursley's. It was the day before his thirteenth birthday, and Harry was going over everything that had been happening with his friends over the last two years. He was comparing the consistent loyalty and friendship of Hermione with the jealousy and laziness of Ron when he was interrupted by a knock at the door. He opened it to reveal one of the maids who handed him an envelope with a Gringotts logo on it.
"Thank you." Harry said before closing the door.
Harry opened the letter.
Dear Mister Potter,
Your presence is required at Gringotts Bank on 31st July at 9am for a matter of utmost importance.
Senior Account Manger Bloodtide
Potter Account Manager
Harry sat back down on his bed, wondering what the Goblins wanted with him. Hedwig hooted softly from her perch.
"I know, girl." Harry said, before getting ready for bed.
Harry blinked at the next stack of papers and tried to clear his vision. In the last hour he had been told that he had a partial Inheritance due to him, everything he was entitled to with two exceptions. He was still bound by the Reasonable Restriction of Underage Wizardry and could not take up his Lordship and seat on the Wizengamont. Though he would be officially recognised as the Potter Heir Presumptive, a step above Heir and only available for underage Heirs where the previous Lord was deceased or incapacitated, like himself or Neville.
He had inherited enough money that realistically meant he never had to work but not an obscene amount of money. When he had seen the balance he had, for a second, had the irrational desire to show up at Privet Drive in a Limmo and having bought the deed for number 4 and throw his relatives out. Then he came to his senses.
The next shock had been that he owned three properties. The ruins of the house at Godric's Hollow, a 'Condo' at a place called Manly in Australia and a six bedroom townhouse not too far from the Diagon Alley. Apart from his Godric's Hollow, all the properties where in good shape.
Now Harry was looking at the third stack of papers, his brain refusing to believe what he was reading.
"I think I am reading these wrong." Harry said.
"Oh, you don't have to sign those." Bloodtide replied.
Harry sighed in relief. Slave Contracts. Hermione would have killed him if he had signed anything even remotely related to Slave Contracts.
"They are in effect as of today." Bloodtide continued.
"Why?! Huh?!" Harry began. "Hermione's going to kill me."
"Mister Potter?" Bloodtide said a few minutes later.
"Just. Just give me a minute." Harry replied with his head resting against the table.
After a minute he lifted his head from the desk and looked over at Bloodtide.
"Ok. Let's go through the details." Harry said.
One thing Hermione had taught him was that details were everything. It took almost two hours to go through it. The contracts were at least three generations old and had come very specific conditions as the ages and status of the final parties involved and all the contracts were created as payment for betrayals or breach of contracts. The contracts themselves actually allowed quite a bit of freedom for the Witches involved in some areas but gave Harry a lot power to decide their fates in other areas. Harry could sell these conditions to Hermione, provided she did not kill him first.
"So… is that everything?" Harry asked at last.
"One more thing. Follow me." Bloodtide said.
Bloodtide led Harry to another room. When the door opened Harry saw four young Witches, all about his own age, kneeling on the floor next to each other. The parents were in a huddle off to the side. Harry recognised the four girls.
Su Li, a Ravenclaw, was on Harry's far left, kneeling on her right knee, with her right fist firmly planted on floor, her left arm behind her back and her head bowed. Next knelt Hannah Abbott, a Hufflepuff, who was kneeling on both knees but sitting back on her ankles, her body upright but eyes downcast. After Hannah knelt his fellow Gryffindor Lavender Brown, who was bowed almost completely to the floor very much like the Japanese in movies. The final girl was Tracy Davis, Slytherin, was kneeling with both hands on her knees.
"I'm sorry about this." Harry said quietly so only the girls themselves could hear.
"We have been trained for this our entire lives." Lavender replied.
Harry stood up and turned to the parents. Bloodtide had told him what was expected.
"With these payments House Potter counts your debts paid." Harry intoned.
The parents were then escorted out of the room. He did not have to worry about the parents spreading word of what happened as the contracts forbid them from ever speaking or writing about the transaction, even in the privacy of their own home. When the door closed behind them Harry turned back to the girls.
"Rise." He ordered.
The girls stood with Lavender, Hannah and Tracy standing in a comfortable but casual stance, but Su stood to attention.
"Like I said, I am sorry about this. I had no idea before today about any of this. I see it this way, I am now responsible for your education and future. I know that most times with these contracts it ends your education, but I expect all of you to at least get your OWLS, if not your NEWTS." Harry said.
"Master." Su began.
"Stop. Never call me that." Harry replied. "I have been a slave, or very close to it. I will never subject you to that."
"Sir." Su said. "Like it or not, our lives are bound to you now."
Bloodtide re-entered, gave Harry a Portkey and whispered in his ear before leaving again.
"We will talk about this later. For now, take hold." Harry said.
The four girls took hold of the Portkey and the five of them disappeared from the Bank.
The five of them appeared in the Potter property not too far from Diagon Alley. The property was a three story townhouse, with a basement. The basement was just a large open space, broken up slightly by support columns. The ground floor had a large living room, a kitchen and dining room. The first floor had the large master bedroom, with ensuite, a study and a smaller bedroom. The top floor had four bedrooms and a bathroom.
The group appeared in the living room on the ground floor. Harry waved for the group to sit and the girls, reluctantly, sat in the various chairs in the living room.
"Ok." Harry sighed. "I understand the usual way this type of contract is used, but I have no interest in that at the moment. I think we are all too young."
Hannah and Lavender both nodded at this as they sat in their chairs. Su was sitting with a stiff spine and did not respond. Tracy simply chewed her lower lip.
"Now, having read the relevant contracts, I realise that your families were required to train each of you with some other beneficial skill. Can you please explain how you were trained?" Harry asked.
"Sir, I have been trained to be your bodyguard. I have been trained in a number of different combat techniques." Su replied.
"I know I am seen as nothing but an airhead and a gossip." Lavender said. "That was intentional. I have been trained well to analyse and collate information, as well as how to deal with the press."
"Hannah? What about you?" Harry asked.
"My father is part of the Ministry and Wizengamont." Hannah replied. "I have been taught the entire structure and workings of both the bodies and know the detailed workings of their procedures and internal structures."
Harry turned and looked at Tracy.
"I know all the Noble Families, in particular those regarded as Dark Families." Tracy replied. "I can not only provide histories and biographies on the prominent members, but can also decipher the intention behind certain innocuous seeming events. No member of a Noble House does anything without a reason… except Draco Malfoy. But he is an idiot."
Harry sat there for a few minutes thinking.
"Hannah. How would this work as far as Hogwarts is concerned?" Harry asked. "I am now legally responsible for all of you. With you, Su and Tracey in different Houses, how am I supposed to take care of you?"
"Well, the contracts are administered exclusively through Gringotts and enforced by magic, so neither the Ministry nor Wizengamont would be aware of them." Hannah replied. "So technically, no one knows. Now, while you do not have your Lordship or Wizengamont seats, you are still considered the Head of House Potter. You can, if you wish, have sworn advisors, or bodyguards. Under the Hogwarts Charter, you can request a private apartment for you and your retinue. There is only one other Head of Family at Hogwarts. Jonathan Willis, sixth year Ravenclaw. His advisors are all adults and come and go from Hogwarts as required and he will become Lord Willis at his next birthday."
"What about Neville, is he the Longbottom Heir Presumptive, so would he not also be Head of House Longbottom?" Harry asked.
"No. As Dowager, that power resides with his grandmother until Neville comes of age." Hannah replied.
"If I may?" Tracey asked, getting a nod of permission from Harry. "While I think that retinue status would be a good option for the other girls, I would not recommend that path for myself."
"Why?" Harry asked.
"I would be better able to serve you if no one knows I am serving you." Tracey replied. "I would be able to give you detailed inside information from inside Slytherin and what they, and their families, are planning. I have always faded into the background, so no one will notice."
"You want to be a spy?" Harry asked.
Tracey nodded. Hannah and Su looked contemplative.
"Sir, it would be a tactical advantage." Su observed. "As long as we set up a secure method passing reports and orders."
"Tracey and I a part of a study group that meets once a week. It is four Hufflepuffs, three Ravenclaws and two Slytherins. All Witches." Hannah added.
"So what official titles will you three have?" Harry asked.
"My suggestion is Security Advisor for Su. Press and Style Consultant for Lavender. Perhaps Chamberlain for myself." Hannah replied.
"Style Consultant?" Harry asked, sceptically.
"Let's admit, you do not have very good fashion sense." Lavender replied, indicating to Harry's clothes.
"Blame my Cousin. These are all his old clothes." Harry said.
"Well, we're going to have to do something about that." Lavender said.
"I will draft all the appropriate letters to Hogwarts." Hannah replied. "Now, how would you like to present this to Mister Weasley and Miss Granger?"
"I'm not sure about Ron." Harry said. "I am just beginning to realise just how poor a friend he is. Hermione I want to tell in person."