Authors note: Wow... this story topped 100 followers in less than two days. I was not expecting this much support. Hopefully this chapter will be as well received as the last.
May those of you who celebrate Christmas, have a happy one. Good tidings to all, regardless of what you believe in.
Thank you for reading, and special thanks to those who review. I appreciate each review, whether question or comment, positive or negative. Let me know what you think, I try to respond to every review.
Who am I?
It was Christmas, and Santa had given him a toy fire engine. Dudley wanted to play with it, but he didn't want to share. Dudley wouldn't shut up, so he hit his fat cousin with the fire engine. Dudley fell down, and stopped bothering him. His aunt screamed, and his uncle took away the fire engine, and put him in his room for a time out.
He had just finished executing his teddy bears for leading the toy rebellion against him, when a weird old man wearing a dress came into his room with his uncle in tow. The man looked at the teddies, and looked disappointed. He couldn't understand why. He thought he did a good job of crushing the rebellion. He'd impaled the ringleader, drawn and quartered the second in command, and he'd slit the belly of the lieutenant before finishing him off by decapitation. The stuffing pouring from the belly wound was a nice touch he'd thought.
"I'm sad to agree with you Vernon, but you're right. The boy is disturbed." The weird old man pulled a stick out of his dress. "I'll see if I can't make him more normal. Obliviate." A light came out of the man's stick.
It's the first day of school, and he doesn't want to go. He tries screaming, and stamping his feet, but it doesn't change his aunt's mind. His cousin is already on the bus, and his aunt is trying to get him to go join Dudley.
His aunt just won't listen, so he grabs the pencil from next to the phone, and stabs her as hard as he can. The pencil slides into her thigh, and she screams. He forgets what he's doing, and just watches the red blood well up and soak her skirt, while tiny rivers flow down her leg to pool in her shoe.
Soon a weird old man wearing a dress shows up with his uncle. The man pointed a stick at him, and for some reason, he couldn't move anymore.
"Whatever you did last time didn't work. You have to do something else, or else we just won't be able to handle him." His uncle pleaded with the old man in the dress.
His aunt whimpered in the next room, as a strange lady he never noticed come in was pouring water on his aunts wound. Maybe it wasn't water, there was steam that rose as it touched her skin. Then the lady made his aunt drink different colored juices.
"I'm afraid the only option left is to try and fundamentally alter his mind." The weird man said looking at him sadly. "No spell is powerful enough to do so permanently, at least not on its own. I'll do what I can, but I think there is going to have to be some changes around here."
"What do you mean?" His uncle asked.
"If there were some other way I would try it, but all I can think of is to try and make him meek and subservient." Holding his head as if in pain, the old man explained. "I can make his mind more open to the change, but you'll have to do the rest. You are unfortunately going to have to abuse him. Discipline him to the extreme, verbally abuse him, and generally treat him as a burden. If you can break his spirit by the time he goes to Hogwarts, then I'll be able to build him back up into a better person."
His uncle looked sick. "I don't think I could do that. There has to be another way."
"I wish there was." The old man said. "With your permission, I will alter you and Petunia so that you'll be able to do what is necessary. No matter what, it is imperative that the boy stay here."
"Will it make us do horrible things to our sweet Duddykins?" His aunt asked.
His uncle looked horrified. "Petunia! You can't honestly be going along with this."
"We have to Vernon! Just look at Harry. He nearly killed Dudley last Christmas! Just now he almost killed me, and he's smiling. Smiling!" His aunt was laughing madly. It was a nice sound. "I knew we never should have given these freaks a chance."
The strange lady made his aunt drink another juice and the nice sound stopped. Instead his aunt started talking in a real boring way. "Do it to Vernon, but I won't need it. Your kind took Lily from me. You freaks ruin everything you touch. I tried to love him as if he were my own son, but the little freak is an abomination, and deserves to be broken."
"Now wait one minute." His uncle sounded scared. "You said with our permission, and I won't give it! We'll figure something out. We can take him to a doctor, or maybe..."
His uncle froze mid sentence, and stood still like a statue. The old man looked even more sad and pointed the stick at his uncle the statue. "I'm more sorry than you'll ever know, but this is all for the greater good."
The stick lit up, and the light shot out into his uncle. Then the old man pointed the stick at him. The tip of the stick glowed with another bright light.
He complained that they weren't doing anything for his sixth birthday. His cousin said it was because he was a freak, and then pushed him down the stairs. Tumbling down, he felt a sharp pain shoot through his arm as he felt the bone snap. His arm was bent funny, and he held it up to see it better.
"Enough of this then, you need to learn your place boy." His uncle said grabbing his broken arm and pulling him to his feet.
The pain of the bone breaking was nothing compared to the agony of it being forcibly tugged like that. He screamed, and the next thing he knew, he was in his cupboard with a spider crawling over his face. The door was latched securely, and the bulb was missing from his light.
He picked up the spider, and placed it with the others on the wall. He watched them crawl by the light that came into his cupboard from around the door. The spiders were his only friends. He liked them, and their kisses tingled funny. He was stuck with his friends for a while because his uncle had locked him in here.
He poked at his broken arm, and marveled at the feeling of pain that each touch produced. There wasn't much else to do but play with his injury. The quiet of his cupboard was so much that he could hear his heart beating, until he heard his aunt talking with someone he didn't recognize.
"You wanted him broken. You wanted him this way, so don't complain now that we're doing it." She said to the stranger.
"My dear, I meant his will, not his body." The stranger sounded upset. "No one benefits if he becomes crippled, or worse, dies."
His aunt snorted. "I'd love it if he died. Then we wouldn't have to put up with him anymore."
Not particularly caring about the conversation, he started poking his arm again. Concentrating on the feeling, the conversation faded into the background, and all he thought about was how cool the broken bone felt through his skin.
He heard the latch undone, and looked up as the door opened. He blinked to let his eyes get used to the light, and the first thing he saw was a weird old man wearing a dress and holding a stick.
"Great Merlin!" The old man exclaimed. "Harry, what are you doing, and for the love of magic, why are you smiling?"
He looked down and noticed that the bone was now poking through. Blood was dripping off of his arm, and staining his mattress. His finger was picking at the now exposed bone.
"See! You see? He may not be trying to kill us anymore, but he's still insane. The freak likes the pain." His aunt said from just outside his vision.
"I'll see what I can do." The man sighed as he pointed the stick at him. "Do be more careful with him. I do need him in one piece. Obliviate."
"How long did you say he would be asleep mama?" Morticia asked while she looked at Harry's unconscious form draped across their table.
Granny Frump scratched her temple with a boney finger. "Hard to say. It depends on how many memories he's got locked up in there." Tossing the finger into her cauldron, she made a guess. "Soon I think."
Gomez sat down at the head of the table. "No sense in having Lurch move him then. Wednesday, why don't you set the table?"
"Of course father." She said as she picked up a stack of dishes. Setting them down on the table, she grabbed Harry by the collar and casually threw him off of the table and to the floor. "Where is Pugsley? I wanted to see how sharp my new razor is."
"I saw him take Pubert out into the field earlier. I don't know why though." Dementia said as she and Fester sat down.
Fester grinned happily. "I'm Pretty sure he's going to use Pubert to see how deep the well is. Nothing like brotherly love. Eh Gomez?"
"Right you are old man."
Morticia sat next to her husband. "Fester, do you know if there's any water in that well?"
Pugsley walked in carrying a soaking wet Pubert. "There is, but I planned for that and tied a rock to his leg." He set Pubert into his electric booster seat, and strapped him in. "The well can't be that deep. He crawled back out only a couple minutes after I dropped him in."
"That's my boy!" Gomez cried out proudly. "Chewed through the ropes no doubt."
"That's why we use chains now." Granny Frump pointed out as she joined the rest of the family at the table.
The family enjoyed their breakfast. Taking their time, they talked about unimportant things while Lurch attended them. As the family butler turned to go take care of Morticia's plants, he heard a groan. Looking down, he realized he was standing on their guest. Taking a full step back, Lurch bent over and picked up Harry. Holding the boy in the air with one hand, he pulled out an empty chair next to Wednesday with the other. He set Harry into the seat gently, and went to plate his breakfast.
"I don't think he's quite awake yet." Wednesday said dispassionately as she leaned in to look at his jade eyes, which were glazed over and unfocused.
Harry's hand shot out and grabbed Wednesday by the throat. Her own eyes widened with genuine surprise. No one had managed to catch her off guard, not since before she murdered her first boyfriend.
"Ugh, I feel like I've been trampled by a heard of hippogriffs." Harry said as he opened his eyes, pleased that the lighting wasn't bright enough to hurt.
"Fantastic!" Gomez exclaimed with a toothy grin. "Aching muscles aside, how do you feel?"
Waking completely, he noticed he was choking the girl sitting next to him and panicked. "Ah! Sorry sorry sorry." He begged forgiveness as he released his grip.
Gomez laughed and slapped the table. "Nonsense, no doubt she'll return the favor all in good time. Now, was the potion helpful?"
Harry shook the remains of grogginess away, and then looked down at the jagged scar on his arm. It was one of the few he had never known the origin of. "I don't know. I remember things now, but I... I'm not sure who I am anymore." He carefully glanced at Wednesday out of the corner of his eye. She had simply returned to her breakfast as if nothing had happened.
"I see." Gomez said while looking sidelong at his brother. "Fester, I was thinking. If I remember correctly, the wizards have their own bank. Run by imps or something like that."
"Goblins." Harry corrected absently as Lurch set down a steaming plate of... something in front of him.
"Capitol, goblins then. Harry, I trust you know where this bank is? I was thinking maybe you could take my brother there. Fester can see if they have an Addams account on the books."
Fester turned to Gomez with a look of confusion. "Shouldn't you handle something like that? You've always managed the accounts, ever since mother and father were torn apart."
"True," Gomez waved his hand dismissively. "But you are the older brother. If there are any issues, it would be better that you deal with them." He looked back at Harry. "Well Harry my boy, would you show Fester the bank?"
Harry started to agree without thinking, but caught himself. "I would, but there are probably wizards looking for me. No, there are definitely people looking for me, and I don't want any of them to find me. Not yet anyway."
"That's no problem. Give me a few minutes, and you'll look like a new man." Granny Frump said. "You've got too much color anyway."
Not seeing any reason to stop trusting this family yet, Harry shrugged in agreement.
Wednesday watched Harry speculatively as she lightly touched the bruises already forming on her slender neck.
Harry felt as if he were just along for the ride. This was not an unusual feeling for him, but these people made him also feel like it was his choice entirely, and he could walk away at any time.
He stood before a full length mirror, and could not recognize himself. Dressed in an expensive muggle suit that somehow fit him perfectly, his telltale lightning bolt scar was hidden by a top hat. Wearing clothing that fit was enough of a difference, but his entire face wasn't his own. His skin was pale, and there were dark circles around his eyes, as though he hadn't slept for weeks. He'd always been thin, but now his face looked downright gaunt. His other most noticeable feature was his brilliant green eyes, but those staring back at him were colored an inky black.
"You just happen to have a disguise for me that fits perfectly?" Harry asked as he ran his hand along his now waxy face.
Cackling, Granny Frump handed him a decorative cane to complete the look. "We got lucky. You're the same size as Nick-Nack. That's his face and clothes you're wearing right now."
Harry looked sharply at the old lady who's smile displayed too few rotten teeth. He couldn't tell just how serious that last remark was.
As if reading his mind, she answered. "No, that wouldn't work at all, human skin doesn't keep well. It's just his death mask."
"How long will my eyes stay this color?" He asked as he turned back to the mirror, and stared deep into the abysses that now were his eyes.
"The potion should run it's course in about half a day." She estimated.
To make it harder for Voldemort, or Dumbledore for that matter, to find where he was staying, Lurch drove Harry and Fester into town. Harry had told everyone that they would catch a bus from there.
Fester looked excited, almost childlike in fact. "I've never been on a bus before. Is it true that they're covered with disease and filth?"
"I don't think so, at least the Knight Bus isn't." Harry answered as he held out his wand.
With a loud bang, the Knight Bus appeared and screeched to a stop in front of them. Since Harry was without money until they reached Gringotts, Fester pulled out an old gold coin to pay the fare. The conductor took it without examining it carefully thinking it was a galleon. He gave Fester a few knuts change, and the bus lurched forward toward its next stop.
Interestingly enough the coin remained in circulation for nearly a month until a witch tried to deposit it in her Gringotts account. The teller recognized it as the spanish doubloon it was, and happily replaced it with a galleon of his own, effectively netting him a tidy profit with hardly any work at all. The gold itself was worth around eleven galleons, but if he sold it through muggle channels, he could find a collector willing to pay much more.
There were quite a few riders on the bus, so the trip took nearly fifteen minutes. By the time they arrived at the Leaky Cauldron, both Harry and Fester were so jostled that they stumbled around wildly as they fell off the bus.
Clearing his head by slamming his palm against it, Fester broke out into another huge grin. "That was fantastic!" He helped Harry to his feet, who took a few extra moments to stop swaying.
"Alright, follow me then I guess." Harry said as he got his bearings.
Harry was used to being stared at, but it was kind of fun enjoying anonymity at the same time. He and Fester drew every eye as they walked through Diagon Alley, but not one person looked at him as if he were the Boy-Who-Lived.
It took Fester until they were halfway down the alley before he remembered that Gomez wanted him to talk with Harry. "Feels like you've opened a whole new set of eyes doesn't it?" He asked, then grinned wildly as a witch fell backwards in an effort to get away from them.
Harry thought about it, then looked at Fester. "That's a pretty good way of describing it. This sort of thing happen to you?"
Nodding emphatically Fester replied. "Back in the late sixties I got lost in the Bermuda Triangle. Twenty-five years later, a wonderfully demented women found me with amnesia. She took me in as her son, and I was her enforcer for a while. She was a loan shark you see, those were great times." He stared off into the distance with a wistful smile. "Eventually we tried to con my family out of their fortune. I was pretending to be myself, only I didn't know it!" He started laughing, and slapped his knee. "A bolt of lightning returned my memories, and well... There's a reason why there's a section of the family graveyard set aside for enemies." His laughter went from obvious humor to something darker.
"I think I had more than memories taken from me." Harry said as he tightened his grip on the walking stick, causing it to strike the ground with added force. "I think I was changed somehow, made to be more... normal." He spat the last word as if it were the most vile of curses. "Every hour that passes I feel more whole, more right."
They stopped before the steps of Gringotts, and Fester set his hand on Harry's shoulder. "Before I got my memories back, Morticia told me the family motto that I had forgotten. I think it helped me realize who I really was even before my memories returned." He let his face grow serious, almost reverent. "Sic gorgiamus allos subjectatos nunc."
"My Latin is really bad, what does it mean?" Harry asked, his curiosity peaked at what little he could figure out.
"We gladly feast on those who would subdue us." Shining on Fester's face, was the mad look that Harry was constantly growing more comfortable with.
Harry narrowed his eyes. "I believe I can get behind a credo like that." Coming back to where they were, Harry led Fester up the steps, and into the bank.
They walked up to the first available teller, and Harry addressed the goblin who was busy writing in a ledger. "My friend and I would like a more private location to discuss our business with your bank."
The goblin sneered at them with thinly veiled disgust. "Do you have an account with Gringotts?"
"I do, and my friend would like to find out if he does too." Harry said gesturing to Fester.
Grumbling to himself in gobbledegook, the teller called out to a young goblin runner, and spoke rapidly to the younger employee. As the runner left he turned back to Harry, and pointed to an open door. "Wait in there."
"I still can't believe he managed to grab you like that." Pugsley said absently as he worked with a soldering iron, wiring a timer for a bomb of some kind. "I mean I've never even been able to scratch you, and he just reaches out, and has you inches away from death."
"Maybe he's just better than you are." Wednesday said offhand while she helped Pubert climb into an iron maiden.
Pugsley nodded at first, then thought about it. "What's that supposed to mean?"
She slammed and latched the torture device, and giggles could be heard from within. "Don't be offended dear brother. I only mean that he's faster than you. You take more after Uncle Fester." She waved her hand as if to showcase the collection of explosives that Pugsley had made.
He smiled widely. "Yeah, he says I'm better with dynamite than he was when he was a kid."
Nodding, Wednesday continued. "I, on the other hand, take after mother and father." She paused, and a ghost of a smile passed her lips. "That's why they love me more."
"That makes sense." He said absently as he concentrated on his work. Then what his sister said registered, and his hand slipped driving the soldering iron into the timer. A small flare up accompanied by sparks shot up, catching his hair on fire.
Wednesday smiled as she watched her brother swat at his head to put out the fire. The iron maiden next to her started to vibrate, and she stepped away. Crashing to the floor, the medieval relic sprang open. Pubert crawled out, stood up, and ran off giggling wildly. Looking into the open iron maiden, Wednesday noted with interest that half of the spikes were bent at odd angles. "Pubert's getting stronger."
Glaring at his sister, he brushed the char out of his hair. "I love you sister dear. One of these days I'll be able to show you just how much. I'm thinking along the lines of an industrial wood chipper."
"You're welcome to try." She said as her hand once again drifted to the bruises on her neck. "The family has taken quite an interest in Harry don't you think?"
Pugsley looked at her sideways. "He's kinda weird, but he doesn't scream 'victim' like most of our guests. Why?"
"No reason." Her face returned to its usual emotionless state. "Don't worry about it." She walked away to try and discover what kind of trouble her youngest brother had no doubt found.
Shrugging, he went back to his timer. His sister was weird sometimes.
Nearly the entire Order of the Phoenix sat at the long dining room table at 12 Grimmauld Place. The day before, Dumbledore had learned that Harry had cast magic at Privet Drive. As soon as he could, he sent word to the order, and apparated directly there. He found Mundungus helplessly bound in the front garden. Harry was nowhere to be found, and the Dursleys had thrown his trunk and other belongings to the curb.
Nursing a growing headache, Dumbledore had convinced the Dursleys that it was in everybody's best interest for them to take Harry back once he had been found. He then freed Mundungus, and heard the petty thief's account of what had occurred.
Dumbledore had ordered the entire order to search high and low for their wayward charge, and now they were gathered to discuss their next course of action.
Arthur Weasley spoke first. "Harry's owl showed up at the Burrow. Hedwig carried no message, but does not seem overly worried. We think Harry sent her to us because he was going somewhere she would not be able to follow for whatever reason."
"That seems to tell us that Harry at least was not kidnapped." Kingsley Shacklebolt commented.
Mundungus looked offended, something he was surprisingly good at. "Hey, I told you all he was hacked off, didn't I? Left of his own free will he did."
Mad-Eye grunted. "We all know what your word is worth Dung. He's not at the Granger's, or any of the other places we thought he might run to. I shook down the day shift conductor for the Knight Bus. He admitted that he picked up a teenager from Privet Drive, and even was kind enough to show me where they dropped him off."
"Kind enough he says. Was that before or after you strung him up by his ears Mad-Eye?" Tonks asked.
"Watch it girly. My methods work, and are legal enough. That's all that matters." He growled at the young auror. "Anyway, seems Potter gave the conductor a bag of gold to forget about him."
"Where did he go Alastor?" Dumbledore asked, hoping for something solid to work with.
"The middle of nowhere. Some rocky cliff overlooking the ocean." He took a swig of his ever present flask. "Before anyone asks, I already checked. He didn't off himself, or even try. No sign of him jumping, and I checked all along that damn cliff."
Molly Weasley leaped to her feet, outraged. "Harry would never do that!"
Mad-Eye laughed. "Sure he wouldn't. Do any of you ever take the time to look at the boy? He's one step away from snapping, and either killing himself, or running to confront Voldemort. Which is essentially the same thing."
Dumbledore looked shocked. "What? I knew Harry was upset, but it can't be that bad can it?"
"I thought you knew. Your slipping old man, the boy can't hide his feelings half as well as he thinks." Mad-Eye shrugged. "I did tell you we needed to throw the lad a bone this summer. Not my fault you don't listen to me."
The order devolved quickly into a cacophony of members trying to talk over one another. Dumbledore held his head, feeling another headache coming on. He wondered what he could have done differently to adjust Harry in his youth. "Enough!" He thundered, using his magic to wandlessly amplify his voice.
He stood, and made eye contact with everyone as he scanned the room. "What is done, is done. We need to move forward. The most important thing is to find Harry. Kingsley, Nymphadora, Arthur, I need you three to keep an eye on the ministry as best as you can. If there is any word of Harry's whereabouts, let me know immediately."
Moving on, he addressed the rest of the order, giving everyone a task suited to their abilities and/or occupation. He left Mad-Eye for last. "Alastor, is there any hope of tracking where Harry went from where the Knight Bus dropped him off?"
Mad-Eye shook his head. "Too much driving wind. Any tracks were long gone when I arrived, and there was no magic residue anywhere, so I couldn't follow him that way. You know damn well I would have followed him if I could Albus."
Dumbledore sighed, and fell back into his chair. "Alastor, I fear I have made some mistakes while trying to do what is best for Harry."
Harry was expecting a long wait, but after only five minutes an elderly goblin walked into the room, and sat behind the desk that was the focus of the room. "You were fortunate that I was returning anyway." The goblin said in a tone that showed he thought little of humans in general.
"These goblins are amazingly rude and nasty." Fester commented happily. "I like them."
Ignoring Fester for the moment, Harry addressed the goblin. "I would like access to my vault. I wanted privacy because I am in disguise, and do not want to announce my presence."
"Obviously." The goblin snorted. "Do you have your key?"
"No." Harry said as he remembered that Mrs. Weasley had been holding on to it so that she could take care of his school shopping each year. "Is there another way I can access my gold?"
Rolling his eyes, the goblin sighed. "Why we even bother with giving you wizards keys, I'll never know." He drew a small stone basin from a drawer, and set it down on the desk. Something had stained the center of the basin, judging by the shape of the stain, a liquid of some kind. "A few drops of blood will reveal your identity." He added as he set a vicious looking dagger next to the basin.
Without hesitation, Harry took off his glove, picked up the dagger, and made a shallow slice across his palm. He took a moment to admire the blood welling up before he made a fist and let several drops splash onto the center of the basin.
The blood slowly sank into the stone, and glowed. Hidden runes lit up around the edge of the basin, and words slowly formed in the air. 'Harry James Potter' His name hovered for a few seconds before dissipating into the air.
"Wow, my turn!" Fester said as he grabbed the dagger which had cleaned itself of Harry's blood. He held his hand over the basin, and drove the dagger through his palm. The flow of blood hit the basin, and a small pool formed before Fester withdrew his hand, and returned the dagger. The blood glowed like Harry's had, but then the blood turned black, and the basin began to shake.
The goblin swore and dove behind his desk. The shaking basin rose into the air and exploded, sending stone shards throughout the room. Raising his head to view the damage, he was amazed to see that both humans were unscathed. Burned into the desk where the basin had been was a single word. 'Addams'
"If you would wait a little longer, I'll be right back." The aged goblin said as he all but ran out of the room.
Mama, what do you think of Harry? Morticia asked as she sipped a steaming cup of tea laced with arsenic.
"I think he has a great and terrible darkness within him." Granny Frump said as she worked on grinding some unidentifiable bones into meal. "There's also something in that scar on his forehead."
"I like him too, but what do you mean by something in his scar?" Morticia asked with one raised eyebrow.
Setting aside her meal preparations, she thought back to the last time she'd encountered this feeling. "It's been a long time, but I'm all but certain I've seen this before. I think he's got someone's soul trapped in his scar."
Morticia looked intrigued. "I hadn't thought him the type. Then again, this morning he did look like such a frightening killer. Eyes glazed over, choking the life out of Wednesday... A pity he seemed to regret his actions."
The elder woman cackled. "Yes, that was exciting. I think little Wednesday has a crush now." She tapped her finger thoughtfully on her lips. "As for the soul... I don't think he knows about it. I think it might be something else entirely. I'll see what he thinks when he gets back with Fester.
"And there you have it Alastor. My sins laid before you. You're one of the few I trust to be practical enough to understand why I have done such terrible things." Dumbledore said, relaxing as if a great weight had been lifted from his shoulders.
Mad-Eye paced, his wooden leg clumping against the threadbare rug. "There's no redemption for men like us, I hope you know that Albus. I thought you held yourself above all that, but apparently you're just like me. You're just as willing to get your hands dirty to get the job done."
"Alastor..." Dumbledore started.
"No." Mad-Eye said forcefully. "From what you've told me of Potter, you did the right thing. It's just unfortunate that the right thing is so horrible." He stopped, and stared at Dumbledore with both his regular eye, and his electric blue one. "The question is, has Potter lost it? Even if he hasn't, we need to prepare for if he does. For that matter, what can we do now to ensure he remains one of the good guys?"
Dumbledore sighed, and slumped further into his seat. He felt every one of his years weighing heavily on him, and he bitterly regretted ever starting down this path with Harry. "We can't do anything until we find Harry. Once we do, you and I will evaluate him, and choose a course of action. Worst case scenario, I will modify his mind further. While you find him, I'll work on what I need to do to the poor boy.
"Good a plan as any." Mad-Eye nodded sharply. "I'll find him Albus, just make sure you don't lose sight of what needs to be done. Merlin forbid he winds up as another dark lord."
Harry and Fester were led into another goblin's office. This one was the oldest goblin Harry had ever seen. Next to him was a fairly young, and clearly nervous goblin.
The old one folded his hands, and spoke slowly and deliberately. "I am Bookbinder, master archivist. This is Grabnach. He has... won the honor of being the account manager for your family vault Mister Addams." The younger goblin looked about ready to faint. "Because you appear to be associated with Mister Addams, Grabnach will also take over your account Mister Potter."
"What does all this mean Bookbinder? And I would at the very least, like to make a withdrawal from my vault sometime today." Harry said, his patience wearing thin after being shuffled around from one goblin to the next.
Bookbinder nodded respectfully. "To be blunt, the Addams line has a reputation. Over the past fifteen hundred years, only three humans have ever gained the respect of the goblin nation. All three were Addamses." He pointed toward a tapestry depicting a battle between golbin warriors and wizards. "Wizards in general think themselves superior to us because of the magic they wield through their wands. We have nothing but contempt for those wizards. The Addams line has proven itself in other ways, more suited to goblin sensibilities."
"Usually only the oldest goblins with the most clout gain the position of account manager." Bookbinder continued. "However, traditionally the youngest goblin who is qualified, is given the Addams account. Because, frankly they are more expendable. As an admitted friend of the Addamses, you shall be treated with the same level of cautious respect." Bookbinder explained.
Grabnach pulled out a sheet of parchment, and carefully held it out for Fester. "This is a summary of the Addams account. It has been inactive for two hundred years, and the last Addams ignored it for the most part. You can let me know at any time what, if anything, you want changed."
Fester looked at the parchment, could not figure head nor tails of it, and simply pocketed it. "I'll be sure to keep that in mind." Fester thought for a moment, then decided the only reason he had come at all was to talk with Harry alone. "Actually, I'll have my little brother handle everything. That shouldn't be a problem, right?"
"N-no, of course not." Grabnach gulped, praying that the younger brother was less imposing.
"My vault then?" Harry asked. "I'd like to pick up spending money, and enough for my school supplies this year."
"Absolutely Mister Potter, but first, would you like to deal with your recent inheritance?" Grabnach asked politely.
Caught off guard, Harry could only respond by repeating Grabnach. "Recent inheritance?"
Sliding a sheet of parchment across the desk, Grabnach explained. "This is a copy of the will of the recently deceased Sirius Black. Among other things, you've gained a sizable addition to your liquid assets. You also have inherited a property which must currently be under a fidelus charm."
The complaints of the Addams family regarding their current home ran through Harry's head. Considering he knew Sirius hated that house, he was sure his godfather would have no problem with Harry simply giving it away. From what he knew, the Addamses would love the decrepit Black family home. The only tricky part would be the fidelus charm, and the Order of the Phoenix.
"Grabnach, is it possible to remove a fidelus without the permission of the secret keeper?" Harry asked with interest. "If it helps, I know the secret, but I'm not the keeper."
Author's note: It's interesting that Addams Family Latin is just as bad as Harry Potter Latin. A graduate student linguist's translation of the movie's family motto is: "Thus do we growl that (our) big toes have, at this moment, been thrown up from below!" The same student gives a more accurate Latin phrase for the motto: "Laeti vescimur nos subacturis." You can google "Addams Family Motto" to see where I discovered this. It came up as the first result for me.