AN: Another chapter! :-D
And in case anyone thinks to ask: The folks in Perfection refer to El Blanco as a 'he' because they don't know any better yet, but they will. :-)
Disclaimer: I own nothing! Nothing!
§ parsletongue §
Harry smiled as he swum under his Familiar and just out of reach of her tongues. He'd been shocked when she had finally fully emerged from her tunnel and he had seen how big she actually was, as big or bigger than an elephant- he was SO glad he'd had a large Core to start out with, he'd have hated to have ended up like that poor near-Squib- and was still amazed that a creature her size, and without the ability to go invisible, had gone so long undocumented by the Wizarding World.
§ We probably ate all those who would have documented us. From what you've seen Wizards in general don't seem to be able to deal with new situations very easily, and a large underground animal tracking them by sound would be entirely new to them. §
Harry had soon gotten over his shock when she had entered the water and splashed him, coaxing him away from his books to have a little relaxing fun. Two Bubble Head charms later- it had been an experience casting a charm big enough to cover her whole head, but he didn't want to chance her drowning even if she did say that that wasn't likely- and a renewal of the Night Light spell he'd placed at the bottom of the lake to make it glow so he didn't have to cast a Lumos each time he swam, and he was pulled into a game of tag.
He knew that his Familiar was simply playing with him with all her near misses, she was much too fast to have not gotten him on her first strike if she had wanted, but he appreciated her restraint as it kept the game going. She was just so caring over him.
And that was where his dilemma was.
He had been trying to think of a name for her for a week now- her new intellegence allowed her to understand the passing of time, something she relayed to him as the days passed- ever since he'd made her his Familiar, and now knew what he wanted to call her but didn't know if it would be appropriate or if she would accept it. He'd been burying himself in his books to look for a way out so he wouldn't have to think about it.
But now, exhaustedly crawliing out of the lake, sitting on the shore with his Familar's head in his lap like an overgrown lap dog- he couldn't stop himself from petting her beak like mouth in this position, she at least didn't seem to mind it- as the rest of her massive body floated in the water behind her looking like the body of a great white whale, Harry finally raised the subject.
§ What do you think of the name Lily? § Harry blurted before bitting his lip, he hadn't meant to just come out and say it like that.
§ Like your Mother? § His Familiar asked after a long moment of silence, clearly understanding the weight the name would carry.
§ Yes. I... I don't have any memories of her beyond the night she died, but those who have spoken about her say that she was a brilliant Witch... and a caring Mother. § Harry bit his lip again and looked away, even knowing she couldn't actually see him he was still too embarrassed over his strong emotions on this subject to look her in the 'face'. § You act a lot like how I had always dreamed my Mother might act if I had been raised by her: caring and kind yet stern when it's for my benifit in some way, a listener who never judges but still sets me right when I'm wrong, § Harry thought of their long talks about Ron and how what they had wasn't a healthy friendship but an easy way for a slacker to gain quick fame, their talks about Dumbledore had been even more delusion breaking as he finally saw his hero for the manipulative creep he was instead of the kindly grandfather he'd thought the Headmaster had been, § and someone who spoils me with treats and helps me have fun when I need a break but still expects me to do my own work. I... I can't think of a better name for you than to name you after the woman who had once been set to do all that for me. § Harry sat waiting in trepidation for his Familiar's reaction to his words for what felt like hours, but could only have been a few minutes, before she finally wrapped her tongues around him in a light hug and answered him.
§ I would be honored to carry your Mother's name, Harry. I will do her proud. § The newly named Lily then gave Harry a tight hug with her tongues before pulling them back and making her cumbersome way out of the water and back to her tunnels. § This calls for a celebration! §
Harry just watched as his Familiar, as Lily, left; a smile pulling at his lips before a shiver wracked his body. Without Lily's body heat to keep him warm the cavern's cool air was too cold for his wet skin.
Casting several spells to get dry and warm before pulling on his clothes, Harry chose a different book than the one he had previously been reading. If he remembered right from when he'd first gone through it, right at the beginning of settlling into his cave, there was a spell somewhere in the back of Living in the Rough that would dry him off and warm him up right out of the water that he could apply before going for a swim rather than having him casting multiple spells on himself while he dripped in the cool air.
He berated himself for not looking it up again sooner as it seemed such a useful spell.
Opening the book to the last section of the book, titled 'Glamping', Harry began reading. He'd read through it before but had only really paid attention to what would be immediately useful as he set up his 'camp'-just a softened patch of dirt, a latrine spell on a hole he had dug and some water repelling wards around his books- in the middle of his cave, now it was time to see what else might be useful, beyond a drying spell that is.
Albus Dumbledore entered Gringotts, an appropriately saddened expression on his face over the 'tragic' news he bore and a Ministry Official at his side with all the proper paperwork, and ignored the glaring of the Goblins- far more intense than usual if he had only stopped to take note of it- as he moved up to the Head Teller.
"We have an appointment to see the Potter Account Manager in regards to the Estate of the late Harry Potter." Albus stated imperiously, expecting to be obeyed without question. The Golblin sneered nastily at the pair, causing the Ministry Official to flinch back while Dumbledore barely kept from rolling his eyes at the postering, before shouting for a guard to come lead them to the Potter Accountant.
If he had his way, and he would one day Albus mused to himself, all these Dark little creatures would be rounded up and put out of everyone's misery. That was a day the old Headmaster was greatly looking forward to.
After an absurdly long trip through the winding halls of the Bank, Albus was sure they had taken far more detours than was necessary and was mentally flaying their guide, the pair of Wizards were fianlly shown to the office of Daggerfist, the new Potter Account Manager.
"Where is Sharpfang? We were meant to see the Potter Account Manager to discuss the Will of the Late Harry Potter and the closing of his Family Vaults." Albus asked, put out at the unexpected change.
"Sharpfang was demoted for failure to follow Gringotts policy, I am Daggerfist and you will deal with me or get out." The Goblin snarled. Deciding he only had to deal with the new Goblin for a short while, Albus took a seat and motioned the Ministry Official to get on with it.
"Mister Potter has been missing for more than a month now due to a faulty Portkey during the last Task of the Tri-Wizard Tournament, as he has been neither found nor made his presence known in that time it is the decision of the Ministry to declare him dead, have his Will- if one exists- read and his Family Estates and Lordship dissolved as there is no other Heir." Albus hid his grin at what he expected was coming.
He was named Executor of Harry Potter's Will and would receive the bulk of the boy's wealth, properties and Family Heirlooms. The rest of the Potter wealth and properties would be split up among his three Weasley helpers and a few others old Order members for their hard work in helping him mold the boy with only a few added details such as Ron Weasley taking over the ownership of the Chuddley Cannons- a team owned by the Potters since their formation- the Potter Heiress jewels going to young Ginevra Weasley in compensation for not getting the title of Lady Potter as she had wanted and the Potter House Elves being given to Molly Weasley so she could finally live the life of ease she had always dreamed of.
Young Hermione Granger may have been added into the Will if she hadn't had such a negative reaction in her first year to his mild suggestion that she coax the young Potter Heir away from learning certain subjects and help keep him ignorant of his Family's Heritage and his Place in Society.
Thankfully he was still quick with an Obliviate so no harm was done. One Compultion Charm later- Curse more like as it was so Dark in nature, and it only worked on someone with an organized mind or else he'd have used it on the boy directly, as well as many others- and the girl still did as he wanted, though he did have to renew the Compultion every few months or else his puppet would 'wake up' and realize what she had been made to do. But dealing with her could wait until the new school year began, he'd then wipe her mind just like Lockhart's had been and claim she had been experimenting with Spells she shouldn't have been in her grief over her friend's death.
So lost in his own smug musings was Albus that he didn't realize for several long seconds that the Golblin, after hearing the Official out, had given a resounding 'No.'
The Ministry Official spluttered in confusion even as Albus frowned at this hold up in his plans.
Daggerfist waited until the Official had calmed down and gone silent before elaborating.
"Gringotts closley monitors all our most prominent account holders, of which Heir Potter is one of. Something occured in the Potter Accounts some days ago, or which neither of you are authorized to know about, that indicates that not only is Heir Potter alive and well but also that a full Account Audit was long overdue." Daggerfist then turned to sneer horribly at the Headmaster of Hogwarts. "Is there anything you would like to say, Mr Dumbledore, before you are arrested for embezzling from a minor; attempted Line Theft; illegal usurpation, neglect and exploitation of Magical Guardianship duties; theft from Goblin property and an assortment of other miscellaneous crimes against a minor?" Several things happened in quick succession then as the Goblin finished speaking.
Dumbledore rose from his seat and pulled his Wand.
Three of the walls of the office fell away to reveal a horde of Goblin Warriors.
The Ministry Official wet himself and passed out.
And, unknown to all within the office due to the commotion, a small green beetle hidden in the folds of the Official's robes gave a cheer at the story she had just been handed on a silver platter.
Harry was sat staring at the book in his hands in stupification. The answer had been there the whole time, he'd even known it right from the beginning! He had just needed to 'think outside the box' to apply it to his situation.
In Living in the Rough, in the last section detailing glamping techniques- that is, camping in such style and comfort as you may as well have stayed home- was an entire chapter dedicated to building houses instead of open camps.
If one had enough Magical Power and Time they could build anything from a small house to an entire Manor in a rock formation, tree, dirt mound or cliffside using Wizarding Space- not to be confused with an Undetectable Expansion Charm that only enlarges an area inside something, Wizarding Space was designed to keep the air inside fresh and circulating so a person doesn't suffocate while within.
And in the case of cliffside building, one could even build upwards until they reached the top!
All Harry had to do now was treat a wall of his cave like a cliffside and start building up and he was out of here!
And he'd even manage to get a descent bathroom out of it too as he built and expanded until he reached ground level. Because while the latrine spells worked amazingly he'd still prefer to do such buisness further away from where he ate and slept!
Harry laughed to himself and wondered when Lily would return, he wanted to share the good news of his finally figuring it out!
Tyler was helping Jodi and Nancy bring in the newest delivery for the store- ice cream, so they had to move fast in the heat- when El Blanco made his first appearance in town in more than a month. Everyone stopped moving as they waited for him to pass through and leave again.
He didn't pass through and leave.
Tyler, who was standing at the back of the delivery truck, was knocked to the ground as El Blanco reared up out of the ground and began... rumaging around in the back of the truck with his tongues.
After several minutes the Graboid took two boxes and left, leaving town back in the direction he had come from.
Before anyone could do more than look at each other in shock their walkie talkies went off.
"Jodi, this is Burt. Did El Blanco make a stop in town just now?" Jodi was still staring in shock at her rifled through shipment so Tyler answered for her.
"Burt, this Tyler, Jodi's a little shaken up right now and can't answer."
"El Blanco... he... " Jodi finally snapped back into focus and grabbed the radio from the blonde man.
"Burt, he stole my merchandise!"
"He stole two cases of ice cream, Burt! How did he know to do that? Why would he do that?!"
"I don't know but I'm coming into town, we need to have a discussion about El Blanco's new hobby."
"We'll get everyone rounded up."
"Roger that. Burt out."