I own nothing but the plot.
I was writing a list of things I dislike in Harry Potter fanfiction to put on my author's bio, and one of them was Lord Potter, Owner of Everything. It's the plot device of Harry being richer than everyone else put together, and owning estates and houses and a bunch of properties and businesses, and then doing squat with it all. So, I decided to write a one shot to explore what might happen if Harry really did own half of Britain and actually did something with that wealth.
Cornelius Fudge was very troubled. He loved being minister for magic, and now it looked very much like a group of miscreants were trying to take it away from him. That blasted Dumbledore had always had the adoration of the people, and you just couldn't buy that kind of devotion. Cornelius knew, he'd tried. And now Harry Potter was trying to destabilize everything he had worked so hard to build with this ridiculous claim that You-Know-Who was back. How could a dead man be back? Everyone knew that bringing back the dead was impossible. His secretary popped her head in the door.
"Minister," she called out, "I have another invitation for you to have dinner with Madam Umbridge." Cornelius shivered. He was being forced to work with that disagreeable woman in taking down Dumbledore and his pet Boy-Who-Lived, but to have dinner with her? Impossible. Even if he wasn't married, he would rather date an inferi than that woman. He was pleased that she was able to somehow get the boy to use his magic outside of school again, allowing the ministry to throw the book at him, but she had the social skills of a toad. The trial for Potter was in a week, and he was looking forward to getting that particular thorn in his side well and truly silenced. There were some bridges he could not cross, however.
"I'm afraid I won't be available," he responded to his secretary. "Whichever date it says."
"Very well, Minister," his secretary said. Nothing fazed her, that's why she was a good secretary. "Also, there's a Mister Harry Potter here to see you." Cornelius's eyebrows disappeared as they rocketed towards the ceiling.
"I will see him," he answered, "but I'm afraid he must leave his wand out of my office."
"Good morning, Mr. Potter," Cornelius greeted. He watched from behind his desk as the Boy-Who-Lived walked in like he owned the place and took a seat opposite the minister.
"Good morning, Minister," Potter answered.
"What brings you to my office today?" Fudge asked.
"Well," Potter answered, "I have a bit of a problem and was hoping you could help."
"Of course, Mr. Potter," Cornelius said with a smile that did not reach his eyes. "That's one of the purposes of the ministry, after all, to help our citizens. Could you please be more specific?"
"Well," Potter answered, "first of all, I have this hearing I'm supposed to be going to because I used a patronus to scare off some dementors when they attacked my cousin and me."
"I don't see how I can help there," Cornelius said, narrowing his eyes at the boy. "After all, we do have these laws for a reason."
"Of course," Harry responded, "I know that. It's just that I'd have had my soul sucked out if I hadn't. Anyway, that's just one of my problems. I also have the Daily Prophet doing some kind of character attack on me, printing a bunch of lies. It's really weird, too, since I haven't done anything to them, as far as I know."
"Freedom of the press and all," Cornelius said with a smile. He was particularly proud of how his newspaper was portraying the boy. Nothing too outrageous, and just enough to make sure no one would ever believe the boy.
"Again," Harry said, "I understand that, but it's still an attack on me. Anyway, I think I may have figured out a way out of all of this, but I need your help to do it."
"My help?" Cornelius asked.
"I just saw the goblins in Gringotts this morning," Harry said. "I asked for an account balance. I had no idea how much money I have. It's going to be a good Christmas for my friends this year."
"How delightful," Cornelius said, a sour feeling in his stomach.
"Anyway," Harry continued, "I had heard that donating money to the right causes can help you accomplish things politically. So how much?"
"How much what?" Cornelius asked, confused.
"I happen to have a bank draft from Gringotts here," Harry said, taking a gold leaf edged parchment out of his pocket and looking at it. "It's for a million galleons. The problem is, I have no idea who to give this to to secure the political backing I need to solve all of my problems."
Harry showed the bank draft to Cornelius, who saw that it was indeed a certified bank draft from Gringotts in the amount of one million galleons. The 'pay to the order of' field was still blank. The minister's face went white. That was four times as much money as Lucius had ever paid him in one go.
"Well," Cornelius said, "I think I could certainly help you with this. In fact, it might be helpful to you if you just sign it over to me. I could act as your agent for the donation, which would smooth the whole thing over with the Department of Taxes, as well as keeping your identity a secret."
"That would be fantastic," Harry said. He took the quill the minister offered him and held it over the bank draft.
"Is something the matter?" Cornelius asked, frowning at Harry's hesitation.
"Well, Minister," Harry explained, "I just think we should have some sort of agreement between us. This is a lot of money, after all, and if I just sign it over without any sort of contract, well, anything could happen."
"Oh, yes," said Cornelius. He was disappointed that he'd have to agree to actually do something for the money, but he had to acknowledge that the boy was at least clever enough not to hand over a million galleons without a contract. "What did you have in mind?"
"This should be sufficient," Harry said as he pulled a packet of parchment from his cloak and handed it to Cornelius.
The minister looked the contract over. He frowned over the magically binding clauses, but saw it really didn't commit him to much. Just enough to change his entire world. Still, he thought, it's a million galleons.
The Daily Prophet
In a stunning reversal of policy, the Minister for Magic, Cornelius Fudge, confirmed that He Who Must Not Be Named has returned and is active in this country once more. When asked for the reason for this drastic change of stance, the Minister claimed he had never doubted the word of Harry Potter, The Boy who Lived.
"The ministry, in the interest of public safety, has been somewhat cautious about making this announcement, it is true," Minister Fudge proclaimed. "It is absolutely imperative that we be sure of the facts before making something like this public knowledge. In this case, new evidence has recently been provided by Mr. Harry Potter that conclusively proves that Lord... Thingy has indeed returned."
(For a summary of previous stories where the minister has been quoted saying there is no possible way You-Know-Who could still be alive, see pages 2, 4, 5, 7, 11, and 13-17.)
In another shocking announcement, Minister Fudge announced that the Auror budget has been doubled. We asked the minister how this would be funded and how much taxes would be raised to pay for the additional personnel.
"I am pleased to announce that an anonymous donor has made a generous gift of 500,000 Galleons to the ministry. Most of this money will be earmarked for additional aurors and hit wizards, plus training and equipment. The rest will go to Hogwarts, minus a minor pay raise for myself and the Wizengamot.
No clues were found as to the identity of this mystery benefactor, despite a great deal of investigation. Rest assured, you're Daily Prophet will not rest until the donor, who has asked to remain anonymous, is publicly identified and personally thanked on the front page of this newspaper in return for their generous gift.