A Crown of Black Upon His Head
Disclaimer/Plot/Author's Note: SEE FIRST CHAPTER
Recommended Reads: Silver King and Trickshot by JustBored21, A Second Chance by Breanie, Ascension by PerseusPeverell092, The Crimson Sorcerer by TwistedFilms, My Child by DebsTheSlytherinSnapefan, The Rise of the Last Potter by HPfanfictioner66, Hadrian Potter- The Snake like Lion and Hadrian Potter- Black and the Gauntlet of Gryffindor by Lord of mystics, Worthy of Magic by Raul Fictitious, Harry Potter and the Prince of Slytherin by The Sinister Man, A Chance Encounter and The Slytherin Reformation by spectre4hire and Harry Black Book 1: The Hero's Return, Harry Black Book 2: The Rising Darkness, Harry Black Book 3: The SPIRE, Harry Black Book 4: The Coming Dawn and Harry Black: Book 1 (Definitive Edition)by AuthorK
Key Pairing: Harry/Daphne; Neville/Hermione
Other Pairings: Sirius/Amelia; Others TBD
DragonEmperor01: That's the plan;
Scpotter: It's actually one of my favourite themes to write when the chance presents itself;
"It's like I said earlier, my old friend and student," drawled Filius, placing a consoling hand on Severus' shoulder as he smiled thinly.
"You are in trouble…and I suggest you take the weekend to consider your next move against your Lord; now, if you don't mind, I'm hungry…see you in the hall, Severus."
Severus could barely muster up the courage to nod as he watched Filius leave, before he looked back to the House entrance with fear in his eyes.
If Potter could do that to a student who'd gone up against him…
'Dear Merlin…what if he knows what I did?'
Chapter 8: Stay Out Of The Black (And In The Red! Nothing In This Game For Two In A Bed!)
After making an example of the Pucey Heir, the rest of Slytherin House seemed to get the hint pretty damn quickly.
Harrison James Potter-Black was here to stay, and woe betide anyone stupid enough to try and state otherwise, especially since, over the weekend that followed, Harry always seemed to be found in the company of the one whom some still claimed was the single most-dangerous pure-blood heir in the House – namely Draco Malfoy – as well as his new pet, Pucey.
While Pucey seemed to have been relegated to the position of masseur, or footstool, or even sentry – sending away any who dared approach, sans Draco, with a cold glare and a warning sneer – the Malfoy Heir seemed to take to his distant relative pretty well. For most of the weekend, the two were seen conversing in hushed whispers – or rather, Draco was whispering softly while Harry often had his head in a book – while, at mealtimes, the House Table occupants found Harry, Draco, Blaise Zabini, Theo Nott, then Pucey and a few other first-years who seemed to have earned the dual-heir's friendship, if not acknowledgement, taking centre-stage on the table seating arrangements.
On the Monday after the message had been sent, however, the inevitable happened.
Another message needed to be sent.
Unfortunately, the sender chose the wrong person to play messenger.
As Harry picked out his robes for the day, making sure he also had the needed learning materials for his classes, his head snapped up suddenly when a knock sounded at his one-person-occupied dormitory.
"Sorry to bother you in your room, Heir Potter-Black," said a familiar drawling voice, earning a raised eyebrow from Harry as he rose up, not only noticing the familiar voice for who they were, but also the air of genuine formality that laced their words.
"Come in, cousin," said Harry, earning a scoff from the owner of the voice, before Harry's dorm room door opened, revealing Draco, who looked amused and a little perplexed.
Out of the corner of his eye, as he slid into his Slytherin robes, Harry also noticed that Draco seemed to be hiding a hand in his pocket, while the other was flexing and clenching into a clenched fist and then splaying his fingers a few seconds later, suggesting that the blond was in a nervous state of mind.
"Sorry," said Draco, even as Harry turned to him before he added, "I just wonder if I'm going to ever get used to that…"
"All in due time, cousin," said Harry, brushing a stray bang from his fringe, before he asked, "Now, what can I do for you that couldn't wait for you to meet me in the Common Room as you have done all weekend?"
Here, Draco revealed his hidden hand; when he did so, Harry's eyes narrowed when he saw an open letter, which had been sealed with an official crested seal, though Harry couldn't make out the seal's identity.
That being said, the fact that Draco had hand-delivered it told Harry enough to haphazard a guess, "What does your Lord-Father want with you?"
A note of urgency seemed to lace Draco's words, causing Harry's eyes to narrow suspiciously as he took the letter, while, once it was in his grip, the Black Scion also noticed Draco edge his way towards the door, almost as though he was afraid of what Harry was about to discover.
Lowering his eyes to the letter, Harry opened it to its full size before he read the script that was printed there.
This is a matter of the utmost urgency.
The fact that I have resorted to entrusting this missive to that useless creature, Dobby, should tell you enough, but this cannot wait.
No matter what, my son and heir, you MUST NOT ALLOW THAT HALF-BLOOD USURPER, POTTER TO COME TO THE MINISTRY TODAY!
This very morning, while you and yours are dining at breakfast, Albus Dumbledore has arranged an emergency meeting of the Wizengamot, concerning the brat's supposed ties to the DEAD Arcturus Black and, as a self-respecting pure-blood and 'friend' of the Minister, I MUST put on a good show if I am to discover the truth of these delusions and compel the little golden boy to surrender his so-called rights to where they belong.
In my hands, and, one day, in yours.
It's bad enough Black is waiting for his release, but, fortunately, there are higher powers than Bones and that half-blood she's clearly obeying.
In the meantime, until my next communication, KEEP HIM AT HOGWARTS!
Especially if you want to have ANY hopes of being the rightful heir apparent to the Family,
Make me proud, Draconis
Lord Lucius Abaraxas Malfoy
"I…I received it a couple of minutes ago," said Draco, earning another hmm from Harry as the blond explained, "Dobby…he…he's…"
"Your family's House Elf…or one of them, I suppose," said Harry in a matter-of-fact voice, earning another surprised look from Draco before he nodded, while Harry sighed softly as he scrunched up the letter and, with a toss that would have made any Chaser jealous, he flicked his wand into his hand and, to Draco's amazement, he fired off a wordless Incendio, turning the letter into ashes in a matter of seconds.
By the time the letter's remains hit the floor, Draco was also shocked to see Harry had changed out of his school robes and into a set of very finely-crafted black robes, with a silver trim that he recognised as Slytherin House's secondary colour.
On one side, Harry also had the Black Family Crest, complete with motto, embossed in brightest-coloured silver thread – indicating that he was the Heir of that particular House as Draco knew from his own lessons – while, as he returned his wand to what Draco guessed was a holster, Harry hummed again before he looked to Draco with a calm air.
"You have dress robes."
It wasn't a question and, suddenly, Draco found his mind flashing back to the war of words with Pucey on Friday afternoon, even as he nodded.
"Good; call your elf."
It wasn't a request.
As the House Elf in question appeared, however, Draco gasped with fear and dread when he heard a low, threatening growl tear out of Harry at the sight of Dobby's weak, beaten-down state, not to mention the obscenely-disgusting pillowcase that covered his frail, bruised and, frankly, one step away from broken body.
Draco then noticed Dobby had a new bandage around one ear, which was oozing fresh blood, earning another scowl from Harry, even as Draco addressed the shaking figure of a House Elf.
"I need my dress robes; can you change my school uniform for them…please?"
Normally, even Draco knew he wouldn't have said please, but he was standing in the room with Arcturus Black's heir, and the guy who'd reduced a fourth-year to jelly without so much as a spark from his wand. And Harry had seemed content to allow him to be a study buddy over the weekend, as well as seating partner at the feasts, so Draco was more than determined to stay on his good side.
As the wounded elf obeyed, switching out Draco's Slytherin robe for a set of classy-looking dress robes that didn't have a crest on them – much to Harry's apparent disdain, judging by how his eyes narrowed sharply when he saw Draco's new attire – the emerald-eyed scion cleared his throat, causing Dobby to wheel around.
When he saw Harry, the elf bowed so low, his nose touched the ground as he gasped, "G…G…G…Great P…P…P…Prince Harry Potter-Black, sir: such an honour it is!"
"Hello, Dobby," said Harry calmly, kneeling down to Dobby's level before, much to Draco's surprise, he reached out and touched a gentle hand to the elf's bandaged ear, earning a low, fearful whimper from Dobby, which only made Harry's scowl darken, though his voice stayed calm, gentle and reassuring as he addressed the pitiful creature before him. "It's okay, my dear little friend; don't be afraid. I have never allowed harm to befall one of the Black Family Elves, not even the misguided Kreacher, and I will not break that streak by harming a branch family's faithful vassal."
Dobby's eyes brimmed with tears as Harry gently traced a finger over the bandage, before he rose up as he added, "Now, your Young Master and I need to get to the Ministry: in your Mistress' name, I ask for your aid in this affair. Then, by the power vested in me as her liege-lord's heir, I order you to leave us once we have arrived and go to my home, where my maternal guardian, Madame Bellatrix Black, will see you made well again. Do you understand this task, Dobby?"
To Draco's wonder and slight relief, Dobby nodded faster than a Churchill dog, earning a flicker of an actual smile from Harry as he added, "Once Draco and I have achieved our goals, he will call on you to ask you to return us to school. However, by the power vested in me as your Mistress' Blood-Kin Heir, I order you to obey no other calls until Draco summons you. And if your so-called Master, Lord Malfoy, tries anything, you are to alert Madame Black immediately. Even with how much time has passed, I daresay even Lucius will not want his mask shattered because he has invoked the ire of the witch formerly known as Bellatrix Lestrange…now, let's go."
With shaking fingers, and eyes that streamed tears of beyond-eternal gratitude, Dobby took Harry and Draco's hands before they vanished, along with the elf whom, even though the Black Scion didn't know it yet, had just made a solemn promise to the Great Prince Harry Potter-Black.
Day or night.
Even if it was for an evil purpose, Dobby would always obey the whims of Prince Black.
"…And so you see, ladies and gentlemen, it is my belief that…"
The sound of a crack entering the courtroom, much to the alarm and wonder of all assembled, cut off what had been a very well-rehearsed play on the part of Albus Dumbledore, causing every head to turn to the source of the noise. When they saw two boys, as well as a House Elf – which then vanished as quickly as he had appeared with his quarry – standing in the doorway to the courtroom, on the inner side of a closed door, no less, a chorus of cries and alarmed exclamations rose up.
Though not before they were all silenced by a cannon-blast from the end of the wand of one of the boys, who cleared his throat before, crossing the floor, he tossed his wand into Amelia Bones' hand, earning a surprised look from the Director of the DMLE, and not just because of the willing surrender of his only weapon.
But also, because of how, as he crossed the floor, the boy stepped into the light, revealing himself for who he was.
As Amelia stared in stunned disbelief, Harry James Potter-Black gave a curt nod to the Director as he explained, "The 100 Galleon fine for wielding my wand in this hallowed courtroom is already being paid to the St Mungo's charity donation account, Madam Director. And, unlike some donations I will keep to myself for now, I can assure you that this donation is the genuine article."
"Harry!" gasped Dumbledore, while a few of the darker-aligned members pointed and whispered amongst themselves, as Dumbledore asked the boy, "What…what on earth are…why are you not in school?"
"I am here in my official capacity as Heir Apparent to the Most Ancient and Noble Houses of Potter and Black, Chief Warlock Dumbledore," said Harry, keeping his voice as cool and snakelike as Draco knew, and feared, he would become, as Harry went from Freddie First-Year to Noble Heir.
Even as he stepped onto the floor, hearing an outraged gasp from the stands as he did so, Draco saw Harry turn his gaze to the one who'd gasped as he added, "And, on that note, I wish to thank you, dear step-uncle-slash-second-cousin, for your choice to issue a communication to the Malfoy Heir regarding this meeting. However, if I may be candid, Lucius, I fail to see why, exactly, this meeting is even necessary, much less why your own son, blood of my blood by his Lady-Mother, would be told to, in your words, keep me away from here today."
A few lighter-sided members turned their eyes on Lucius, including Amelia herself, while Harry looked to the side where Amelia was sitting as he added, "Also, would someone mind explaining to me why there is an unknown gentleman…well, unknown to me, sitting in the spot reserved for the Lord of my late Lord-Father's House, the Most Ancient and Noble House of Potter?"
"Mr Ogden…" Dumbledore began, before Harry turned his back on him, earning a few outraged looks from Dumbledore-loyalists.
When silence followed Harry's words, the emerald-eyed scion looked to the previously-identified stranger in his Family Seat as he explained, "Now, just in case you're wondering why I'm challenging your rights to sit in the seat that I myself will take one day, Mr Ogden, let me refresh this revered court's memories. Sometime ago, in a bid to preserve the honour and dignity of our birth Houses, my Grandfather, or Patriarch Black to use his formal title, willingly and magically called on the Powers to nullify and remove all voting powers coming from Houses Potter and Black until the day the heir apparent, meaning me, comes of age. And, as I am only currently eleven years and five weeks old, not seventeen, I see no reason why anyone should be sitting in my family seat, much less that of my second Household…which begs the question why you are sitting there, Lucius."
"I earned this seat…" growled Lucius.
"Through right of proxy given to you by your marriage to Lady Narcissa Vesta Malfoy, nee Black, yes?"
"That is correct."
"Ah, right," said Harry, now folding his arms smugly as he asked, "And, since you are the recognised proxy, does that mean your marriage was sanctified by the recognised Elder Patriarch of the House, my Grandfather, as I dub him, Arcturus Septimus Black. And would that sanctifying of your union include magic's recognition of all oaths of loyalty to one's Lord or, failing him, the Matriarch or Patriarch of the House?"
"Of course not!" scowled Lucius, earning an audible facepalm from Amelia, while a few of Lucius' good friends also shuffled awkwardly and began murmuring amongst themselves, almost as though they knew of the faux pas committed by the Malfoy Lord.
"Then you have no rights to take that seat, whether the rights to the power therein have been unsealed or not, Usurper," sneered Harry, earning a furious look from Lucius at the way that he emphasised one of the words that Lucius himself had used in the letter to Draco.
Harry, however, then looked to the ringleader of this circus, a sweaty-looking Cornelius Fudge, as he added, "Which, I suppose, would also make any and all votes previously cast by Houses Potter, Black or their allies' between the original revocation of power and today null and void, Minister, such as any that were cast in a bid to put you in office, much less any claims of rightfulness to the role."
Here, Harry's eyes sparkled like emerald crystals lit up like Christmas Trees, while his lips twitched as he again locked eyes with Lucius while he explained, "You see, in order to claim what is not Lucius' to claim without going through all the motions uniting him with Lady Narcissa, certain oaths must be sworn, vows must be made and, above all else, for the safety and security, as well as honour, of my family, a key element of claim is that certain forearm-located tattoos must not be present!"
"I WAS UNDER THE IMPERIUS, YOU FILTHY HALF-BLOOD!"
Then, even as Lucius began crowing about his innocence, Draco saw something that made his blood turn to ice.
A cold, sinister, evil, malefic-looking smile that would have even made a shark smelling blood in the water preferable by comparison.
And, worse, this smile was aimed at Lucius, from the Black Prince himself.
And yet, his voice stayed cool, calm and collected as he addressed his very distant relative, "Is that so, Lucius? Then, if that were true, tell me: did you endure the compulsory Thirty Days of Hell trials and follow-up decision of loyalty versus losses earned, as penance for your so-claimed under-the-Imperius-committed crimes, as is the punishment for acting against your House Lord, Patriarch and the loyalty to your own? You know…like Bellatrix Black, formerly Lestrange did?"
A collective shudder, much like the one that would have followed the use of Voldemort's name by anyone brave enough to speak it, spread through the room, while Lucius' eyes widened in horror as Harry went on, as though he hadn't noticed – nor had he shuddered at the name, either.
"You see, my dear, innocently-claimed step-cousin-slash-uncle, or whatever the relation is between you and I: if you were under the Imperius Curse as you so famously claimed, you would have felt a great swell of personal remorse, mentally-challenging fear and even spiritually-binding gratitude to the one that set you free of that curse's thrall…that's me, by the way, hello."
He waved mockingly, earning a furious glare from Lucius, which only grew more-enraged when he saw how every ear in the room was focused on Harry; even Dumbledore himself seemed to have been shocked into silence, while Fudge was sweating more and more, so much so that his stupid bowler hat actually slid off of his head.
And, as if that wasn't bad enough, what made it much worse was that not even Lucius' most steadfast supporter and Fudge's other toady – aka the one with the pink fascination, cat fetish and nauseatingly-shivering clearing of the throat habit – seemed willing to stop Harry from laying down the law and telling it like it was.
Instead, she was actually looking at the boy with pride, if not a sense of genuine amazement and wonder, instead of the loathing, hatred and even a hint, or a whisper, of that fake cough of hers that Lucius had expected to hear and see by now.
Harry, on the other hand, was on a roll, and proved as such as he pressed on without fear of reprisals, "Furthermore, dear distant relation of mine, if you were under the Imperius Curse when you served the Dark Lord Voldemort, then I think that you, like Bellatrix's ex-husband and brother-in-law, would have been put on trial by this hallowed court…you know…like Sirius was?"
Out of the corner of his eye, Harry saw Amelia flinch, while Albus' eyes widened in alarm, if not horror, as Harry pushed on, "And, just like Bellatrix, Rabastan, Rodolphus and even Bartimaeus Crouch Junior, you would have been tried and tested, if not had it firmly proven that you were acting against your own free will, at which point, you would have then had your fate left in the hands of the families you had wronged, including, but not limited to Houses Prewitt, not to mention House Weasley by relation…"
Harry and Draco both heard the growled hiss of never from Lucius as Harry rolled off more names, "Then, of course, there was House McKinnon, as well as Houses Dearborn, Bones, Longbottom, and, of course, your liege-lorded-Household, House Black and, last but not least, House Potter!"
As he emphasised one of the House names on his list, Harry looked to an elderly lady with a stuffed vulture atop her head, who, until that moment, had been seething when Harry spoke so callously about Bellatrix and her family.
However, when those eyes met hers, even Augusta Longbottom wondered who, or what, she was looking at, to have such power, such knowledge, such intent and such certainty of his words.
Harry, meanwhile, looked back to Lucius as he added, "Then, as you had just confessed for all to hear that your marriage was not sanctified, which makes Draco one step away from a bastard, but I digress."
Behind Harry, Draco's eyes widened with actual terror as he heard his friend and companion deliver such a painful truth and with such fire in him that Draco knew it was the honest-to-Magic truth, but the emerald-eyed scion wasn't done with Lucius yet. "With your innocence proven and all debts paid in full, and not just with the meagre rations from your Malfoy fortunes, dear relative; but, with those dues paid, you would have then had your marriage sanctified and, in light of your current spot in my seat, you would have also had your rights presented by Grandfather himself…"
"ARCTURUS BLACK IS DEAD!"
And, just like that, Harry went from confident to shocked, but not frightened, while a collective gasp of horror and disbelief spread through the room when every head in the chamber, including Harry and Draco's, turned to see Arcturus Septimus Black himself walk into the room.
To the unease of many of the hidden darksiders present, including Lucius himself, he wasn't alone: with him was a pale-skinned, beautiful-looking lady whom, like everyone else, was dressed in robes of office and looked like she was ready to wine and dine and rub noses with the best of them.
When she saw Harry, however, the woman smiled before, looking to Arcturus, she asked, "Permission, Patriarch?"
"Granted," replied Arcturus, a flicker of a smirk dancing on his face as he locked eyes with his heir.
This was the cue for the woman – once known to all as Bellatrix Lestrange, the Demoness of Magical Britain, but now known as Bellatrix Black – to cross the room before she wrapped her arms around Harry, who actually melted into the embrace she offered him, while he seemed content to let Bellatrix fuss over him as she kneeled down and cupped his cheeks in her hands.
"Don't be afraid, little raven," said Bellatrix, stroking Harry's hair as she smiled at him, "Fortunately for you, and them, your cousin's elf isn't the only Black loyalist. So, while we've appreciated the floorshow, it's time to let our family's Patriarch do what he does best."
An audible slap of flesh striking flesh came from behind Harry, accompanied by a low groan from Draco as he finally broke his own silence.
And with only two words.
Harry, meanwhile, stayed by Bellatrix's side, earning shocked looks from all present when they saw how calm, warm and loving she was with him, and vice-versa.
At the same time, Arcturus looked not to Lucius, but to Ogden, who seemed to start sweating his family's famous drink as the eyes of the Black King locked onto him.
That was all it took, and Ogden fled like the devil himself were on his heels.
Arcturus, meanwhile, looked to Lucius, who now looked beyond-terrified, as the Black King asked, "Keeping my heir's chair warm, are we, Malfoy?"
"You…you…you're not…you…you can't be…you…you're…you're dead!"
"Your wife, and I use the term loosely, did try and warn you of the wrongness to your claim to that, which was never yours to begin with, my dear, foolhardy little branch sibling," drawled Arcturus, earning a faint flicker of a smile from Harry as he looked to Draco.
"So that's where you get that drawling tone from, eh, cousin?"
Before he could stop himself, Draco snorted loudly behind his hand, while Arcturus turned his eyes on Fudge, who actually backed away in his own seat, as though he was expecting it to split open and swallow him whole, while Arcturus went on, his every syllable echoing through the hall with the air of power expected of one who nobody dared to interrupt. "Cornelius…Oswald…Fudge!"
Even the sound of his own name made Fudge flinch, with every syllable and word spoken, while Arcturus actually clapped, albeit mockingly-slowly, before he went on, "Congratulations on your promotion. Such a shame it's come from such naively-poisoned fruits. No matter. Now, I strongly suggest you either start doing the right thing or you can start writing your resignation speech because, trust me, come the Winter Solstice Council Gathering, neither House Potter nor House Black will be throwing their votes in your direction."
"But…but you…you can't…Lucius…"
"The foolishly-mistaken Lord Malfoy has no power over the Black House's power of vote, least of all with those voting rights sealed until my heir comes of age, or a suitable proxy swears all expected oaths and vows to honour his or her duties," explained Arcturus, speaking loudly, clearly and surprisingly-slowly, almost like he was speaking to a mentally-deficient child – which, given it was Fudge, he probably was.
Harry, meanwhile, clicked his tongue as he drawled in a singsong voice, "Told. You."
"I…this…no…you can't…this isn't…"
"Furthermore," continued Arcturus, silencing the jabbering Minister's attempts to make a suitable argument against the Black King's statement of the facts as he explained, "I am intrigued to learn exactly why it is that my heir, who has been given full rights and placements as such, is not only being questioned regarding his legal guardianship, which, for ten years, has been in the possession of my errant descendant, Madame Black…"
Augusta Longbottom couldn't resist screaming in horror, though her scream was drowned out by Dumbledore, as Harry shrugged, while Arcturus continued, "But, furthermore, to conduct a council of questioning guardianship without the charge in question present is grounds for a mistrial…and, speaking of mistrials, Director; where is my your betrothed? My grandson? And why has he not been put on the trial once denied him?"
"Ahem…" said Harry, holding up a strong hand as he suggested in a casual tone, "If I may, Grandfather?"
"Speak, child," said Arcturus, earning a content, if not amused smirk from Bellatrix as she toyed with Harry's hair, even as the boy-prince addressed his peers in nobility, as well as his Patriarch, with the same cool, clear tone of voice as Arcturus himself.
"If I had to make a guess, I'd say that the branch relative has been throwing gold about like free sweets to keep my oath-sworn godfather, alias your blood-kin and descendant, as well as the man whom, as you just said, did NOT receive a trial, together with all acquired evidence by the Director; I think he has been aiding somebody in keeping all this knowledge out of the public eye, Grandfather."
Harry's steely glare locked right onto Albus Dumbledore as he said somebody was helping Lucius, earning a pale look from Dumbledore.
"I see," said Arcturus, looking to Lucius before, to the horror of everyone there, even Harry himself, Arcturus Septimus Black smiled!
And when he smiled, he then laughed.
A deep, bass rumble of a closed-mouth laugh, which actually seemed to freeze the air around Arcturus, as he shook his head before he asked the blond aristocrat, "And, tell me, dear Lord Malfoy, where, exactly, are you finding the resources, including the money and the capabilities and rights to suspend this long-overdue act of correcting a grievous injustice? Certainly not from the Black Family Vaults, which have been kept under the watchful eye of the Chief of Gringotts himself, I might add!"
"As well as Warlord Riptide, Grandfather."
"Yes, him too, thank you, Harrison."
As Harry nodded, Arcturus looked back to Lucius as he added, "As I am sure Narcissa has already learned, for quite some time, all access rights to the Black Family wealth and assets have been removed from wanton hands and, fortunately, the same also applies to the Potter Wealth. Well, with the exception of certain…suspiciously-removed and missing articles…such as James' family heirloom."
Now, it was Dumbledore's turn to sweat profusely, while Harry licked his lips slowly as he added, "Don't forget what the goblins told us when I went there on my birthday, Grandfather. The forged key, and the sadly-necessary decapitation of Oathbreaker Griphook…"
Dumbledore actually stumbled, his face pale and sweaty, while Harry went on, "And the pile of betrothal contracts that were all rescinded, owing to you giving me free rein over my future, both as the future Lord Potter and Lord Black: in fact, out of the thousands of sycophantic ego-feeders, only one remains…and no, Chief Warlock, it isn't the one that somebody claimed was written between my parents and the Weasley Family!"
A soft thud told Harry that Albus had just collapsed, though he was still conscious while, as he looked to the old man, the emerald-eyed scion drew himself to his full height as he added, "Now, while I hate to interrupt Grandfather when he's in his element, I want to make a little theory of my own, concerning the reason for this farce of a meeting. So, let me guess…"
Here, he pointed to Arcturus, who had his own eyes fixed on Lucius, even as he folded his arms and smiled at his heir's noble, as well as amusing antics, while Harry continued in a cool tone, "When Grandfather and I were in your office, Headmaster, you thought you saw me jumping at his barking order, like a loyal dog, which, in your Greater Good-worshipping mindset, means that I must be as terrified of him as you lot are of the very mention of the name of Voldemort!"
Not to Harry's surprise, more hisses, shivers and flinches filled the courtroom, while Harry continued, "So, in your infinite wisdom, you decided to not only help the branch member halt justice for my godfather and family's oldest friend; you also sought to give me a new guardian, believing I had no love or comforts in my life. And, again, this is just a theory, but I smell the words and names Weasley, Longbottom or, and this one's really funny to think of, but I also suspect the name Dursley being thrown out, just because that magic-hating, Obscurus-birthing, Statute-of-Secrecy-threatening Muggle family had a finite connection to my late Lady-Mother, Magic Bless and Keep Her."
A few people echoed his last words, if only out of respect, while Harry kissed his knuckles as he looked up at Dumbledore again, "You would then go on to use your so-called suggestions to, I presume, get me out of Slytherin House and into somewhere you can mould me to be…well…the one with the power to vanquish the Dark Lord…or whatever crap you've been spoon-feeding yourself since that night in the Hog's Head pub!"
"HOW DO YOU…"
"Um, Albus; do us all a favour and don't screech like Molly Weasley on crack," insisted Bellatrix, clasping Harry's ears in her hands, clearly holding him as softly and carefully as any Mother might hold their child as she explained, "You'll hurt my precious raven's lovely ears; also, as for how he knows what you're willing to wait until he's ready to off himself before you tell him why, you do remember who else was, supposedly, acting bravely and courageously when he served the monster that Lucy and I did, don't you?"
"SHE ADMITS IT!"
"Yes I do, Oggy," said Bellatrix, before jerking her head towards Arcturus as she added, "And, unlike Lucy, I paid my penance's required price in blood, magic, suffering and rituals that have been around since before you were even a twinkle in your once-Patriarch's eye. However, while I have paid my prices and had Mother Magic revive me in the light of her Grace, I have not, nor did I ever, have anything to do with what happened to my precious Harrykins' godmother, surrogate godfather or his poor, unfortunate soul of a god-brother…"
"Who is a topic of conversation for another time, Proxy Longbottom, I assure you," growled Harry darkly, earning an enraged look from Augusta.
As for Bellatrix, she kissed the top of Harry's head as she continued, "Regardless, this is all moot; you see, while you don't acknowledge me as my precious boy's guardian, willingly and lovingly, I don't hesitate to add, the same cannot be said for friends in higher places…and all thanks to him."
She indicated Arcturus again, while said Black Patriarch now looked to Amelia as he added, "So, since we have time to kill and this meeting is now adjourned due to false information being provided and attempts to perverse the course of justice has been enacted, I assume we can get onto a real, genuine reason for being here…like my grandson's innocence?"
"YOU CAN'T!" Roared Dumbledore.
"And why not?" asked Harry casually, shrugging ruefully as he asked, "Pettigrew's in custody…or he should be…you, the Chief Warlock, witnessed the Director promising justice, unless you're as corrupt as…well, certain sweetie-pies here…"
His gaze flicked to Fudge, who was one step away from turning into a puddle of goop, as Harry laid out all the Ministry's dirty laundry.
He was just thankful Rita wasn't there.
Harry, however, continued, "So, with a real representative to the Blacks here, and a viable proxy to the Potters, I daresay we can proceed with the matter of clearing Sirius Black of the crimes he was never even questioned about…yes, Albus, my boy?"
Dumbledore looked right into Harry's eyes.
And, as soon as he did so, he saw a glint.
A flicker of light.
A damned twinkle.
It was in that moment that Albus saw the truth.
He'd been played…
It was true; he, the same man whom, many a time, had come up with a billion plans before breakfast, had been played like a fiddle, manipulated like a puppet on strings, and made to walk this path.
By a boy!
By a damn brat who couldn't even accept his destiny!
He refused to let this be the end…
If he couldn't get to Harry that way, then he'd find another…
But, for now, unlike that overcompensating toad, Malfoy, and his bootlicker of a donor-target, Fudge, Albus would make nice.
It was all going to work out.
For the Greater Good…
"Well, that was a waste."
"Of time?" asked Bellatrix, earning a scoff from Harry.
"And oxygen," replied the Black Scion, before he turned to an amused-looking Arcturus, who was standing with a nervous, but also relieved-looking Draco, while Arcturus watched his heir with fondness, instead of cold indifference, while the boy nodded, "But I know, Grandfather: needs must and, in the end, even the time-wasting is worth it, right?"
"Correct, Harrison," said Arcturus, before he looked past Bellatrix and Harry as he added, "And, I trust, now, you're willing to make the right choices and the right moves when they count, boy!"
A vindicated Sirius Black bowed his head, tears streaming down his eyes as he saw what had become of his pup, as well as his family, before he replied to Arcturus' sternly-worded remark. "If it's the last thing I do, Patriarch, I will earn the forgiveness of the family for my poor choices…until then, I call Harry…sorry, I mean, Harrison, what he rightfully is: the next Lord Black and the power I bend the knee to, should he ask it of me."
Unseen by Sirius, Harry buried his head against Bellatrix's shoulder, before he sniffled as he whispered one word.
The elf appeared.
And Harry vanished, taking a solemn-looking Draco with him.
"Well…what now, cousin?"
"You don't need to know that," said Harry calmly, changing his dress robes for his school ones as he added, "Just do as normal, Draco; and be sure to warn me again if your Father makes any more stupid decisions. As for your Mother, don't worry: Bellatrix won't let anything happen to her sister."
"Okay," said Draco, before he frowned curiously as he asked, "Are you all right?"
"Yes…now, please; go and wait in the Common Room if you must…I'll be along shortly."
As Draco left, Harry looked down at his hand, clenching it tightly into a fist before he hummed softly;
"Time to make the next move…"
It was lunchtime when he made it.
"May I join you?"
His quarry looked up in surprise, before they nodded, earning a curt nod of thanks from Harry as he sat down before, offering his hand to his new companion, he kissed the back of it softly before he looked up into the eyes of the owner.
"I think it's past time we had a chat, Heiress Greengrass."
Daphne Alyssa Greengrass just stared back with disbelief and calm, if not cold curiosity, as Harry folded his arms before he drew in a deep breath as he continued in that same sibilant hiss of a tone.
"After all, I'm sure I don't need to tell you that, as my future betrothed, we probably should get used to being around each other, so…where do you want to begin?"
Chapter 8 and, blimey: talk about reversing the situation as the Master Manipulator has been played by those he attempted to manipulate, but what is Harry's endgame? What does he mean by even the timewasting is worth it?
Also, now he's confronted the enigmatic Miss Greengrass, what, exactly, will Harry say or do to ensure his future and keep her on the straight and narrow too?
Plus, what will the old fossil do next in a bid to try and put the Black King – and Black-King-to-be – in check?
Keep Reading to Find Out
Next Chapter: A timeskip and it's the darkest night of Harry Potter-Black's life: oh well, good thing there's nothing that can distract him from…oh, shitake mushrooms!
Please Read and Review
Ogden: Paul McGann
Augusta Longbottom: Dame Angela Lansbury
Daphne Greengrass: Dove Cameron
To anyone who might feel like this is turning into a one-sided sort of story, rest assured: the real adventure is about to begin.
I'm sorry to anyone who might have been expecting all-action, all-guns-blazing fantasy amazement, but I decided to try something a little different and, given all the feedback, the favourites and followings, I can only assume I'm doing something right.
Also, the reason I wrote Sirius as a humbled, if not beaten-down spirit instead of the fun-loving guy we know and love is mostly because of Arcturus, but also because, as you should recall, he has just gotten out of Azkaban and was saved from nightmares, only to find his boy, his pup, being raised to be the equivalent of a King among Peasants;
Being a Marauder is not how he earns Harry's love this time, but, rest assured, he will earn it.