Control Alternate Delete by Almecestris

Standard Disclaimer: This story is based on characters and situations created and owned by J.K. Rowling, various publishers including but not limited to Bloomsbury, Scholastic, and Raincoast Books, and Warner Brothers Inc. No money is being made and no copyright or trademark infringement is intended. I do not own Harry Potter or anything related to Harry Potter.

Author's Notes: This is an AU Harry Potter story that happens a year after his seventh year in Hogwarts (which means he is eighteen). This is not compliant to Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows but some references will be made in the future. Facts found in the official seventh book will be altered to fit the storyline. Audiences must read at least the first six books of the Harry Potter series to fully understand plot sequence. Everything that transpired before the seventh book shall remain the same.

Warning: This chapter might be filled with very descriptive carnage and gore, or at least by my standard. Those who get easily offended or upset by these kinds of situations should think twice before reading this fic. You have been warned.

-S-

Chapter Four

Diagon Alley, July 28, 1998, Tuesday

As Harry climbed the stairs leading to the main entrance of Gringotts, Aurors who were patrolling the area regarded him suspiciously. He scoffed internally. These rookies employed by the Ministry wouldn't last two seconds against him. He ignored the idiots and their idiotic looks as he crossed the marble floor to the huge doors of the bank.

Although Amelia Bones replaced Scrimgeour as the Minister of Magic for the time being, there were still some corrupt and power-hungry politicians that survived the war.

Dolores Umbridge for instance, was certainly the person he hated most that isn't a supporter of Voldemort's. The bitch had tried to approach him on the rare occasion he was out of Grimmauld Place to buy some supplies. Like a two-faced fool that she is, she simpered and latched on to him like a parasite, hoping to get in his favor. Just like the other twits who are seeking to take advantage of either his wealth or popularity. Knowing the woman, it was probably both. Harry felt a familiar wave of satisfaction as he recalled the fat woman thrown back as he cursed her with the most painful, bordering on legal spell he knew.

Suffice to say that she won't be bothering him any longer.

A dozen or so agitated witches and wizards were assembled in a line, waiting for their turn to enter the bank. The line moved slowly as a goblin at the front conducted a thorough cross-examination of each person that had business with Gringotts.

Disregarding the combination of mutinous and jealous looks he received from those at the line, he passed the throng of hassled people and headed directly to the front.

A dozen of goblins, instead of dressed in their usual uniform of scarlet and gold, were clad in full battle armor regalia, complete with spears and swords guarded the burnished bronze doors. It was blatant that they weren't taking any chances. The goblins had also suffered in the war, and it looks like they were much more sensible than wizards at the moment.

Tensing as they saw him completely bypass the line, the one that seemed to be the leader spoke in a scratchy tone, "Please go back to the line, sir."

Withdrawing the sealed parchment enclosed with the official Gringotts letter, Harry handed it to the goblin.

After running a sharp claw over the Gringotts insignia of the parchment, a green, foul-smelling gas emerged as the letter unfolded. The goblin read the note carefully before handing it to Harry.

"Everything seems to be in order. You may pass," said the goblin in a much politer tone. The other goblins, who heard him, while still retaining their alert stance, relaxed slightly their hold on their weapons. The attention he was now receiving was a combination of caution, admiration and curiosity.

Harry nodded crisply as he returned the letter in his robes. The bronze doors were pushed open, and the goblins stationed bowed deeply as he walked inside. The poetic warning against robbing Gringotts was still posted on the wall, but he didn't bother to glance at it. After all, he had successfully pilfered the Hufflepuff cup – one of Voldemort's Horcruxes – from Bellatrix Lestrange's vault in during his Horcrux Hunt.

He noticed that other loitering goblins stopped their tasks in order to acknowledge him with either a deferential nod or like those at the entrance, a deep bow that conveyed great respect. Goblins were known to dislike wizards, and for them to behave this way was very peculiar. Then again, Harry was not normal in any sense of the word, so he made no comment regarding this odd occurrence and passed through the silver doors into a vast marble hall.

There were very few people in the hall since only twenty witches and wizards were allowed at a time. The goblins obviously won't take anymore chances at being attacked again.

He pulled down his hood to reveal a face with aristocratic features. Even though he wore a cloak, it was obvious that though his frame was thin, he couldn't be called skinny. His body, while slightly muscular, was still lithe and agile. His midnight-colored hair was tied loosely, reaching just below his broad shoulders. With his striking appearance, graceful movements, and his glinting, emerald eyes, the witches, regardless of their marital status, could not help but stare as he passed by them.

Although Harry looked straight ahead, he could feel the eyes of both the goblins that had turned from their work, and the wizards making transactions. Going to the counter, Harry spoke to a free goblin, "I have a meeting with Heldok from the Inheritance Department at eleven o'clock. Tell him Harry Potter is here to see him."

"You have something to verify your identity, sir?" asked the goblin in an oily voice while raking his yellowish eyes at the forehead devoid of any blemishes, lightning-shaped scar or otherwise. Harry felt a flash of dislike at this particular goblin.

Having a Morphanima as an Animagus, he found out quickly after successfully changing into one, has its advantages. Although he wasn't a real Metamorphagus like Tonks, he could still changing small aspects of his physical appearance. Just by concentrating hard enough, Harry was able to cover a new layer of skin over his scar, and tame his hair. And if he wished to he could change small aspects of his body such as eye color and shape, hair length and color, his height and the other small details.

After years of standing out, he finally experienced the feeling of being normal. No more wrestling with his wild hair in order to hide his scar or ducking his head to avoid being mobbed.

Although all of the Metamorphagi residing in the country were tracked down and were required to register in the Ministry of Magic, Harry's name cannot be found on the list. He figured that if, by some impossibly unfeasible chance that someone from the Ministry would find out and use it against him in court, he could just state that there has never been a regulation that concerned the Morphanima species except for its illegal hunting.

He had studied the existing laws dating from the present to some obscure ones made during the reign of the Wizard Council in circa 30 B.C., and found loopholes in order to deflect any kind of charges that the Ministry could bring against him.

Sneering slightly at the three-footed creature in front of him, Harry maintained his look of cold disdain. The goblin felt unnerved at the wizard's long silence. Nervously fidgeting, he tried not to stare at the piercing eyes that seemed to bore into his mind.

Harry let a dangerous smirk on his face as he felt the goblin's fear. The goblin's face paled. His involuntary passive Legilimency, a side-effect of practicing mind magic for nearly three years, allow him to feel the emotions of others. It became a big problem when it came into crowds. He suffered massive headaches during his times in the Great Hall. But by practicing Occlumency, he was able to block of the unwanted sensations. Although he wasn't extending his senses very much, the terrified feeling washed through him.

Impatient, he handed the fearful goblin same letter he showed the guards. The goblin read the note, while sneaking looks at the humans.

"I believe I told you to inform Mr. Heldok of my presence, did I not?" he said silkily in a smooth, lower voice edged with the barest traces of threats. The young witch who heard him fainted. As the girl's companions rushed towards her, the clerk goblin hastily rang the bell on his desk. A goblin appeared from the door on the far right side of the large room.

"Brogan, accompany Mr. Potter to the office of the Head of the Inheritance Department," addressed the goblin to the lesser goblin in a slightly shaky voice. The intimidating wizard nodded tersely at the goblin at the counter as the new goblin gestured for him to follow. Harry went after the goblin towards one of the doors leading of the hall.

Harry knew his presence made this goblin nervous, more so than the other one. They must be the younger one, he thought absently. His guide could barely walk straight. Each step was hesitantly taken, and the disfigured hands twitched every so often.

For the goblin it seemed that the walk to the Inheritance Department took forever. The skin at the back of his neck prickled as he felt the wizard's gaze on his back. When the Dark Lord returned for the second time in the Wizarding world, he had sent many of his servants to coerce goblins of high positions to support him. He need not say the fate of those who refused. No one was safe then. Danger had been everywhere then. And this man can definitely called dangerous.

Instead of going to the narrow stone passageway with flaming torches where the small carts were found, they ventured to another hall. Their footsteps resounded throughout the large empty chamber. The interior design was far more superior and sophisticated than the lobby. Although it was less bright, Harry could clearly see in the architecture of the hall. While the flooring in the reception area was only of plain polished marble, the floor made of various gems, making an enormous mosaic of goblin culture, wars and artifacts more than five hundred square meters in area.

The marble walls were lined with tapestries, each showing different goblins in suites of armor in different places. Although the one all had in common was somewhere in the backdrop, flowing blood was clearly depicted. Harry figured those were the leaders of the goblin rebellions that Binns kept on nattering about.

After seventeen years of teaching as a ghost, the professor finally moved on when a student, a first year Gryffindor – a Muggleborn to be exact – unintentionally asked him the manner of his death. Suffice to say that the Weasley twins mourned the fact that they weren't the ones who got read of Binns.

Entering another pair of immense bronze doorway, this time watched over by at least twenty goblins. His guide made a small gesture with his hands. The guards nodded and each one stroked the metal in order to open them. Harry entered the room but notice that Brogan stayed behind and was conversing with the guards in Gobbledegook, presumably about him.

He was never really interested at the languages of magical creatures, but it was necessary to learn them when Hermione insisted that he should be the ambassador to different allies. He had met with goblin chieftains, centaur elders, vampire royalty, chief merpeople and werewolf alphas to secure their allegiances and ask for help against Voldemort.

He had also been taught by McGonagall how to speak Spanish, Italian, Mandarin Chinese and Latin. To his mortification – and Ron's as well – his Transfiguration professor had made Draco teach Harry pure-blood etiquette and French. Although the Slytherin blonde had been too eager to point out Harry's mistakes at every opportunity, he had to admit that his rival was a sound teacher.

The room he just entered was large for an office. Every kind of archaic weapon, from wooden clubs to metallic spears, was displayed proudly behind glass cases. All the weapons, after a closer inspection, were tarnished with suspicious red brownish stains. Harry readily would bet his Invisibility Cloak and Firebolt that they were dried blood.

Movement behind a stone desk with carved with the faces of gargoyles took his perusal from the room and focused it on the goblin that had stood. Walking a sedate pace, Harry approached the desk and bowed his head before saying in Gobbledegook, "Good morning, Mr. Heldok. I have come to discuss the matter of my inheritance."

Goblins, Harry knew hated wizards. After all, centuries of enmity could never be forgotten by both sides. During the war, he was able to get an insight to goblin minds after spending a week in their domain to attend talks of alliance. He knew while goblins were generally bad-tempered creatures by nature, they hold two loves. First was power, and next was money. Now that he defeated Voldemort and with Dumbledore dead, he was considered the most powerful wizard alive, in the sense of magic and influence. And he was here to secure his respected position in goblin society by using his wealth.

Heldok nodded in approval at the greeting before motioning Harry to sit down. "Good morning, Mr. Potter. I must congratulate you on your accent. It is near perfect." He gave a folder to his client and took a sit himself. "Now to the matter of your inheritance, that folder contains the list of assets left to you by the people that made you their beneficiary. This can be considered as the reading of the wills, but since you are the remaining recipient, there is no need for the formality."

The goblin watched his patron survey the folder dispassionately, and he hastily added, "Be assured that no goblin shall set eyes on your chattels without your explicit permission, past or present. An enchantment placed on every Gringotts goblin disables them to reveal internal workings to outsiders." Harry didn't seem to be convinced. "Those documents are not written by the personnel, but by a powerfully charmed quill, very much similar to the Hogwarts student records," rushed Heldok in an attempt to pacify his client.

Nodding in approval, Harry felt his businessman persona take over. Opening the folder, he absently noticed the papers inside were elegant and without a doubt, costly. The crisp smell of parchment filled his nose as he read:

Estates/ Properties:

1.) Number Seven, Godric's Hallow – Potter Family

2.) Number Twelve, Grimmauld's Place, London – Sinclair Family

3.) Wiltshire Manor, England– Malfoy Family (Black Family)

4.) Reinbach Manor, London – Sinclair Family

5.) Penthouse, The Revere Plaza, New York (Muggle world) – Potter Family

6.) The Burrow, Ottery St. Catchpole– Weasley Family

7.) Château Sinclair, Castle District, France (Muggle world) – Sinclair Family

8.) Number One Raven's Den, Wiltshire, England (Muggle world) – Sinclair Family

Lord/s of the Houses:

1.) House of Black (a seat in the Wizengamot)

2.) House of Gryffindor (a seat in the Hogwarts board of governors)

3.) House of Potter (a seat in the Wizengamot)

4.) House of Ravenclaw (a seat in the Hogwarts board of governors)

5.) House of Slytherin (a seat in the Hogwarts board of governors)

Monetary Assets:

1.) Potter Main Family (Vault No. 2943) – Approximately 92,998,918,000,000 Galleons (16 percent interest per annum)

2.) Potter Branch Family (Vault No. 3217) – Approximately 27,782,423,000,000 Galleons (16 percent interest per annum)

3.) James Potter (Vault No. 9239) – Approximately 1,998,900,000 Galleons (16 percent interest per annum)

4.) Harry Potter (Trust Fund) (Vault No. 9240) – Approximately 987,700,000 (16 percent interest per annum)

5.) Black Main Family (Vault No. 2895) – Approximately 981,894,988,000,000 Galleons (16 percent interest per annum)

6.) Sinclair Main Family (Vault No. 1532) – Approximately 57,987,853,345,000,000 Galleons (16 percent interest per annum)

7.) Slytherin Main Family (Vault No. 7) – Approximately 892,949,997,636,000,000,000 Galleons (16 percent interest per annum)

8.) Evans (Slytherin Branch Family) (Vault No. 98072) – Approximately 47,892,900,000 Galleons (16 percent interest per annum)

9.) Gryffindor Main Family (Vault No. 5) – Approximately 337,789,543,836,000,000 Galleons (16 percent interest per annum)

10.) Weasley Family Vault (Vault No. 8237) – Approximately 5,000 Galleons (16 percent interest per annum)

11.) Family Heirlooms Vault (Vault 4)

For the convenience of the heir, the heirlooms of each family are transferred to one vault.

Looking up from the document, Harry fixed Heldok with a piercing glare. The goblin, much to his displeasure, couldn't help but quake slightly at the stare. In a deceptively calm voice, he asked, "May ask who is responsible for the Potters financial assets? And why wasn't I informed that there are four vaults under the Potter name?"

Heldok felt the room temperature drop at least five degrees as he stared into the pair of emerald eyes. As the said eyes narrowed slightly, he knew his silence irritated the man, and he scrambled to find a parchment on his desk.

"Officially, it was the Mortimer Family that managed the accounts of the Potter Family for nearly two centuries, but I believe it was Albus Dumbledore who dismissed Adelaide Mortimer, the woman whom your parents made your administrator." Clearing his throat, he looked up from the parchment but quickly lowered his head as the eyes in front of him turned colder than an arctic blizzard. Trembling considerably, he continued, "Then Mr. Dumbledore took the position, claiming that he was your appointed magical guardian–"

The empty chair at the front of his desk exploded suddenly, making Heldok jump at the noise. Wooden splinters rained down, covering him and his desk. Risking a glance at Harry, he shrank back as he sensed the aura surrounding his patron. The aura spoke of cold rage that scalded his skin like a blazing inferno. One second, Heldok was at the brink of screaming, the next the atmosphere lightened significantly. Opening his eyes, the goblin saw his desk free of any debris from the destroyed chair. Even the said chair was innocently sitting in its proper place, as if it never blew up into smithereens.

"Albus Dumbledore was my guardian." It was said so flatly, so without emotion.

"Yes, although in the Muggle world, your aunt and uncle are responsible for you, magically speaking, Mr. Dumbledore is your custodian." Heldok congratulated himself at the fact that he hadn't stuttered. Bravely, or rather, obliviously, he continued, "I am certain of this. Of course he did not have access to your other family vaults, only your trust fund. He even withdrew from your trust fund every two years since he became your administrator. He said it was for your health issues."

A flash of murderous rage glinted in the deadly eyes as Heldok trailed the last part. He gulped. Even though they were in an enclosed chamber, the wind picked up slightly before it died down almost instantly.

"I see."

Heldok waited with bated breath. As if nothing ever happened, Harry returned his focus the papers in his hands. Leafing to the scan pages, he stopped when he reached a manuscript with a peculiar title, and read:

The rewards for defeating You-Know-Who are given to Harry Potter by the following countries:

England – 10,000,000,000 Galleons (Monetary reward of Order of Merlin, Grand Sorcerer is included)

France – 5,000,000,000 Galleons

Bulgaria – 3,500,000,000 Galleons

Scotland – 900,000,000 Galleons

Ireland – 750,000,000 Galleons

Germany – 525,000,000 Galleons

Poland – 520,500,000 Galleons

Italy – 520,000,000 Galleons

United States of America – 500,000,000 Galleons

Canada – 250,000,000 Galleons

Romania – 200,000,000 Galleons

Greece – 100,000,000 Galleons

The transactions shall be completed on the twenty-eighth of July. The funds shall be deposited in a separate vault under the name of Lord Harry James Potter.

Raising his eyebrows fractionally, he returned to the first page, and watched as golden ink added the said vault under the list of his financial assets.

Silence filled the room, broken occasionally by a rustle of parchment. At last, after nearly thirty minutes, Harry put down the folder and looked up to gaze at Heldok. "It seems that everything is in perfect order." Without uttering a word or using his wand, he duplicated the documents, and pocketed them. "Those shall be my copies. Since I made it to be connected to the original one at the bank, I shall know at once should any problem arise."

"Do you have any other matters to discuss, sir?" Harry shook his head in negative. The goblin looked relieved.

"Farewell, Lord Harry Potter. May your gold continue to flow," Heldok saluted him with far more respect than when he entered, and gave him a much deeper bow.

Harry returned the courteous gesture by nodding his head and replied, "And may yours continue to flourish and multiply." And with that, he swept out of the room, leaving an uneasy goblin at his wake.

-S-

Returning to the receiving room, Harry approached the same goblin he talked to earlier. The goblin looked up from his paperwork, and gulped nervously before saying in his politest tone, "May I help you, sir?"

"I wish to visit my vaults," said Harry brusquely to the goblin. "To make a withdrawal, and make certain arrangements that will ensure my convenience in the future."

The goblin on the counter nodded uncertainly. "You have your key, sir?"

Harry looked at him disdainfully. "Naturally," he remarked scornfully. Reaching to the front pocket of his black robes, he took out a small silver key. He didn't hold it out to the goblin as expected, instead, he allowed the goblin to peruse the key from a distance.

Wisely, the goblin made no comment about the quandary, and after a few seconds of scrutiny, he said, "That seems to be in order. I shall have someone take you to the vaults. Brogan!"

The goblin who had been his guide earlier came instantly. Looking distinctly unhappy at the prospect of spending more time with Harry, he shuffled to one of the doorways leading out of the hall, pausing only to glance edgily back to see if Harry was following him. Brogan held the doorway for him, and as he passed, the goblin gave a deep bow.

Since his first visit to Gringotts seven years ago, nothing changed. The narrow stone passageway was still lit with flaming torches. It still sloped steeply downward and there were still railway tracks on the floor. Brogan let out two high-pitched sounds in what Harry assumed as whistles, and a small cart raced up the tracks towards the two. As he climbed on, Harry noticed that the seats were soft and comfortable, very much unlike the carts he used to ride which were wooden and bumpy. Despite himself, Harry let out a satisfied smirk. As expected, the cart began to move at its usual breakneck speed, accelerating further.

To amuse himself, Harry tried to remember their way through the maze of twisting passageways, left, right, middle fork, right, right, left, top, left, and so on. A jet of fire below the cart drew his attention, breaking his concentration. Going down deeper and deeper, he felt his face become numb with the cold air. A few seconds later they passed an underground hot spring releasing tepid steam that warmed his skin slightly.

At last, the cart came to a screeching halt, and Harry climbed down. He knew his hair looked very windswept, and he flicked his hand. As if an invisible comb brushed through his hair, it became good as new, as if he didn't endure a thirty-minute intense rollercoaster ride.

Brogan moved forward to brush his finger against door but it remained stubbornly closed. The goblin looked at the vault door stupidly, as if expecting it to open by magic. Another idiot, thought Harry acidly. He was beginning to lose count on how many fools wasted air and space.

Instinctively knowing what to do, he stepped forward and said in Parseltongue, "Speak to me, Slytherin, greatest of the Hogwarts Four." The solid, dusty and silvery surface of the vault door actually rippled as though it were made of molten metal. Slowly an image of two enormous serpents, entwined emerged, waiting for the password. Their eyes were set with grand emeralds, glinting even there was no sufficient light. Harry stared in wonder at the figures in front of him.

It was an exact replica to the ones he had encountered in the Chamber of Secrets.

The goblin stared. What just happened was unbelievable! Although this vault was last opened over a millennium ago, there were recorded stories of this kind of magic from goblins in the medieval ages. Parselmagic, it was called, if he remembered correctly. Salazar Slytherin was known to be an overly paranoid man. He kept his vast amounts of wealth in his manor, refusing to let anyone, much less goblins, see it.

After many discussions with his wife, he finally relented, on the condition that he would add extra wards and safeguards to ensure that no one outside their family could lay their hands on the treasure. Before now, all goblins, even the Elders, thought this story a hoax. How could Wizarding magic tie in with the Gringotts security features?

It was simple now that he knew the answer. It was snake magic, nothing like the magic used by humans.

Still, despite this amazing discovery, Brogan knew that it would forever remain a mystery to the others. As a goblin of Gringotts, the spell placed on him would prevent him from telling the story to the other goblins. He would spend his life listening to stories, theories and conclusions, never being able to divulge the answer.

And it looks like the wizard knew it to as he directed a smirk at him.

Harry turned back to the vault door, after easily reading the goblin's thoughts. He knew this was the first time in a long time that someone would once again enter this vault. After the Slytherin family's reputation was besmirched and they were banished from the Wizarding world, the bank vault sealed itself, preventing access from everyone but the rightful heir. The two pairs of emerald eyes flickered teasingly in the dim lighting.

"Open," said Harry in a low, faint hiss.

The snakes parted as the vault door was unlocked completely, the two halves sliding smoothly surreptitiously. Walking inside with his heart thundering in his chest, the vault door closed again, and this time, only one gigantic snake guarded the entrance. This snake has many names in many parts of the world, but at the mention of this creature's true name, even the bravest men trembled in terror.

It was a stone basilisk.

-S-

Gold. It was all he could see. Mountains and mountains of precious, golden coins filled every corner of the gargantuan room. Harry knew almost half of this treasure was the interest alone, accumulating rapidly, untouched, for nearly a thousand years.

Voldemort couldn't have entered this vault. Because if he had, it would be empty in a few months. Harry knew Voldemort would use it to his advantage in the war. Recruiting people would become easier. Bribing Ministry officials in exchange for favors crucial to his plans would require less effort. And only God knows what other reasons Voldemort could have used the money for.

Harry walked on the raised stone pathway, looking at the overflowing gold coins at the sides. An occasional jewelry would catch his eye and he would pause to examine it before moving on. The walkway stretched on for nearly four kilometers in distance, and through out his journey, he couldn't either the floor or the walls.

If he had a lifespan of about one hundred years – the average for a wizard, he could live like a king and never work again, and he would still only use the annual years of the life of royal extravagance at the price of one year of sixteen percent he doesn't have the mortality rate of an normal human, Muggle or otherwise.

It was all because of his phoenix after being hit by the Killing Curse multiple times – and scaring the crap out of Voldemort and pretty much everyone else, he was finally certain that literally could not be prospect of living forever might be glorious to most but the idea of spending eternity alone wasn't really all that good.

Nevertheless, he had been blessed (or cursed), and having money would certainly make his extensive life more comfortable. Harry briefly wondered what would happen if he didn't eat. Would he succumb to death? To the blissful oblivion that had been denied from him? He dismissed the idea. It couldn't be that simple. He would probably just continue living with a very painful hunger pangs.

At the very end of the trail, a small black box lined with finest ivory sat peacefully on a raised block of polished marble. Harry picked it up and unclasped the soft sliver lock. Inside, nestled on luxurious white and green silk was a silver ring with an emerald stone. At first glance, one might think it was plain, maybe a bit too much to be the ring of the Lord of the House, but as he inspected the heirloom closely, he noticed many engraved serpents on the band. Even the emerald shone with unnaturalness, and Harry felt magic – far deeper than familial ones – course through the priceless stone.

Parselmagic was a very obscure branch of magic he had discovered while reading Salazar's journals in the Chamber of Secrets during his seventh obvious reasons, only descendants of the snake founder were capable to wield that type of held many secrets that even Slytherin hadn't been able to discern.

Sliding the ring onto his finger on his left hand, Harry felt it shrink and adjust to his thinner fingers. A split second later, something latched onto the everlasting supply of his magic, feeding on his power, strengthening. He continued his inspection of the ring and ignored the sensation. He knew it was only the wards of his properties tying on to its magic. The moment the last living wizard of the Slytherin bloodline died, the houses become dormant since the enchantments of the houses were sustained only by the magic of the Head of the house.

His mother was a descendant of Slytherin. It was absurd. But it was, however, the truth. Slytherin having a second son wasn't common knowledge. The founder had banished his younger child, when he expressed a wish to marry a lovely Half-blood. The founder was enraged, and banished his son to the Muggle world. And the Branch Family was created. For generations, the family lived as Muggles, waiting for their Hogwarts to forgive them. Until one day, the secret of their true family heritage was lost, and the Slytherin Branch family continued to live, ignorant of their illustrious history. Finally after over one millennium, a Hogwarts letter came. It was for a young girl with startling green eyes and fiery red hair. It was for Lily Evans.

When Harry thought carefully about it, he was distantly related to Voldemort. The idea left a distinctively foul taste in his mouth. The Gaunt family was the progeny of Slytherin's eldest son who obeyed his father's commands and married a pureblood. And after generations of inbreeding, madness finally began to appear in the bloodline, resulting in one mad, powerful Dark Lord.

Bless Merlin for his ancestors who fortunately didn't marry their close relatives, thus resulting in him having a sane mind.

After glancing at the room, he closed his eyes and made his decision, feeling the air alive with magic as wind swept his shoulder-length hair. Harry focused his magic, and in front of him, a treasure box made out of pure silver began to materialize. Fashioning silver serpents with their traditional emerald eyes, he made the snakes weave themselves protectively around the box. They were as beautiful as they were deadly. Encrusting the lid and sides of the chest with emeralds nearly was large as his palm. Then, Harry carefully placed the chest at his feet, and opened the lid.

Raising both of his hands above his head, he called forth his raw magic, drawing it to emerge, molding it to act according to his will. The golden coins at his sides quivered as their peace was disturbed. Rising together, the Galleons looked eerily like a tidal wave, fierce and uncontrollable. But Harry was in total control. Slowly moving his arms as if dancing to an unheard music, the coins, like glinting molten lava, moved like liquid, entering the small chest.

In a blink of an eye, Harry was standing in an empty room.

Slytherin's wealth is incredible, Harry thought in amazement as he stared at the darkness at the edge of the stone pathway. Now that the gold was gone, he realized that the bottomless sides of the room were used to contain the enormous wealth.

Conjuring a small stone, he threw it over to the gaping blackness. Counting silently, his eyebrows lifted more and more as he reached past five minutes. At long last, after nearly twelve minutes, a small sound of impact resounded in the bare room. It really was hard to imagine. Galleons filled up that much space. Just amazing.

First one down, eight more to go, thought Harry wearily. Repeating his motions earlier, another chest formed in front of him, although this time, it was made out of pure gold and was studded with rubies. The Gryffindor lion was carved at the lid, traced by a barely noticeable silver line. Harry summoned his money from the Potter vaults and transported them into the chest. The Potter symbol of Lordship appeared on his palm. Fitting the ring on his finger on the left hand, his stomach jumped at the curious feeling of more house wards tying to his magic.

During the third time, Harry ceased to think, letting his mind wander free as a third chest was created. He thought about the Dursleys, about Ron and Hermione, about Sirius, Remus and his parents, about Tom Riddle and many others. Images flashed in his mind. Scenes of Christmas in the Weasleys, Bill's wedding, Hermione's sixteenth birthday in France, and more forgotten memories ran through his head. Ginny's gentle smile… Her soft touch… Her tender voice…

Harry blinked, surprised at the sudden change of his surroundings. He no longer felt the bitter loneliness and uncertainness he was suffering the moment he left Hogwarts castle. Maybe it was because he finally accepted the deaths of everyone. Now that he could think about it, although there was a slight twinge in his chest at the thought of his friends, not the heart-wrenching sensation he used to endure. Perhaps, at long last, he was beginning to heal.

He raised his hands to eye level. Now there were five Lordship rings on his fingers. Harry frowned. This was going to draw the Ministry's undesired attention to him. Something he really didn't want to deal with. Interweaving his magic to the rings' own enchantments, he made the rings invisible to everyone but him. The rings, for the lack of a better word, sang as their charms danced with his magic.

Crouching down, Harry observed the new chests at his feet. The first one was made of a mixture of silver and copper and was decorated with large at the sides, and although there was no animal insignia, there was a familiar motto carved on the lid: Toujours Pur. He created it for the chest of the Black's fortune. He opened the lid.

The next one was obviously meant for the Sinclair family. A large eagle adorned the box's lid. Diamonds were cut especially to form a large 'R' at the sides of the lid. Colored flashes nearly blinded him at the sheer magnificence of it. Harry stroked the black bird. Rowena Ravenclaw, Harry thought in wonder.

It was hard to believe that he was the lord of the families of three of the four Founders. Two years ago, the idea wouldn't even cross his mind.

The last chest was simple and wooden. Harry knew it contained the monetary rewards given to him by the various Ministries. He made it plain and unadorned because this chest doesn't have any special meaning to him. Just a small container full of money given to him because he killed someone.

"One last thing," said Harry softly to himself. Placing his hand directly above the wooden chest, a small tendril of magic linked between them.

He wanted to spend his rewards for killing Voldemort first, since he actually earned it.

If Harry wished to make an instant withdrawal, all he had to do was think of the amount, and it would appear, either on his hands or in his wallet. But the best thing was if his wallet leaves him for any reason, the money would immediately return to the chest. It wouldn't work for anyone other than him.

Four hundred fifty thousand Galleons, Harry thought. His left pocket sagged heavily as expected. Even after he lightened the coins, he could still feel its weight. Feeling satisfied that the gold filled his wallet, he exited the vault. He nearly bumped to Brogan who was examining the vault door with palpable curiosity but not daring to come any closer.

Raising his eyebrow at the stuttering goblin that was trying – and failing miserably – to apologize and explain, he made no comment, and mounted the small cart.

Brogan hurried to scramble on to the front seat. Before the cart moved, the passenger at the back made him jump by saying suddenly, "I have no further business regarding my vaults. Let us return to the atrium."

The goblin knew he couldn't refuse the order, even if he dared to think about it.

"Very well, sir," he said shakily in a polite voice.

The ride was uneventful but Harry was surprised to find out that he had been able to memorize the way back. A loud roar echoed as they passed a large dragon, most likely a dragon. Harry was certain that it was an Egyptian Sawscale because of the high-pitched whistle that followed the snarl.

As the cart abruptly, both was somewhat thrown forward due to inertia. Brogan jostled quickly off his seat to be able to bow to the wizard as he climbed down. The pair returned to the reception room and without a word, Harry headed to the Currency Exchange Counter. His guide took it as an unsaid dismissal, and scampered off, wanting to get away as possible.

Since there was only one open counter, a line of witches and wizards formed. Halting behind a motherly witch holding the hand of a tiny girl, he contemplated his options. Instead of the economy becoming weaker due to the war, a miracle in the financial world occurred. A week after the war was officially declared over, the British Wizarding economy boomed madly. Amidst the celebrations more business were opening and Galleons were surging in dramatically.

Harry knew this moment may be the peak of this rise, and he would take advantage of it. The exchange rate between the magical and Muggle community of Great Britain was currently one Galleon to thirty-five pounds. It was the perfect time to change some cash since he was planning to live in the Muggle world for the next couple of weeks.

Minutes passed and the line moved slowly towards the counter. The little girl, about three years old, with the woman before him peered shyly at his face, ducking her head when he caught her stare at him. Knowing that no one was giving him any notice, Harry gave a small smile. The girl gasped and buried her face at her mother's robes, clearly embarrassed. He continued to watch the child who was barely higher than his knees.

Once she gathered her courage, the girl looked up at him again, and he winked at her. Giggling, her shyness obviously gone, she smiled at him. That was how Harry Potter passed time as he waited his turn. The little girl would look up at him, and he would contort his features into hilarious expressions, using his unusual Morphanima Animagus abilities. And as the child laughed, her mother would look behind to see his impassive face, and return her gaze back to the front, confused.

Harry vaguely noticed that the girl had released her mother's robes and actually moved closer to him. Flicking a momentary look at the woman, he saw she was busy making her transactions with the employee on the counter. He looked down as the girl moved even closer, close enough to touch him. He hadn't experienced human contact for such a long time, and there was no telling how he would react. Would he welcome it? Or would his war-ingrained reflexes repulse the touch? He could cause this girl serious injuries without meaning to do so.

Fortunately for him – and maybe for the girl as well, she didn't touch him. She just stared with her wide, innocent turquoise eyes hidden behind her wavy blonde fringe. Harry gazed back, waiting for her to make a move.

"My name's Lily," said the girl while hugging her stuffed owl. Harry jolted imperceptibly at the name. "Lily Marie Rogers and that's my ma," she continued, jerking her head to her older companion. "My pa's off to get money from our vault. He won't let me come with him. Says I'm too young. But my Alex, my older brother, said that to get there, I have to ride a really fast rollercoaster. Said there are even dragons down there. D'you know if he's telling the truth?"

Half-blood. Muggle mother and half-blood father, Harry deduced as the girl – Lily – rattled off, telling him more things her brother had told her. "…even said there are underground lakes –" The line moved again as the Asian wizard wearing peculiar Muggle clothes left.

"What's your name?" asked Lily abruptly, diverting from her topic in mid-sentence, curious at the identity of her friend.

The question took him by surprise, but nonetheless, he kneeled down to look at her straight in the eyes. "If I tell you, do you promise not to tell anyone, not even your mommy?" Harry asked. When Lily nodded fervently, he glanced around conspiratorially before leaning in to whisper, "I'm called Harry Potter."

Her eyes widened impossibly larger, making her resemble an owl. But before she could respond, her mother hurried away, dragging Lily with her. Still shocked, the girl didn't resist, looking back at Harry who gave her a small unobtrusive wave. A grin broke into her face and she waved back enthusiastically.

After a moment of waiting, it was finally his turn. "Galleons to pounds," said Harry to the man.

The old wizard at the counter nodded and scribbled something on a piece of parchment and slid it towards Harry who was drumming his fingers impatiently. "Please fill this out for records, sir."

The parchment was a form that asked for the date, clientele's name, and the total sum of the Galleons being converted. It was also laced with a rather inconspicuous but powerful copying charm. Harry sneered. He had no doubt that the spell sends a duplicate directly to the Ministry of Magic. It was obviously another pathetic attempt of the Ministry to control and monitor the population.

Since all magical paperwork were charmed to only record accurate information, the supposedly confidential files would be completely accessible to people who had the right connections or paid the right amount to the right people. Nearly a hundred thousand casualties in the war yet corruption live on.

Also, a tip from an informant inside the Ministry alerted him to the fact that Umbridge was again looking for him. Harry knew it wasn't for revenge. God help her once the entire Wizarding community, not only from England, but also from other countries, found out that she had been plotting harm against the Chosen One. Even she wouldn't be that stupid. But then again, she was stubborn to the point that her self-preservation was overshadowed by the delusion that he would actually help her become the Minister of Magic.

The mere idea spoke of either her losing touch with reality or having extensive brain damage.

But he knew she was cunning. Although she was a Hufflepuff, she had the shrewdness worthy of a Slytherin. Harry's informer reported to him that one of Umbridge's lackeys were caught trespassing in the Records room without authorization. After an interrogation using Veritaserum, the wizard had given enough evidence to ensure that Umbridge would be locked up in Azkaban for the minimum sentence of twenty years. But after pulling a few connections, suddenly a written permission from one of the Wizengamot elders was suddenly 'found' under a pile of paperwork. The bitch walked away cleared of all charges.

Harry knew by filling out this form, she could track his future activities without much difficulty. So instead, he destroyed the enchantment without triggering the alarm. Harry frowned. It was ridiculously easy. A mischievous scheme formed in his mind. A prank worthy of the three Marauders. He could barely keep a grin from appearing on his face. So without further hesitation he filled out the document and gave it to the man. The wizard carelessly impaled the slip of parchment on a small brass spike.

Harry emptied the contents of his money bag on the counter.

The Galleons magically arranged themselves in towering columns, effectively attracting everyone's attention. The chattering voices stopped and every movement was stilled. Gone was the inattention of the attendant. His bearing changed instantly, going from relaxed to watchfully alert. Never in the wizard's employment in Gringotts for the last fifty or so odd years had a customer convert this much money in a single occasion.

Harry knew he would cause a disturbance, but really, haven't they got anything better to do than ogle at him just because of a few hundred thousand Galleons? Harry didn't mean to show off. He only wanted to get this over with. There was no sense in converting money in different installments as others do to hide their wealth. Nevertheless, he anticipated completion of his practical joke.

"Four hundred fifty thousand Galleons," confirmed the wizard in an awestruck voice as he waved his wand to magically count the coins. Three other wizards came forward and carefully levitated the Galleons in to a vault behind the counter which closed as they entered. All eyes turned to Harry as the money was taken away. Harry paid no attention to the stares he was receiving, his eyes never leaving the vault door.

After five minutes, the wizards emerged, carrying a black leather briefcase and gave it to the attendant before returning to their stations at the side of the vault door. Even breathing stopped as everyone seemed to try to lean in and move closer to see the wizard open the attaché case and reveal its contents.

They were, however, disappointed when the man only looked at the leather case for a few seconds before he reduced its size and tucked it deep in his robes. Harry nodded to the attendant and exited the bank. No one dared to follow him. A moment passed and instantly, furious whisperings began, spreading to the room like wildfire.

The attendant that served Harry was bombed with inquiries of his client's identity. Who was that man? Does anyone know him? Is he from the Ministry? Is he a foreigner? Why'd you think he changed that much money? Reckon he's from the Ministry? Those were few of the questions commonly asked to the haggard wizard behind the counter.

There were also some that concerned the mysterious wealthy wizard, though albeit different from the former ones. Did you see his eyes? Wasn't he just gorgeous? Who is he? Did you see him look at me? How old do you suppose he is? He couldn't be over twenty, could he? Reckon he'll consider dating me? Wasn't his voice just the dreamiest? His smile was absolutely divine, don't you think so? Do you think he'd go for an older woman?

Knowing the crowd wouldn't settle down until they get some answers, he took the form that was filled in by the wizard earlier. Looking at the name written, the attendant dropped in dead faint.

Loud screams erupted and two Aurors patrolling outside of Gringotts rushed inside, wands drawn. Pushing towards the counter, the wizards quickly performed a scanning spell on the unconscious man. Finding nothing wrong with him, one levitated his body to a waiting couch while the other searched for the reason of the attendant's fainting spell. He came upon the form that the wizard read before he fainted. Reading the parchment, his face twisted in horror before he slumped down to the ground.

More shrieks of terror swept in the hall and the goblins long gave up restoring order. A brave young man dared to pry the parchment from the Auror's slack hand. He read the elegant, cursive handwriting:

Date of transaction: July 28, 1998

Amount to convert: 450,000 Galleons

Converted to: British pounds (Muggle)

Total Amount of Converted Currency: ₤15,750,000 (Fifteen million, seven hundred fifty thousand pounds)

Name: Lord Voldemort

Outside the building, Harry grinned as the yells increased in volume. The Aurors who were patrolling the streets hurried to the source of the noise. He was, after all, just keeping them on their toes.

-S-

I'm really sorry about the long wait before the update; I had to get my laptop fixed since I couldn't open any programs. So instead, I decided to crank up chapter four in my old, slow PC with a broken keyboard. Letters 'e', 'a' and 'h' got stuck in the keyboard about a quarter way through so I had to copy and paste a lot of things. After hours of frustration, tears, anger and depression, it's finally up. I hope you enjoyed this chapter!

Just to clarify for those who are confused, this chapter and maybe the next two or three tells what happened after Hogwarts Massacre. The real story will happen the year after, where Harry's going to turn nineteen. Please pay close attention to the dates (the year, to be more exact) to fully understand the story.

Extra Disclaimer: Alright, before anyone flames me on this, I'll say it now: I did not steal the Harry!Phoenix idea of Jono/serpant-sorceror! I read his amazing stories (The Stranger Trilogy) after I finished drafting chapter three. Since he has multiple Animagus forms, Harry can use the abilities of the animals at will even in human form like sharper eyesight (No more glasses!) and hearing, super strength (Phoenix ability), night vision and other stuff.

-S-

Posted: August 16, 2007

-S-

Reviews and criticisms would be greatly appreciated!