Chapter II: The Will Reading

Chapter II: The Will Reading

A Chapter by Ashleigh

Harry is called to Sirius' will reading and comes across several surprises.


              Harry Potter woke bright and early the next morning, sunshine streaming through his window onto his bed. He gave a yawn and a stretch, then reached over to his bedside table to grab his glasses. Positioning them onto his nose, he realized that Hedwig's cage was empty. "D****t. I thought I locked her in properly." he muttered. He wasn't worried about her. She'd be back soon. She always came back. He left his bedroom to brush his teeth and take a shower. He had to wrestle Dudley to get in there first, but he managed it all the same. Upon coming back, he saw Hedwig perched loftily on his pillow. She gave him a friendly hoot and he smiled. She was his first real friend, and he loved her more than words could say. "Hey, girl." he said softly, going over to the bed to stroke her wings. "Where have you been off to?" she gave his finger a friendly nip and stuck out her leg. There was a letter there that he hadn't noticed before. "Thanks, Hedwig." he said as he untied the letter from her leg.

                He opened the envelope and unfolded the letter inside. As Hedwig flew to her perch in her cage, he began to read.

Dear Mr. Harry J. Potter,
You have been invited to the reading of Mr Sirius O. Black's legal will. The reading will take place on the 25th of August at precisely 12:00 pm at Gringotts Wizarding Bank in Diagon Alley. DO NOT BE LATE!

Sincerely: Slipknat

Head of Will and Testament Department

                "Hang on... that's today!" Harry almost shouted. Panicked, he looked down at his watch. "And it's already 7:00 am!" Frantically wondering how on earth he was going to get to London on time, he threw on his wizard's robes, shoving the letter roughly into his pocket, grabbed his wand, broomstick and an old leather glove to slip over his scarred hand ("I will not tell lies") and bolted down the stairs four at a time to the front door. Aunt Petunia, Uncle Vernon and Dudley were sitting at the breakfast table. They stared in shock as Harry practically flew down the stairs, crashing violently into the hallway.

                "Where do you think you're going at seven in the morning?" his aunt snapped at him.

                "OUT!" he shouted, wrenching the door open and leaping onto Number Four's walkway. Leaving his family gawking open-mouthed at him from the house, he dashed to the side of the garage where the muggles couldn't see, climbed onto his broomstick, and kicked off hard from the ground, soaring into the morning mist, going as fast as his Firebolt could take him.

                Even at top speed on his firebolt, Harry just barely made it there on time. He burst through the front doors of Gringotts and nearly collapsed, heaving, onto the main desk in the marble foyer. The goblin on duty looked at him curiously. "Sirius . . . Black . . . will reading . . . today!" Harry panted. "Been . . . invited," he gasped, taking the crumpled letter from his pocket and holding it up for the goblin's inspection. The goblin took the letter from Harry's gloved hand and eyed it closely.

                "Very well, Mr. Potter. This way," the goblin said, starting to lead him out of the foyer into a wide stone hallway.

                "Thanks Griphook," Harry replied, still slightly out of breath. The goblin stumbled slightly, and looked back at Harry with a look of awe on his face, but quickly composed himself and proceeded to lead him down the hall. Griphook led Harry almost to the very end of the hallway before veering left to stop in front of a large wooden door with a brass handle.

                "The meeting will be taking place in here. If you'll just follow me through this door, Mr. Potter," Griphook explained. He pushed hard on the brass handle and the heavy door swung inwards to reveal a large room, completely covered in marble. At the front of the room was a massive palladian window, covered in crimson red drapes, which cast long, mournful shadows across the polished floor. A solid marble podium stood in front of the window. Leading from the podium, down two small steps, were two rows of marble benches, leaving a wide aisle down the middle of the room. Despite the gloomy shadows, the room itself was quite impressive. However, this was not what made Harry grin from ear to ear.

                "Wotcher, Harry!" It was Nymphadora Tonks, with her usual wide smile, grunge clothing and bubble-gum pink hair. She was also the most brilliant Auror currently employed by the Ministry, not to mention an extremely accomplished metamorphmagus. Along with her were Remus Lupin, Hermione Granger, and the entire Weasley clan. To his disgust, there were also a few people he wasn't so fond of. Narcissa Malfoy and her son, Draco, were there as well. "How've you been?" Tonks asked, obviously noticing Harry's narrowed eyes and tight lips and trying to avoid a fight.

                "Not too bad, all things considered." Harry grinned at her. He wouldn't start up anything with the Malfoys, at least not right now. He had a feeling Tonks would not be happy if she had to arrest him.

                He would have loved to just sit down and talk with them all to catch up on everything. After all, it had been quite a while since he had seen any of them. Sadly, Griphook seized that opportunity to interrupt their reunion. "Ahem. Would everyone please take a seat in one of the benches? The will reading has started." He walked up the two small steps to stand behind the podium, where he took a short moment to sort through some important looking documents.

                Everyone in the room sat down as Griphook asked. The goblin finished organizing his papers and began to read. "This legal document was written by Mr. Sirius O. Black himself. I will now read out the inheritances as follows... to my dear cousin, Nymphadora Andromeda Tonks, I leave two billion galleons of my estate, and as the last descendant of the house of Black, officially reinstate her into the Black family." He had to pause there, because Tonks had fallen off her seat in shock. When she pulled herself back up, shaking, her hair was involuntarily popping from colour to colour, resembling a rainbow. She suddenly realized what was happening and quickly set it right again.

                "Oops," she muttered, looking slightly embarrassed. "Sorry. Continue, please," she said to Griphook. Griphook gave her a stern look before pressing on.

                "To my best friend, Remus Blaidd Lupin, I leave two and a half billion galleons of my estate…" Lupin let out a warm, appreciative smile.

                "Thanks, brother," he whispered softly, tears glistening in his eyes.

                "… however, he only gets the money if he uses a portion of it to buy new clothes for himself, the self-sacrificing git." Everyone laughed out loud at this, Lupin amongst the loudest.

                "That's our Sirius," Tonks joked. Narcissa Malfoy chuckled appreciatively, however Draco just scowled. Griphook continued.

                "To Molly, Arthur, Bill, Charlie, Percy, Fred, George, Ronald, and Genevra Weasley, I leave two hundred thousand galleons each," Mrs. Weasley burst into gratified tears and hugged her family. Harry smiled. They deserve it, he thought.

                "Of course, I cannot forget my godson's charming friend, Miss Hermione Jane Granger, to whom I leave ten thousand galleons of my estate." Hermione's eyes went wide and she clapped a hand to her mouth.

                "Ready to go shopping for some more books?" Ron whispered in her ear.

                "Oh, shut up," she replied, though she was still unable to hide a very faint smile.

                "To my cousins, Narcissa Malfoy, Draco Malfoy, and Bellatrix Lestrange, I leave each of them two and a half million galleons. Also, as the last descendant of the house of Black, I hereby officially shatter the marriage contract between Bellatrix Lestrange and Rudolphus Lestrange." There was a lot of muttering after this. Narcissa looked as though she had not just received a tonne of gold, but was whispering in confusion along with everyone else.

                "What marriage contract? Bella wouldn't marry under a contract, would she?" she muttered tearfully. It looked as though she wasn't aware of her sister's marriage agreement, either. Of course, Draco Malfoy looked extremely smug. He was definitely aware of the fortune that had just been handed to him. Griphook tapped his long, gnarled fingers on the podium for silence. The noise quickly subsided.

                "May I continue?" he drawled in annoyance. Everyone nodded and Griphook ploughed right on. "And last, but certainly not least; to my beloved godson, Harry James Potter, who has been more like a son to me over the past few years, I leave absolutely everything else of my estate, including five billion galleons, number 12 Grimmauld Place and everything in it, and the two Black family mansions, located West of Ottery St. Catchpole, Stoatshead Hill."

                "That's almost right beside our house!" Ginny whispered to Harry. "How come we haven't noticed it, then?" Harry just shrugged. He had expected to feel some emotion when he received his inheritance, but the truth was, he felt nothing at all. He wasn't happy or angry or sad or jealous or ... anything. He felt absolutely nothing. In a way, it was a relief, because at least he wasn't struggling to hold back tears in front of all these people, but on another, more dark level of his heart, it sickened him. Why couldn't he feel anything for the man he had loved as his own father?

                "Furthermore," Griphook continued. "as Harry's godfather, I hereby officially emancipate him as an adult. He is free to do as he wishes without his current guardians' consent. Also, as an adult, Harry is also entitled to the Potter estate, which includes Mr. and Mrs. Potter's property in Godric's Hollow, Mr. James Potter Sr.'s home also located in Godric's Hollow, as well as six billion galleons of the estate. He is also entitled to his trust fund and is free to spend it as he sees fit, rather than just the necessary school items, and other small purchases he has been restricted to." Harry couldn't believe it. He was officially an adult now. It was awesome and terrifying at the same time. Well, the first thing he would do is pack his bags and leave the Dursley's forever. Maybe he'd move into one of the houses he had just been given, he wasn't sure yet.

                "That concludes the will reading of Mr. Sirius O. Black," Griphook stated. "Would all present parties exit single file through the door at the back of the room?" There was a great deal of shuffling and talking as everybody exited the marble room and followed Griphook down the wide hallway back into the foyer. "Have a pleasant day," he said, as he bowed everyone out the front doors.

                "Can you believe it? two hundred thousand galleons!" Bill said, shaking his head. "He really was a great man."

                "I'm a Black again," Tonks said. She sounded as if she wasn't quite sure whether that was a good thing yet.

                "Buy some clothes..." Lupin chuckled. "He never could pass up an opportunity to joke."

                "I wasn't even family, and he still left something for me. How kind of him," Hermione was saying to Ginny.

                "Bella? Marriage contract?" Narcissa was still muttering. "Draco! Stay with me, please!"

                Harry walked to where he parked his broom on his own, not bothering to speak to anyone. He had thought going to the will reading would have been good for him, but it just made him feel worse. It was like it was final now. His godfather was officially dead, because he no longer owned any earthly possessions. The wave of emotion that had been absent during the reading washed over him, stronger than ever now. Wiping away his tears, he climbed onto his firebolt and made the long journey back to number 4 Privet Drive. He wasn't planning on staying there for very long; just long enough to pack his things and find out whether any of the houses he had been given were liveable. If they were, he would move in to one of them and from there... he had no idea.

                When he arrived back at his aunt and uncle's house, and walked through the front door, he recieved an earful. "Where have you been all day?" his aunt demanded.

                "I told you, out," he replied dully.

                "Don't you get smart with your aunt, boy!" roared uncle Vernon. "Answer her! WHERE WERE YOU?" Harry couldn't help saying what he did in spite of himself.

                "Sorry. I thought we weren't allowed to ask questions in this house," he retorted cynically. He ducked his uncle's furious fist and darted up the stairs to his room. Hedwig immediately sensed his distress and flew onto his shoulder to rest her head against his. He stroked her feathers softly. "It looks like things are going to change around here, Hedwig." he whispered.

© 2008 Ashleigh

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Omg, this is awesome!

Posted 9 Years Ago

I'm really starting to like this! When I have more time I'll read more chapters. Great job!

Posted 12 Years Ago

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Added on December 16, 2008



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