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A/N: Hi everyone! Thanks for reading along even if you're just lurking! Over 800 reads! Thank you so much... And thanks to Rosie, my wonderful Beta. Please let me know what you think of this so far! Oh, and disclaimer: I own nothing you recognize. Chapter 14 What news from Gringotts? “You got everything you need?” Mrs Weasley asked the group of youngsters as they walked down Diagon Alley. It was Thursday, August 29th and Mrs Weasley was in charge of taking the youngsters to purchase what they needed. They had begged and begged to be let out of the house, and the adults finally agreed. They had noticed when they arrived that the alley was not as busy as usual, and people walked hurriedly from one store to the other. With Voldemort officially back, the Wizarding world was once again under fear. “I actually need to get some more money from my vault. I didn’t take enough,” Harry replied and shifted his eyes to look at Ron and Hermione. They understood what his purpose was. “Well, I still need to go pick up your finished robes from Madam Malkins and search for a new dress robe for Ginny…” Mrs Weasley began but was interrupted. “Why don’t we go to Gringotts while you take Ginny to get her robes and we’ll meet for ice cream in an hour?” Ron offered. “I want to stop by the Quidditch supply store too. That should be plenty of time,” Harry added. “I dunno. We shouldn’t…” “Come on mum! We can take care of ourselves, besides Tonks and Moody are around as Harry’s escort,” Ron begged pointing to the two Aurors who were with them. “Oh, all right. One hour! You hear me?!” She yelled after the trio as they had already begun to sprint towards the bank. They arrived at the magnificent white building and went past the security guards. “Are you sure that this is wise Harry?” Hermione cautioned as she pulled on Harry’s arm to stop him for a moment. “What can possibly happen? Tonks and Moody are right there!” He exclaimed exasperated with her and pointed to the two Aurors keeping watch from a few feet away. Hermione bit her lip and nodded, letting go of his arm. “If you’re ready then,” she said and gave him a nervous smile. Harry ignored her and approached the goblin at the counter. “I was told to request the key for Vault 1406P,” Harry said to the goblin whose head snapped up and stared at Harry suspiciously. “Name?” the goblin asked. “Harry Potter.” The goblin’s eyebrows rose in surprise. “Wait here,” he said and disappeared through the back door. After a few moments a door to the right opened and an old, tiny and shrivelled goblin stepped out with three tall, ferocious-looking goblin guards behind him. Hermione wondered whether they were related to trolls. “This way,” the old goblin croaked, and before Harry, Ron and Hermione could do anything, they were snatched by arms by the towering goblins and dragged inside the doorway from where the old goblin had appeared, and before Tonks and Mad-Eye could do anything about it, the door closed. The trio protested against their captors, but their protests fell on deaf ears. They entered a large office and the old goblin seated himself behind the desk, while the other three guards threw the three young people unceremoniously onto some chairs across from him. Outside, Tonks and Mad-Eye had to be escorted out of the bank after Moody tried to blast the door down. They quickly left in search of Dumbledore. “So, Harry Potter wishes to see Vault 1406P, eh?” the goblin called Gomkag asked. “Y-yes,” Harry stammered. “Fill out this paperwork,” Gomkag said as he placed some parchment in front of Harry. “What is this?” Harry asked. “Transfer Of Ownership of course. No one claimed this vault when the owner passed away and until a few months ago it was unclaimed. Now it has been transferred to your name along with all of the possessions in it,” the goblin replied. “By who?” Harry asked mystified. Gomkag looked at the papers in front of him. “Says here that it was opened by Ellen Schellden and left TOD to Alex Rickard,” the old goblin paused to scratch his beard, “the transfer from Alex to you is classified, but the signature here says Michael Donovan. The instructions are to be transferred to your name …” Gomkag looked at Harry, “I am going to have your friends wait outside.” “No, it is alright, they can stay with me,” Harry interjected. He didn’t want to be left alone. “Then you all have to sign this. I must warn you, your vault has been reclassified to ‘Nonexistent’ meaning you cannot tell anyone about it. Signing this waiver will bind you to secrecy, and you will not be allowed to speak of the vault to anyone, even if you want to, and you won’t be able to change that until you become of age,” Gomkag said with a serious tone. The trio looked at each other, and then nodded. They filled out the paperwork and signed the forms. “Now give me your hand,” Gomkag asked of Harry. “What for?” he asked not wanting to extend his arm. “For the key of course, and to set the security. I must verify that you are Harry Potter,” the old goblin replied, annoyed. Harry did what he was asked and Gomkag grabbed his wrist with surprising force. Harry watched as Gomkag pricked his finger with a needle and drew a drop of blood, letting it fall on a piece of parchment. The drop of blood disappeared and soon the name Harry James Potter, son of James Potter and Lily Potter Evans appeared. “Very well. Escort Mr Potter and his friends to the tunnels,” the old goblin dismissed the youngsters. One of the ferocious looking guards escorted them down a different door to the one they had come in through. They entered the cart and the goblin asked for the key. “Er, I didn’t get a key,” Harry replied. “What vault were you going to?” the goblin asked, annoyed. “1406P,” Harry replied. This goblin seemed familiar to Harry. He recognised him as Griphook. He had met him the very first time Harry had come to Gringotts. The goblin looked to the guard that had escorted them. The guard nodded. “Vault 1406P,” Griphook said and the cart began to zoom down the tunnel. The ride seemed to be taking forever. “Is your name Griphook?” Harry asked and the goblin stared at him. “How do you know my name?” the goblin asked suspiciously. “I met you five years ago, the first time I ever came to Gringotts. I was with Hagrid and we came to take … something … from a vault and it was the first time I visited my parents’ vault,” Harry replied. Griphook was startled that this boy had remembered his name from so long ago. He remembered then when Hagrid and the boy he had with him had come. It was hard not to know who Hagrid was. He was perhaps the only wizard, apart from Dumbledore, for whom the goblins had some sort of respect. It was a miracle that the goblins and the wizards were not at war again. Their relationship was somewhat strained. He remembered the boy now; it had been The Boy Who Lived: The famous Harry Potter. “I remember you now,” Griphook answered, “Yes, my name is Griphook. I am surprised you remember it from so long ago,” he added. “Well, you were the first goblin I ever met in person. Until that day, I thought goblins were not real. I didn’t even know I was a wizard,” Harry answered trying to continue the conversation as the ride to the vault seemed longer than it should be. They finally arrived in front of the vault and Harry noticed that there wasn’t a place for a key, and if there was he didn’t have a key anyway. “Erm, how do I open it?” Harry asked. “You have to put your hand here,” Griphook answered pointing to a round smooth ball the size of a football sticking from the door. Harry placed his hand onto it. The smooth metal felt cool to his touch. After a second or so, the solid metal began to soften and it turned to the consistency of gel. Unsettlingly, Harry felt his hand sink into it. “Now, you will feel the handle for the door inside,” Griphook informed him. Harry grabbed the handle and turned it. “Oh, by the way, I hope you are the true Harry Potter,” Griphook said with a grin which looked misplaced in his goblin face. “Why is that?” Hermione queried. “Because if he’s not, that door will know and he will find his arm without a hand,” he croaked. Harry was relieved to hear a soft click from the door and he pulled out his hand. The gelatine metal ball solidified once again and the door to the vault opened. “How does that door know who I am?” Harry asked Griphook. “It compares your blood with the sample that was used to set the security spell,” Griphook answered. He should have already known this for his blood was needed to set up the security. It was really dark inside and they couldn’t see anything, but as soon as Harry stepped in, fire burst into the many torches lining up the walls of the huge vault. Their eyes nearly fell from their sockets as the three of them stared. “How long will you need?” Griphook asked from the lift. Harry gazed about the place, “Would half an hour be too long?” he asked. Griphook would have normally snapped at a wizard for that, but he liked this boy. “I have some paperwork I can work on while you do your business in there,” Griphook answered, “I will be back in half hour.” He said and the door began to close. “Wait! How do I open the door?” Harry asked as the door was almost closed. “The same way you went in,” Griphook answered as the vault door closed. “I hope he’s right,” Hermione answered feeling a bit claustrophobic, but sighed, relieved, when she saw the same smooth metal ball on the door from this side. Ron was goggling at the mounds of treasure in the place. “Wow, mate… I thought you were filthy rich before, but this…” he said gazing up at the place with longing. He couldn’t help but feel envious of Harry. Harry sighed. “I would trade all of it just to have known my parents,” he answered sadly. Ron felt bad instantly, “I am sorry Harry… I” “It’s all right Ron. You envy all this money I have, I envy you for the family you have,” he said and walked passed them. Hermione just glared at Ron and shook her head. She followed Harry. “So what are we looking for?” Ron asked as they began to look at the place. Besides the mounds of gold, silver and copper shaped into the currency of wizards, there were a lot of other things: furniture, antiques, books; all sorts of things that seemed to have been left to someone in a will. Harry was surprised to see a section full of old muggle money. “I’m not sure,” Harry replied. “Gomkag said that this vault had belonged to Ellen Schellden. Do you know who she is?” Hermione asked. The three of them were startled by a female voice. “Ellen? Who goes there?” Harry looked around, his wand in his hand as he searched for the person. “Who’s there?” he asked, keeping alert. “I asked the same of you,” the female voice answered, “Take this cover off me.” “It’s coming from here,” Hermione pointed to a spot where a canvas cloth was covering the furniture. Harry pulled the dusty cover off and they coughed from the cloud of dust that rose. They were now facing a portrait of an older woman. She looked very graceful, sitting on a fancy early century couch. She wore a silver gown with a set of silky robes. Her brown hair, accented with silver pulled tight on a bun behind her head. She was adorned with beautiful diamond jewellery. The woman in the portrait was shielding her eyes from the light. “Ow, that’s very bright,” she said as she slowly moved her hand and peered at them, “Well, if it isn’t just children! My darlings I apologise for my former rudeness. You must understand I have been sleeping for so long I have not seen anyone for years! And this is the third time recently that someone turned on the lights, and the last fellow was not very friendly,” she said standing up from her couch and stretched. “My name is Anastasia Schellden, pleased to make your acquaintance.” She said in greeting. “Erm, I am Harry, Harry Potter, and this is Hermione Granger, and Ron Weasley,” Harry replied. “Potter you say? Mmmm. Wait! Harry Potter? But you look so young and you look nothing like I remember you!” Harry thought that being locked up in a dark vault might have damaged the picture. “In what year were you painted?” Hermione asked. “1968,” she answered. “Well, it’s 1996 now,” Hermione clarified. Harry was too stunned to say anything. Ron simply listened. It was all very confusing. “Good Merlin! Sixteen! I have been in here for sixteen years! So that means you must be Jr. Last time Ellen came here, you were just born! I didn’t know so much time had gone by,” “Who is Ellen?” Harry asked. Mrs Schellden looked at him with shock. “What do you mean who is she? She’s your grandmother! Lily’s mother!” she said, utterly confused. “But my grandmother was Marie Evans,” Harry interjected. “Well, of course she was! Her name is Marie Ellen Schellden but she hated Marie when I knew her. Everyone called her Ellen then. She married a muggle named Rick Evans later. Now, why in the world would you not know all of this?” She asked curiously. This was turning out to be a mystery; here was her great grandson but he knew nothing of her. Harry spent sometime telling her everything he knew, “Erm, I never met my grandparents. They died before I was born,” he said and paused to think. It did make him realise that he knew nothing of any of his grandparents. “Dead? My Ellen is dead? And Lily…!” the old woman exclaimed and gripped her chest. She began to sob, quietly. The three of them felt uncomfortable with a crying woman in a canvas portrait. She regained her composure after a while, and wiped her cheeks. “At least we have found each other now. If you just take me home, I will be glad to get out of here. You can even put me in the attic if you want,” Mrs Schellden brightened. “Um, about that, I don’t have a home to take you to…” Harry began and explained everything about the Dursleys. Mrs Schellden was enraged. “The nerve of her! She is a witch just like your mother, at least half a witch!” “She is? I always thought my mother’s parents were muggles,” Harry said. “Well, Ellen lived as a muggle, and married a muggle, she was a Squib, you see,” she replied. Harry was stunned by this revelation. “Harry, you could take her to Grimmauld Place,” Ron offered. “Oh, yes… anywhere but here,” she pleaded. “Don’t you have other portraits to go visit?” Hermione asked. “Yes, I do… but with all the magical protection I can’t get out to visit any other portraits outside this vault,” she said sounding a bit annoyed. “I’m sorry,” Hermione apologised, embarrassed. She should have thought of that. She turned to Harry, “Griphook will be here in a few minutes,” Hermione said glancing at her watch. “Please take me with you. I want to get out and learn more about what happened to my daughter, my granddaughter and about you,” Mrs Schellden pleaded. “You think it will be all right to take her with us?” Hermione asked. “I don’t see why not, Gomkag said that all that was in here belonged to me now, which reminds me… do you know who Alex Rickard is? The papers said that when Ellen Schellden died this vault was TOD to him,” Harry said. Mrs Schellden looked confused. “TOD?” “Transferable On Death,” Hermione clarified. “Oh, I see. Mmmh,” she paused to think for a moment. “I have no clue who Alex Rickard is, but you must understand that I didn’t know much about Ellen. I didn’t speak with her again after she turned 17. I died never seeing her again,” She said sadly. That would explain why his aunt never talked about her grandmother, Harry thought to himself. “What about Michael Donovan? His signature was on the paperwork when we transferred the vault to Harry,” Hermione queried. “Michael? I don’t know of him. Someone did come here several months ago, I think it was months. He wouldn’t speak to me, only to say that he had his orders and that he was just seeing what was in this vault. He seemed to be cataloguing everything. He came back a few weeks ago and I demanded some answers and he then covered me up,” she said shrugging. Harry had been inspecting the old furniture peering into cabinets, while Hermione had looked at the books. Ron searched around trying to find clues as to who the people were. Harry opened a drawer. He delicately pulled an old tattered and scorched parchment book from inside. The book was in terrible condition. It looked as if it had been through fire. A lot of the pages were burned in half and several of the pages were missing. “Harry, we have to go,” Hermione called. Harry didn’t have time to look at it, but decided to take it with him. He pocketed the book gently into his robe. “What was it dear?” Mrs Schellden asked curiously. “I think it’s a diary, it seems like it anyway. I don’t have time to read it now though. We have to go. Let’s wrap you up so we can take you with us,” Harry said and picked up the canvas that was covering her before. “Oh, thank you Harry,” Mrs Schellden said and sat down on the couch ready for her journey. Harry began to tie the canvas cloth over her and was joined by Hermione and Ron. There was a knock on the door. “That must be Griphook,” Harry said as he went to the door, and repeating the procedure as before, he opened the door. “Ah, right on time,” Griphook said, pleased that he wouldn’t have to wait for them. Harry, Ron and Hermione carried the large portrait onto the lift. Harry watched as the fire went out on the torches, and the door shut and he heard the clicking of the locks. “Found what you were looking for?” Griphook asked eyeing the portrait. “We found something I was not expecting,” Harry grinned at him. “Oof, this thing is heavy, are you sure you want to take this?” Ron exclaimed. “I heard that!” Mrs Schellden’s voice came from under the canvas. The three of them laughed. “Oh, there are some friends of yours looking for you upstairs. They have arrested some of them for causing a scene. It is quite the commotion upstairs,” Griphook smirked. “Oh no, Moody,” Hermione murmured. They were entering the main lobby of Gringotts when they noticed a commotion of wizards and goblins, and a group of reporters. “What is going on?” Harry asked noticing Remus, Tonks and Moody, along with Shacklebolt. “Harry!” Remus exclaimed. “There he is!” Someone shouted and Harry was blinded by the flashes of the cameras and Harry and the other two were cut off from Remus. “Mr Potter… can you comment on the commotion caused by your disappearance into the bank…” “… about the allegations that goblins had kidnapped…” “… You were missing for an almost an hour…” Harry was surrounded by reporters that were shouting questions at him. Remus and the others came to his rescue and tried to push back the throng. “Harry, do something!” Hermione hissed at him. “Like what?” Harry asked frustrated. “Give them what they want. Give them an interview!” “Are you mad?” “Just make up something!” She said loud enough so only he could hear. Harry nervously put up his hands and tried to hush the crowd. He felt stupid doing that. “Remember Gilderoy,” Ron whispered to him and snickered. Harry felt like a complete idiot, but Ron was right. Lockhart had known how to charm the crowd and Harry had seen him many times. He slapped on his face one of his best, fake, and most charming smiles. “Please…” he began surprising himself, “I can answer your questions. Just one at a time please,” he said and he could feel beads of sweat down his back. He was so nervous. He heard snorting behind him, and turned to glare at Ron. He smiled back at the reporters. A young lady asked the first question. “Allegations were made by witnesses that had seen you and your friends being dragged into a door by force. What do you have to say about those allegations?” Harry explained his way out of the accusations, putting in a good word for the bank at the same time. Then someone asked, “What do you have to say about You-Know-Who now that the Ministry has officially acknowledged his return?” Harry paled at the question, he didn’t want to get into that and he was looking for a way out, but he also couldn’t help but feel irritated the way people refused to say his name. “Say his name!!! It’s Vol-de-mort!” he hissed annoyed. The crowd of reporters were shocked and gasped. “I think it is about time people start realizing that fear of the name only causes fear of the thing itself!” he spat… “And I have nothing to say about that git. So please forgive me if I am unable to answer your question. I am actually running late and I just wanted to clarify this whole misunderstanding here at the bank. I just want to make sure the Wizarding world is aware of the great service Gringotts provides to our community and the excellent job the goblins perform for us wizards. Now, if you excuse me, I must leave now,” Harry said and guided his friends away from the reporters, who began to shout questions at once, but didn’t follow them. Griphook watched the boy leave, and rose an eyebrow. He was surprised at Harry’s words. Yes, this boy may be someone worthy of his respect. “I’m impressed,” Remus said when Harry approached them, “I had no idea you had such a way with reporters.” “Oh God, that was awful,” Harry said finally releasing the tension he felt, and wiped his forearm over his forehead. “We best get going before that mob decides to corner you for more questions,” Hermione urged. Tonks, Moody, and Kingsley followed the group at a distance. Remus offered to levitate whatever it was under the canvas and they headed to the ice cream parlour where Mrs Weasley waited with Ginny. They were unaware of the whole Gringotts commotion. “What did you guys buy now?” Ginny asked eyeing the large package. “We didn’t buy it,” Ron answered. “Where did you get that then?” Mrs Weasley asked. “We found it in Harry’s vault,” Hermione answered. “What is it?” Ginny asked. “It’s a painting of my great grandmother,” Harry answered. “On the Potter side?” “No, on the Evans side. Can we go back to Grimmauld Place? We can talk there,” Harry answered looking back anxiously and expecting to see the group with the cameras and the note taking quills. Mrs Weasley raised an eyebrow. She didn’t know Lily had a portrait of her great-grandmother. She wasn’t sure, but she thought Lily had never met her mother’s parents. “Oh, yes. You have everything you need then?” Mrs Weasley asked as she levitated all of the packages they had, “here… add that to the pile,” she indicated, and Remus passed it to her. “Well, I have to get going. I will see you at headquarters later,” Remus said, bidding them good bye. Harry watched him go and wondered what he was doing for the Order. The last time he’d spoken to Remus, he was very evasive about the subject and could only tell him that he was on assignment. “I guess we better take the Knight Bus; I’m not sure this will fit through the fireplace, and I don’t want to risk ruining it,” Mrs Weasley said and they headed to a spot where they could flag down the bus. “’Ello Neville,” Stan said as soon as the purple triple decked bus appeared, “Hey Ernie, look it’s him Neville who is also ‘arry Potter!” Stan said aloud. He turned back to Mrs. Weasley. “Let me ‘elp you wi’ that.” Mrs. Weasley, Ginny, Hermione and Ron gave Harry a look. “It’s something I’d rather not talk about right now,” Harry replied. After a bumpy ride, they unloaded a few streets from 12 Grimmauld place and walked the rest of the way there. They entered the house and unpacked all of their shopping things. “I want to see the picture,” Ginny said, dying with curiosity. “Why don’t you all go put everything away first, then we can unveil the portrait. We have to find a spot for it too,” Mrs Weasley commanded. The teenagers did as they were told, and soon returned to the sitting room where the portrait was propped up against the wall. Harry unwrapped the canvas revealing the portrait. Mrs Schellden was gone from it. “I wonder where she went,” Hermione mused. “She did say she hadn’t been able to get out for 16 years because of the security in Gringotts,” Harry replied. She could have gone anywhere. Just then she stepped into the portrait. “It feels so good to be able to get out,” “Where did you go?” Harry asked. “I went to see if there was any other of my portraits around. But there is only one left, and oddly enough it is at Hogwarts. The others must have been destroyed for some reason or other,” she said sitting down in her chair. “Well hello there,” she said noticing Mrs Weasley and the younger version of her. “I didn’t know any of Lily’s grandparents were wizards,” Mrs Weasley exclaimed surprised. Mrs Schellden sighed, “Yes, I am aware of that now. But where are my manners, I am Anastasia Schellden. My daughter was Ellen… or Marie Ellen Evans,” she said with a pleasant, but sad smile. “Molly Weasley and this is my daughter, Ginny, and you’ve met one of my sons, Ronald,” Mrs Weasley replied. “If you don’t mind me saying, I thought Marie’s maiden name was Manston.” Mrs Schellden sighed. “Yes, it’s a long story… but basically my husband disowned her, so she changed her name. Ellen probably never told Lily about it,” she finished. “I don’t believe that Lily knew,” Mrs Weasley replied still not quite able to believe everything the portrait had said. But looking at her, she could see the resemblance between her and the only picture of Marie Evans that Molly had ever seen. “Have you decided where you are going to place me?” Mrs Schellden asked changing the topic. “We were just discussing where we’ll place you but I’m afraid you might find this place a bit gloomy,” Harry said with a shrug. “Can’t be any worse than being sixteen years in the dark,” she replied. “I guess you’re right,” Harry smiled at her. “Why don’t we take her to the drawing room upstairs? I think it’s the best room in the house,” Mrs Weasley offered. Harry agreed and Mrs Weasley levitated the portrait. As they were passing down the hallway, Ron tripped and collided with a hat stand. Suddenly the curtains covering Mrs Black’s portrait opened and she began to screech at the top of her lungs. “Get out of my house! Filthy Blood traitors… Mudblood…!” Mrs Schellden gasped as she saw the woman in the portrait screaming all sorts of obscenities. She covered her ears. Mrs Weasley placed her down and hurried to fight with the curtains to cover Mrs Black, Ron took the other. “Who is that?” Mrs Schellden asked. “That’s Mrs Black. Her portrait is stuck with a permanent sticking charm and we can’t figure out how to take her down,” Harry said grimacing at her screams. “Is she talking about you?” Mrs Schellden asked after hearing the things she was saying. Harry nodded. Mrs Schellden moved off the portrait and left. Harry didn’t blame her if she didn’t want to hear the old witch’s rambling. To everyone’s surprise, she appeared in Mrs Black portrait. “Silencio!” Mrs Schellden yelled, her wand pointed at Mrs, Black. At once Mrs Black’s voice went out and though she moved her mouth no sound escaped. “Much better,” Mrs Schellden said dusting her hands in accomplishment. “How did you do that?” “Where did you get a wand?” Ron asked amazed. “Well, someone once told me that if I ever had my portrait painted to make sure I had my wand painted as well. It has come in handy a few times. I can’t really do much magic, but I can do what I like to call portrait magic. Basically in a portrait some basic spells work like they would in real life,” she said and grinned. Mrs Black was now glaring at her. “Don’t look at me like that, or I’ll hex you,” Mrs Schellden threatened then stepped off and appeared back in her portrait. Mrs Weasley, grateful that someone had finally done something about Mrs Black, closed the curtains and levitated the portrait of Mrs Schellden into the drawing room. “Thank you Mrs Schellden. It is about time someone put that portrait in her place.” Mrs Weasley said. “Oh, you’re welcome dear. Anytime. Please, call me Ana,” she insisted. “Master…” Kreacher came into the room bowing low to Harry. “What have you done…” he began in a pleasant voice that turned sour as he spat, “filthy mudblood lover…” then nice again, “to my mistress of the house…” Harry’s blood began to boil. He had not seen Kreacher at all so far and he had not bothered to ask about him. He remembered well how he had deceived him about Sirius, and if he hadn’t lied to him, Harry would have never gone to the Ministry and Sirius would have never left and fallen through the veil. “YOU!” Harry yelled and whipped out his wand, “I OUGHT TO KILL YOU RIGHT NOW!” He yelled and it took Ron and Hermione all they had to keep him from cursing Kreacher to oblivion (Harry! You can’t use magic!). Kreacher cowered at his feet, but still crawled towards Harry… “Master… filthy mudblood lover… don’t hurt Kreacher. Kreacher will NOT OBEY be good to his new BLOOD TAINTED master,” He said jumping from cowering to scowling at the same time. “Kreacher! Get out… I never want to see you again!” Harry yelled and he saw the glee in Kreacher’s eyes as he began to run away. “Kreacher stop!” Harry said remembering what Kreacher had done when Sirius implied that he leave. He had gone straight to Narcissa. “Kreacher is obeying orders of … FILTHY BLOOD TRAITOR… Master MUDBLOOD LOVER Potter,” the elf replied. Harry had to everything in his power to keep from lashing out at Kreacher and squeezing his neck. “So you can go and betray me like you betrayed Sirius?” Harry spat with venom. “And why do you keep calling me master?” Harry asked angrily. “Master Black is dead,” the house elf answered with glee, then he wailed and scowled, “everything belonging to him is left to new Master Potter’s. But Kreacher wants his mistress Bella…” “Don’t you ever dare speak her name!” Harry bellowed and Kreacher gagged. He seemed to be trying to force the words out of his mouth, just to spite and defy Harry, but nothing happened. If Harry had any doubt that Kreacher now belonged to him, this clarified everything. Harry murderously glared at Kreacher. It was true that, Sirius had left everything to Harry, but Harry didn’t want any of it. He also thought that an elf’s loyalty lied with the family. He had actually assumed that Kreacher would have become Narcissa’s or Bellatrix’s elf. Then again, Narcissa was a Malfoy now, and Bellatrix was a Lestrange. “I prohibit you from leaving this house ever without my consent!” Harry barked, shaking with anger, “and you will not ever lie to me or anyone, if you disobey you will set fire to that portrait that you love so much. Now go and do some cleaning or something useful for once!” Harry yelled and Kreacher left cursing under his breath, but clearly shaken. He was bound to obey, and Harry ordering him to destroy the portrait of Mrs Black was enough of a threat to never risk disobeying Harry. “Don’t you think that was a little harsh?” Hermione spoke up, ever defending house elves. “DON’T GIVE ME THAT LOAD OF CRAP! KREACHER LIED TO ME! HE TOLD ME THAT SIRIUS WAS NOT IN THE HOUSE WHEN I ASKED LAST YEAR! HE HAD GONE TO NARCISSA AND THEY PLANNED ALL OF IT OUT. SIRIUS IS DEAD BECAUSE I WENT TO THE MINISTRY AND ALL BECAUSE KREACHER LIED TO ME! SO DON’T COME TO ME ABOUT LENIENCY TO ELVES. NOT KREACHER!” Harry yelled and stormed from the room. Hermione paled, and stared wide eyed as he left. “I… I… I didn’t know…” “Way to go Hermione!” Ron chided her and he left to go after Harry. Hermione burst into tears and ran to her room. “Hermione…” Ginny called after her. “What just happened?” Mrs Schellden asked. Mrs Weasley spoke to her about the whole situation while she cleared a wall to hang the portrait. “Dear Merlin! Harry has been put through so much…” Mrs Schellden exclaimed but was interrupted. “Hem hem. Excuse me?” Phineas Nigellus interrupted them as his head appeared in the side of Mrs Schellden’s portrait. “I heard a rumour that you had something to do with Mrs Black’s silence,” he said as he stepped in. He had never been fond of Mrs Black, although he too was strict when it came to bloodlines. “Yes and that woman needed it badly,” Mrs Schellden replied. “Who are you?” she asked. “Phineas Nigellus,” he replied bowing to her and taking her hand and kissing it. “Headmaster Nigellus?” She asked startled. “Yes, have we met?” “I started at Hogwarts while you were the headmaster!” she said, surprised. “Really?” “Yes, I was in the same year as your grandson, Rastaban Black. Anastasia DeVarak was my maiden name then, I was in Ravenclaw.” “Ah, Augustus and Marietta DeVarak’s daughter. Yes, I do remember you. It is a pity my grandson preferred Elladora over you. I must confess now that I thought you were a perfect match for him,” he said and smirked. “Oh Really?” she replied raising her eyebrows. “If I remember correctly you took every chance you had to keep us apart! If he married Elladora it was because of you. But I got over it, and I married Charles Schellden instead,” “You had a very decent lineage…” he continued in approval ignoring her comment. Mrs Weasley had left the room a while back leaving those two bicker with each other. “Of course, I am a direct descendant of Rowena Ravenclaw herself,” Mrs Schellden said, her chest puffed out a bit. “So, what is a portrait like you doing in the noble house of Black?” Phineas asked. “You know my great-grandson, Harry Potter? He brought me here today,” she replied casually. “Harry Potter is your great-grandson? How is that so?” Phineas asked unable to mask his surprise. “My daughter, Ellen, was Lily Evan’s mother,” she replied. Phineas was about to retort something when they heard a crash, and then Mrs Black began screaming again. “I see my spell has worn off,” she sighed, “damn portrait magic. I best go see what I can do,” she said and left the portrait. Phineas followed after her. This would be interesting. Seconds later they appeared right next to Mrs Black, crowding her portrait space. “You!” Mrs Black screamed at Mrs Schellden as she moved to the side as far away from her. “Yes, me. Would you please quiet down? Your screeching is giving me a headache, darling,” Mrs Schellden began and Mrs Black was about to yell at her, “don’t make me hex you,” she said pointing her wand at Mrs Black. Mrs Black just glared at her, but kept her mouth shut.

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