You are currently viewing The Legacy of Merlin Chapter Six

The Legacy of Merlin Chapter Six

Harry sighed as he stepped out of the fireplace of the Leaky Cauldron. He was wearing the cloak that Minister Fudge had been kind enough to give him before he left the Ministry. It was now the late evening, and he was again exhausted.

“Harry is that you?” Tom whispered as he walked up to him.

Harry nodded, trying not to draw any attention to himself. It seemed all anyone could talk about now was Merlin’s vault.

“Hurry up to your room,” Tom whispered. “I’ll bring up some dinner for you.”

Harry gratefully made his way to his room, taking off his cloak and lying down on the bed. His head felt like it was spinning from everything that happened in such a short amount of time.

Yesterday his biggest concern was making sure he had enough food to eat and a roof over his head. Today he found himself with a fortune, but also a brand new and far more complex set of problems.

He had made an ally of sorts with the Minister, but he knew that would only go so far. He could tell that Cornelius had plans for him, he wouldn’t have just helped him for nothing.

He also knew that it was only a matter of time before he saw his parents again. That was a confrontation he was not looking forward to either.

His plans to leave the wizarding world behind were also effectively ruined. He doubted very much that he could just disappear now. 

Harry was interrupted from his thoughts when he heard a knock at the door. “Harry,” he could hear faintly through the door. “It’s me, Tom. I’ve got your dinner.”

“Come in,” Harry called as he sat up on the bed.

Tom opened the door and quickly stepped inside with the tray floating behind him. “Here you are lad, beef stew with fresh bread,” Tom smiled.

“Thank you,” Harry said as he took the tray in his hands.

“You alright lad?” Tom asked. “I thought you’d be over the moon.”

“I was just thinking,” Harry replied. “After solving the cypher I just realized how much more complicated my life has become.”

“Well, there’s no arguing that,” Tom agreed. “But there’s a lot of good you can do with all that gold.”

“What would you do with it?” Harry asked curiously.

“Well,” Tom smiled. “For starters I’d buy me mum a nice house, out in the countryside. She’s always going on about how busy London is, no one having the time to even say hello.”

“That sounds nice,” Harry said wistfully.

The smile dropped from Tom’s face. He knew that there was something a bit off about the kid, and his reaction just confirmed it. “Look Harry, I can tell you didn’t have… I know you got dealt a bad hand, but you did something great with it, don’t forget that. Don’t give up on the world, don’t give up on people. You’ll do something worthwhile with that money.”

“Thanks Tom,” Harry smiled. “I’ll think about what you said.”

“Goodnight Lad,” Tom said as he turned around to leave.

“… Goodnight Tom,” Harry replied as the door closed behind him.

~***~

James Potter sat down to breakfast with his family. ‘It’s a perfect morning,’ he thought as he looked out the window. The birds were chirping, the sun was shining and best of all the boy was nowhere to be found.

‘With any luck we won’t have to put up with him until next summer,’ James smiled.

The fireplace interrupted the Potter family’s quiet morning as it came to life. “James, can I come through, there’s something we need to discuss.”

“Albus?” James asked in surprise. “We were just having breakfast. Can it wait until after nine?” 

“I’m afraid not James, after recent events there is no time to waste,” Albus replied.

“Oh, alright I suppose,” James said, wondering what recent events he was talking about.

Albus stepped through the fireplace, arriving in the Potter dining room and looked around.

He could see James, Lily, and Glory, but not Harry.

“James, is Harry still asleep? I would have thought he was up by now,” Albus asked.

“You aren’t here to see me?” Glory demanded.

“Now, now Glory. I’m sure the professor is here to see you. He was just being polite,” Lily explained.

“Actually, I am here to speak with Harry. Where is he James?” Albus asked, ignoring the glare from Gloria, and the uncomfortable looks on James and Lily’s faces.

“What’s this about Albus?” James deflected. 

“…You didn’t hear the WWN special broadcast yesterday?” Albus asked in surprise.

“No, we had a family picnic, we didn’t come home until late in the evening,” James explained. “Now what’s this all about?”

Albus wordlessly handed him the daily prophet he had tucked under his arm.

James took the newspaper, opening it to look at the headline, and reading aloud.

MERLIN’S CYPHER SOLVED!

By Rita Skeeter

As many of you are aware from my broadcast yesterday, Merlin’s Cypher, which has confounded some of the greatest wizarding minds for centuries, is at long last finally solved.

Even more astounding, it was solved by an 11-year-old boy that has not even begun his first year of Hogwarts.

Of course we know-

“See Glory,” Lily interrupted. “These are the right friends for you to have. I’m sure that when you get to Hogwarts, you’ll be the best of friends.”

“Sorry to interrupt James, keep reading,” Lily said when she noticed James’s long pause.

“James?” Lily asked.

“-this boy to be Harry Potter,” James read in shock.

“What?!?” Glory screeched. “The Prophet is lying!”

“This must be some kind of mistake Albus, there’s no way the boy could have figured out something like this,” James agreed. “The Prophet probably made it up to sell a few more newspapers.”

“Keep reading,” Albus instructed with an unreadable expression on his face.

-but what everyone must be wondering is how? How did he solve the remaining cyphers and what do they mean?

In this exclusive interview with Harry Potter we answer that question and more.

Amazingly we have a muggle science book of all things to thank for giving him the idea. It describes something called an atom…

James skipped ahead, most of the muggle science going over his head.

Immediately following the opening of the vault the chairman of Gringotts bank appeared, awarding Harry Potter with the key to his new vault, containing the prize of approximately 500,000 galleons.

James and Lily’s eyes nearly popped out of their heads when he read the number. 

“That’s more money than the whole Potter family vault,” James said, amazed.

“I want it daddy!” Glory demanded. “Make stupid Harry give it to me!”

James looked at his daughter, already planning what to do with the fortune. “We’ll talk about it later sweetheart.”

“James, where is Harry?” Dumbledore asked again, this time with far less patience.

James blanched as he remembered what happened yesterday. 

“He isn’t here. We had a bit of a disagreement,” James said, thinking quickly.

“What kind of disagreement?” Albus asked.

“We tried to punish him for making a mess of Glory’s room, but he decided to run off instead,” Lily cut in.

“So Harry has been missing, as far as you knew for more than a day, and he didn’t even come home last night?”

“Did you look for him or at least call the Aurors?” Albus demanded.

James and Lily looked sheepishly at each other, and for once even Glory knew to keep quiet.

“That at least explains why he chose emancipation,” Albus realized as he mentally kicked himself. He had practically shoved the boy into Fudge’s clutches. 

“Emancipation?” James asked. “But then who will get the galleons?”

“You mean manage the galleons on Harry’s behalf until he is of age?” Dumbledore asked flatly.

“Yes, manage. Of course, that’s what James meant.” Lily said, nodding her head vigorously after sending a glare to James.

“Harry will manage it himself,” Dumbledore confirmed. “Minister Fudge gave Harry the option to be recognized as a legal adult after all.”

“Well then, I will simply go to the Minister and change his mind for him,” James decided. “He should know better than to get on my bad side,” he added pompously.

“You will do absolutely no such thing,” Albus ordered. “I have more than enough to deal with right now. The last thing I need is you threatening the Minister of Magic.”

Albus didn’t wait for a response, going to the fireplace and back to Hogwarts to find Harry and get him back on side.

~***~

Harry woke up later than usual and donned the hooded cloak as he made his way downstairs to get some breakfast.

He was careful to keep his face covered, the daily prophet seemed to be in the hands of everyone present, and it seemed all they wanted to discuss was the cypher and ‘Harry Potter.’

As Harry looked around at all the people talking about him and the vault, he couldn’t help but feel a sense of accomplishment. 

For the first time in his life, he had done something he could take pride in. He wasn’t what his ‘family’ always called him, he wasn’t useless, he wasn’t stupid, he wasn’t a waste of space. He was Harry Potter, the one that solved Merlin’s cypher.  

Tom was right, he was dealt a bad hand, but he had made the most of it. He resolved in that moment to follow Tom’s advice. He was going to do something good with the galleons he had won. 

Tom placed a plate of food in front of him silently, then walked back to the bar.

“Thanks Tom,” Harry said.

Tom nodded, doing his best not to draw attention to Harry. He didn’t want to risk the kid being found out and mobbed by his patrons.

Harry reminded himself to thank Tom when he got a chance. The man had been far kinder to him than he had expected.

He ate his breakfast leisurely. Last night he had decided that the first order of business was to replace his threadbare clothes, and to do that he would have to visit Gringotts to make a withdrawal.

After he finished, he made his way into Diagon Alley, and made the short walk to the bank.

When he passed the entry columns, he couldn’t help but stare at the inside of Gringotts. It was the first time he had ever set foot inside.

From the marble floors, to the crystal chandelier it was an elegantly designed building.

He was just about to join the long line to see a teller when two security goblins appeared in front of him.

“Remove your hood,” the first one ordered as the second held his spear menacingly towards him. “Disguises are forbidden within the halls of Gringotts Bank.”

Harry hesitated for a moment. He really didn’t want anyone to know it was him, but it seemed he had little choice.

“Now human! I will not ask a second time,” the Goblin ordered.

Left with little choice Harry reluctantly removed his hood.

The effect was immediate. He had already drawn the attention of everyone in the bank when the Goblin came up to him.

He could already see them pointing at him and heard the not so quiet whispering.

“That’s him!”

“It’s Harry Potter!”

“Do you think he’ll give us his autograph?”

“He’s probably stuck up, just like the rest of the old families.”

It seemed the only reason they didn’t rush over was because of the two Goblins standing in front of him.

“Proceed to the line, human,” the first goblin ordered.

Harry was about to join the line when one teller ran up to them. “Wait, wait,” he shouted. “Harry Potter, the chairman has asked to speak with you. Please come with me.”

“What did he want to talk to me about?” Harry asked curiously.

“I’m afraid that’s above my pay grade,” the Goblin teller replied. “He said that he would personally take care of your banking needs.”

“Alright,” Harry agreed, knowing that if he stayed in line, the wizards and witches in the bank would likely swarm him.

“Right this way human,” the Goblin said as he escorted him to the front.

“That’s not fair mom!” Harry heard a girl with bushy hair about his age shout. “We’ve been waiting in line way longer than him.”

Harry glanced at the girl as he passed, she was actually glaring at him as she stood between her parents.

“It’s alright Hermione,” the girl’s mother said, patting her shoulder. “We’re almost to the front of the line anyway, and it hasn’t been that long of a wait, anyway.”

“It isn’t fair mom, he should have to follow the rules, just like everyone else,” Hermione replied.

Harry said nothing to her, avoiding her glare as they reached the front of the bank, going behind the counter and to an elevator.

Harry watched as the elevator started on its own, taking them up to the top floor.

They exited the elevator, going down the hallway. A large set of ornate golden doors with a pair of security goblins stood at the end.

“Teller Griphook to see the Chairman.”

“State your business,” the Goblin demanded.

“I have Harry Potter with me, the Chairman asked to speak with him personally.”

“Proceed,” the Goblin said as they moved out of the way.

Harry found himself standing in an enormous office with a large window looking down upon Diagon Alley.

Everywhere Harry looked he could see gold, marble, and precious stones.

As Harry thought about what he saw, it felt like the room was trying to say. ‘This is the office of a rich and powerful person.’ 

Harry knew that there was a fortune incrusted on every surface he could see, and he should feel awed by what he saw, but it seemed…. superficial.

When he looked at all of it as a whole, while expensive, it was actually just ugly, like it projected the image of what others would perceive as wealth and refinement.

Harry was distracted when the large wingback chair slowly spun around to reveal the Goblin chairman that he had met in the museum.

“Harry Potter,” the old Goblin said. “Thank you for coming. Griphook, leave us.”

Griphook immediately turned on his heel and walked out of the office.

“Please, sit down Harry Potter,” Gringott said as he gestured to the seat in front of his desk. 

“Thank you,” Harry said as he sat down in the chair, a little surprised as he sunk deeper into the cushion than he expected, until he found himself staring up at the Goblin chairman.

“I am sure you are wondering why I asked you to meet with me,” Gringott said.

“Yes, what can I help you with?” Harry asked carefully. 

“It’s actually me that can help you,” Gringott replied. “You have accumulated a large amount of wealth in very short order. Have you given any thought on how you would like to manage that wealth?”

“No,” Harry shook his head. “What do you mean by manage?”

“Gold sitting in your vault does nothing for you,” Gringott explained. “If someone properly invested it, your money could grow overtime and increase your wealth even more.”

“I think I understand,” Harry replied. “But why would this interest the chairman of Gringotts?” He asked curiously. “I know there are wizarding families with a lot more galleons than I have.”

“That’s true,” Gringott agreed. “However, when you solved Merlin’s cypher you achieved a net worth higher than 90% of the witches and wizards in the world today.”

“All the old families have money managers, lawyers, even public relations teams to manage their wealth and influence.”

“I am prepared to put you in touch with the right people so that you have the same benefit.” Gringott explained.

“Thank you for this generous offer,” Harry replied after a moment’s thought. “Can I take some time to think about it?”

“Of course, Harry Potter,” Gringott said as he pulled out a card from his suit pocket. “You may present this card to any of the tellers within the bank to request a meeting with me,” he said as he handed Harry a blank black card. “It will also function as a portkey, you just have to say the word Gringott.”

Harry looked at the card for a moment before putting it in his pocket.

“Now you came here for a withdrawal, let’s take care of that,” Gringott said in a friendly tone.

Gringott led Harry back to the elevator, taking it back down to the vaults.

When the door to the vault opened Harry looked inside in amazement. It looked like gold had been stacked from the floor of the vault to the ceiling.

Harry looked inside one pouch, finding about 300 galleons, putting that in his robes he turned to leave.

“Before you leave Harry Potter, I have a gift for you, two of them actually.” Gringott said, first handing him a gold ring with a stylized G.

Harry looked at the ring curiously, wondering why the Chairman was giving him a gift.

“Public figures normally hold these goblin rings,” Gringott explained. “It’s enchanted with a subtle compulsion charm to discourage others from recognizing you.”

“Thank you,” Harry said in surprise. He was not expecting any of this when he came here.

“Keep in mind the ring does not work on people that are actively looking for you, it’s only meant to keep the general public from noticing you,” Gringott advised.

“The second gift is only available to our more affluent client,” Gringott said as he pulled out a plastic card from his pocket. 

“Normally when you are shopping in the muggle world, you have to convert your galleons to muggle currency, this card simplifies that.”

“The muggles will see it as something called a credit card. It is tied directly to your vault, when you make a purchase in the muggle world the correct amount of galleons will be converted to any muggle currency to cover your purchases.” 

“We have also spelled it to always return to your pocket, just as the ring, should you choose to remove it.”

Harry put the ring on his finger and placed the card in his pocket and followed Gringott back out to the lobby of the bank, passing the girl and her family that had talked about him earlier.

Harry noticed the girl seemed to be excitedly talking to her mother about visiting the bookstore next. She didn’t even give him a second glance as he made his way outside.

Harry walked down the alley, easily blending in with the crowd thanks to the ring. He overheard quite a few people mention him, the vault, and the latest daily prophet, but no one so much as glanced in his direction.

He stopped as he noticed Olivander’s wands. He had a wand now, but he should probably pick up a holster as well. Harry pushed open the door and walked inside the shop.

“Ah yes. Yes, yes. I thought I would see you soon, Harry Potter. It seems only yesterday that your mother was in here buying her first wand. ten and a quarter inches long, swishy, made of willow. Nice wand for charm work.” 

“And your father, 11 inches long, mahogany, pliable, with a dragon heartstring core. Excellent for transfiguration.” Olivander said.

Harry took a step back in surprise. “You can tell who I am?”

“Oh yes. I noticed that ring of yours as well, excellent craftsmanship. A useful tool for certain, but for the few of us that are attuned to the subtleties and nuance of magic, you stick out like a sore thumb,” Olivander explained.

“Now for the reason you came, which is your wand hand?” Olivander asked.

“Actually, I already have a wand,” Harry replied. “I would just like a wrist holster.”

“Hmm, probably one of my competitors then,” Olivander said. “Very well, please hold out your wand and we shall find a holster that fits.”

Harry reached into his robes, pulling out the wand that he received when he entered Merlin’s vault.

Olivander’s eyes went wide as he hurried around the counter to get a better look. “Simply exquisite,” he said as he looked at it closely. 

“Who made it? Cephalopos?… No definitely not,” Olivander said as he looked at the handle. “This is far beyond his level. Gregorovitch perhaps?”

“… No,” Harry shook his head, not sure how much he should reveal. “It was given to me, but I don’t know who made it.”

“A pity,” Olivander said. “This is a masterwork. If you should find out the name of its creator, I would like to meet them.”

Olivander walked back, behind the counter and pulled a box from one of the shelves. “This should fit your needs, dragon skin with an anti summoning charm. It also has a quick release for fast draw.”

Harry looked at the holster before trying it on. It was black, so it would easily blend in with his robes. He strapped it to his wrist and loaded his wand.

“Flick your wrist,” Olivander instructed.

Harry felt the wand drop out of the holster so quickly he fumbled, nearly dropping the wand in the process.

“You’ll need a bit of practice,” Olivander smiled. “But I think you’ll get the hang of it.”

“How much?” Harry asked. The holster felt comfortable on his forearm and his wand felt secure.

“3 galleons,” Olivander said. “Do you need anything else? Wand cleaning kit?”

“No thanks, just the holster for now,” Harry said as he fished the galleons out of his pouch and handed them to Olivander.

When Olivander was sure that Harry had left he changed the sign from open to closed, then went to his fireplace. “Hogwarts, Headmaster’s office,” he called into the floo.

“Ah, hello old friend,” Albus said as he appeared in the fireplace.

“Harry Potter came to my store, sooner than I expected, but just as you said he would,” Olivander said.

“Did he say where he was staying?” Dumbledore asked, sitting up at full attention. 

“No,” Olivander said, shaking his head. “But I think he will stay near Hogsmeade for at least some time.”

“What makes you say that?” Albus asked.

“His ring, I noticed it as soon as he walked in. It was goblin made, and obscures his identity. Very few witches and wizards will even know it’s him,” Olivander explained.

“Hmm, that complicates things. I was hoping to have a word with him,” Albus said as he leaned back in his chair.

“What was the type of wand he purchased?” Albus asked curiously.

“He didn’t, he already owned one. He just wanted a holster,” Olivander replied.

“It must have been an old family wand then,” Albus guessed. “I’m surprised he didn’t want to replace it, but perhaps he doesn’t know the core is likely degraded.”

“There’s no chance of that,” Olivander denied. “The wand was old, ancient in fact, but the core certainly was not degraded. He wouldn’t tell me who made it though.”

“Did you get a good look at it?” Albus asked, his interest now peaked.

“The handle is obsidian, the wood is oak, there was also somy type of crystal as the pommel. I couldn’t tell what the core is, but it’s definitely powerful. It was a masterwork,” Olivander explained.

“If he returns, please let me know,” Albus requested as he cut the floo connection.

‘Where did you get this mysterious wand Harry?’ Dumbledore mused to himself. ‘He solved the cypher and had a mysterious and powerful wand the next day.’ Albus’s realized.

Albus felt a smile creep onto his face, he could use this. 

~***~

Harry walked into Madam Malkin’s Robes for all Occasions, looking at the thread bare robes he had been wearing, all of his clothes were this way. As far as he could remember he had never received a new set of clothes, but today he would change that.

An old woman bustled over to him, “Hello, I’m Matilda Malkin, are you here for Hogwarts robes dear?”

“Yes,” Harry replied. “I need three sets of black robes, a hat, dragon hide gloves, and a winter cloak.” Harry remembered the school list he received.

“Of course, would you like me to add the self repairing and self ironing charms to them as well?” She asked.

Harry thought about it for a minute, “How much are they?”

“Regular robes are 16 sickles each, self ironing are 5 galleons, self cleaning are 6, and if you want both they’re 11 galleons,” Matilda explained.

‘33 galleons for three sets of robes are expensive,’ Harry thought. He had seen how his family was with money, they spent it as quickly as they received it. He didn’t want to just spend the money because he had it. 

‘Are the self-cleaning robes worth the extra cost?’ Harry considered. ‘Their clothes must get cleaned somehow at Hogwarts.’

“I’ll take three sets, but with just the self ironing charms,” Harry decided.

“Sounds good dear,” Matilda agreed. “I still have one customer to deal with, but I should be done soon.”

“That’s fine,” Harry agreed as he sat down in the chair and waited. 

Harry watched as Madam Malkin measured and fitted a blonde-haired boy about his age for Hogwarts Robes.

As he heard him talk, he couldn’t help but think he reminded him of Glory. He was definitely pureblood.

“Be quick about it,” the boy said to Madam Malkin. “My father will be here soon, and I want to get my wand!”

“Of course Mr. Malfoy,” Matilda replied with a sigh. “We are almost finished with your measurements anyway. You will be able to pick up your robes tomorrow evening.”

“What?” Malfoy demanded. “I want them to be ready today.”

“I’m afraid that’s not possible,” Matilda replied. “All the charms, acromantula silk lining, and embroidery take time to produce.”

“Fine,” Malfoy huffed. “But they better be ready no later than tomorrow,” he demanded.

“Of course Mr. Malfoy,” Matilda promised. “Tomorrow evening at the latest.”

When she finished Malfoy hopped off the stool and walked outside to greet his parents.

“It’s your turn dear,” Matilda said as she gestured to the stool.

Harry nodded as he stepped on the stool the way the Malfoy boy had done. “Who was that?” He asked curiously.

“That was Draco Malfoy,” Matilda answered. “He is also going to Hogwarts this year.”

Harry nodded, thinking it best to avoid him. He was far too much like Glory for his liking.

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