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Angels, Hunters, and Wizards, Oh My!

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Angels, Hunters, and Wizards, Oh My!

Author’s Note: Well…this is what happens when I let myself get sucked into an interesting idea.  Or in this case a meme on Facebook.

For the first several chapters you’ll flip back-and-forth (not necessarily in a chronological fashion) between Sam-and-Dean and Harry.  Where Harry’s sixth year begins and they meet so the flipping will stop and you’ll have a more cohesive narrative thereafter.

This story contains: Winchesters-as-DADA-professors, Harry/Harem, Castiel-adorableness, and gratuitous ganking of Voldemort.

Enjoy!                  

Edited December 2016 for minor errors.  Unedited wordcount: 7,774 words, Edited wordcount: 7,972

Chapter One: Wherein Bobby Gets A Letter

 “Ya idgits better get here.”  Was all the message said.  “It’s about yer daddy.

That was all it took.

Never mind that Dean and Sam were ten states and two days away.  Sam put in a call to one of their fellow Hunters to come take care of the haunting they’d picked up tracks of in Maine, Dean packed the Impala, and off they went making the long-haul to Bobby’s.  Not much got them to jump like that.

In fact, since their father died a few years back, damn near nothing did.

Except for two things: Bobby needing them for something urgent and learning about their deceased family.

Usually both.

With a side of demon-possession if their trend sticks true.

Whatever the reason, Dean and Sam rolled into the dusty drive of Singer Salvage at the start of another lovely South Dakota summer scorcher.  Their on-again-off-again angelic sidekick Castiel was currently off-again, running some kinda errand for Chuck aka God in Merry Ol’.  Which blew since Cas generally tended to have an excellent sense of where their current summons laid on the scale of interesting-to-imminent-Apocalypse.

For once they hoped that it was more towards the former end of the scale than the latter.

Honestly.

They could really use a break from being Fate’s scapegoats-cum-patsies destined to save the world.

Though with all the shit that’s happened to them in the past, you’d think they’d know better than tempt fate like that.

After all…

You better be careful what you wish for…

“Our Dad?”  Dean’s rich voice was all but ringing with his blatant skepticism.  “Was a fucking witch?”

After the customary holy-water-shots and threats of being shot, Bobby had sat them down for one truly fucked-over heart-to-heart.

Unsurprisingly, it wasn’t going all that well.

“Balls.”  Bobby glared at his empty whisky glass.  Damn Winchester for dying and leaving him to deal with this shit.  Him and his fucking brother.  Bastards dumping this shit on his lap.  He might love these two boys but some days it just wasn’t worth it trying to beat sense into their thick skulls.  “The hell he was.”

“Shiktsm…”  What was probably supposed to be a nasty curse was cut off and turned into more of a squeal when Sam nailed Dean right in the shin and gave him a glare demanding his silence.  If either of them was going to ask the right questions it was him, not his hotheaded brother.

“Bobby.”  Sam watched his honorary uncle root through his cabinets searching for more liquor to get through this discussion.  “You said Dad was from a magic family.  What did you mean?”

“I thought Dad was a men-of-letters legacy or somethin’.”  Dean tossed in remembering meeting his grandfather.

“It’s complicated boys.”  Bobby sighed staring at the bottle he’d finally located before sinking back down into his chair and setting it aside.  “Real complicated.  Even I don’t know the full story and I knew John and his brother better than anyone else stateside.”

The Winchesters shared a look at that little tidbit and Sam motioned to the letter still sitting untouched beside Bobby that had precipitated this whole story time and revealing of shitty secrets.

“A-yup.”  Bobby nodded.  “Has to do with that.  But you idjits need to understand a thing or two before y’all even attempt to make heads or tails outta that.  For that ya need to sit down and shut up and open yer damn ears.  Think y’all can handle that?”

The for once was left hanging there unsaid.

Dean just grunted and folded his arms over his chest, taking a sullen drink of his beer.

Sam gave an actual answer, prompting Bobby to begin.

“The way I understand it, and believe me I’ve asked Castiel a time or two to confirm it, is that there’s two major deities runnin’ our patch of dirt.  God,” Bobby rolled right over the scoff from Dean at that.  “And his…well…sister is the best way to explain their relationship.  I don’t think and Castiel doesn’t know if they’re actually related like that or not.  And it’s not like they’re around to ask questions.”

“Fascinating,” Dean smirked.  “As that is, what does it have to do with Dad?”

“Shuddup boy.”  Bobby scoffed some of his whisky and continued.  “Anyway as I was sayin’ before bein’ interrupted…”  He drawled with a glare at the blonde.  “God’s sister.  Most don’t have a name for her, most don’t even know or realize She exists.  But She does.  And after God was done playin’ house with the angels and screwing up the leviathans and so on,” he waved his glass lazily.  “She decided to do some creatin’ of her own.  Made a race of beings she based on the angels and their powers.  Called them Magi and gave ‘em some of her own gifts.”

“Magic users.”  Sam breathed.  “You’re talking about natural-born magic users, aren’t you Bobby?”

“Humanity’s cousins.”  Bobby grimaced.  “God liked her design so well he copied ‘em, sans powers, and used that for mankind.  Magi can have kids with men or women same as angels or demons – and with both of those assholes for that matter – but their powers tend to diminish the further from the root they get.  ‘Cept in some cases where it winds up “cleansed” and coming back stronger than before.”

“And our Dad was one of those?”  Dean asked skeptically.  “How?  Grandpa certainly wasn’t ridin’ a broom or anything when he made his visit to the future.”

“That’s because John Winchester wasn’t really John Winchester.”  Bobby scowled.

Silence fell.

“Then who the hell was he?”  This time it was Sam shouting instead of Dean who was stewing in his own temper.

“Regulus.”  Bobby breathed out on a sigh, closing his eyes.  “The man who became John Winchester was originally a wizard or Magi to use their original designation, named Regulus Black, an Heir of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black.”

Sam and Dean traded looks.

“I think we’re going to need the full story Bobby.”  Sam demanded gently.

And the full story – as Bobby knew it – they got.

Once upon a time there lived a pair of brothers dubbed from tender years as the “Brothers Black.”  The eldest, named for the Dog Star as was the tradition of House Black, was a hellion of some proportion.  But he loved his little brother Regulus no matter how hard their mother tried to break them apart.

Time passed and the brothers grew closer and grew stronger and stronger in the ways of Magic and their people the Magi.

But all was not well for the Brothers Black.

Sirius, the elder, was distinctly unsuited to be the Heir of House Black, lacking the deep Dark political ideals that were expected in the Scion of that great and old Family.

Regulus, the younger, seemed in his parents’ eyes at least to be everything his brother lacked.

And so they neglected one in favor of the other.

The brothers Black stayed strong in their bond, though they had to take steps to hide it from their own family.

In time, Sirius went off to train in magic at the premier school for such things in the Isles while Regulus was forced to wait two more long years.

In another show of defiance, Sirius even managed to be sorted away from his ancestral expectation of House at that place of learning, causing a further rift in their family.

Upon following his beloved elder brother to school, Regulus was placed in the House of his ancestors and the start of a true breaking of the bond between the brothers Black began.

Time and years flew by, with the crack that had appeared with their disparate sortings growing wider and wider whilst rumors of a new Dark Lord grew ever greater.

Their parents became outspoken in their support of this Dark Lord – as was tradition of the House of Black.

Sirius, being a politically Light wizard despite his dark core, was much in disgrace and upon his sixteenth birthday ran away to the home of his cousin and closest friend James, abandoning his brother to the tender mercies of their parents, their illustrious House, and above all the Dark Sect.

Feeling the loss of Sirius keenly, and no longer having an ally in his home, Regulus eventually bowed to the pressure of his domineering mother and joined the Dark Lord – the dread wizard who styled himself “Lord Voldemort.”

Though now on opposite sides of a full-on war, neither brother ever faced the other in battle, a tacit agreement left over from the bygone bonds of brotherhood.

And then came a terrible day.

Regulus; curious, loyal, and tenacious by nature, became distraught when his “Lord” came to him and commanded the use of his loyal house elf, a retainer and ally who only was able to return to his Master’s side due to the strength of Kreacher’s loyalty to Regulus.  His “Lord” had nearly killed his elf and Regulus’s cunning mind was tempted with the knowledge of a weakness to an evil wizard.  A wizard in who’s service Regulus had been forced to do terrible things.

And discover Lord Voldemort’s secret he did.

At nearly the cost of his own life.

A life he knew would be forfeit the next time he was summoned to appear before his Lord.

And so Regulus reached out to the only soul he knew he could trust – his big brother Sirius Black.

Together the Brothers Black wove a complex net of rituals and spells – spells to block Regulus’s magic and magical signature, spells to hide his true identity, and many more.  Then they cracked open the most ancient ritual room in the timeless Black manor and called upon one of its many secrets: a ritual that would allow you to travel a great distance through time.

Back, they decided.

The past – with no memory and little power – would keep Regulus both hidden and safe.  A new identity as a Muggle – their word for non-magical – man thousands of miles from their birth country.  Sirius knew of a man from his time in the Aurors who lived in the States and could help his brother – now known only as John – get settled.

And so it was done.

Sirius locked away his brother, hiding him within himself, within time, and within a new country.

Anything to keep his brother alive and safe from the Dark Lord.

And then came terrible news.

While Sirius was out-of-touch with his contact – an irascible Muggle Hunter named Bobby Singer – Regulus had done the unthinkable and died.

“That’s…”  Dean trailed off nearly speechless.

“That’s some powerful hoodoo.”  Sam rubbed the back of his neck with his hand.  “You say you knew Sirius?  Our…uncle?  From before you met our Dad?”

“Knew of him.”  Bobby corrected.  “Magicals got their own police, their own government, all hidden from non-magicals.  Sirius was an Auror at one time, a cross between a Hunter and a cop.  A bad-wizard-catcher for lack of a better description.  He called himself the ‘white sheep’ of the Black Family.  He was damn good at it, and dangerous with it.  But he wasn’t a liar.”

“Huh.”  Was Sam’s ever-so-eloquent response to that.

“So,” Dean coughed, deciding to freak-the-fuck-out over all of this later.  “What’s the letter say?”

“The one for me,” Bobby gulped down some more whisky.  “Was from Gringotts, their bank.  It had this-a-one for you two idjits inside of it.”

“And?”  Sam prompted leadingly.

Bobby sighed and looked up, looking both of them square in the eye.

“It was a death notice from the bank and instructions about giving that letter to you boys.  I’m sorry boys.  Wish I had better news.  But your uncle Sirius Black died last week.”

Approximately around the same time a certain letter started making its way from London, England to Singer Salvage Yard in South Dakota, United States of America via muggle post, another letter was winging its way from Gringotts Bank to the unremarkable address of No. 4, Privet Drive, Little Whinging, Surrey.

A plain little four bedroom house was No. 4 from the outside the only thing that differed it from its brethren was the rather beautiful garden and lawn that took up the leftovers of the lot after the house and garage had been built.

The garden was the envy of every housewife and the lawn the cause of jealousy to every henpecked-husband on Privet Drive and the bordering neighborhood of Magnolia Crescent.

Indeed, the cretin’s ability to work in the garden and lawn was assumed by many of the snotty and self-absorbed neighbors of No. 4 to be the only reason the gracious Petunia and her stolid husband Vernon put up with her dead sister’s delinquent offspring.

Harry Potter was very much the scourge of Privet Drive and Magnolia Crescent and many were the homeowners that found themselves relieved when he hied himself off to St. Brutus’s for the school year.

Though if the state of his clothes were any indication, they’d yet to successfully cane the willfulness out of the ungrateful child.

On this day, or rather night, the “dangerous criminal” himself was locked away in the smallest bedroom of the modest house, nursing the injuries that were his “welcome-home” gift from his walrus-uncle and his baby-whale-cousin.  Vernon hadn’t taken well to the threats from the idiotic members of the Order of the Phoenix when they’d cornered him at the train station.  That coupled with Dumbledore’s most “considerate” missive informing them that “dear Harry” was grieving the loss of his beloved godfather and could the Dursleys do what they could to allow him a worry-free summer might as well painted a target on his back.

So basically, they all hacked Vernon right-off then gave him notice that the threat of his murderous godfather was now gone and he could consider it open-season on his nephew.

Fan-fucking-tastic.

As if being Dark-Lord-Bait wasn’t bad enough.

Thankfully, neither Vernon nor Dudley had managed to break any bones.

This time at least.

Those were a right-bitch to work around, forcing most of his magic to focus on keeping the bones aligned and healing and diverting it from dealing with the rest of his injuries.  When it’s only a matter of bruising – no matter how deep – it usually only took a day or two for him to heal no matter how many or varied the injuries turned out to be.  A blessing and a curse when he was younger.

Oh, it kept him from permanent damage but it also kept him from having evidence on his body when the social workers came around to investigate the reports of a little boy with a black eye or a mysteriously broken arm, etc., etc.

Harry found himself hoping that Vernon had vented the majority of his spleen.  With the summer – and Dudley’s damned diet – came a severe curtailing of his rations.  Even cauldron cakes didn’t keep forever, and the longer he went without proper food the less his magic could heal as it split its focus between keeping him alive without sustenance and keeping him alive in spite of his injuries.

A light tapping on his window drew him from his grief-and-injury induced trance, causing Harry to hold in a grimace as he felt the extent of his injuries and put up a dam against his emotions lest he lose himself once more in tears, turning his head to investigate the familiar sound.

Damn it, Sirius.  He thought furiously to himself, scrubbing the heel of one hand over his gritty eyelids as he forced himself to stand despite the screaming in his legs and right hip.  Damn you for forcing me to feel when I just want to be numb for a while.

Or forever.

It certainly would make killing Voldemort to fulfill that oh-so-wonderful prophecy if he didn’t have to fight with his conscience every two seconds over killing a human being – no matter how foul.

Being numb sounds like a perfectly wonderful way to function.

Function.

That pretty much summed up his existence.

He was hesitant to say he was either living or what he was experiencing a life.

In that way that batty old fraud had been dead on.  He was merely surviving, much like Voldemort and his formerly disembodied state.  Now his Headmaster wanted him to become a murderer before he even got to know what life even was or felt like whilst his soul was yet untainted.

Brilliant, that.

Walking – well, hobbling – over to the window he opened it wide, letting in the strange bird.  It took him a second to recognize it and even that was only because Sirius had taken the time to show him a picture of one in case he ever received mail this way.  It was a peregrine falcon.  The only avian Gringotts trusted when they had reason to believe their correspondence with their customers’ correspondance might be watched or otherwise hindered.

Nobody wanted to fuck with the trained attack falcons of the goblin nation.  No.  Body.  Period.

Harry did however feel a moment of disquiet over the goblins having reason to believe they needed to send his owl-post via attack falcon.

Shrugging it off to consider later under the gimlet stare of the majestic bird with its wickedly-sharp talons and beak, Harry gently removed the letter in its plain cream Gringotts envelope and offered the falcon water and nibbles from Hedwig’s dish.  For once his first friend wasn’t being stroppy over another bird delivering his mail and invading her territory.  An attitude adjustment no doubt helped along by the peregrine being very respectful – from what Harry could tell – of his snowy companion.

Slitting open the top of the letter with his penknife – a habit he’d picked up from Remus over the summer and winter holidays last year – Harry investigated the contents of the parcel as the peregrine, now fed and watered, took wing out the window.

Apparently whatever this was it didn’t require an immediate reply.

Clearing the envelope he found another, smaller, envelope in the deep black parchment he remembered Siri showing him in his study, the official Black stationary for the head-of-house with its watermark of a night sky, it had Harry written in his godfather’s finest Copperplate in silver on the front.  Putting that aside for a moment he quickly read through the missive from Gringotts once, then a second and third time to make sure he really was reading what he thought he was reading.

Official Notice

Heir-Lord Potter,

It has been brought to the attention of Gringotts, London, via the person from whom you have also received a communique this eve, that you have never received a banking statement.

You should have received one every year since your parents’ deaths.

This event – and others – have brought tampering in your affairs to the attention of Gringotts and the Goblin Nation has hereby launched an investigation into these things upon your receipt of this notice.

Your presence is required at Gringotts, London, no later than one calendar week from receipt of this notice.

May your gold ever flow,

Ragnok Stronghammer

Manager

Gringotts, London

Tampering.

Bloody, buggering, fuck.

And he could just bet by who.

Well, he had a week to figure out how the hell he was going to get to Gringotts without the Order’s spies catching him out.  And to stew and sulk over exactly why he had to present himself.  For now there was other business to attend to.

Personal business.

Bracing himself as if to take one of his uncle’s heavy-handed hits, Harry quickly sliced open the letter from Siri.

It was…short.  To say the least.  And confusing as fuck-all.

Pup,

If you got this via falcon then some of what I was afraid of has come true.  Read this missive thoroughly and follow the instructions to the letter:

Gather the things you care about and don’t want to lose or can’t replace and put them in a backpack.

Wait until those damned relatives of yours are asleep.

Wrap yourself in the Cloak.

Get the fuck away from there!

I mean it, Pup.

Walk – don’t fly, floo, or take the Knight Bus – go at least a mile out.

Activate the portkey on this letter using the password – you know the one.

I love you, Pup.

Don’t worry, there will be more than this for you on the other end of the portkey.

Just…

For once, Pup, don’t question, don’t throw a wobbly, just obey.

Mischief Managed,

Padfoot

“Tampering.”  Harry whispered out loud, putting the puzzle together, shaking lightly as the words of Ragnok slotted into place alongside Siri’s own sharp, commanding missive.

Whatever the fuck was going on, whatever bug had crawled up Siri’s ghostly arse, it came back to tampering at Gringotts – at least as far as he could work out with the information at hand.

Making a decision, Harry nodded his head and gave a wince of pain from his injuries, quickly digging into his trunk and grabbing out those few things he’d need and/or want: photo album, Marauder’s Map, his shrunken Firebolt, miniature Horntail in her terrarium, and his Cloak, loading them up into the expanded and featherlight dragonhide pack Siri bought him for Christmas during fourth-year.  He thought about it for a long second and then stuffed both of the envelopes from the two letters and the missive from Gringotts inside the album.  He didn’t want to leave them lying around for someone to find if things turn out…ugly.

Glancing at the clock he saw it was well past when his aunt turned in and he could just make out Vernon’s thunderous snores.

At least he wouldn’t have to wait around and twiddle his thumbs while this all rocked and roiling in his brain.

Flipping open his penknife – the one Siri gave him that can open locks, bless him – Harry made short work of the padlock on Hedwig’s cage.

“Go hunt, girl.”  Harry whispered.  “Find me tomorrow night…wherever I am.  I think I’m going to need more than a couple hours to figure all this out.”

Hedwig gave a soft hoot in agreement and took wing out the still-open window.  Harry watched her for a long moment before closing it and locking the removed bar back in place.

Stepping as quietly as he could to the door he slipped the backpack with his few treasures on then the Cloak over top of that.  Thankfully despite the bullshit Moody spread around his magical eye couldn’t actually see through the Cloak, though it did manage to pick up blocks of area that seemed to be empty of magic.  Dumbledore managed something similar with the enchantments on his glasses.  Everything else was just conjecture.

Hopefully his luck would run true and Moody wasn’t on duty tonight, even if the dark hour would make it almost impossible for Moody to tell the difference between the blanketing effect darkness had on his eye at a distance and the effect his Cloak had on it.

Walking a mile while injured was still going to be a motherfucker.

Using the penknife once more he ran the rune-etched blade along each of the various locks inside the crack of the door and jamb, opening them with ease.  The front door didn’t give him any trouble either, nor did grabbing a couple bottles of Dudder’s fancy flavored water and an apple from the kitchen on his way out for the walk.  There was a box of protein bars sitting out on the counter as well but he left them be as his body didn’t react well to all the synthetics and additives that go into the things.

Yep, he was right.

Walking that far with his injuries had been a motherfucker.

Normally a mile was an easy distance he could cover in ten minutes or less – tonight it had taken him nearly an hour with the slow pace he had to stick to and the stops he had to take what felt like every five minutes to rest and wait out the worst of the pain.

Gulping down the rest of the bottle of water, Harry tossed it in a waste bin at the out-of-the-way park he’d located after the one-mile mark.  Taking a deep breath as he leaned one hand against the side of a rickety swing set, Harry pulled out the inky black letter from Siri and grit his teeth.  He had an inkling about what was going to happen when he used the password.

He fucking hates portkeys.

But there was nothing to be done about it but soldier on and hope that whatever laid in wait on the other side was better than what he’d just left behind him – or at least wouldn’t keep him out passed dawn if not.  If he had to go back to the damned Dursleys, he’d rather avoid the beating from Vernon and the lecture from Dumbledore via owl post over him being alternately “a freaky criminal waste-of-space” or “needlessly reckless with his own life.”

Shaking his head he sighed then said:

“I solemnly swear I am up to no good.”

And was utterly unsurprised then he felt the gut-churning sensation of a fish hook grabbing him right behind his navel and hauling him through time and space.

Portkeys.

Might as well be instruments of the devil as far as he was concerned.

At least his most recent tumble with a portkey – being sent to Dumbledore’s office like a toddler in timeout – was good for something.  As he touched down on the marble floors of Gringotts, easily recognizable even though he’d only been there when he was eleven and again at thirteen, Harry actually managed to keep his feet.  Making this his first and so far his only successful trip via wizarding means.

He even had issues with getting motion sickness on the Knight Bus for Merlin’s sake.

Except for brooms.

Brooms were exempt from his issues with wizarding travel.

He would say it was magical travel altogether save for his rapport with winged creatures i.e. Buckbeak and the Thestrals.

“Heir-Lord Potter.”  A low, gravel-filled voice greeted him as his head stopped spinning from the portkey, allowing him to make out a familiar shape arriving from the long corridor he faced on landing.

The arrival room – for it couldn’t be anything else – was a perfect circle in the same gleaming white marble of the outer lobby and exterior architecture.  Corridors made of all kinds of various forms of stonework branched off of it like spokes of a wheel, leaving him completely at sea as to his actual location in the building and uncomfortably flashing back to the spinning doors of the Department of Mysteries.  Clearly suspicious minds think alike – either that or the DoM copied their idea from this very room.

“Griphook.”  Harry said in surprise, eyebrows shooting into his hairline when he realized he recognized the goblin sent to greet him.  “Can you tell me what’s going on?”

It came out a flat demand more than a request for information.  Harry was trying so hard not to lose himself again to his grief that showing any emotion at the moment carried the risk of him blubbering all over himself.  And if there was one thing goblins hated it was dealing with overwrought wizards.

“I’m afraid, Heir-Lord Potter,”

And why the fuck are the goblins calling him that?

“…that that is a question for the Manager.  I was only sent to collect you when the alert on the portkey sounded.  That is all.”

Well clearly Griphook wasn’t going to be a font of information, Harry thought to himself, hiding a grimace as he fell into step after dragging step being the quickly-moving goblin.  Either Griphook hadn’t noticed his injuries or he was being a right bastard but either way if he doesn’t get a rest or a potion soon he was going to defile their pristine tilework with his unconscious, bleeding, body.

“Heir-Lord Potter, Manager Ragnok.”  Griphook stuck his head inside an open doorway then motioned Harry impatiently inside before closing the door after the limping wizard.

Harry took a bracing breath and strode in as confidently as he could considering he was at the point of dragging a limb behind him and took the offered seat, staring into merciless, beady, black eyes.

“So wait.”  Dean waved one hand as he absorbed the load of shit Bobby just unloaded on him.  “Not only was our dad some kinda super-powered mega-human but our uncle, who set him up in a new life to keep him safe, is dead?”

What the fuck was the whole point of dredging this shit up if everyone involved was dead and gone?  Dean couldn’t admit – even to himself – that for a moment he’d gotten excited at the thought of having some kinda bad-ass mojo’d up uncle wanting them to come visit.  Only to come quickly crashing back to earth.

Good shit like that doesn’t happen.  Not to him anyway.

“A-yup.”  Bobby took another glug off his whisky glass.  “Sirius from what my letter told me was tryin’ to make his way over here but things have been tits-up in wizarding Britain for the last couple years.  Made it damned hard for him to sneak away to see the nephews that weren’t supposed ta even exist.  Black could be a reckless bastard with his own life but he wasn’t about to put yours in jeopardy by drawin’ attention to ya.”

“It’s still going on.”  Sam’s computer-like brain put the pieces together.  “This civil war been magicals.  That’s why our uncle didn’t head straight towards us when he had the chance.  The guy – Voldemort – who wanted our dad dead is still around.”

“Aww, naw.”  Dean stood and started pacing waving his arms dramatically.  “No no no.  Not this shit again.  We just got done saving the damned planet now whatever or whoever ganked our uncle and wanted to gank our dad is going to come after us, aren’t they?”

“Only one way to find out.”  Bobby’s voice was calmer than Sam would’ve figured on following one of Dean’s diva-moments.

The grizzled hunter held out an envelope that even from across the room Dean could tell was expensive as all hell from how it gleamed under the cheap lighting of Bobby’s living room.

“Read the damned letter ya idjits.”  Bobby climbed to his feet and wobbled unsteadily from the room after knocking back most of a couple of bottles of the hard stuff.  “An’ remember, whatever else Sirius Black was, he wasn’t a liar.”

“I have been assured by a rare wizard, Heir-Lord Potter.”  Ragnok began without preamble.  “A wizard who had gained the trust of this horde that your continual insults towards myself, your account manager, and the horde at large were a direct result of not your behavior – but rather your ignorance.  Would you say this is true?”

Harry could only blink, mouth opening and then closing with a snap.

“I have absolutely zero idea what you’re talking about.”  He said after several long moments spent scraping his wits together.

“Yes.”  Ragnok nodded his rather wrinkled – even by goblin standards – head.  “The late Lord Black said as much, though it made no sense to us that the Heir to the House of Potter would have been raised completely in the dark regarding both his rights and his responsibilities.  Still,” Ragnok made what on another creature would be a shrug.  “Wizards to tend to be nonsensical, especially the one you’ve all chosen to give great power.  It was only through our trust and respect for the Late Lord Black that the horde has set this meeting instead of simply seizing your abandoned accounts, Heir-Lord Potter.”

“Abandoned?”  Harry was starting to feeling like a particularly stupid species of donkey or perhaps parrot rather than a functioning wizard.  “But I only have the one vault…and I’ve never even been allowed to keep my key…”

“Just so.”  Ragnok interlocked his hoary fingers on the leather blotter before him.  “Just so.  The moment you opened the package delivered to you earlier this evening and touched the letter we launched an investigation – taking your willing receipt of documents as approval – on your behalf.  Already it has been confirmed that as the Late Lord Black expected a mail redirection geis has been wound into the myriad other geises, wards, and spells upon your person and official place of residence.”

Confusion bleeding away in the face of Harry’s infamous temper, he sucked in a breath as his eyes burned with his inner fury.  Oh, he could just bet.  It would be just like a certain meddlesome barmy old coot to do such a thing.

Anything after all, was allowable – as long as it was for the Greater Good.

He pushed it back as the London head of the Goblin Horde – he wasn’t so oblivious as to be ignorant of who he was sitting across from – continued.

“…Some of which must have been placed after your visits here.”  Ragnok gave a heavy frown.  “The enchantments on the carts would never have allowed a wizard or witch so heavily influenced by outside forces to access any vault.”

Well this just kept getting better and better, the wizard seethed.  He focused on a parchment that appeared before the goblin without fanfare in the letter tray to his right.  Ragnok perused it, pursing his mouth tightly.

“It appears that you are luckier than you know.”  Ragnok said at last.  “Or perhaps your late parents were simply well-advised by your godfather.  The bulk of the Potter estate has remained untouched since the death of Lord and Lady Potter.”  Seeing the confusion mingled with rage making the young one’s eyes glow, Ragnok continued, with an aside.  “Your grandparents.  Your father was too embroiled in the last wizard’s war to be bothered claiming the estate with a bounty on your parents’ and your own heads.  Regardless.  The estate has remained untouched save for the Ministry placing wards and a stasis spell around the ruins of the Godric’s Hallow cottage and the automatic transfers to your education trust.”

Harry blew out a breath he didn’t even know he was holding.  Granted, he’d never even thought of there being an actual Potter Estate, why would he?  No one ever mentioned it or said anything to him about it, and none of the scant information he’d found for himself had mentioned it.

That didn’t mean, however, that he wouldn’t have been further enraged to find out that someone had tampered with it – whether he knew about it’s existence or not.

“However.”

Well buggeration.

Ragnok looked piercingly at him from under beetled brows.

“Exactly how many times have you made withdrawals from your school vault, Heir-Lord Potter?”

Sitting back, not wanting to contemplate what that might mean while he was trying to think objectively, for an accurate accounting, Harry spoke.

“Summer before first year I visited with Hagrid who had my key.  Summer before second year with Mrs. Weasley who had my key.”  He rattled off robotically.  “Third year I accessed my vault without my key, the teller had me do a blood test to prove my identity.  Fourth and fifth summers Mrs. Weasley did my school shopping for me and I assume took money from my vault with my key.”

Ragnok nodded gravely and handed over a smaller parchment with a list of transactions he’d copied over from the larger scroll with a finger flick.

Vault 687

Education Trust for Heir Lord Potter

1 June 1990 – Vault Emptied and Cleaned

31 July 1990 – Automatic Deposit from Main Potter Vault 77 upon birth of Heir – 50,000 G

31 July 1991 – Automatic Deposit from Main Potter Vault 77 – 50,000 G

1 September 1991 – Closing Transfer from Vault 913* – 15,913 G, 82 S, 10 K

1 November 1991 – Withdrawal – Maintenance and Support of Orphaned Heir** – (-10,000 G)

31 July 1992 – Automatic Deposit from Main Potter Vault 77 – 50,000 G

1 November 1992 – Withdrawal – Maintenance and Support of Orphaned Heir** – (-10,000 G)

And so it went, Harry’s eyes growing wider and wider with each deposit and subsequent withdrawal.  One thought cycling through his mind: they beat him.  They tore him down, called him worthless and useless and forced him to earn his keep all the while trying to “stamp the magic” out of him…and they beat him.  Beatings that took place whilst pocketing 50,000 pounds a bloody year in support as the note at the bottom so helpfully supplied:

Notes: *Vault 913 – Personal Vault of Lily Potter nee Evans; **Maintenance and Support of Orphaned Heir payable to Surrey General Bank, care of Vernon and Petunia Dursley.

Then his eyes tracked to his eleventh year and Harry hit the roof:

1 June 2001 – Withdrawal – Hogwarts Founder’s Fund – (-400,000 G)

That twinkle-eyed bastard at all but emptied his vault two months before he ever even knew he had it.  When the headmaster was done, there must have only been his mother’s savings left before the annual deposit.  The support payments continued – surprise, surprise – and he himself only removed less than a thousand galleons the couple times he’d visited.

Then things got even stranger.

In 2003, after Sirius had broken out of prison, there was no support payment to the Dursleys.  Nor were there any thereafter including this summer after his death.  2003 must have been when Siri spoke with the goblins about his affairs in the first place.  He remembered his godfather telling him that goblins had no care for wizard squabbles – that must have carried over to allowing a wanted fugitive conduct business on behalf of his ward.

But.

That didn’t stop his trust vault from bleeding gold:

30 August 2004 – Withdrawal – Margaret “Molly” Weasley for school supplies – (-5,000 G)

30 August 2005 – Withdrawal – Margaret “Molly” Weasley for school supplies – (-50,000 G)

That hurt.  It really did.  As far as he could tell, the first smaller theft was to test if he or Sirius would say anything.  Then when it went unremarked and she had another opportunity, Mrs. Weasley just helped herself.

He couldn’t understand why though.

He would’ve given it to her if she’d asked.  He likely would’ve emptied the damned thing at a suggestion from either her or Mr. Weasley.  They didn’t need to steal from him anymore than the Headmaster did.

Honestly, he was so lost at first in the Wizarding World that the Headmaster could’ve left the gold there and told him he needed to pay it over to him as tuition and he wouldn’t have known the difference.

Stunned, he set it aside, not even capable of thinking about it all right now.

Clearing his throat Ragnok handed him a small bound leather ledger that had appeared while Harry was trying to wrap his head around the backhanded dealing that had been going on with his gold.  Now he could clearly understand why Ragnok had been happy – as far as Harry could tell, goblins were often hard to read – that the main Potter estate had been frozen except apparently for his annual vault deposit.

“An overview of your total holdings.”  Ragnok said solemnly.  “There is paperwork to sign and several wills to be read starting with that of your paternal grandparents before all of these are transferred into your name, however this is what has been kept from you by your minders and uncovered by Lord Black before his untimely end.”

Harry took it with a fatigue-trembling hand.  Between the shock of his trust vault accounting and the pain from his injuries he didn’t know how much longer he could keep going.

An issue the canny-eyed goblin noted.

“Mr. Potter.”  Ragnok broke character for a moment, showing the aged grandfather that lurked under the stern Manager mask.  “It is late and you are injured.  We can continue this after you have rested.”  With a snap of his fingers the Manager summoned another, younger, goblin and rattled off a string of orders in Gobbledygook.

Rising he gestured for Harry to follow him and the weary young wizard heaved himself from his chair, managing to keep pace with the slowly moving goblin.

“We keep guest rooms in the bank for those rare occasions that they are required – and looking at you one is definitely required.”  Ragnok waved him through a carved oak door and into a simple but comfortable sitting room with a pair of doors branching off of it, one leading to a bedroom and the other a bathing chamber.

“Rest.”  The aged goblin ordered.  “I will send food and a healer to look at your wounds in the morning.  For now, you need sleep.”

Harry opened his mouth to say something – thanks perhaps, or a denial – only for Ragnok to silence him with a firm glance.

“Do yourself a favor.”  Ragnok advised.  “And don’t open that ledger until you’ve slept and eaten.  I don’t want to have to replace the furnishings when your rather formidable temper finally blows.”

Somehow, Harry couldn’t really argue with that and tumbled still clothed onto the wide bed once Ragnok had left him to sleep.

Dear Nephews,

Merlin that’s strange to say.

Sam felt a grin tug at his mouth as the humor the words had been written with almost jumped off the page as he read aloud to Dean who had finally settled down and agreed to listen.

If you’re reading this then you’re probably confused as all hell.  I know I would be in your shoes.  But I trust that mangy old hunter to have at least explained the basics – as he knew it – of how this all came about.

I’m your uncle Sirius Orion Black III, Lord of the Most Ancient and Noble House of Black.

Sounds pretentious, doesn’t it?

Anyway, you can call me Siri or Uncle Padfoot (nickname, will explain later) the way my godson does.

Good kid, Harry.  As you might’ve guessed I never had sprogs of my own so you two and Harry plus a couple other cousins (2nd, 3rd, 4th, etc.) are all that’s left now that I’ve finally kicked it.  Lasted longer than I thought I might.  Never thought I’d outlive Harry’s parents, that was for sure.  Figured Lilyflower would keep James on the straight and narrow.  Never counted on a megalomaniac setting them in his sights.

So, you two have got to be confused and probably angry if you’re anything like the rest of the unholy lot of us.  Let me see if I can clear up a couple things.

I loved my brother.  Still do.

But he made some shit choices and I’ve not done much better.

There was a price for what we did, hiding him away, playing with time.  A big one.  Ten years.  I’m sure that sounds familiar with what Singer has told me about you.

No, before you start thinking the worst.  It wasn’t any demon that traded me for my soul.  It was the cost of the spell.  Ten years of my life in exchange for the ten years in the past I sent your father.

Seemed like a fair trade at the time, since I wasn’t likely to live through the war anyway.

But I can almost hear the clock ticking in the background, I know I don’t have a whole lot of time left.

Hence this letter.

The plan was to meet you two in person and explain all this and what it means to you, yada yada.  But I can feel it in my bones that that’s not how things are going to go.

You two are it boys.  Consider yourselves tagged in.

Having Black blood is more than just a family name, it’s a birthright and there’s a tonne of tangles that come with it.

When your cores are unlocked, should you choose to come and claim your inheritances and heritage, you could end up with one of a dozen or so Black talents.

Hell, from what Bobby tells me you already are showing signs of a couple.

That gut instinct you swear by, Dean?  Eldest sons of our house including you and me are known to have a sixth sense even to the point of actual premonitions.  According to the family annals it was a “gift” from a thankful wood sprite.  Personally I’ve thought it more than a curse but ask anyone – I’ve never been quite right in the head.

Sam’s visions?  Guess what?  Blacks have been known as psychics and seers for generations.  We’re one of the foremost Houses when it comes to reading the stars.

And that’s just the tip of the iceberg.

One of my cousin’s had a daughter who’s a metamorphmagus.  Dora can look like anyone she wants, male or female.  She’s can change her appearance to the point of even giving herself a beak or a pig’s snout if she pleases.

As for me, I’m an animagus, another Black talent.  Together with Harry’s dad, my second cousin James, we learned how to literally become our animal selves.  I can change into a big black dog, nicknamed Padfoot (Harry calls me Snuffles but he’s a brat sometimes.)  James was a stag named Prongs.

I wish I had time to tell you more, to tell you everything, or just meet you both in person.

Now for the heavy:

Dean: officially you’re designated as my Heir.  Which means you’re the new Lord Black.  Reg and I did naming ceremonies for any possible kids he might have while in hiding so you’ll have some new pretentious name.  Don’t worry about it, you can (and should) go by Dean in public.

Wizards never reveal their full name outside of their immediate family.

Awful things can be done to you by someone who can Name you.

Sam: same story.  You’ll have a new name as well once you sign for your inheritance.  You’ll be Dean’s Heir up until he has some sprogs of his own.

On the bright side the Blacks are one of the wealthiest families in wizarding Britain so you’ll never have to do another credit card scam again.

The goblins will do several will readings if things go right for once.  One should have already happened in private with my godson.  Harry’s a good kid with a shit destiny riding on his shoulders.  He’ll be sixteen soon, and a Lord in his own right.  Check on him now and then for me will you?  I don’t trust the people surrounding him for the most part as far as I could throw them.

Another private reading will be done for you two once you make it to London, Bobby should have another envelope for you with instructions.

A public will reading will happen once both private readings are done.

Whatever you do, do not agree to anything regarding your inheritances, especially any of the properties without discussing it with the goblins first.

Be careful what you say and how you say it when dealing with wizards and witches.  Especially once your cores are unlocked.  With magic your word can literally become your bond.  And an ill worded vow can and will kill you.

I love you boys, even though I’ve never met you.

Most of all I’m proud of you and all you’ve done.

Be careful.  I don’t want you two joining me and your dad anytime soon.

Your Uncle,

Sirius Black