Harry's summer vacation
after fifth year holds some surprises. A little angst, a little fluff, a few
laughs. The usual fanfic
copyright disclaimers- everyone and everything in here belongs to J.K. Rowling,
no money is being made and no infringement is implied. The story itself is
mine. My thanks to my beta-reader, Beth, who had to slog through multiple
copies of corrupt html.
Before the Storm
By Madame En
"Come in, Harry."
Harry stepped through the
headmaster's door and nodded acknowledgement to the various quiet greetings
from the portraits on the walls. 'Strange,' he thought, that they no longer
feigned sleep whenever he came to see Dumbledore since that horrible night in
the Ministry. He pushed the memory out of his mind and gave his attention to
Dumbledore. "You wanted to see me, sir?"
"Before you go for the
summer holiday, I have a few things to discuss with you that I am sure you
would rather not hear right now. I am afraid, however, that it is a
necessity," Dumbledore said with a gentle smile. "Sit down,
Harry dully pulled up a chair,
and watched without much real interest one of the whirling objects on the desk,
waiting for his Headmaster to continue. He was pleasantly surprised when Fawkes
suddenly flew over from his perch to rest on the arm of Harry's chair. He
gently stroked the bird's proffered head, and felt a wave of contentment flow
over the numbness he had been carrying in his heart for the past few weeks.
Dumbledore smiled at the phoenix
before turning his attention to Harry. "You know you must return for at
least part of your school holiday to your aunt's," he began, gazing at
Harry steadily from over the top of his spectacles.
Harry nodded in resigned
acceptance, and Dumbledore continued. "Now, I have some news that perhaps
will make this situation more…tolerable." He unfolded a roll of parchment
from the pile on his desk. "This has been sent to me from Gringott's. It
is Sirius' will."
Harry started, his stomach
lurched painfully, and he fought to choke back his angry exclamation on how
this could possibly make his summer more tolerable. Fawkes trilled softly and
Harry felt the anger melt away. Pale, but resolute, he nodded for Dumbledore to
continue. He almost caught a gleam of approval in the old wizard's eyes. 'Yes,'
Harry thought sadly to himself, 'I have learned something from all of this.'
"Sirius has left you his
entire estate, with the exception of a legacy to Remus Lupin. You are the sole
heir of the Black fortune, which has been frozen since Sirius' incarceration.
In light of recent events, the Ministry has been persuaded to release control
of it to you."
"I don't want it!"
Harry couldn't contain himself any longer. "I have money- I don't …."
He stopped short; interrupted by a snort of outrage he realized had come from
the portrait of Phineas Nigellus.
Dumbledore regarded him quietly,
and waited for Harry to resume his composure. "You must consider that this
legacy is the final gift Sirius could make to you. At some point you may find
that there is a great deal of good that you can do with that money- good that
it has never been used for in it's history."
Harry considered this, and felt
the knots in his stomach lessen a bit.
"The estate includes Grimmauld
Place, of course, and I would like to ask your permission for its continued
service to the Order."
Harry, shocked that this would
even be a consideration, blurted out a choked "Of course!"
"Good. I am pleased by your
decision, because not only is it useful to our cause, but also because it is
one of the few places outside Hogwarts and your aunt's that I feel you are
relatively safe. As it remains unplottable, and with members of the Order in
residence, I can almost rest easy on that score." He smiled gently at
Harry. "This brings us to what I hope will be the most pleasant part of my
news. While you must spend the first part of your holiday at Privet Drive, I
will send a guard to escort you to Grimmauld Place sometime during the summer.
There you will be under the care of your new guardian…"
"New guardian??" Harry
interrupted, anger again surging in his heart.
"I believe that you will be
very pleased to learn," Dumbledore continued, as if Harry had not even
spoken, "that under the terms of your godfather's will Sirius has provided
for your welfare in the event that he would not be able to care for you until
you are of age." Dumbledore again looked at Harry from above his lenses.
"I have the suspicion," he said in a kind voice, "that Sirius
felt very keenly that his affairs should be in order so you would not be left
as you were when he was thrown into Azkhaban. Of course he did not every fully
accept that it was imperative that you stay with your blood relatives even had
he been free."
A knock on the door interrupted
him. "Ah, one moment, Harry. Enter," he called out, and the door
Professor McGonagall hesitated at
the door when she saw Harry. "I'm sorry, Albus, I didn't realize…"
"No, that's quite all right,
Minerva. I think Harry has had enough information for one afternoon." He
turned his attention to Harry. "I will see you at the leaving feast, and
please, remember what I have told you."
Harry gave one final stroke to Fawkes,
then got up and went out the door after nodding to McGonagall. He was down the
staircase and past the statue before he realized Dumbledore had not told him
how long he had to wait until he could get away from the Dursley's, or who his
new guardian would be. He also realized that it didn't really matter to him.
Nothing mattered to him.