Harry Potter and the Shadowed Light
Chanting filled the air and Harry found himself drifting as the oddly musical sound passed through him. Suddenly, however, Harry felt a jolt in his mind. The sensation reminded him of when Snape had tried to teach him Occlumency; it was unpleasant but not unbearable. This sensation continued before it grew, the feeling of 100 bees took over his mind and Harry soon found it impossible to think. Finally the sensation passed and the chanting seemed to die out before it started up again. Harry, still unable to focus, soon felt his skin start to stretch and his bones grind together. Gritting his teeth against the pain Harry tried to breathe through it as his face shifted. His very hair started to ache and it felt like every cell in his body suddenly contracted and snapped. Finally letting out a scream Harry felt his back arch and reconnect with the table harshly. Throughout all of this the chanting never stopped, if anything it seemed to grow stronger. Harry, unable to think of anything but the pain that followed, felt like his blood had turned to acid. When he finally lost consciousness, he welcomed the darkness that engulfed him with relish.
Waking up, Harry felt lighter - like he had been carrying a heavy burden all his life and never realised it. Opening his eyes, Harry took in his surroundings: he was no longer in the healing chamber but what appeared to be a bedroom. Cavern walls were illuminated by torches and a fireplace in the corner made the naturally dark room light.
"Welcome back young wizard," a voice Harry recognised as healer Maeve said, startling him.
"How long was I out?" Harry asked, his throat feeling raw and his voice coming out raspy.
"Only four hours," the goblin replied, coming closer to Harry. "I'm surprised to see you awake to be honest, you're a lot stronger than you think."
Harry found himself nodding slightly as he sat up slowly in bed. Running his hands through his shoulder length hair, Harry was startled after his brain suddenly processed this new information.
Maeve watched the wizard with faint humour as he seemed to jump awake and realise his physical changes. She also noted that he needed a throat soother.
"Would you like a mirror?" she asked, as she went through her supplies looking for the correct potion.
Harry nodded dumbly, taking the conjured mirror as it appeared. Looking at his reflection. he was shocked; the changes when looked at individually were not that great but on the whole? They made him look completely different. He was no longer a clone of James Potter - sure you could tell they were related, but it was not an overwhelming fact now like it once was.
His emerald green eyes were still a prominent feature, but they had lost their circular shape and were now more almond. His nose was smaller, more delicate, and his lips seemed to have filled out. His jawline lost some of its edge and his cheekbones were more pronounced. Most drastically gone was the famous Potter hair. Instead of a wild mane, his black hair fell to his shoulders in waves, still slightly wild but not unmanageable. He looked slightly feminine he idly thought as he traced his features with his hand before suddenly realising that he could see without his glasses.
Putting the mirror down after a few minutes of staring, Harry noticed healer Maeve had approached him, holding a potion in her hand. Wary because of all he had been put through Harry pondered if he would really need it, but decided to place his trust in the goblin that had healed him.
"For your throat," she explained when she caught him looking.
With a nod Harry took the offered potion and threw it back, experience telling him that it was better to swallow quickly. After a few seconds of letting the potion work, Harry hesitantly opened his mouth.
"Why would Dumbledore want to change how I looked?" he asked softly, not really expecting an answer.
"I doubt we will ever get a clear answer," a new voice answered. "At least, not in this life."
Harry turned and saw Chief Ragnok entering the room.
"You're looking much better now, Mr. Potter," he said.
"Thank you Chief Ragnok," Harry said honestly. "I feel much better."
"You will most likely experience a significant shift in your magic over the next few hours as your core resettles," Maeve said, shifting into healer mode, "you may experience difficulty controlling the level of power that you put into your spells until you get used to your new power levels. You should find that once all is settled you're able to cast more advanced spells without tiring and have greater amounts of magic to call upon."
"I see," Harry said.
"Do you feel able to continue our previous conversation Mr. Potter, or would you like time to get acquainted with your new body?" Ragnok asked after a pause.
Harry sighed and went to stand, surprised to find he was dressed in loose cotton trousers but immensely happy as he would have regretted flashing the goblin chief.
"I think it would be best to get everything out of the way as soon as possible. However, I would like a few moments to freshen myself up," Harry said.
Ragnok nodded his head in agreement. "Join me in the parlour when you're finished, it is just through this door," he said, indicating to said door.
Harry nodded and waited for the goblins to leave. Standing, Harry found that he had grown slightly and was now standing at around 5'9". His body, which had always been painfully thin, was still malnourished but shaped more willowy, his slight muscles making him lithe. Making his way to what he thought would be a bathroom, Harry turned on a tap and splashed some water on his new face, still fascinated by the changes. His body felt foreign to him and it was only his innate grace that was keeping him from falling over his feet as he got used to the changes.
Once he had washed up and taken care of his business, Harry returned to the room and found his former clothes had been placed on a dresser. Putting them on, Harry found that the fit was okay but not perfect. Seeing his wand next to the pile, he picked it up and concentrated on changing his clothes to fit him, trying not to be surprised when the spell happened before he had a chance to say the incantation. Straightening his spine Harry walked with purpose towards the parlour, hoping that the next order of business would be more pleasant than the last.
"I have taken the liberty of procuring a light meal for us," Ragnok said as Harry made his way into the room.
Harry nodded his head and tried to wrap his mind around the situation. From what he remembered, and it was surprisingly a lot, goblins were notoriously formal with wizards, therefore Harry was having difficulty determining how to act around the goblin chief.
"Thank you," he said simply, seating himself opposite Ragnok.
After a few moments of silence Harry decided to speak, foregoing the strict rules of propriety.
"Chief Ragnok, not that I am not grateful for your aid in ridding me of the numerous compulsions and charms placed on me, but I find myself lost as to what you gain from helping me. It is well known that the goblin race tries not to get involved with the affairs of wizards."
"You are correct, Mr. Potter," Ragnok said. "However, your situation is unique in that we both owe each other debts. The goblin nation owes you a debt for ridding this world of the insanity of Voldemort—"
At hearing this Harry's heart gave a painful twinge that he was barely able to mask.
"—and you yourself owe the goblin nation a debt for the release and destruction caused by the dragon Riari."
Harry pondered at this. "So you helped free me because I destroyed Voldemort?" he asked, ignoring the ache that grew.
"Freeing you was not our initial goal, in your current state Mr. Potter you are unable to meet the reparations required to you by the goblin nation. It was our goal to aid you in claiming your lordships so that you may make the necessary payments and gain your rightful place in society. Therefore, both of us would be free of any debt: we by helping you and you by paying us," Ragnok explained
"So what happened was merely a lucky coincidence?" Harry asked.
"I do not believe in luck, Mr. Potter," Ragnok stated.
"Either way you have aided me immensely," Harry said.
Ragnok nodded his head at this. Before they could continue a soft knock was heard coming from the door.
"Enter," called out Ragnok.
The door opened and a young goblin entered, pushing a trolley covered in food. Placing the dishes on the table between Harry and Ragnok, the server disappeared quickly.
"We will continue our discussion after we have eaten," Ragnok stated. "It would not do well for you to collapse from hunger just after being released from my wife's clutches."
Harry smiled slightly at that and looked at the food offered; he recognised most of it but found the presentation to be slightly different from what he was used to. Picking up a small bowl of what looked like a beef stew, Harry inhaled the aroma and found that he was surprisingly hungry.
"This looks delicious," he said before they fell into a comfortable silence.
After they were both done eating and the meal was cleaned away with a flick of his wrist, Ragnok took a moment to look at the wizard opposite him. The young man looked better than when he had first appeared in his office only hours earlier, but he still had the same haunted look in his eyes.
"What do you understand from the test results?" Ragnok asked.
Harry thought about everything he had read. He began slowly, "I guess I understand some of the titles and the money, but…." Harry trailed off, the more he thought about it the more he found himself at a loss.
Ragnok nodded, not surprised. "For your titles, through your father you gain three lordships. The Potter family is a direct descendant from the Peverells, which is a side branch of the Gryffindor family; all three come with votes on the Wizengamot, a seat on the Hogwarts Board of Directors, and a founder's seat on the board. As the last heir to all three families, you can claim the lordship from them along with the three votes. Your blood adopted godfather named you his heir, and through him you gain the Black family lordship and the Black family vote in the Wizengamot. The Slytherin lordship is more complicated; you gained the lordship through the right of conquest when you defeated the self named Lord Voldemort - from this you gain his vote in the Wizengamot and his founders seat the Hogwarts Board of Directors. Your final title is something of a legend that even we, the goblins of Gringotts, never thought would come to pass. You, Harry Potter, are the Master of Death."
Harry sat stunned, trying to take in what he had learnt. "What does that even mean?" he finally asked.
"It means, Mr. Potter, that you have done what was thought to be impossible. You have gained control of Death itself."
Harry blinked twice as he took in Ragnok's words. He opened his mouth to speak before closing it with a snap. He was speechless.
Ragnok let the silence fall before continuing, "What this entails even I do not know, but I would expect it to become clear to you in the coming days."
Harry listened but kept his silence.
"What is next is for you to formally claim your lordships."
"How would I go about doing that?" Harry asked. His voice coming out slightly higher than usual was the only indication of the strain he was feeling.
"The process is simple: all you have to do is place the lordship rings on your left hand. If they accept you they will bond to you and your magic, if not they will return to the lordship box held within the family vaults until such a time when they are claimed by the rightful heir." After he spoke he appeared to reach under the table and produced five boxes, all of which varied in age and wear. "Do not worry about wearing multiple rings on the same hand, although never have we had a lord of so many titles, it is not so uncommon that somebody is the lord of two houses. Your rings, if they accept you, will combine into one when worn, creating a new design combined of the features from your houses. When needed, however, a specific family ring can show."
Harry nodded his head understanding and slowly reached for the closest box. It was black and fairly plain looking. Opening it up, Harry felt his insides freeze in horror and he visibly recoiled. Sitting nestled innocently in the box was the ring that once contained one of Voldemort's horcruxes.
"Wh-I mean-I don't-how?" Harry finally managed to ask.
"You have seen this ring before?" Ragnok questioned.
"Yes, this ring was one of Voldemort's—" Harry cut himself off, not wanting to share what it was Voldemort did to his soul. "I mean, I know this ring was destroyed."
"Ah," Ragnok said in understanding. "A lordship ring cannot truly be destroyed unless the family is dissolved. If damaged, the rings will return to their rightful family vaults."
"This ring was also once cursed," Harry said, staring at the ring warily. He remembered seeing Dumbledore's hand and the twisted, blackened flesh before another thought struck him and for a moment he wondered if this meant that Voldemort wasn't truly gone. A fluttering in his heart and a deep longing at that fleeting thought shocked him before he forced away those feelings. Voldemort was gone and the ring no longer had the overwhelming presence that Voldemort's horcrux once had.
"Any curse by the previous owner would have been removed," Ragnok said, "the ring's only properties are, if I remember correctly, protection against mind assaults, potions, influencing charms, and low level magical attacks. There should be a parchment somewhere in the vault explaining them."
Picking the box up again, Harry hesitantly picked up the ring. Placing it on his ring finger, he felt a sudden rush in his magic before it settled.
"Congratulations, Lord Slytherin," Ragnok said, smiling toothily.
Harry then claimed the rest of the lordships with no extra hidden shocks, the rings merging together into one on Harry's finger.
"Now that that is done Lord Potter, I believe it is time for us to speak about your debt to the goblin nation," Ragnok stated.
Harry drew his eyes away from his new ring and nodded his head in agreement. "You are correct, Chief Ragnok."
"The damage caused by the release of the dragon was immense, not only did it cause a breach in our stronghold but eight goblins were injured and over 200 muggles had to be obliviated."
Harry winced at the damage. "I know words are meaningless but I would like to apologise anyway before payment is given," Harry said. "The situation was grave and although my actions caused great damage, at the time I felt they were justified."
Ragnok narrowed his eyes. "Only at the time?" he questioned.
"I have now come to realise that my actions leading up to this day would scarcely count as being my own. Yes, it was me, but I had little control over myself with the amount of potions and charms I was under. Therefore I cannot say if they were justifiable. But what's done is done, and I will do my best to make reparations to you and your race."
"You are correct and that will be taken into account," Ragnok said sagely.
"My thanks," Harry said.
"The debt will be considered fulfilled if the payment of 10 million galleons is given," Ragnok said.
Harry felt his eyes widen slightly at the immense sum. He could afford it easily now, he knew that, but it was still a vast amount of money. However, considering the situation, Harry knew it would be in his best interest to accept. Yet, before he could agree, Ragnok spoke again.
"Alongside this, I, on behalf of the goblin nation, would like to offer you our hand in friendship."
At this Harry didn't even try to mask his shock. Being named a goblin friend was a great honour not bestowed on many; Harry could hardly think of the last time it had happened. Only the most powerful and influential wizards or witches were ever named and even then only ones that the goblins respected.
"I thank you for such a great honour Chief Ragnok, and I accept the terms of fulfilling my debt," Harry said. "However, I must ask: why me?"
"Why you, Lord Potter?"
"Why am I being honoured in such a way? I have done nothing for you yet you are willing to name me a goblin friend."
"It is not what you have done, Lord Potter, but what you will come to do." Ragnok began to explain, "There are few people in this world that truly have a chance at shaping it, and I, alongside the other leaders of the goblin race, believe that you will be one of these people."
Harry was stunned. He didn't know how to reply to that, he didn't feel worthy of such praise.
"If I might make a suggestion Lord Potter, now that our business is done," Ragnok said after the silence had stretched a moment.
"Please, if I am to be a goblin friend, then call me Harry," Harry said.
"Harry then, I would recommend that you take a few days to think about what it is you wish to do with your new found power - not just your magical power but your political influence as well. You have never had a chance to really be yourself, to think for yourself."
Harry closed his eyes in pain when he realised that Ragnok was correct. If he believed the blood test, which he did, then Dumbledore and who knows who else had been controlling him and manipulating him for his entire life. He had forced himself not to think about it since the discovery, focusing on everything else but now that he was, he felt betrayed and angry. It wasn't a fiery rage like he usually experienced but a quiet, white-hot rage.
Opening his eyes, Harry didn't realise that they were almost glowing with power or that the very air around him seemed to vibrate with suppressed magic. "I think you are correct Ragnok," Harry said, his voice coming out deceptively soft.
Ragnok suppressed a shiver at the amount of power the wizard before him possessed and stood. "You are free to use one of our floo systems to return to your current residence if you would prefer, instead of going through the alley."
Harry considered this but decided the walk would help to clear his mind. "I thank you, but I require a few things," he said, standing and following the goblin out through the maze of tunnels until they came to a set of doors.
"If you wish to put a glamour up, now would be the time," Ragnok advised. "Though you do look quite different, your eyes are still rather well known in this world."
Harry nodded, flicking his wrist so his wand appeared in hand. Concentrating on what he wanted to change, Harry felt a tingling over his eyes. Opening them, he looked at Ragnok and asked, "What do you think?"
"Although similar to the appearance you are known for, with the change in eye colour you should be able to go about your business easily as long as you keep the scar covered," Ragnok said. With blue eyes and the removal of the blood glamour, the wizard did look different enough that people should let him pass without comment.
Harry smiled slightly, "I thank you for your aid, Ragnok. May your gold overflow and benefit you."
"And may your enemies cower at your name, Harry," Ragnok said, before opening the doors for Harry to exit into the main floor of the bank.
With one last nod, Harry lifted his hood and made his way through the crowd, his walk becoming more graceful as he got used to his true form. He didn't realise that every goblin at one point looked up and stared as he passed, that his aura even masked as it was still called out to them, warning them of his power. That to them, his graceful walk appeared almost magical, like a predator in the night.
AN: Big thank you to my Beta reader miisticalwrites for taking the time to check this for me!
Remember people that reviews are always appreciated but I won't hold the story to ransom for them.
Updates should come everyfew days and like usual this is being posed on A03 as well under the same name.
Hope you enjoy reading