Sorry for the wait. This is just an interlude, next will be chapter 1 and Alya and Harry will finally meet. Hope you like this in the meantime! Tell me what you think!
Alya observed Harry from across the street, working in the garden. He was small and thin, round glasses like herself used to wear perched on his nose, dark, messy brown hair covering emerald green eyes like her own and the famous lightning bolt scar on his forehead, just barely visible through his fringe.
She was unsure on how to approach him. Would it be better to go to Gringotts now and turn up at his house ready to adopt him or should she talk to him first and explain who she was?
She thought about the numerous times she had wished for someone, anyone to show up and take her away from the Dursleys and the decision was made for her.
She apparated in front of Gringotts, ignoring the people walking around Diagon Alley at that late hour of the morning. She stood in front of a desk and waited for the goblin to acknowledge her. After a few long minutes the goblin raised his head and asked: "Yes? How can I help you?"
"My name is Alya Potter. I would like to open a vault and do a heritage test." She replied, laying ten galleons on the desk.
"Very well." The goblin said, taking the gallons. "Come with me."
The goblin led her to a black marble room, whose only occupant was another goblin behind a desk. The two of them talked in gobbledegook for a few seconds before the goblin that had accompanied her to the room left. The other goblin – whose name was Ragnok – offered her a seat opposite him.
"Griphook told me you said your name is Alya Potter. Forgive me but I wasn't aware of other Potters being alive aside from Harry Potter." Ragnok said, his glare piercing, probably hoping to catch her in a lie.
Alya smiled, not the least bit intimidated. "In England perhaps. However, I was not born here. My father was Caius Potter and his parents were Charlus Potter and Dorea Black. I don't know if you're aware but Charlus Potter was Fleamont Potter's younger brother. He and his wife moved to America in the 30's. That means that I'm Harry Potter's second cousin and his closest living relative that has magic.
"My parents died when I was 3, and I lived with my muggle relatives until I was old enough to go to Ilvermorny. My guardians died not long ago, you see. I decided after that to move to England to meet my remaining relatives but I, unfortunately, found out what befell James and Lily Potter. However, Harry is still alive and I intend to adopt him. His guardians at the moment are muggles but I intend to change that. I observed the house for ten minutes and that was enough to establish that they are unfit to take care of a dog, let alone a human being. That is why I'm here today. Once you will have established with a heritage test that I am who I say I am I will require an adoption paper from you. Not even the Ministry can object to a document redacted from Gringotts."
At the end of her speech, Alya smiled and waited patiently for Ragnok to make a decision.
"Very well, Miss Potter." And with that he went to retrieve a blank parchment and placed it on the desk in front of her. Then he passed her a silver dagger, inviting her to prick her finger and let three drops of blood fall on the paper.
Alya did just that and watched curiously the blood taking the form of words. The words read as followed:
Alya Artemisia Potter
Father : Caius Potter
Mother : Artemisia Potter née Sayre
Vaults and Possessions
Vault 67 – Shafiq Vault (through mother): 20 million galleons, various artefacts
Blackbay Manor – Cornwell, Shafiq Family
Sterling Cottage – Kent, Potter Family
8, Grimmauld Place – London Townhouse, Shafiq Family
3 seats – Potter family
8 seats – Shafiq Family
Alya raised her left eyebrow at one name on the paper. She really wasn't expecting for her mother to be a descendant of the Shafiq family, one of the sacred twenty-eight and believed extinct in the late '30s.
The goblin too appeared surprised at that revelation. "Well, Miss Potter, it appears you are indeed who you said you were. Now, would you like to accept the Ladyship of House Shafiq? If you don't, you won't have access to the Wizegamot seats that will stay vacant as they remained for the last fifty years."
"I will accept the Ladyship." Alya replied. She was surprised but she knew that this was a very fortunate opportunity. Having these many seats on the Wizegamot would be very useful for her plans.
Ragnok nodded and offered her a ring with the crest of a chimera – the Shafiq coat of arms.
Alya put the ring on the middle finger of her right hand and watched it glow red for a second before adjusting to the size of her finger.
"Though now Head of House Shafiq, you are allowed to keep the surname Potter, if you so desire." Ragnok explained.
"Thank you, Mr. Ragnok, that is what I intend to do. I do have a question though, if you don't mind. How come do I have access to the Potter properties? Shouldn't Harry be the one to inherit everything belonging to the Potter family?"
Ragnok searched through his files before answering her question. Then, after having skimmed through it, he said, "It would normally be the case, yes. However, your great-grandfather, since he had two sons, decided to split the Potter belongings in two. Of course, Fleamont, as the heir, inherited most of the Potter estate and properties and six seats in the Wizegamot. However, Charlus inherited a vault with 10 million galleons and the Sterling Cottage, plus three seats in the Wizegamot."
"I understand." Alya said. Well, that made things easier. She was wondering where she was going to live and thought about buying a house somewhere and creating the wards from scratch. Having a house or manor that had already old wards however would certainly help in her favour if Dumbledore decided to intervene and say that Harry wouldn't be safe with her as he would at the Dursleys because of the wards there. She only needed to see which of the three properties had better wards and was fit to live in.
"Now that this business is concluded, Miss Potter you said you wanted to open a new vault?" Ragnok asked.
"That was my intention yes. However, since I apparently have access to one vault already, I was wondering if I could simply add to it the money I have with me."
"That is certainly easily done. How much would you say is in your possession?"
Alya almost shrugged her shoulders because she really had no idea. Between the Potter and Black money that she had inherited from her old world, she had no idea how much money she actually possessed. "I'm not completely sure. I have withdrawn everything that I owned before leaving the States. Everything is now in my trunk."
"That won't be a problem." Ragnok said before handing her a leather pouch. "This is a bottomless pouch. Move the money from your trunk to here and we'll weight it."
Alya accepted the pouch and took her shrunken trunk from out of her pocket. She touched the trunk with her wand – not that she needed to but she didn't want to reveal her wandless magic, not yet, not even to goblins who were notoriously neutral in wizarding affairs – and opened the second compartment.
With a wave of her wand the gold inside started to move from inside the trunk to the pouch. After a good ten minutes the compartment was finally empty.
Ragnok didn't lose any time in weighting the pouch in one of the scales on his desk.
At the number that appeared on the parchment that came out of the scale he widened his eyes. "It appears your grandfather and father were very successful in increasing the fortune left to them."
Alya looked at the number and widened her eyes too. Inside the pouch there were 80 million galleons. That was the extent of both the Potter and the Black family fortune.
Alya smiled uncomfortably at Ragnok. "Yes, it appears that way." Then with a smirk, she added. "Nobody can certainly say I can't provide Harry with all that he needs."
Ragnok smirked too, agreeing with her. After that he waved his index finger and the pouch disappeared. "Your money is now safe inside vault 67. This is the key to your vault." And with that he gave her a tiny gold key that resembled the one she had once possessed to access her Potter vault.
Alya smiled at his efficiency. "Thank you, Mr. Ragnok. However, if it's possible, I would like to make use of your knowledge. You see, I graduated Ilvermorny seven years ago. And then I went about gaining a Master in Defense Against the Dark Arts and a Master in Charms before starting working as a free lance curse-breaker. I just wonder if my academical and working titles would be recognized here in Wizarding Britain and if not, what do I have to do to have them recognized."
"Your school will have records of your exam results and since the scoring system of the Ilvermorny examinations are the same as Hogwarts', you won't need either OWLs or NEWTs to be considered a school graduate or a fully qualified witch. Regarding your double Mastery, such higher qualification is internationally recognized, therefore you won't need to do anything else. And, if you are searching for a job as a curse-breaker, Gringotts would be fully amenable to grant you an interview." Ragnok finished with a sharp grin.
Alya grinned, amused at the goblin's antics. "I thank you for your generous offer but, at the moment, my first priority is Harry. I want to give him all my time, at least until he's old enough to go to Hogwarts. I imagine, after years of neglect if not outright abuse, he will need my constant attentions."
Ragnok bowed his head in understanding. "Very well. There is only one thing left to do then." Ragnok said before waving his index finger in the air once. Immediately a long parchment appeared in front of him.
"These are the adoption papers. You will need Petunia Dursleys' signature but I don't think that will be a problem."
Alya smirked. "Of course not."
She took the rolled-up parchment and put it in a hidden pocket of her cloak. After that she got up and smiled at Ragnok. "It was a pleasure doing business with you, Mr. Ragnok. May your gold never stop flowing."
"And may your vaults always be filled with it." Ragnok replied back with a grin.
Alya left Gringotts with a satisfied smile on her face, happy that the first phase of her plan had gone even better than she had thought. Now all she needed to do was to take Harry away from those filthy muggles.