Season of Change - Chapter 8
Season of Change
There were only a few things in Harry Potter's life that never changed, he was the son of Lily and James Potter and that he was born a male. What happens when he discovers the truth.
Disclaimer: I own nothing, all of it belong to J.K Rowling, I am just playing in her sandbox for a while.
Authors Note: AU: Its not my first fanfic but its my first Harry Potter, so I hope you enjoy it. The story starts at the end of the 5th Book.
As the Goblin mine car banked, taking it closer to a wall then should be comfortable, Tonks found herself grinning at the girlish squeal that came from the person sitting next to her.
"You're such a child."
Rolling her eyes, Alya climbed out of the cart as it finally slowed down. "Oh, please, you can't tell me that wasn't fun. Not as good as flying on my broom, but close, too bad it isn't faster."
Alya had always loved taking the carts down to the Potter vault; however, the Black vaults were much deeper and older and the drops and banks much more exciting.
"One speed only, Milady." The goblin cart master said as he escorted the pair down a short flight of stairs.
"I've never been this deep before." Tonks murmured as she ran her hands along the carved walls before the group stopped in front of a small iron door. With the black underground lake behind them, surprisingly it did remind her of that secret door in that Muggle book Alya mentioned.
"Why such a small door?"
At first, Alya hadn't been too impressed with the Goblin Bank. The way the tracks were laid out, and the doors scattered all over it didn't make any sense. As she grew older, Alya understood that anyone entering these vaults would soon easily become lost.
"Easily defensible." She replied before putting her finger into her mouth. Like most items related to the Black family security, the door took a sample of her blood before allowing the three of them to enter the vault.
"You still are wearing your ring, right?"
"Good then follow me." As Alya pushed opened the door with a light touch, she took a quick right before walking into a large chamber.
"Merciful Morgana." Tonks whispered at the site of the large cavern full of chests, paintings, furniture, books, cases of all shapes and sizes and piles and piles of coins.
"I know and it's only the first chamber. Of course, if you remember that the first of our family to come to England did so at the head of a Roman Wizardry Legion, you can get an idea of how many things can be found in these vaults." Looking around, the raven-haired girl made a pensive face. "Well then, while I'm looking for those Egyptian books I thought I saw…"
"You're turning into such a claw." Tonks couldn't help but poke fun, as Alya had been talking about nothing else all morning.
"Whatever…why don't you pick out some nice jewelry for yourself."
"I don't need any jewelry." Tonks sighed, deciding to follow Alya into another smaller chamber. "Don't you find it odd that you can suddenly speak and read Arabic and ancient Egyptian?"
"You're joking right." Ayla chuckled as the two passed by a room filled with robes and other types of clothing from various historical periods. "I suddenly turned into a girl, do you really think that me knowing how to read Egyptian fazes me in the least. "
"Did you speak to my mother about it?" Tonks asked concerned.
"I mentioned it but it's really not high on my list of things to worry about now." Alya didn't however mention the strange dreams of sailing down a long black river, which reminded her of the Nile. Of course, since she had been reading Egyptian books, dreaming about the Nile made some sort of sense. "Actually, it's, what's the term, a gift horse in the mouth? Should help me with my OWLs, although most of the testing will be in the Futhark alphabet, I might be able to get some extra points for also using Egyptian runes."
Alya remembered how impressed Harry's Owl testers had been when he cast the Patronus charm. One of the reasons why the two of them went to the vault was because she also planned to change some of the house wards if possible. Grimmauld Place wards were some of the strongest in England, however, adding another layer of forgotten ancient wards would only add to everyone's safety.
Stopping next to an antique writing desk, Alya reached over and pulled out small mahogany jewelry box. "Isn't this nice, Tonks, although you're probably not into choker necklaces, very Goth though."
"No you're right it's beautiful." She couldn't help but admire the red gem, surrounded by a platinum setting Alya had just discovered. Suddenly, Tonks jumped as the dark haired girl walked around her and placed it around her neck.
"How's your Occlumency?" Alya asked while fingering a pair of raven shaped earrings, with small emeralds for eyes.
"All Aurors are required to get a standard rating before graduation, why? Wait, how did you hear about that, it's not something taught in Hogwarts."
While the two looked over some of the other pieces, Alya told her the story of last year's disastrous attempt at learning the art with Snape. Knowing how the two of them got along, Tonks wasn't too surprised. The thought of the greasy haired potions master rummaging through her memories made her shiver.
"Your mother gave me these." Alya moved back hair revealing pierced ears, with the same raven style earrings. "Considering what's going on in my life, she thought these would be helpful."
"You got your ears pierced." Tonks said shocked.
Alya harrumphed before passing over the small box. "Wish I had them last year. Anyway, while learning Occlumency, all Black children wear these types of earrings. Children tend to learn things without parents noticing, so it's good for them to have some sort of defense.
These will block passive Legilimacy and warn the wearer if someone is actively casting it on them. What's nice, they will also act as a bit of a buffer if you already know Occlumency."
"Alya, I can't take these."
"Why of course you can. Oh, I see you're still upset about the gold."
Before she and Tonks family prepared to travel into the Black vaults, Alya presented her Aunt with a key, which she hadn't seen in over twenty years.
"I still can't believe that Orion didn't close my mother's trust vault."
Nodding, Alya stepped back to get a view of Tonks and the choker necklace. She noticed that the metamorphmagus had already changed her hair color to match the coloring of the ruby on it.
"My grandfather had made some long term plans, including bringing your mother back into the family. Keeping his brother's hands off that money was part of it. I'm sure uncle Cygnus was none too pleased to find that he was unable to gain access your mother's trust vault as well as her dowry."
From her grandfather's journal at that point in time, the Black family had more or less split into two camps, ones who openly supported Voldemort and those who would not. He knew that his brother had set it up so the dowries for both Narcissa and Bellatrix had been considerably larger than normal with much of gold going directly into the pocket of the Dark Lord.
"About that dowry." Tonks started to object.
"What about it? Oh, you're right, that's what 1970 coinage, we should increase yours quite a bit wouldn't you agree." Alya tried not to giggle at Tonk's expression. While her cousin pretended to be a fish, she found a pair of earrings that would match the necklace.
Suddenly Alya stopped, realizing that she was actually having fun going through jewelry, looking for things for her and Tonks to wear. Had it all become second nature to her already? Shaking if off, deciding she was going to enjoy herself, she continued to look through the jewelry box.
"Please Alya, really it wasn't necessary to give me that much money." Tonks heart felt like it was going to stop when her new Head of House explained she deposited over three times as much gold into her account than she made in an entire year as an Auror.
"I should have given you a trust vault as well." Alya mumbled then smiled. "But you would have pitched a fit. Please, Tonks, who am I going to spend money on? Plus, one day you will meet a nice guy." Nymphadora noticed Ayla's voice almost broke when she said that. "And you can use it on a down payment for a house, or whatever. In fact, wasn't it you who was complaining to me that she couldn't afford some fancy looking dragon hide boots over the winter hols? So please no more whining if I happen to share some of the Black family jewelry with you or whatever."
"Fine but no more gold, that's enough already." She said while fingering the raven pair of earrings. "I mean it."
"Sure, whatever you say." Alya said happily, walking off towards another part of the vault. She couldn't wait until Tonks found out that she was also made heir to the House of Black.
As Tonks passed a small room with Goblin looking weapons on the wall, she stopped noticing Alya rummaging through piles of knives and other weapons on a table.
"Jewelry and knives must be a Black family girl thing."
Alya giggled, as she toyed with a small punching dagger. "See anything you like?"
Tonks had to stop the first thing that came to her head, and then thought to hell with it. Leering a little, she said. "I do"
Stunned, Alya smiled was radiant, and then she blushed. "Prat."
As she walked around the table, Tonks was happy to see the small happy smile had not left Alya's face.
"So, what's up with your knives? Now don't tell me besides learning ancient Egyptian, you suddenly found that you could throw daggers."
Tapping her hand, the Egyptian knife appeared and in one move, Alya threw it across the room embedded it in the center of a golden colored cuirass.
"Nope, although I actually carry a third Goblin made one, I'm pants at throwing it, watch." Picking a knife off the table, she threw it trying to aim for the same spot but it missed hitting the cavern wall instead.
"Merlin that was awful. Right, so besides helping you with dueling this summer, I am going to teach you how to throw a proper knife."
"Brill." Alya smiled and with a snap of her finger, the Egyptian blade appeared in her hand.
"I agree the blade is beautiful, but what's the weird looking creature on the handle? Looks to be a mix between a crocodile..."
"…lion and a hippopotamus." Alya nodded flipping the blade around for Tonks to get a better look. Carved in ivory, the handle had a representation of one of the Egyptians gods. "It's the goddess Estriedia or Ammit, also known as the devourer of souls."
"Devourer of souls…how nice."
"Well it's actually not what you think." Alya smiled. "Ammit works for Anubis, the Egyptian god of the dead. In their religion, the dead appear in front of Anubis before entering the afterlife.
During the ceremony, their heart was weighed against the feather of truth. If they had lived a bad life, Ammit would eat them. She was known as a devourer of evil."
Andromeda Tonks smiled as she ran her hands over the pages of an old photobook. Faces smiled back to her, old friends, family thought lost to her. Before she and her husband fled, she had secretly been emptying her trust vault.
Unfortunately, her father must have been warned. The gold would have been nice to start a new life, but she always mourned the few precious items left behind.
Andromeda looked up at her husband's comment, to watch the two girls returned from the bowels of the Goblin vaults. Pushing past other Witch and Wizards, Nymphadora, now wearing a long forest green and gold cloak, escorted Alya through the bank.
Dressed now in beautiful robe in House colors, and wearing jewelry that cost more than half the shops in Diagon Alley, Alya Black looked every bit as head of an Ancient and Noble House.
While heads turned to watch the two young women, Andromeda couldn't help but smile when a number of patrons ran off with the news of Alya's presence in Gringotts. Andromeda knew her new niece was making a statement. The House of Black was alive and well.
As the two approached, Andromeda knew how to play the game, and play it well. Giving a small curtsey, she greeted the head of her family. "Milady, I trust you found what you were looking for?"
With a slight nod of her head, The young matriarch of House Black acknowledged both of the Tonks. "I did, thank you."
"Stop fidgeting with that cloak." Alya suddenly whispered.
"I look ridiculous."
"You're my Custos today, so you have to look the part." Alya held back a snort. "Plus, I'm in a dress, so get over it."
"I'm a little confused, what's up with Dora's outfit?" Ted said, moving closer so not to be overheard.
"I'll explain everything once we are in the other room." Alya said before taking a stepping towards her Aunt. "Will you be our speaker today, Andromeda Tonks nee Black?"
"As you wish, Milady."
With a smile, Alya placed a red baldric over her Aunt Andi's right shoulder before pinning a silver coat of arms in the center. "Edward Tonks, will you be our scribe today?"
"Of course, Alya." Ted said with a smile as his new niece slipped a dark blue baldric over his shoulder before pinning the family coat of arms to the front.
As Muggleborn, he never had been part of Wizarding traditions but as an Englishman brought up with a mother who loved the Royals, he could appreciate it.
"Your room is ready as you requested, Milady Black." A squat familiar looking humanoid approached.
"Thank you, Bogrod."
Following the goblin towards the back of the bank, Andromeda smirked realizing that the group had once again become the center of attention.
"Well played, Alya." She whispered to her niece.
"So this is all about politics?" Tonks couldn't help but roll her eyes.
"Even in the mundane world, appearances are important. I imagine that our new head of house had just made a statement." Ted said approvingly.
As the group passed through the door, Alya thanked the goblins before making her way to a raised chair at the back of the room. Flanking the larger, ornate chair were two other chairs, with a third almost in the center of the room.
"Looks like you're holding court." Ted looked about the room, eyeing one of the Black family banners that now stood against one of the walls.
"Or an interrogation." Nymphadora commented, studying the uncomfortable looking chair sitting in the center of the room. "I guess this means I'm standing?"
Andi nodded. "Yes, as Alya's Custos you will stand off to the right of that chair with your wand drawn. I assume she will be also collecting their wands, Alya?"
"Do you think she will be alone?" Alya frowned; trying to come up with whom else would be at the meeting.
"Most likely, although there is a chance, depending on the circumstance, that she might have a handler with her."
"But we only want to speak with Mrs. Malfoy, correct?" Tonks asked.
Alya nodded as she took a seat. "Yes, after you welcome her be sure to have her surrender her wand before escorting her into the room. Although, Auntie, I would really like to see her reaction when she sees you wearing that red baldric."
"So let's see, I'm guessing for today Dromeda is going to be your seneschal. I'm your scribe or perhaps chronicler and what; Dora will be your Marshal?" Ted smiled recognizing how things in the room were set up from his classes back in primary school.
"Correct, although the Black family still uses the old Roman name Custos." Alya returned the smile, remembering the same classes.
Dora made a face while running her hand along the chair in the center of the room. "Are all meetings with other families so involved?"
Andromeda answered. "No, not with our allies, I remember Uncle Orion being pretty informal with some of the other Heads of House when they met. Mostly he and my father and whomever sat around drinking fire whisky."
"So I am going to guess that there is no way for Narcissa to miss the intent of meeting her in this manner."
"None." Andromeda replied.
"So, does that mean Mrs. Malfoy is our enemy?" Nymphadora had no love for the Malfoys but suddenly realized the reality of the situation. "You don't think she was sent to kill you?"
"Since Tom's rise to power there were a number of unexplained deaths in our family. Many of those who opposed his rule were killed, some of them I believe at the hands of their so-called loved ones. Bellatrix murdered my father, whether she did it on purpose or not, so I believe that Narcissa could try the same if given the right incentive."
Alya closed her eyes, remembering what she knew of Narcissa Black and her new family. She had spent many a late night reading her grandfather's journals filled with information, which made it sound as if there was a civil war going on inside the House of Black.
Authors Notes: A special thanks to djkauf for a little elvish editing. If you like the story please leave a Kudos, if you have the time I would love to hear from you. My Muse mugged me with this one, pretty much forced me to write it at pen-point :) Thanks to all for reading! - Elsbeth
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