|SIYE Time:23:55 on 19th August 2017|
Category: Post-Hogwarts, Post-DH/AB
Genres: Drama, Fluff, General, Humor, Romance, Songfic
Story is Complete
Summary: Harry and Ginny visit Gringotts, and find a priceless treasure.
Hitcount: Story Total: 4959
Awards: View Trophy Room
Disclaimer: Harry Potter Publishing Rights © J.K.R. Note the opinions in this story are my own and in no way represent the owners of this site. This story subject to copyright law under transformative use. No compensation is made for this work.
This story simply arrived. It was written in five days. I was actually researching an entirely different 1970's music genre, for a much darker tale, but somewhere in the back of my mind it seems that I've always known that Lily Evans was a folky. Fortunately, it's now been seen and corrected by Amelie.
As the door to the vault was slowly pushed open, Laurence and Esmeralda Potter spoke in unison. ‘Hello, Harry,’ they chorused.
‘Hello, Granny; hello, Granddad,’ said Harry.
They watched their only grandchild stroll into his Gringotts vault. Harry was hand in hand with his girlfriend. In the hand not holding Ginny he was carrying a large leather case. It was a rectangle almost three feet by four feet, and he had his arm bent in order to prevent the case from dragging along the floor. Although it was large in two of its dimensions, in the third it was narrow, being less than six inches thick.
‘Hello, Mr and Mrs Potter,’ said Ginny, waving to the elderly couple. ‘We’re here to rescue you.’
‘Hello, Ginny. It’s good to see you both again,’ said Laurence Potter. ‘That’s wonderful news.’
‘Yes, and it will be nice to get out of here after all these years,’ his wife agreed. ‘I assume that you’ve made the necessary arrangements, Harry. Where are we going?’
‘Cockling & Company,’ Harry told her. ‘Have you heard of them? I’ve been told that they are the best picture restorers in Diagon Alley, probably in the country. Ginny and I have just been to see them. They gave me this to transport you.’ He lifted the leather case.
‘They have dozens of portraits from Hogwarts for restoration,’ Ginny said. ‘But they promised Harry that, because you’ve been locked away for such a long time, they would deal with you as soon as they have finished with Sir Cadogan.’
‘Sir Cadogan!’ said Esmeralda Potter. ‘I remember him from my school days. What happened to him?’
‘He claims that he fought off a dozen intruders, but…’ Harry shrugged his shoulders uncertainly.
‘From what I saw of him during the battle, he was probably calling a Death Eater names,’ said Ginny. ‘His portrait was blasted. There’s a huge hole in the middle.’
‘Mr Cockling said that it may take several weeks to repair you, sorry,’ said Harry.
‘At least we know we’ll be in good hands, Harry,’ his grandmother told him. ‘And we’ll be out of here. We’ve been stuck in Gringotts ever since our poor James and his Lily were killed.’
‘I blame the goblins for hiding us away,’ said Laurence Potter grumpily.’ I’ve been cramped in this corner of our portrait for seventeen years.’
‘Now, Laurence, the goblins didn’t destroy James and Lily’s home. We should count our blessings. You should be grateful that we were merely scorched and torn,’ his wife told him. There was only the vaguest hint of rebuke in her voice, but Harry’s grandfather gave him a rueful look, and stopped complaining.
Harry looked at the two people in the severely damaged portrait. His grandfather was thin-faced and bespectacled, and his untidy hair was thick and very white.
The painting, which should have been released to Harry along with the remainder of his inheritance on his seventeenth birthday, was in a poor state of repair. Harry had some sympathy for the impatience the portrait of his grandfather was displaying. When he had first found them, a week earlier, his grandparents had told him what had happened to them. They had been hanging in the study of his parents’ house when his parents were killed. They were separated by a rip across the centre of the portrait, and the scorched and burnt canvas surrounding the rip. His grandmother, her white hair tied back in a bun, looked rather relaxed, but she was occupying a large triangular area in the bottom right hand quarter of the painting. His grandfather was restricted to an area rather less than half of that of his wife, in the top left.
‘If it’s okay with you, Granny and Granddad, Ginny and I are going to take a look around the vault before we take you to the restorers,’ said Harry. ‘I really have no idea what is in here.’
‘Of course, Harry,’ his grandmother said. We’ll be able to help you, I’m sure.’
Harry looked around. It was only third visit to Gringotts since the Battle. He’d been avoiding the place. The goblins weren’t very happy with him. Ministerial involvement had been necessary before they allowed him to access his possessions.
It wasn’t until the previous weekend that the goblins had told him about his increased wealth. Even then they had shown a reluctance to hand over the information. Various “goods and chattels”, as the goblins called them, belonging to his parents and to his godfather had been released to him on his seventeenth birthday.
He had also received the residue of his parents’ estate, to add to the allowance he’d been receiving. Ginny was staring uncomfortably at the piles of gleaming Galleons.
‘If you’re worried that people will think that you’re after my money, Ginny, I could always give it all away,’ Harry told her.
She laughed, and then turned and hugged him. ‘It’s yours,’ she told him, shrugging helplessly. ‘You can do what you want with it. If you want to give it all away, that’s fine.’
Harry kissed her.
‘Young love. Isn’t it wonderful?’ observed Harry’s grandmother.
‘They remind me of James and Lily,’ said Harry’s grandfather.
‘I think that Ginny is rather different to Lily,’ Harry’s grandmother said quietly.
‘She’s certainly smaller,’ said Harry’s grandfather. ‘But I was talking about the way they’re behaving. They can’t keep their hands off each other. James and Lily were the same.’ Harry’s grandfather’s portrait caught his eyes and winked.
Ginny smiled at the elderly couple, released Harry, and began to leaf through a large stack of motorcycle magazines.
‘Do you want to keep these, Harry?’ she asked, staring in surprise at the centre pages of the first one she’d picked up. She put it back on the pile and opened another one. ‘They are all Muggle magazines, and they’re about twenty years old.’
He shrugged. ‘I don’t know,’ he said. He turned back to the portrait. ‘Whose are they? I assume that they belonged to Sirius.’
‘They did,’ Esmeralda Potter said. ‘He brought them with him when he moved in with us.’
Ginny opened another of the magazines to the centre page, and then another. With a mischievous glint in her eyes, she showed it to Harry.
‘It seems every magazine has a photograph of a motorbike, and a girl, in the centre pages,’ said Ginny. ‘And all of the girls have forgotten to wear anything above the waist, except this one. Bikini bottoms and an open bike jacket, it doesn’t seem very practical for riding a motorbike. Actually, I don’t think she’d be able to get the jacket zip up past those two. What do you think?’
‘I think we’ll just throw them out,’ said Harry, blushing.
Esmeralda Potter gave a tinkling, laugh. ‘The closest James and Sirius got to falling out was when Sirius bought his bike. He showed Lily those magazines, and tried to persuade her to pose for him. That was before James and Lily were married, of course. Sirius was simply trying to annoy James, and he succeeded. I’d never seen James so angry with him.’
‘We could take them with us, and hide them under Ron’s bed at the Burrow,’ Ginny suggested, putting on an innocent expression. ‘And then tip off Mum, or Hermione, or both of them.’
‘You are truly wicked,’ Harry told her, laughing.
Ginny grinned, carelessly threw the back magazine onto the pile, and moved to examine the cardboard box adjacent to the magazines.
‘What on earth are these, Harry?’ she asked, kneeling down to examine the box.
She pulled a slim cardboard square, which was about one foot long on either side, from the centre of the box. ‘What a peculiar picture. Steeleye Span, All Around My Hat,’ she read curiously. ‘There’s something inside it, too.’
‘It’s called a record, Ginny,’ Harry explained.
‘What’s it for?’ Ginny asked.
‘It’s music,’ Harry explained. ‘You play it. I suppose that it must have been Mum’s. They were probably all Mum’s.’
‘They were,’ Harry’s grandmother confirmed. ‘She had quite a collection.’
Ginny continued to leaf through the box. ‘They all have different pictures,’ she said. ‘But there are are lots called Steeleye Span, and Fairport Convention, and Richard and Linda Thompson, and Sandy Denny–she looks rather sad–and…’
‘There’s a record player here, too,’ said Harry excitedly.
Ginny looked uncomprehendingly at the wooden box Harry had pulled from beneath a pile of curtains. Pulling the first record she’d found from its sleeve, she curiously examined the black plastic disc. She tried shaking it, and then held it up to her ear.
‘You can’t listen to them like that, Ginny,’ Harry told her. ‘We could play them, except there’s no electricity at Grimmauld Place.’ His face fell when he realised. He re-examined the box. ‘Not that it matters,’ he added sadly. ‘Someone has cut off the lead.’
‘Lead?’ Ginny asked ‘What’s a lead?’
‘It’s the cable attached to a plug,’ Harry explained. ‘You know what a plug is.’
‘I know what a plug looks like,’ said Ginny carefully. ‘After all, thanks to Dad, I’ve seen hundreds of them.’
‘You don’t need any plugs, or eckeltrickery,’ interjected Laurence Potter. ‘She was a clever girl, Lily. She put a charm on the record player.’
‘Lily had a good mind, and she knew how to use it,’ said Harry’s grandmother approvingly. ‘All you need to do is put a record disc onto the table-turner.’
‘Turntable,’ murmured Harry softly as he knelt alongside Ginny. He placed the record player in front of her and lifted the lid, revealing the turntable. ‘We could have music while we work.’
Ginny looked into his gleaming green eyes and saw the excitement in them.
‘You still don’t know much about your parents, do you?’ she observed quietly. ‘Now you can listen to your mum’s favourite music. Who knows what else we’ll find here.’ She swept her arm around the vault. Dropping the disc onto the turntable, Ginny watched in fascination as the record began to spin and the tone arm swung across and descended.
She listened in silence to the first track, and watched Harry’s reaction. She wasn’t particularly fond of the tune, and she wasn’t certain whether or not Harry was enjoying it. Her boyfriend’s eyes were becoming moist but she suspected that he was savouring this new connection with his mother, not the actual tune. The moment the second track started, however, she was on her feet.
‘Dance,’ she demanded, pulling Harry to his feet. So, to the sounds of a woman singing “Oh, the hard times of old England,” and the cheers and laughter of Harry’s grandparents, they galloped back and forth between the piles of gold, boxes, and bric-a-brac.
‘We really should check through the rest of this stuff, Harry,’ said Ginny when the song ended and the next one started. ‘Who cares about this useless gold and silver, there might be more real treasures here.’ She indicated the box of records. ‘Stuff that’s priceless.’
‘I like her,’ Laurence Potter whispered to his wife. ‘She knows what’s important in life.’
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