A Bend In Time Book 4 Chapter 457


Volume 4: Volume 4 Chapter 457 Reimburs.e.m.e.nt

After the Great Hall was cleaned up after the miscreants were rounded up, the figure of Caretaker Argus Filch can be seen making his way from Hogwarts to the Hogs Head Inn. His back was slightly hunched, and his normally pasty face looked better than usual. His bulging pale eyes are softer this evening with the knowledge that the brats would soon be gone from the castle, but his cheeks are as sunk as ever.

Argus's thin gray hair is neatly gelled back, while his bulbous, purple nose is clean. Wearing a neat black suit, he strolls confidently down the path to Hogsmeade with the firm knowledge that Mrs. Norris would take care of the castle as he was away. He didn't put it past the snot-nosed brats to try something on the last day of the term before they left tomorrow!

With care, he quickly made his way down to Hogs Head Inn, where he'd arranged to meet with Mr. Prince. Argus nervously licks his lips as he recalls the letter requesting his presence that evening in a place of his choosing to meet. On such short notice, the only place he could think of was the Hogs Head Inn.

Though he now more than amply regretted such a rash response. How could he have requested to meet such a prestigious wizard in such a dingy pub?! It was simply absurd! But it was much too late now, he couldn't rescind the offer.

All too soon, Argus found himself standing before the door of the Hogs Head Inn. With a bit of a gulp, he stepped inside to find the ambiance as normal as usual. Almost physically wincing at the rough speech and smoke-filled place, he dimly thinks to himself, "Mr. Prince will be so disappointed with me."

Pulling his suit coat tighter around himself, Argus glances around until he spots an empty area in the pub that has been given a rather large berth. In fact, all those seated nearby were stiff and were uneasy. They seemed to be in a rather strange hurry to finish their drinks and scurry away at the first chance they got.

Squinting his eyes, Argus manages to glimpse the tall, slender figure of Reginald Prince seated in the said corner of the pub through the smoky air. Hurrying forward not even stopping for a pint, Argus quickly comes to a halt before Reginald Prince. "I am so sorry for my tardiness, sir!" Argus said as he bowed his head in sincere regret.

"It is the night of the feast," Reginald Prince calmly explained. "Allowances are to be expected when taking into account the duties of the Hogwarts Caretaker."

"Er, yes!" Argus said with relief and hastily sat down across from Reginald Prince. Feeling his mouth very dry again, he swallows, "Er, sir, may I know as to the nature of your business?" He truly hoped it wasn't anything related to his younger brother. Not that he could stop the old Prince from acting out. But at least he could warn his brother to flee if given the chance.

"You did a favor to my granddaughter," Reginald matter-of-factually stated. "We the Prince's do not owe any debts, what would you like in exchange for thy services?"

"It was nothing, sir!" Argus fiercely protested. "I'd have done that for any of the other students!" This was somewhat true, but not that he had to be grateful that he saved the snot-nosed brats! And not that he'd ever admitted it, but he rather liked Rowan Prince.

"I am well aware of what kind of character you possess, Argus Filch," Reginald coolly explained. "However, that being said, we are Prince's, and we do not owe any debts. So, I will ask again, name your price."

Argus's pasty face pales even more causing his already bulging pale eyes to bulge even more. Shivering, with dread he realizes that he cannot refuse the request. Speaking out his thoughts on the subject, he replies in a quivering voice, "Sir, I have no need of money. But the Society for Support for Squibs is always looking for patrons. If you would become a patron, I think it would greatly help the cause."

"Very well," Reginald calmly replied, "will 600,000 galleons suffice?"

Argus visibly chokes at the absurd amount that was being offered. "Sir, that is outrageous! I can't impose with such an amount!"

"My granddaughter is worthy every single galleon," Reginald steadfastly answered. "And I believe her to worth even far more, but I must act within the limits of reason. As such, I will ask again is that amount more than acceptable to fulfill the debt owed to one, Argus Filch?"

"Yes," Argus croaked as he felt a trace of magic flicker in the air at the cancellation of a life debt.

"I shall see to it that the amount is placed into a trust controlled by the goblins to be given out to the present chairman of the society with certain conditions and proof of receipts," Reginald confidently explained as he rose to his feet and extended his hand to Argus Filch.

Numbly Argus Filch accepts the clasp of hands as a flicker of a smile appears on Reginald Prince's face as he says, "It was an honor and pleasure to have met you, Argus Filch. You have done much to redeem your family name, and should you ever be in need of aid, please seek me out."

Without further ado, Reginald Prince released Filch's hand, and strides away as a loud gasp of relief can be heard from the nearby pub patrons. Unlike most wizards, these wizards on the fringes of society could feel and scent the palatable bloodthirst still found in the old Prince. And frankly, the elderly wizard terrified them all.

Later the following day, Irma Wright, the chairman of the Society for the Support for Squibs was delivered a letter from Gringotts. Surprised as the society hardly ever received such letters, she rather apprehensively opened the letter. She could only hope it wasn't a loan that had come do again.

"To the present chairman of the Society for the Support for Squibs, Mrs. Irma Wright.

It is with great solemnity that we inform you that Reginald Prince has donated 600,000 galleons to the society to be used to fund Squibs in the wizarding society and the association. A trust has been set up and is entrusted to Gringotts. We can assure you, Madam, that we will account for every single knut, sickle, and galleon. Please visit us at your earliest convenience to see the terms and conditions.

Sincerely,

Gringotts Bank."

Tears of gratitude fill Irma Wright's eyes as she scurries to her feet and heads out the door without her shawl! There were so many things that she could do now thanks to the generosity of Mr. Prince! It must be thanks to Merlin's bloodline found inside of him! And who cared if he was Salazar Slytherins heir because only a good man could be so very generous to others! And with that thought in mind, she apparated away to Gringotts to see the goblins.