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Published: 09/21/2004Updated: 01/14/2005Words: 139,369Chapters: 38Hits: 79,228
Harry Potter and the Goblin Rebellion
- Story Summary:
- Year 6 - The goblins are threatening rebellion: Now that Fudge acknowledges Voldemort's return, he is pushing wartime policies, which oppress the goblins. Voldemort is seeking the secret in an ancient Egyptian magical site. Harry is being drawn into these two seemingly-unrelated developments. At the same time, he must train students in the schoolwide DA, while the burden of the Prophecy is filling him with visions, which cause Harry to pull back from his friends. But love has a way of arising whether it is welcome or not. For Harry, the course to resolution is never smooth, but if Harry can thwart Voldemort's plot, he can gain access to the secret which could enable him to use the 'Power the Dark Lord knows not.'
- Chapter Summary:
- Harry discusses with Dumbledore training, the DA, and the Prophecy. Dumbledore informs Harry that a full-time bodyguard has been assigned. When Harry learns that his bodyguard is Dobby, he must convince the Dursleys to accept Dobby as a houseguest.
Chapter 5 - My Bodyguard
On Saturday after dinner, Harry helped clear the dishes and load them in the dishwasher. The Dursleys figured that would be safe, especially now that Harry's friends knew he was not being mistreated. Harry then said that he had to go to his room to make a call.
"But there's no phone in your room," observed Uncle Vernon.
"Do you really want to know how I'm going to make it?" asked Harry with a smile. "But don't worry, there's nothing dangerous to it."
Harry bounded up the stairs and prepared himself to speak to Professor Dumbledore. There were some things he wanted to say and he had to compose himself for it. He pulled out the mirror and looked in it. He saw his own image at first and wiped a smudge from dinner off his face. Then he called "Professor Dumbledore" into it; soon his own image faded and Professor Dumbledore's appeared.
"Aah, there you are, Harry. How have you been? Feeling better than the last time we spoke?"
"Fine, Professor. Erm, before we talk about other things, I want to apologize for that," said Harry softly.
Dumbledore smiled. "Quite alright, Harry, my things have a memory of how they go together. Everything here is restored."
"It's not just that. I let my emotions get the better of me. It was ugly of me," said Harry.
"Not to me, it wasn't, Harry. As I see it, your emotions are the better of you. I think the most important thing about you, beyond all your magical talent, and perhaps the source of much of it, is that you do care very much. I would have been very concerned if you were not enraged."
"But sometimes it hurts terribly when someone goes away, when someone dies ..."
"When someone you care about won't even look at you?" added Dumbledore with a sad smile, which Harry returned with a nod. "Of course it does. Caring hurts a lot, but would you give it up if you could?"
Harry looked down and shook his head, hiding the tears welling in his eyes. "No, of course not. I can't imagine living without caring."
"But let's learn to manage and harness those emotions. We can't have you facing Voldemort at less than your best because your skills are clouded by anger, can we?"
Harry smiled. "No, sir, I think I've had a better focus on that this summer."
"Yes, I know," said Dumbledore.
"Tonks and Professor Lupin have already reported?"
"Well, yes, but that's not the only way I know: let's just say a little birdy told me," said Dumbledore.
Harry glanced over at Hedwig who cocked her head at him.
Dumbledore laughed. "No, I said a little birdy; besides it's probably a figure of speech, although you can never be too sure when dealing with wizards, can you? I can see that you've been exercising - you're already showing a leaner, tauter face and more muscle in your chest and shoulders. I know about your training schedule and the only concern I have is that you might overdo it. Don't wear yourself out so much that you lose strength."
"I won't, Professor," Harry said with a smile, glad to hear the concern. "I've worked with a trainer down at the Rec. Center. I told him I want to take up boxing and Ironman competitions. I'm also better rested than ever, what with clearing my mind each night before bed and being so tired when I lie down. I haven't been feeling much of Voldemort's thoughts, just distant twinges and rumblings."
"Excellent summary. Is that all?"
"I think I'd better tell you that I've had quick visions of my family and Mrs. Weasley injured or dead. They are quite graphic and disturbing, but I don't think they come from Voldemort, because my scar hasn't been hurting."
"Good, Harry," nodded Professor Dumbledore, "Excellent use of your resources. I want you to tell me of all your visions like that, also how they make you feel."
"Well, actually, it made me feel like staying away from them, even though I love Mrs. Weasley and am growing fond of Dudley and Uncle Vernon. I had the feeling that being around me is too dangerous for anyone I care about," admitted Harry.
"It's a natural feeling, Harry," Dumbledore said sadly. "You are dangerous to be around, but you've got to go on with your life. You are stronger being with those you care about than you are in isolating yourself. Molly particularly knows that there is danger around you and danger in being in the Order."
"Okay, but I'm still afraid to care too much. So many people that I care about have been hurt or killed."
"I wish I could tell you that things will soon change. I am afraid there is to be much more darkness before there can be light."
Harry nodded and then asked, "So has anything been happening with Voldemort?"
"He hasn't been reported and there haven't been any Dark Marks over people's houses. My best guess right now is that he is recruiting more supporters quietly. So far the Death Eaters who were captured have been secure, now that we have aurors guarding Azkaban. As an added precaution, the Ministry decided to use the Time Room at the Department of Mysteries to make them all extremely old and feeble until they are called for trial. I also suspect there are other things he's concerned with right now rather than trying to face you immediately. I think the power you demonstrated when you ejected him from possession of you has hurt and scared him. He has probably become more cautious, so I anticipate he would be seeking some object or potion that he thinks will give him the upper hand over us."
"Do you know what that might be?" asked Harry.
"No, not yet. We are looking for all the odd developments everywhere we can, looking for a pattern. The fact that you have had no problem with your scar is an important clue. It suggests that he may be overseas, but who knows where?"
"What about the Ministry? Is it taking any steps against Voldemort, besides holding the Death Eaters?"
"I wish I had good news there. Fudge is pushing his 'security program,' but that looks like it is aimed at concentrating his authority more than anything," said Dumbledore with a sigh.
"So I've heard. Anything besides the financial things Professor Lupin and Tonks told me about?"
"Well, he's been trying to load the Wizengamot with his supporters first. He's got several measures he'd like to put through once he gets rid of independent voices. The speeches and interviews he's been giving have made the goblins even more dissatisfied with the Ministry. Bill Weasley has been doing his best to calm them, but he can't be very convincing with so little to work with."
"That's bad - we don't need another goblin rebellion while trying to deal with Voldemort," said Harry.
"Aah, my suggestion to Professor Binns as to a summer project is bearing fruit. I want all of you students - and the parents as well - to understand the lessons of the rebellions well. We are in need of unity, and I'm afraid that Fudge's way will achieve the opposite. At least I was able to get one concession out of Fudge - school-age students will be allowed to practice defensive magic so long as they are supervised by a competent adult sorcerer and are not in the presence of muggles. That leads me to something else I'd like to discuss with you as well."
"Oh? Moving out of here?"
"I'm working on something along those lines. There's another matter that needs discussing first."
"Yes," said Harry apprehensively.
"I think the Defense Association should be continued."
Harry sighed with relief. "You mean Dumbledore's Army?"
"As proud and tickled as I am with that name, I think we shall stick with Defense Association," said Dumbledore with a laugh.
"Then you have a new Defense Against the Dark Arts professor who will lead that?" asked Harry.
"Well, no, we don't have a new teacher yet, but I have my eye on someone who may become available. I was thinking the Defense Association should be a student-run organization," said Dumbledore.
Harry's heart sank. "You're not, ... you don't mean, you don't want me to ..."
"Yes, Harry, you did a marvelous job last year. All your students developed remarkably. Now that Voldemort's return has been acknowledged and you have been publicly 'rehabilitated,' even more students will want to learn how to defend themselves."
"But ... But that was just a private thing, just a couple dozen students...," pled Harry.
"And this will be private as well, like the Charms Club or SPEW," teased Dumbledore, "and who knows, very few students may want to spend a couple evenings a week learning defense techniques."
"Do you really think so?"
"No, Harry. I expect a minimum of 400 students, perhaps twice that number," said Dumbledore, quite seriously. "It's a lot of work, I realize. But you already have a year under your belt teaching schoolmates and I expect that last year's members will be willing to assist you, so you can show the whole group something useful, and then break into smaller groups to practice. You'll have fewer classes now that you have completed your OWLs."
"But won't the rest of the students say I have a big head - I've been running from that for years."
"And you dealt with that last year, didn't you? Besides, you don't have to call yourself an expert. The Daily Prophet has already put out the word about many of the times you have survived great dangers," said Dumbledore, "- we don't have to tell them all of your adventures yet, do we? - so all you need to offer is to teach the things that you have used and are learning to use to keep yourself alive."
"Won't the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher feel insulted, like I'm on his or her turf?"
Dumbledore laughed. "Not the person I expect to come available. And if I have to go with someone else, I will explain the matter to him or her and take full responsibility for pressing you into service. So, will you do it?"
"You already know the answer - if you ask me, I'll do it. I'm awfully glad that we're talking again. Will it be open to, erm, EVERYone?" said Harry.
"Which of your schoolmates would you want to be unable to defend themselves? Perhaps I shouldn't ask that. But in fact the skills needed to defend are not the same as those needed to harm. You are concerned about the relatives of Death Eaters and others who may not be fond of you?"
Harry nodded. "Yes, of course."
Dumbledore smiled. "When Sirius was in his first years of school, he would have been among those who resented someone like you. Some will stay away because of resentment. Some will come as spies - so be it. But some will come out of curiosity or because they honestly want to be on our side. We truly need to reach across all divides and find common cause."
"The Sorting-Hat's song," said Harry sagely.
"Aah, you listened, did you?" said Dumbledore with a wink. "I'll tell it - it works so hard coming up with an appropriate message."
"Well, I have misgivings, but I'll do it. That's settled then - should I go ahead and owl messages to all last year's members asking their assistance?"
"An excellent step, Harry. The sooner the better I say, so you don't get cold feet," said Dumbledore. "Oh, there's one more thing I need to tell you. I have had a bit of concern that we may need additional protection for you, so I'm sending someone to be a bodyguard, but he can also be a helper and companion, as you choose."
"I don't know if the Dursleys will put up with another wizard in the house - they're just now accepting me."
"Well, it's not a wizard, and you can explain it to your relatives however you like. He does know that he is to remain out of sight when around anyone whom he has not been introduced to by you or when outdoors. He's looking forward to working with you, Harry, and he should be arriving any second now. Is there anything else on your mind?"
"The Prophecy," answered Harry, "Must it be a choice of murderer or victim?"
"There might be another way - I hope you recall that the Prophecy referred to one with the power to 'vanquish' the Dark Lord. This may not require killing."
"I have been thinking there must be more to it," said Harry, "since if I were to just kill him, then he would return to what he was 14 months ago, wouldn't he?"
"Perhaps. He has many deep magical protections against death," answered Dumbledore.
"You could have killed him last month, but chose not to, didn't you?" asked Harry.
"You're thinking, Harry," said Dumbledore with a smile, "Very good. Yes, I could have put an end to the body he occupies now, but I couldn't end the existence of Lord Voldemort. That is a puzzle the two of us must unlock."
"And you believe there are vulnerabilities in the way his current body was made that makes it better to leave him attached to it," said Harry, more as a conclusion than as a question.
"Exactly. He thought he would access your strengths in using your blood. But I believe that what are strengths for you could well be fatal flaws for him."
"But it also said 'either must die at the hand of the other' - doesn't that require a death: kill or be killed?"
Dumbledore face went slack and he looked careworn with age. "I can hope for a different way somehow, but I can only advise you to plan on just that. I hate to end this on such a negative note, but I need to go now. Please keep in touch about everything on your mind."
With that Dumbledore faded away and Harry's face returned to the mirror. Harry looked at his furrowed brow. He still was not comfortable with the idea of setting out to kill someone, even someone like Voldemort. Harry put that line of thought aside and began to wonder what Dumbledore could mean about a bodyguard. He wasn't too keen on the idea of having a bodyguard. Besides, what kind would not be a wizard? A witch? No, Dumbledore said 'he' and Harry could not believe he would send a witch to share Harry's room, as a fulltime bodyguard must surely do. Hagrid? No, he certainly would not be inconspicuous. But then, who ...?
Just then Harry heard a crack behind him and then a voice.
"Mr. Harry Potter - I is so pleased to be working for you now, sir."
Harry turned and there was Dobby the house elf, in all his polychromatic glory, literally grinning from ear to ear, dancing with excitement, and holding a suitcase longer than he was tall.
"Dobby! What are you doing here!?" exclaimed Harry happily.
"Oh, no," said Dobby worriedly, "Harry Potter is supposed to know Dobby is coming. Was Harry Potter not told that he would have a bodyguard?"
"Well, yes, but I wasn't told who it would be. You don't mean ...?"
"Yes sir!" said Dobby proudly, placing a hand on his tiny chest as to take a pledge: "House-elf Dobby - bodyguard to the great Harry Potter, destroyer of the Dark Lord, friend to magical beings everywhere."
"Can we just stick with 'Harry' - the rest of that is a bit much. Erm! I don't mean to insult you or anything, Dobby," said Harry hesitantly, "but you're kind of small: are you going to be able to protect me?"
Dobby wagged his finger in front of his face. "Dobby is small, but powerful. Appearances is deceiving; Headmaster Dumbledore, the great man, has said so many times. Dobby is sly. Dobby sees things. Dobby has protected Harry Potter before, has he not? And Dobby would do ANYTHING to protect Harry Potter - Harry Potter knows this, doesn't he?" said Dobby firmly.
"Yes, Dobby, if there's anyone whose loyalty I could not question, it's you. But understand, we are not in a castle here, so we can't be disruptive. I'm also going to have to introduce you to my muggle relatives. Hm, you can sleep here in my room - but let's see, what would be a good place?" Harry said, looking around.
"Begging Harry Potter's pardon, sir, but Dobby's suitcase makes a wonderful bed for Dobby, if he can just slide it under your bed," offered Dobby.
"That works for me. Well, I had better go down and talk to my Uncle and Aunt. Keep out of sight until I tell you to show yourself, okay?"
Dobby made himself invisible, and Harry rehearsed a few words in his head. This really was going to be pushing his relatives' acceptance of magical things. Harry crept down the stairs and found his aunt and uncle watching telly in the parlor.
"Uncle Vernon? Aunt Petunia?" said Harry quietly, "Erm, there's something I need to discuss with you."
They looked up, a bit apprehensive due to Harry's reluctant tone but not hostile. Uncle Vernon arched an eyebrow, indicating both his concern and that Harry should proceed.
"I've just been told by Professor Dumbledore that the school has assigned a full-time bodyguard for my protection," said Harry tentatively.
"A bodyguard!? Does this mean we're going to have that strange-looking woman parked in a car in front of the house all the time?"
"No, it's someone different - very different - who will stay right with me all the time."
"Potter, when I hear a phrase like 'very different' from ... your kind, I get a chill. Before I say yea or nay, I need to know how much disruption this is going to be and when will he, she or it arrive?" said Uncle Vernon uneasily.
"Well, he's here already, Uncle Vernon," said Harry. "I may as well get it over with. Dobby, would you show yourself?"
With a shimmer, Dobby made himself visible. Uncle Vernon jumped over the back of his chair, but Aunt Petunia squealed with delight. "Ooh, a house-elf - Vernon, do you know how clean I could make this place with the help of a house-elf!?"
Uncle Vernon and Harry both stared at her, mouths open; Vernon because his wife knew what this thing was, and Harry because he could not imagine any place being cleaner than his aunt already kept this house.
"But, Harry," said Petunia, "something seems strange about him, you know."
Uncle Vernon glared again at her. "Petunia, we have a three foot tall, flappy-eared, green-skinned creature with eyes the size of tennis balls in our parlor and you cannot put your finger on what's odd about him: I suppose you're going to say it's that his socks don't match!?"
"Yes, that's it!" Petunia cried, snapping her fingers. "He has clothes on!"
"WHAT! I should hope so," exploded Uncle Vernon, looking at Dobby with a look that was half fear that he would suddenly disrobe and half curiosity as to what a house elf might look like under the clothes. "Potter, I'm trying to be patient, so tell me: what IS a house-elf and what are the chances of it running naked around my house - or worse, the neighborhood?"
Petunia, still excited, told what she knew first. "Well, my sister told me about them - their folk have them as live-in servants to take care of all the cooking, cleaning, and all sorts of chores. They work like beavers and they're ever so loyal!" Petunia was gushing.
"Yeah, they're really quite powerful and usually they are bound to the family they serve," added Harry, "Some people think it's a form of slavery, but most of the elves I have known were very happy to be servants and would be distraught at being free."
Dobby spoke up proudly, "But Dobby is a free elf and pleased to be so. Dobby works for Hogwarts School of ..."
"Dobby!!!" Harry interrupted, "We aren't to mention those next words around here. Just say Hogwarts - they know the rest of it."
"Yes, sir, Harry Potter!" agreed Dobby. He then continued. "Dobby works for Hogwarts and gets paid. Dobby wears clothes because Dobby is free. But Dobby never ran around naked, sir. Dobby is no animal. Dobby wore a pillowcase before he was free. Then until yesterday, Dobby was cleaning at Hogwarts, but now he has been assigned to protect Harry Potter until Harry Potter returns to Hogwarts - if Harry Potter's kind family will let him?"
"While you're protecting Harry, can you help with some of the chores around here?" asked Petunia.
"If it helps me be around Harry Potter, Dobby would be very pleased to do what he can. But begging your pardons, Dobby uses his powers to do chores and Dobby has been told Harry Potter's family does not like those powers being used in their home."
Uncle Vernon looked at Dobby and then at Petunia's excited face. He knew he had no choice and would have to strike his best deal. "Tell you what, uh, Dobby, you can use the powers around here so long as no one else sees. If there are outdoor chores, they can be done very late at night when we are sure it's safe. Can you do it that way?"
"Dobby would be very pleased with that arrangement, sir. House elves is accustomed to working without being seen," replied Dobby, "but Dobby is wanting sir to understand that his primary job assigned by Hogwarts is to keep Harry Potter safe."
"Agreed," said Uncle Vernon. He then cocked his head a bit and asked, "Dobby, you seem awfully keen on Harry: why is that?"
"Oh, sir, Harry Potter is a great wi... (Harry wagged his finger) a great friend to house elves. We was treated terrible until the Dark Lord fell. Harry Potter caused that. And even when Dobby was still a slave, Harry Potter treated Dobby with kindness and," Dobby began crying, "like an equal! And Harry Potter set Dobby free."
"Oh, well," put in Harry, "I just sort of tricked his old master into throwing him some clothes - that's how they are set free - in fact, it was one of your old socks, Uncle Vernon, that you had given me for Christmas."
Hearing that, Dobby was ecstatic. He grabbed Vernon's hand and began kissing it. Vernon cringed like he expected to be bitten. "Sir is the first owner of Dobby's freedom sock!? Oh, what a wonderful and generous man sir is, to give his own socks as a present!"
Harry could barely suppress a belly laugh at his uncle's bewilderment. Uncle Vernon certainly was intending no kindness in giving a worn-out pair of socks and Harry knew that they all knew it, but here he was being praised so effusively for what was meant as an insult.
Uncle Vernon mumbled, "Well, I don't know about that. I guess we could have done better."
Harry was amused to see his uncle made so keenly aware of what shabby gifts they had given.
"Oh," added Dobby, "and Harry Potter has fought evil wizards, slain monsters, and risked his life in other ways to help others. Harry Potter is brave and kind."
"There's a lot we don't know about that's been going on at school, eh, Potter?" said Uncle Vernon with an uneasy smile, obviously unsure if he should believe this over-enthusiastic house-elf. "Well, okay, if he can keep himself secret, he can stay." (Petunia squealed at this) "But where to put him - how about in the cupboard under the stairs?"
"Pardon, sir, but Harry Potter and Dobby have set up a bed under Harry Potter's bed. Dobby can protect Harry Potter better if he stays in the same room."
"Well, alright, then," said Uncle Vernon, "if that will do you, it's fine with us. Dobby, if other house-elves are happy to be slaves, why are you so happy being free?"
"Yes, Dobby," said Harry, "I've long wondered that myself."
"Dobby does not know, sirs. Dobby's masters was Dark, cruel, wi..., people, but there are other house-elves who are happy with masters who are just as dark and cruel," said Dobby. He then added sadly, "Dobby wants freedom, but Dobby also feels lost without a family - like Dobby is not complete without others." Then Dobby perked up. "But this summer Dobby gets to serve Harry Potter and his family and sleep under the bed - Dobby is very happy!"
Harry and Dobby thanked Harry's aunt and uncle and went upstairs. As they went Dobby grumbled, "'Cupboard under the stairs' indeed - Dobby stayed in such a place when he was with his family. Nasty place - too nasty even for house elves!"
"Dobby," said Harry, "I stayed in the cupboard under the stairs until I got my Hogwarts letter."
"Oh, beg pardon, sir," said Dobby, abashed.
Harry smiled. "It's okay, Dobby, I hated it too."