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Published: 09/21/2004
Updated: 01/14/2005
Words: 139,369
Chapters: 38
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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 06

Chapter Summary:
Harry writes to the returrning DA members to ask their help in the expanded DA. But what to do about Marietta Edgecombe? Harry has a discussion with Dumbledore and makes plans for the rest of the summer.

Chapter 6 Second Chances

Back in his room, Harry thought about what he would write to all of last year's members of the DA as he got Dobby situated with his suitcase and what little possessions - mostly clothes, of course - he brought with him. Dobby was still in a very excitable mood when Harry was ready to sit down to write, so he decided to find out from Dudley what yard chores needed doing. He led Dobby over to Dudley's room and knocked on the door. Through the door he heard Dudley call "One minute," then the sound of the internet connection being shut down and a lot of rustling of papers, followed finally by the shutting of the wardrobe door. Then Dudley opened the door.

"Oh, it's only you," he said, with a bit of relief in his voice.

"What's the matter, Dudley? You're a bit flushed," said Harry with a wry smirk.

"Never you mind, Potter. What d'you want?"

"Oh, I have a friend from school who's been assigned to be a bodyguard and helper this summer."

"Yeah? So what? Are Mum and Dad okay with it?"

"Yeah. They've met him already. I wanted to introduce him. Dudley, this is Dobby; Dobby - Dudley."

Dobby stepped out from behind Harry and bowed, "Pleased to meet you, Mr. Dudley, sir."

Dudley half-screamed and hid behind the door.

Harry laughed. "He's not dangerous, Dudley. I thought you'd be interested to know that part of the deal is that he's going to do a lot of the chores around here."

That got Dudley's attention. He peeped around the door. "Oh, yeah?"

"Yeah. He's what we call a house elf. He just loves to do all sorts of household chores and he's very good at it. For instance, Dobby, would you make Dudley's bed, please?"

"Yes, sir, Harry Potter," said Dobby. He snapped his fingers and the sheets straightened and tucked themselves, the pillow plumped and straightened itself and then the blankets and cover arranged themselves neatly. With one more snap a silver-wrapped chocolate appeared on the pillow.

"Uh, uh, Dobby. He's on a diet, he can't have that."

Dudley lunged for the candy, but with another snap, the chocolate became a daisy.

"I just might eat that anyway," Dudley grumbled. "So, Harry, Mum and Dad are okay with him doing things ...THAT way?"

Harry smiled and nodded, "So long as he isn't seen. He can even do yard chores under cover of darkness."

Dudley's eyes lit up, realizing that he was going to get out of those chores after all. "Dude!!" he exclaimed and reared back to share a high-five with Harry.

Unfortunately, Dobby was not conversant with the custom of the high five, so upon hearing this enormous boy shouting a strange name at Harry and pulling his arm back as if to strike Harry, he reacted. With a wave of Dobby's hand, Dudley was thrown upward and flattened against the ceiling, like a fly on flypaper. Dudley immediately began screaming, drawing Uncle Vernon and Aunt Petunia at a run up the stairs.

"What's happened now, Potter?" bellowed Uncle Vernon.

"Erm, I think Dobby misunderstood Dudley."

"I was going to high-five Harry, Dad!" said Dudley, still stuck to the ceiling.

"That was not an attack?" asked Dobby timidly.

"No, Dobby, it wasn't," said Harry, "it's a gesture of celebration. He was trying to indicate he was happy to have you around."

"Harry?" said Uncle Vernon, "Can he let Dudley down? Gently?"

"Oh, sir, yes sir," said Dobby, waving his hand to slowly lower Dudley and place him on his feet. "Beg pardon, sir, I misunderstood the situation."

"That's alright, Dobby," said Dudley, "nothing to forgive. Pleased to meet you, Dobby."

"Dudley," said Uncle Vernon, "you're taking this remarkably well."

Dudley shrugged, "Well, I wasn't hurt, was I? And it's a small price to pay to get someone else to do the yard."

Vernon nodded, "Well, we'll let this one go, but could we have a bit more restraint?"

"Yes, sir. Certainly, sir," said Dobby.

Dudley and Harry showed Dobby the chores outdoors to be done. Harry reinforced the need to not be seen and set him to doing the jobs. Harry returned to his room so he could write in peace. He had to explain the new status of the DA. He wanted to make it clear that this was not HIS club, nor was it his idea to coach it again.

To all DA members: Headmaster Dumbledore has let me know that he would like the Defense Association, as he plans to keep the name, to continue. He would like it to be a student organization, and he has asked me to continue the role I had this past year. Toward that end, I have begun a training and study program which I will outline below for those of you who would like to start on a similar preparedness program. I hope that this arrangement will be acceptable to all of you, as I am writing to ask your help. As the DA will be open to all students from all houses, and as the Ministry of Magic has acknowledged the return of Voldemort (I hope you will all try to use the name he is known by - fearing his name creates a mystique which itself must be overcome), Professor Dumbledore is anticipating that we will have several hundreds of students desiring to learn practical self-defense. I would like to continue the procedures we had last year, that is, demonstrating new skills then dividing up into smaller groups to practice them. However, due to the numbers involved, I would like for each of you to be a team leader, going about amongst your team members as I did amongst you this past year. That will allow me to circulate among the groups and provide assistance where needed. Some of you may feel a bit intimidated at taking on that role. Let me assure you, I felt that way last year, and it is only magnified at the thought of such responsibilities for half or more of the school. Nonetheless, I have no doubt whatsoever that there are no students better qualified than yourselves to teach the self-defense and teamwork which may well be needed for us to survive the trying times to come. I would appreciate knowing before classes start whether you will be able to participate. Professor Dumbledore assures me that the new Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher will be agreeable as to this, but given the events of the past year, if you would prefer to wait until we know who that will be, I truly understand. Signed, Your Friend, Harry Potter.

As Harry waited for Dobby to finish taking care of the yard, he thought about how many copies he would need Dobby to make. He counted down the members of the past year's DA, eliminating those who would not be students this year. Finally Harry remembered Marietta Edgecombe. Where did she fit in? Last year, Marietta had betrayed the DA to Professor Umbridge, Defense Against the Dark Arts teacher and High Inquisitor imposed on Hogwarts by the Ministry of Magic when Minister of Magic Fudge was trying to undermine Dumbledore. This betrayal exposed them all to severe punishment or expulsion until Dumbledore took all the responsibility on himself. At first Harry thought to himself that her betrayal was unforgivable, but then he kept turning that word over in his head. Unforgivable? How much more so were his own actions unforgivable, making a foolish and headstrong decision to go to the Ministry of Magic to try to rescue Sirius on the basis of visions he was receiving from Voldemort, leading five of his best friends into a trap, which ultimately led to the death of his own godfather in the rescue effort. What exactly had led Marietta to reveal the DA to Umbridge? Harry didn't know if she had been tortured, drugged, threatened or what. Harry himself knew how ruthless Umbridge could be and not everyone was as resistant to pain and pressure as he had proven himself to be. If he was ever to forgive himself for the errors he had made, maybe he first needed to allow Marietta to redeem herself. Goodness knows he could use every able returning DA member he could get, and she had been very capable. She would be doubly helpful as a second-year healer trainee, as that would include unhexing skills. Harry didn't even know if she would be willing to participate, given the history involved, but he decided he would give her the chance to make that decision.

When Dobby apparated to Harry's room, Harry asked him to charm several quills to make copies enough for all. While the copies were being made, Harry explained to Hedwig all the work he had for her. She nodded and preened proudly at the opportunity to undertake such a large and important job. She also seemed pleased that as compared to times past when her master had taken her to this room, she was going to get lots of flying and hunting time. Harry gave her several owl treats and made sure she was properly groomed for efficient flight. He divided the letters by region and tied the first four, including Marietta's, to Hedwig's leg and sent her off, instructing her to return in the dark.

If Harry had been concerned that the others would be reluctant, that fear was soon dispelled. By the time Hedwig had returned in the pre-dawn darkness, Harry was getting owls from those who had received the first set. Perhaps it was the open acknowledgement of Voldemort's return, or perhaps it was Dumbledore's endorsement, but over the following days everyone replied enthusiastically. Even Cho was gracious, although a bit formal - as was to be expected. Many of the students' letters also had notes from their parents as well, thanking Harry for everything he had done and was undertaking. As good as it felt to be appreciated, Harry could not help but thinking 'what choice do I really have?'

The whole process was going to take over a week. He did not want to overload Hedwig, so he was sending out only four or five a night. Of course Hedwig didn't mind; she seemed to be thrilled with having all the work to do and plenty of flying and hunting time, but still Harry had the whole summer and did not want to wear her out. It was on Tuesday that he received the response he was most concerned about, carried by a rather elegant barred owl. It said simply "Do you really want me? - Marietta." Harry brought Marietta's owl in and put her in Hedwig's cage and gave her a treat and some water, and then added his own note to hers: "Marietta, we need all the good people we can on our team. If you want to be with us, I want to have you. - Harry."

The reply came on Thursday, added below Harry's note: "I would love to, and I won't wait for the hiring of a new teacher to say so - Marietta. P.S. could you say something to Granger about removing the 'Sneak' hex; I tried asking her and she said you are in charge." Harry laughed at that, realizing she may have been wearing her balaclava for several weeks of the summer now. He promised he would, and since Hermione's letter was to go out on Friday, he added a note to it asking her to remove the hex. He knew Hermione and Marietta did not live too far from each other, so he suggested they make arrangements to meet so that Hermione could remove the hex.

By the end of the week, all the letters had gone out and replies had been received. On Friday morning when Harry got back from his morning run, Harry was greeted in his room by a great horned owl with a thick pocket book wrapped in parchment. He removed the book from the owl's leg and unwrapped it. The book was titled "A Sorcerers' Guide to Individual and Group Self-Defense." The note was signed "Alastor Moody," but he was more commonly known as Mad-Eye. The note read "I thought this would come in handy." Harry jotted a thank-you on the note, reattached it to the owl's leg, saw to its needs and sent it back to Professor Moody.

Harry stuck the book in his back pocket and headed down to breakfast with Dobby. Dobby quickly assembled a lovely meal. Harry and the Dursleys watched the morning news on the kitchen telly and when the show had gotten beyond the 'hard news' stories Harry was looking for, he decided to take a look through the defense handbook. He pulled it from his pocket and noted that Moody himself had been the editor for the fourth edition. Harry opened the cover.

"CONSTANT VIGILANCE," bellowed the book.

Harry and the Dursleys all jumped two feet into the air, spilling tea and toast all over themselves and the table. The Dursleys glared at Harry, but quickly realized that he had been as surprised as they were, and was panting heavily from the startle and staring at the book, now lying on the floor, as if it were an angry, snarling weasel. Dobby quickly cleaned them and the table and provided replacement food and tea. Harry gingerly picked up the book and explained that a number of books he dealt with had various such charms or tricks to them. Now that the book was open, he examined the intro and discovered that you had to pat the book like you were burping a baby to keep it from shouting. Harry never afterward forgot to do that, although on occasion he would toss it to others to have a laugh as they received the same shock he first had.

That evening after boxing, while studying Moody's book, Harry heard a familiar voice calling. He followed the sound to his two-way mirror and greeted Professor Dumbledore.

"Hello Professor, it's good to see you again."

"Hello, Harry, training going well?"

In fact it had been. Harry was getting stronger and faster, and his reactions had become so keen, that Dudley hardly ever laid a glove on him now. Nonetheless they both looked forward to their sparring sessions, as it was great training and motivation for them both.

"I am glad your recruitment has gone well."

"Ah, so you know already?" said Harry with a smile.

"Of course I do," said Dumbledore with a wink. "And I particularly want to congratulate you on bringing Miss Edgecombe back into the fold."

"I don't know as I'm a shepherd with a fold, but I do know that someone I greatly respect believes in giving second chances," said Harry. "She's a very capable witch and her help is needed. Last year was such a trying and divided time that although I cannot completely overlook her decision, I can understand it."

"Good, Harry. None of us can be held to a standard of perfect judgment in all things, eh?" Dumbledore said with a wink.

Harry understood that to be a comment not just on Harry's own mistakes of the past year, but Dumbledore's admissions of making mistakes with regard to Harry. It had been a devastating shock to Harry to find Dumbledore as imperfect, but Harry now understood that no one should be placed on such a pedestal - it's unfair to everyone involved.

"In fact, I'm surprised you didn't suggest that I include her," said Harry.

"It's best that you choose who you are willing to work with, Harry. You had to decide if you were able to forgive."

"I understand then. Professor Moody also sent me this book," said Harry holding it up to the mirror, "and it's helping me plan out what spells to work on and exercises to practice. If we accomplish half of this, the name Dumbledore's Army may be more accurate than I had thought possible."

"Excellent, Harry," replied Dumbledore, "We cannot be certain what will come, but we want to be as prepared as we can be to keep everyone as safe as possible. Harry, there's another matter I'd like to discuss. In previous summers, you have been anxious to leave your relatives' house as soon as possible. This summer you have taken to your training so well, as well as planning for the Defense Association, I was hoping I could convince you to stay there, and take weekend visits to your friends' homes."

At first Harry was appalled: it was simply a matter of habit for him to look forward to getting away from Privet Drive. Then he realized that it wasn't so bad this summer. His relatives were treating him like a person. He had all the opportunity he needed to study magic. He was keeping in touch with the wizarding community. He had Dobby to keep him company, and although Dobby was quirky by human standards, he was really very pleasant, congenial and above all ingratiating. If he could spend some weekends with his friends, that would make for a very decent summer indeed, all things considered. Finally he answered "Okay, Professor."

Dumbledore laughed. "Anybody else might have thought you hadn't heard me or were ignoring me, but I could guess from the movement of your eyes all the things you were thinking through. I hope you will allow me to make arrangements so that I can see to your safety and that of your friends."

"Of course, Professor, how soon can I visit?"

"Would you like to go to The Burrow this next weekend - I've already made the arrangements for the Weasleys to expect you Friday after your workout with your cousin. Also with the change in the underage use of magic laws, you will be able to practice spells there."

"That would be great. How should I get there - Knight Bus?"

"I suppose you could do that, but why not just let Dobby apparate you there. If you're holding his hand, he can take you wherever he goes. Have him tell you about it so you'll be that much more prepared for Apparation Class this year. Remember, though, you're not to do it yourself without proper supervision and passing your test."

"Is it that easy, that I might get the knack just from having it demonstrated by Dobby?" asked Harry.

"I think you will find it rather easy, with the way your powers are growing. I can sense your progress with you maturing and training, so I don't think it will be a problem for you. But try not to refer to any magical skill as 'easy' in front of others. There are always those who find something difficult, and it will seem to them like you are ridiculing them when you say something is easy when they cannot do it. Think of Mr. Longbottom, with all the progress he has made, and he still rides a broom like a muggle child with a stick pony."

Harry nodded. "I know just what you mean, Professor, as much as I care for Hermione, it can be pretty infuriating when she calls a fifty-step, gradual infusion potion 'simple.'"

"As brilliant a witch as she is, she sometimes forgets just how far ahead of others she is. And you, my boy, can watch for the same thing when it comes to defensive skills."

"Yes, Professor."

"Any more pains or visions, Harry?"

"The scar has been quiet, but I saw brief visions of Hedwig, my owl, Mrs. Figg and my cousin Dudley lying as if dead," answered Harry. "Do you know what that might mean?"

"I think it means you've actually become fond of your cousin. These visions seem to be about those you care about who are around you. As long as they don't correspond with pains in your scar, it is probably just your fear and love speaking, and in that regard, the visions are probably healthy, although very distressing and unwelcome. They show you care. Just keep me informed of all visions and activity with your scar, alright?"

"Of course, Professor."

They chatted a few more minutes, joking a bit, and then said goodnight. Harry went back to analyzing the defense book as he looked forward to seeing Ron and Ginny and the rest of the Weasleys the next Friday.