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Published: 09/21/2004
Updated: 01/14/2005
Words: 139,369
Chapters: 38
Hits: 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 10

Chapter Summary:
Harry and Dobby go to Diagon Alley together for pre-school shopping. At Gringotts, Haryr learns of the goblins' hatred for elves. Dobby is attacked and mortally wounded by an enraged goblin, but is taken to goblin healers in a goblin home under Gringotts. When he awakens, he falls in love with the goblin healer tending him. Afterward, Harry treats Dobby to an ice cream at Fortecue's and learns that the things that appeal to elves and goblins are not the sorts of things he would cloose to eat.

Chapter 10 - Goblins

The Hogwarts letter with the book list and reminders came in mid-August. Included with the usual information was Professor Dumbledore's personal announcement of the opening of the DA as an official Hogwarts student organization. Dumbledore's letter gave the highlights of the Defense Association's establishment, leaving out a bit of the drama, and called attention to the improvement in skills, knowledge and camaraderie of all the participants; he concluded with an encouragement for all students to participate so as to learn individual and mutual defense.

The plan for summer's end was for Dobby and Harry to Apparate to The Leaky Cauldron and spend the night there, then meet Ron, Ginny and Hermione downstairs there the next morning to go shopping for supplies together. Hermione would take a room that night at The Leaky Cauldron, while Ron and Ginny would stay in Fred and George's apartment over their Diagon Alley shop. Harry and Hermione had suggested that Ron and Ginny could stay in their rooms, but both Ron and Ginny said that they had seen too little of their closest brothers since the twins had left Hogwarts. Harry and Hermione understood, though with a little bit of envy toward Ron and Ginny in having siblings. The next day they would go to King's Cross Station by Apparation conducted by Dobby (the twins not yet being qualified to Apparate with anything more than inanimate gear they could carry).

Harry was anxious to get back to a full-wizarding environment, so he got all of his things together and arrived early enough that he and Dobby had time for a walk together and some personal shopping on Diagon Alley the afternoon before Ron, Ginny, and Hermione were to arrive. Harry got his room and placed his things in it and then they set off. After spending some time in Quality Quidditch Supplies to view the new brooms, they stopped by Ollivander's Wand Shop and discussed with Mr. Ollivander Mrs. Longbottom's recommendation that Harry get a second wand. Mr. Ollivander said he had known of several wizards to do that, especially if they were expecting danger. Harry told him they would be right back after he filled his money bag at Gringott's Wizarding Bank.

As they got to Gringott's, they saw a sign to the side of the entrance stairs which Harry had overlooked before. It had clearly been there for a long time. What drew Harry's attention was a collection of house elves standing near the sign, which read "No Slaves Admitted." Dobby immediately walked over to join the group of elves. The others eyed him oddly in all his clothes, but seemed to accept him.

"What are you doing, Dobby?" asked Harry.

"House elves always waits here, Harry Potter, sir," replied Dobby, "Dobby has never been in Gringott's. My master always left me here."

"But you're no slave - you're free." said Harry. He noticed that the other house elves started muttering and moving away, as if he had some foul infectious disease. "A free elf should feel free to do the things open to free beings."

"Yes, sir, Harry Potter, sir. Besides, it looks as though Dobby is not much welcome here around the sign anymore."

As they entered they were immediately approached by a goblin who appeared to be older than the rest. Harry had previously noted him observing and coordinating activities in the lobby like a manager or a floorwalker.

"No slaves, no, no, no, no, no slaves in Gringott's!" he yelled angrily. "Didn't you see the sign? You, boy" he added, addressing Dobby, "you should serve your master better by observing the rules."

"Now hold on. Dobby isn't a slave. He's free," said Harry sharply but politely, with Dobby nodding proudly.

"Free, you say, sacked by your old masters, eh?" said the elder goblin. "Well then, boy, why haven't you got yourself a new family? The Ministry's (he fairly spat the word) Department of House Elf Placement will arrange you new masters - if you're good for anything."

"Beg pardon, SIR," said Dobby (this was the closest to rude Harry had ever heard Dobby get), "Dobby does not want new masters. Dobby chooses whom to serve. Dobby gets paid for his services. Dobby is happy to be free!"

"Free? And you want to be that way? You even say it with a goblin's pride. Well, then what are you doing here with a master!?"

Harry spoke up first. "Oh, I'm not anyone's master. Dobby is my friend."

Dobby got terribly excited and squeaky again at Harry calling him a friend.

"You call HIM a friend," asked the old goblin incredulously. "Well, that's the darndest thing I've ever heard of. Next thing you know I'll hear you share quarters with him."

"Yes, sir. We has done that all summer," said Dobby, while Harry nodded, "since I was sent to guard Harry Potter."

"Harry Potter!! Really!? Bend down here, would you?"

Harry did so, with just a touch of annoyance at the interest the scar drew.

"Well, what do you know? Couldn't see that scar from this angle. My eyes aren't what they were. But why would Harry Potter need guarding by an elf?"

"Well, sir, I'm underage, and I'm not allowed to do magic around muggles, with whom I live. Last year I had some legal trouble when I had to use magic to save my cousin's and my life," answered Harry.

Dobby added, "Dobby works - for pay - for Hogwarts and Headmaster Dumbledore assigned Dobby to protect Harry Potter so he wouldn't have to use magic when he's not supposed to."

Then Harry added, realizing that they were finishing each other's thoughts, "Dobby seemed happy for the job since I helped get him freed."

"You, Dobby, wanted freedom, and you, Potter, helped an elf!? And you call each other friends and have been sharing quarters!? You two are a couple of odd bats, aren't you? Well, times are changing all around."

Suddenly there was a hideous shriek behind them. A relatively large goblin came running at them with a stave kept near a side door to bar it at night. Before Harry or Dobby had time to react, the goblin had crashed it down upon Dobby's head. The stave cracked, as did Dobby's skull. Dobby collapsed to the ground unconscious. The elder goblin grabbed the stave and screamed something at the large goblin in a language Harry did not understand, but which he presumed to be gobbledegook, the goblin language. Harry by this time had knelt by Dobby and was trying to see if he was alive.

"Carry him, Potter, and come with me," said the elder elf quickly, leading Harry to one of the rail carts used to reach the chambers and vaults below.

Harry picked up Dobby and cradled him in his arms, like a father with a sleepy toddler.

"My hullabaloo has a healer in our cave who can help him - if we can get there in time."

They stepped into the cart and it set off at the goblin's command.

"Why did that goblin attack Dobby?" Harry asked.

"He's an elf," growled the old goblin, as if that explained the matter.

"But he's free - or is there something else?"

"Ayah, we goblins hate elves. It's always been sufficient before that the sign says 'no slaves.' Of course, that gets at the heart of why we hate them."

"But it's not their fault they're slaves. Why is that such a problem for goblins?"

By then the cart had careened to a stop at the very deepest level of the passages under Hogwarts. The vaults with numbers in the 700s were at their right. The goblin jumped out of the cart to the left and gestured for Harry to follow him toward some doors that direction.

"I'll explain inside, Potter. First, let's get your friend to out healer. Hurry - we take pride in the safety and security of our guests."

The older goblin led Harry through a low door in the opposite direction. The door and passages were well under five feet high, so while the goblins could stand up going through, Harry had to crouch rather far. If Dobby had not been so light, Harry could not have carried him in. They went through several passages with rooms and other passages off to the sides; they reminded Harry of a rabbit warren except they were hewn into rock. The walls were quite smooth and the floors were nearly level, but with a slight tilt to one side and a small channel at the edge draining away water that seeped through or condensed on the cool stone walls.

They finally entered one of the larger rooms Harry saw. There were two female goblins: one seemed fairly old and the other quite young but apparently full-grown. There were a number of cabinets and extremely low goblin-length beds. Harry was directed to place Dobby on one of the low beds.

"Grishnack!" the older goblin woman hissed, "what do you mean bringing a wizard and a slave in here! This is our home and you defile it!?"

"The elf is free, not a slave, and was injured by Gribball in the lobby. We owe assistance to any guest. And the wizard is Harry Potter, who helps freedom-seeking beings such as this elf, and calls them friend."

"You take liberties with the traditions," she muttered, then sighed, "but you are glamdring: you have brought an injured being to me for healing and I will do so."

She directed the younger goblin to the cabinets to retrieve potions and objects that did not resemble anything Harry had seen in Madam Pomfrey's supplies. The women seemed to know what they were doing and Harry did not know any better so he let them do what they could.

"By the way, Potter, my name's Grishnack," said the goblin who had taken him here. "I am the glamdring of this Hullabaloo, as you may have guessed. Or," he continued, "I'll warrant you know nothing of goblin life. You probably think we're just violent, underhanded and money-grubbing, eh?"

"Well, I don't really know what goblin society is like, sir. I read that you live in larger family groups and don't like sunlight. I also know that you goblins have run the bank safely and honestly for a long time. Oh, and that you have risen in rebellion quite a few times: and it sounds like you had good reason."

"Really? You as a wizard see reasons for it? And what about now?"

"I hope you goblins won't rebel. My friend's father says the Ministry's policies are hurting the goblins and pushing you toward rebellion. He even got fired for objecting to those policies. I hope to see those policies changed, but I had trouble getting people to listen when I saw Voldemort rise again."

"Yes, the Ministry didn't have much good to say about you, did they?" grunted Grishnack, "but we goblins knew to trust Dumbledore more than the Ministry."

"But the Ministry doesn't represent all the wizards. Dumbledore hopes the wizards and goblins can stay allied against Voldemort." said Harry.

"Don't fool yourself, Potter, we aren't allied. Dumbledore's a good man, but the Ministry doesn't seem to want to treat goblins well. Maybe if there were a change in the leadership ..." Grishnack trailed off. Then he gestured toward the older healer and said to Harry, "Forgive her reaction. We do not bring any but goblins to our home as a rule. We have had only two other wizards in this cave. Some of the other hullabaloos who run other activities of Gringott's have had a witch or wizard in their homes on occasion, but it's rare. I am the glamdring, the leader, of this hullabaloo. Since I said for you to come in, you may, and if I tell Molina to heal, even an elf, she heals."

"I understand the hostility toward wizards, Mr. Grishnack," began Harry.

"Just Grishnack, Potter. We do not use wizard titles."

"Alright, sir. I mean, er, Grishnack. But why is there such hostility to elves? Just because they are not free?"

"It would be closer to say that it is because they do not want to be free of wizards. Goblins and elves are related, and we find such servility, particularly to wizards, to be offensive beyond words. It is an obscenity to us. Were this elf not a free elf, and more importantly one who sought freedom, I would not have brought him here. Molina is right: to bring one of the slave elves here would be defilement. But as I say it is appropriate, she will heal him."

Harry crouched over to the foot of the bed Dobby was on and saw how much improved he already was. Molina, the older healer, said he would require two hours recuperation.

"You had business in Hogwarts, Potter?" Grishnack asked.

"I needed to go to my vault for some funds," Harry said as he pulled out the key.

Grishnack checked the imprinted gobbledegook numbers on it and nodded. "Let the elf rest. He will be safe here. I'll take you to your vault. Do you have errands?"

"Yes, I need to go to Ollivander's"

"Right, then. I'll take you to the lobby. When you come back, come to me, and I will conduct you down here personally."

Before he left, Harry saw Dobby wake. Dobby was looking up at the younger healer who was tending to the various potions and healing devices at his side. She was smiling pleasantly. Harry thought Dobby had a faraway look in his eyes and figured that the injury and treatment were making his head swimmy.

"Dobby, I'm going to go finish my errands. Will you be okay here by yourself?" inquired Harry.

"Yes, Harry," said Dobby, in a dreamy way, surprising Harry by saying only 'Harry' rather than the full name, "I'll be here at home."

"Sounds like he needs some bed rest," said Harry "I guess we can get going now."

Harry filled his money bag and then walked over to Ollivander's. Trying wands left-handed took quite a while. Finally a rather stouter wand than his first wand reacted well in Harry's left hand. It was mahogany with a unicorn hair core.

"Is there anything unique about this one?" asked Harry.

Ollivander leaned in rather too close to Harry, peering deeply with his bulging, rarely-blinking, watery eyes. "You mean like your first wand?" he asked.

"Yes," said Harry with a nod.

"Yes there is," said Mr. Ollivander, raising Harry's anxiety. "It chose Harry Potter."

Ollivander winked, and Harry laughed a little, but uneasily. He checked his new watch (a birthday present from the Dursleys, and even though it had been the mailaway prize from a packet of breakfast cereal, it was still the best thing they had ever given him - it was new and it worked; besides, he thought, he did seem to have a tendency to break watches) and saw that it was time to go back and get Dobby. He returned to Gringott's where he was greeted by Grishnack and conducted down to the goblin homes. When they entered the healing room, he saw Dobby's hand being held by the younger healer.

"Ahh," said Grishnack, "touch is good healing. It restores the vitality from within."

Molina grumbled, "Just be glad we've got Melony in training here, as you wouldn't get me touching one of them one second longer than I had to, free elf or slave."

Dobby was helped up, and though he seemed a bit wobbly, he clearly was able to get about and go. They thanked the healers and Grishnack took them up to the lobby by way of the rail car. This was a first for Dobby while conscious and he was ecstatic to take the ride. In the lobby Grishnack escorted them all the way out for protection and wished them well.

As they walked back toward the magical doorway to the alley behind The Leaky Cauldron, they came upon Florean Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor. Harry decided he wanted an ice cream cone and offered to treat Dobby to one, too.

"Oh, sir. Harry Potter is too kind." wailed Dobby, "For a wizard to buy something for an elf is unheard of."

"Not for an elf, Dobby, for a friend. And you've had a rather hard day"

Harry decided to have a double-scoop chocolate-dipped cone, with one scoop of pumpkin-hazelnut, and one scoop of cranberry swirl. Dobby had a lot of trouble making up his mind, and finally asked Fortescue about the flavors.

"Beg pardon, sir, but all these flavors seem sweet. We elves doesn't have sweets, as a rule, not good for us. Do you have any kinds that aren't sweet?"

"I think I know just what you're after," said Mr. Fortescue helpfully, with a wink to Harry. "We don't usually take out the menu for the goblins until dark, when they start to come out. Wizards don't generally buy treats for their elves, but if that's what Mr. Potter wants to do, it's fine with me."

"He's a friend, not my servant, Mr. Fortescue" said Harry, "but let's see if that menu is more to his liking."

Harry and Dobby looked over the menu that Fortescue handed them. Harry thought he would retch. The flavors were awful, such as tuna and sauerkraut, kidney, broccoli with aphids, lima bean with pickled beets, haggis, bitter chocolate with garlic chunks, turnip, and anchovy paste.

Dobby, on the other hand, was aquiver with excitement. "Dobby has never seen such splendid treats as this, Mr. Fortescue! How shall I ever decide?"

He finally settled on a single scoop sundae of chicken liver ice cream with squid ink sauce and roasted millipede sprinkles. They sat at a table out front to have their treats, but Harry made apologies and spent the whole time turned away as they talked. After they were done, they started to make their way back to The Leaky Cauldron.

"Harry Potter, sir, that was the most wonderful treat Dobby has ever had," chirped Dobby, "except two things."

Harry smiled, "Glad you enjoyed it, Dobby. I'm even gladder I didn't watch. What are the two better things?"

"Well, of course, sir, when Dobby received clothes from his old master was the best thing ever. And the second best was this afternoon, when Dobby woke to find that angel holding his hand."

"That 'ang...' - Dobby do you mean that goblin healer?" asked Harry.

"Yes, Harry Potter. Is she not the most beautiful creature ever? When I awoke and saw her face, and felt the rasp of her hands on mine, I felt like I was home - like I was in the place I should be forever."

"That's great, Dobby, but are you sure it wasn't the potions making you feel that way?" asked Harry, having trouble believing that anyone could find that green-brown, warty, rough, squatty goblin woman attractive. But then, Harry thought, if an elf can go gaga over chicken liver ice cream with squid ink sauce and roast millipede sprinkles, then maybe a girl goblin is a nymph to him. It's like Mrs. Longbottom said, elves can be treated like family, but they still are just not humans.

"Harry Potter, sir?"

"Yes, Dobby."

"Can we stop there tomorrow when you buys your books?"

"At Fortescue's - absolutely! I want Ron and Hermione to see that menu."

"That would be wonderful, sir, but I meant Gringott's, sir. I was hoping to see Melony again."

Harry couldn't help but smile as he looked sidelong at Dobby, and Dobby grinned shyly up at Harry.