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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 meets with his friends and they go to Gringotts. There he observes Percy Weasley and Kingsley Shacklebolt telling the goblins what new decrees are being imposed. Harry discussed the situation in turns with Percy, Shacklebolt and Grishnack. Then Dobby asks if he can meet again with the goblin healer Melony, but he is warned that he must never show interst in her again, or else the reaction of the goblins against him would be severe.
Chapter 11 A New Broom
Harry had to do his pre-breakfast run along Diagon Alley, which required several times back and forth retracing the same areas. He suggested taking Knockturn Alley for some variety, but Dobby insisted that he had the strongest of orders from Professor Dumbledore not to let Harry go into any such dangerous places. Harry relented and on his fourth repeat trip, he heard a familiar voice calling from above.
"Oy, Harry, looking good!"
It was one of the Weasley twins calling from a window above their shop. Even under better conditions, Harry couldn't tell which one it was until he was close enough to see the freckles and faint scars that told one from the other, but at a distance and without his glasses, which Harry was carrying but did not have on while running, it was impossible for him to tell them apart without asking.
"Naw, it's Forge," said whichever twin with a laugh "I'm hurt - you still can't tell us apart?"
"Not at this distance and not by voice - maybe one of you should use an Italian accent. Why aren't you two out here with me?" called Harry.
"Yeah, well, we're not exactly known to be morning people, y'know?"
"I'm surprised you're even up now"
"We have to get over to The Leaky Cauldron. If you think we're going to hand Ron and Ginny a bag of our hard-earned gold and set them loose on Diagon Alley, you've got rocks for brains."
Harry laughed. "I hadn't really thought about it, but I see your point. Next thing you know, you'll be seeing Ginny ogling the brooms at Quality Quidditch Supplies."
"Exactly. Mind you, Slytherin's not the only team now that has alumni that might want to see their team on good brooms, but if we buy a broom, we're going to be driving a bargain."
"So I'll be seeing you in a bit?"
"Bright-eyed and bushy-tailed."
"Hah - only if the tests on a new product went bad!" Harry waved and continued down the Alley.
After his run, Harry showered, dressed and headed downstairs with Dobby for some breakfast. Luckily for Harry, Dobby's choice in breakfast fare was the same as Harry's, except he would not use syrup and marmalade. They talked and laughed like the old friends they were, drawing quizzical stares from wizards and creatures far odder than they. Harry was on his second cup of tea after breakfast when Hermione showed up, and not long after, Ron and Ginny arrived with their father.
"Hello, Mr. Weasley, good to see you. Please have a seat. Are you going to shop with us?" asked Harry.
"I'd love to stop, Harry, but I haven't the time. I've got a new job and I'll need to get some supplies," said Arthur Weasley, who then departed briskly out the back to the entrance to Diagon Alley.
"A new job?" asked Hermione to Ron and Ginny, "What is it?"
"He won't say," said Ginny.
"Yeah, but whenever we ask, he gets a funny look," said Ron.
"I noticed that, too, Ron, but I didn't want to say anything," said Ginny, "I hope it's on the up-and-up."
"Ginny!" said Hermione, "How can you suggest that your father would do something dodgy? He's the straightest arrow I've ever known, except maybe my folks, and they've been known to take a few liberties on Health Service filings and tax reports. It's not like it's the twins you're talking about."
Ginny laughed, "Oh, I know he wouldn't do anything bad, but I think he would fudge a few lines to support his family - he'd do anything for us, you know."
"As it should be" added Dobby, to everyone's surprise. "You doesn't want to get hurt or in trouble, but a person should be willing to do anything for his family's well-being. There's no shame in doing what you needs to in providing for your own."
"Well" laughed Harry, "I didn't know I was harboring such a radical here."
"No radical, sir," said Dobby more shyly "Dobby has no political ideas. But responsibilities must be met, and family must be cared for, that's all."
Hermione beamed. "Dobby, I'm liking you more and more all the time. I wish the other elves thought that way."
"Begging Miss's pardon, but they do," offered Dobby, "but they understands their family as their wizard family. Very few ever knows their biological families, and because we is raised by wizards, we thinks of wizard families as our families. So when elves grow up, it's just natural for us to do what we can for our wizard families. It's who we are."
"So, Dobby," asked Ron, "you were raised by the Malfoys? How'd you turn out decent?"
"Oh, please don't make Dobby talk bad about the Malfoys!? I'd have to punish myself," Dobby pled, and then went on, "What I remember is that my earliest clear memories are with the Malfoys, but sometimes Dobby recalls things - vague memories and dreams of ... other faces and other places and sometimes some very scary things." He started rocking and moaning. "Dobby doesn't know why, but Dobby hates green lights - he has bad feelings about green lights."
The four young sorcerers were momentarily speechless. They had never heard Dobby or any elf sound so deeply emotional and conflicted.
"Mate," said Ron to Harry, "He sounds like you after your bad dreams and visions."
"Yeah," said Harry, "Dobby do you know anything about these feelings you get."
"No," squawked Dobby, "and Dobby doesn't want to know." He hopped up, obviously substituting activity for thought. "Time to go - Harry Potter and his friends must get the things they needs for Hogwarts."
"I reckon we can set off toward Fred and George's place. Likely they're either not up yet or dragging themselves around," said Ron. Harry paid for breakfast and they set off.
They arrived at Weasley's Wizard Wheezes in about half an hour, having taken some time to check the new brooms at Quality Quidditch Supplies. Hermione could not have been less interested, but she chatted further with Dobby about house elves. Harry overheard Dobby telling Hermione that elf welfare was one thing, but setting them free would be great cruelty. Hermione was having trouble with that and argued the point. When they approached the twins' shop, they saw a familiar figure walking away from it, checking off something on a piece of paper he was holding.
"Dad!" Ginny called.
He waved back to them "Hi, kids! Sorry kids, can't hold up. No time. Besides you don't want an old fellow like me around."
"Well," said Ron, "it's better than him moping about."
They went into the shop and looked around. There was an entire wall of ready-to-use magical items: fireworks displays for various occasions, portable swamps, deserts (with and without oases), waterfalls, sinkholes; small waterspouts; siroccos, dust devils, local thunderstorms (with an offer posted to produce larger weather phenomena with sufficient notice - for the right price), an extensive array of clothing with different magical effects (generally not permanently harmful, but sometimes temporarily disabling), and all sorts of candies and foods with various effects. They had a number of bowls set up with free samples. Ron started to reach for one and Hermione grabbed his wrist.
"Have you forgotten where you are? You grew up with these two!" asked Hermione sharply.
"Oh, right, I forgot," said Ron, "I was feeling hungry and they look so good." He started to reach with the other hand, but Harry caught that one. Just then George stepped out, grinning.
"Oh, what's the matter, can't he have a snack?" George said. Then he pointed up. "Better pull him away: we have a willpower shroud set up near that bowl - you get under it and you lose any power to resist a sample. We get more testers that way."
They pulled Ron back and he shook his head to clear it. "What was I thinking?"
"As usual," said Hermione, "not much."
"Harry, you were under it, too," said George, "Why didn't you go for any?"
"I don't know. I just came from breakfast."
Then Hermione asked, "Say, George, we saw your father hurrying away from here, checking something off. What was he up to?"
"My lips are sealed," he said with a smile and a wink.
"There, that's it," said Ginny, "that same funny look Dad gets when we ask him about his new job. Now what kind of job would have him getting supplies from you trolls!?"
Fred called out from the back room, "I'm hurt and shocked to hear our names besmirched, just as we were prepared to spend our gold on you."
"Yeah, right," said Ginny, "you two wouldn't stand for us holding our tongues."
"Hrmf," said George "I guess Gryffindor's new chaser can just keep riding a school broom."
Ginny got wide-eyed. "You two weren't planning on getting me a broom, were you?"
"Well, we discussed it, but we're not so sure now - Who's a troll?" teased Fred.
"Okay," she said, "you're not trolls."
"Uh-uh," said George, "not good enough - who's a troll?"
"Okay, I'll say it," said Ginny, "I'm a troll."
"Did you get that, Fred?" asked George.
"Uh-oh," said Ginny, "What are you two up to?"
"Testing our new camera - it doesn't need flashes and it captures several seconds of a person's actions and words. Wait a second - here comes the print," explained Fred.
He held up a print of Ginny, looking exasperated and saying every so often "Okay, I'll say it. I'm a troll."
"GIVE ME THAT," she yelled, grabbing for the print, but George caught her by the arms.
"Wow, you really have been working out," he said. "But it doesn't matter if you wreck that print - we can make more. We'll run a bunch of these for our ads, but this one we'll keep on our mantle - it's the first spontaneous shot we've taken. Don't worry, Ginny, the charm wears off after a few weeks, unless it gets renewed with the refresher potion, sold separately."
"I think I'll just wait outside," said Hermione, edging toward the door, "until the rest of you are ready to go."
"Yeah, me too," said Harry, as he and Dobby headed out.
"What's the matter?" asked Fred with a laugh, "Afraid we won't catch your best side?"
In about ten minutes, everyone was together outside. As they expected big business on this, the day before the Hogwarts' train departed, Fred stayed with the shop, while George accompanied the rest shopping. Fred hung out the door to say good-bye, then said to George with a wink, "Reckon we ought to make it up to her?"
"Think we can?"
"I think so - let me know how she likes it."
And then George started leading them the opposite direction from Quality Quidditch Supplies, with a skip in his step.
"Right, George, you're up to something - what is it?" asked Ginny.
"Oh, just something we've had our eyes on for about a month. We were going over the books with our accountants at Gringott's. We noticed in the back a nice-looking broom they were holding. They told us it had been seized and was being sold to pay off some debts a wizard had. So we've been doing some negotiating, and we're going to pick up your Firebolt."
Ginny stopped dead, and then started jumping around in excitement. "George! You're kidding, aren't you? If you're teasing about something like that, I'll ...You can't mean it - a Firebolt, just like Harry's?"
They heard a voice from down the block - "I reckon she likes it."
"Well, not quite like Harry's - this one's souped up, for extra stabilization and maneuverability - if you've got the guts to push it."
"Oh, boy, have I, have I, have I? I've wanted a broom I can take to the limit for a long time. Hoo-boy, Harry, I'm gonna have a better broom than you!"
Harry grinned. "Yeah, well, some players need all the help they can get." He dodged her playful swipe at him.
Hermione then asked, "George, Harry's broom is the factory model. If this one has extra charms put on it, how can you be sure it's safe?"
Ron groaned. "You're always a ray of sunshine, aren't you Hermione? Some other wizard's already been using it and would have tanked by now if it wasn't safe."
"Well, actually Ron, he hardly got to use it at all before he went on the lam. It was Ludo Bagman's. He was having additional charms put on it - factory specs, mind you" added George for Hermione's benefit, "but he had it only for a couple of weeks before Harry tied for the Triwizard Tournament and he had to run from the goblins he was in hock to. They've already sold his house and a bunch of other stuff. This will finally get him out of debt, if he hasn't been taking any other foolish bets."
"This must have set you two back a bundle," said Harry, "I remember pricing these before Sirius bought me mine, and you could buy a decent house for what these cost."
"Well, that was over three years ago, and other models have come out, so the price of new Firebolts has dropped, and of course, that pushes the price of used brooms even further. Mind you, it wasn't cheap, but it didn't cost the small fortune Sirius paid. He was a bit giddy with freedom. And Hermione, as for reliability, not only were the alterations factory-installed, but the goblins and Fred and I have all tested it - it's a real sweet ride, there's no vibration until you're at the very edge of what it can do."
By then they had reached Gringott's and went inside. Dobby situated himself in the center of the group, since as much as he wanted to see Melony again, he didn't want to do so with a skull split wide open. Instead of going to the tellers, George led them over to the accounting department. He exchanged a few words with a goblin there, signed a receipt, and was handed a Firebolt. Then he balanced it in the air and let go, where it held as steady as a rock.
"Well, Ginny," said George, "Aren't you going to come get your new broom?"
"First things first," she said, and threw her arms around his neck and hugged him vigorously, then kissed him on the cheek. "Thank you, you big idiot." Then she carefully took hold of the broom. "Oh, my - it is beautiful."
As Ginny and Ron looked at the new broom, Hermione went to a teller to exchange the pound notes her parents had given her for galleons. Harry noticed Grishnack and decided to say hello. Grishnack was speaking to a couple of wizards. As he got closer, he realized that it was Percy Weasley and Kingsley Shacklebolt. Harry didn't really want to deal with Harry so he busied himself with his head down at a kiosk.
"It's not in your interests to flout the Ministry's laws," Harry over heard Percy warning Grishnack. "Gringott's needs dealings with wizards and wizards won't be able to deal with Gringott's if we do not all resist those who would destroy wizarding society."
"I well understand the source of Gringott's prosperity, but what is prosperity if you make laws which leave us vulnerable to someone," said Grishnack, at this point cocking his head to indicate he had someone very specific in mind, "who would not mind seeing us goblins destroyed."
Percy laughed disingenuously, "Aah, Grishnack, the Ministry of course values its relations with the other magical beings. No one in the Ministry would think of doing anything against you."
"You think me a fool," said Grishnack sharply, his voice rising and attracting dark looks and muttering from the tellers. Then speaking low and stern he added, "Not all stories are merely stories, lad. Dark deeds have been done, and not just by those you now call enemy."
"Well, of course, Percy went on breezily, "in any endeavour, mistakes can be made, and while I do not know of all the things you now refer, I am sure that any illegal acts have been punished. Or if you are referring to Bagman..."
Grishnack hissed, "Bagman! He is just a fool. He is simply an empty-headed buffoon. His debts have now been resolved. There are those who have gone unpunished and there can be no alliance nor any trust until the Ministry addresses anti-goblin attitudes more thoroughly than they have been willing to."
"Well, Grishnack, I'm certain that ..."
"Mr. Weasley," interrupted Shacklebolt in his deep voice, "I have known Grishnack for some time now. Perhaps if I could speak privately with him a few minutes, we could work the current concerns out."
Percy pursed his lips looking down at Grishnack. "Very well," he agreed reluctantly.
Percy turned and stepped angrily toward the kiosk where Harry had been listening. Harry could tell Percy had not yet seen him, but he could find no cover to allow him to duck out. Suddenly Harry saw the look of recognition on Percy's face.
"Harry," called out Percy, beaming at him like they were grand old friends even yet. He extended his hand, "You've been growing quite nicely I see, getting a bit of exercise too. Splendid!"
Harry reluctantly shook his hand, though he felt more like breaking Percy's arm. "How can you talk to me like ... this, after the way you treated me at the hearing last year and at Hogwarts."
"Oh, did you misunderstand that? I thought you'd realize I was just doing my job, just being professional. When I had to step in at the TriWizard Tournament judging, I had to maintain decorum then, as well, didn't I? It wouldn't do to look like we were good chums, now would it?"
Harry remembered that 'decorum' breaking down when things got tight back then, however, as when Ron came staggering out of the lake at the end of the second task.
"You said some rather harsh things about me," said Harry.
"What? I don't think I had the opportunity to say much of anything to you."
"I didn't say 'to me,' I said 'about me.' I read the letter you wrote to Ron."
"Ah," said Percy, "Well, Harry, I do regret that. I had the inside information on how the winds were blowing and didn't want Ron to be hurt. I am concerned for all of my family."
"You've got a funny way of showing it."
"Harry," said Percy, arching an eyebrow, "do you remember the final feast your first year at Hogwarts, when Neville Longbottom was awarded points for trying to stop you three? What was it Dumbledore said? Something like that it can take far more courage to stand up to our friends than to our enemies. I would like to see all of the family through the coming hard times, but when they work against the Ministry, I do my best by trying to bring them around to loyalty."
"A person's got to take a broader look than just the interests of the current administration," said Harry darkly.
"Indeed!" agreed Percy, speaking closely, "you aren't proposing some effort against the current administration, are you?"
"I just think the bigger picture must be kept in mind."
"I see," said Percy, "Well, then, do you happen to be here alone."
"Oh, no," said Harry, nodding over toward Ron, Ginny, Hermione, and George, all looking at the broom. "I also have Dobby here with me," he added, looking down toward Dobby, who had been quietly sticking close to Harry for both their protection.
"Ah, yes. Well, I guess I should ..." Percy started saying as he began to walk toward the others.
"No," said Harry, "You really shouldn't. Your father has told them not to seek you out to hurt you, but I'm not so sure they would have such restraint if you approached them."
"I am that badly misunderstood?" asked Percy sadly.
"Misunderstood!?" said Harry incredulously, "Well, if that's what you want to call it, yeah, it's that much."
"Perhaps you can then fill me in on the events of the family?" asked Percy gently.
Harry peered at him. He seemed genuinely interested, so he recounted for Percy some of the events of the last year, trying to keep to things that could be easily found out through other channels, such as the progress of the Fred's and George's business and the OWL test results. As he did, he tried also to listen to the conversation between Shacklebolt and Grishnack. He heard something about the Ministry and conspiracy, but when Grishnack saw Harry paying attention, he made a gesture and both he and Shacklebolt stopped talking.
You need something, Potter?" said Grishnack.
"Grishnack, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to interrupt. I was just here with my friends and wanted to say hello and thank you again for helping Dobby," said Harry.
Dobby nodded his earnest agreement.
"Very well, Potter, hello, you're welcome. I see your friend is doing well. By the way, let me introduce you, Mr. Shacklebolt, to Harry Potter. You seem already to know Mr. Weasley. Potter, Mr. Weasley and Mr. Shacklebolt are here from the Ministry to inform us of the latest impositions they would seek to impose on us goblins."
Shacklebolt gave no hint of recognition as he nodded politely toward him. Harry then remembered that the Order was still a secret organization.
"Yes, of course," Shacklebolt said grimly, befitting an auror, "Mr. Potter's fame precedes him. It is an honor to meet you, Mr. Potter."
"Likewise, Mr. Shacklebolt," said Harry.
"Now, Grishnack," said Shacklebolt, returning his attention to the goblin before him, "the Ministry expects compliance with its decrees. It is for the good of all magical beings to unite behind the Ministry to meet the new challenges which face us."
"You and Weasley can tell your Ministry that many of these measures go too far - they aren't increasing security, they are only oppressing goblins and the wizards we do business with, and we won't stand for it."
"I'll take my leave then."
Shacklebolt and Percy turned briskly to leave together, but Harry hurried to catch them.
"Mr. Shacklebolt," said Harry, "Excuse me. Percy, do you mind?"
Percy took a few more steps toward the door so Harry could talk to Shacklebolt. Harry was aware that Percy was trying to look occupied but was in fact listening in, much as Harry had.
"Mr. Shacklebolt, I see from your badge you're an auror: could I ask you a few questions? I'm considering career options."
Harry stood close to Shacklebolt so he could then whisper, "What is going on with all these decrees? Grishnack's right, some of these things are just oppression."
Shacklebolt pulled Harry over to a secluded alcove and gestured for Dobby to stay a space away. He said loudly, "Well, I'll tell you about auror training; that might help you make up your mind." Then he added quietly "I can't talk about any new decrees here, Potter, but it appears that Fudge wants to push the goblins into rebellion. I think he wants to seize the bank and the mining interests. Then he'll control most businesses by controlling their finances. He'll establish nearly unstoppable power in the Ministry with assets like that. As for me, I cannot forget, as a black man, that I am here in this country as a result of oppression imposed on my ancestors by earlier muggle governments. If it comes to it, I'll stand with the goblins against a tyranny. You might want to consider where you would stand if it comes to that." Then he resumed his louder speech "And that's the sort of education and challenge I found at Auror Academy. It's rigorous, but from what I have heard of you, you may be up to it."
"Well, thank you, Mr. Shacklebolt," replied Harry, giving a nod as Shacklebolt rejoined Percy and left with him.
Harry then returned to speak to Grishnack. "Is it really becoming that dire, Grishnack?"
"We still have some patience, Potter. We hope the Ministry will come to its senses and reverse these decrees. We don't want bloodshed, but we can only be pushed so far. In the meantime, we prepare. We know we have some friends, such as Shacklebolt. He carries the Ministry's messages, and for now he does its bidding, but he has made it clear with whom he would stand. How about you, Potter? I have no doubt you want to be a friend of both sides - but if it comes down to it, where would you stand?"
"I don't know," Harry said doubtfully.
"I'd rather an honest answer like that, then an ephemeral promise. Just keep your eye out, pay attention to what's going on, and think about it."
"Sir," Dobby interrupted, "Er, I was hoping I could see that healer Melony again, and, er, thank her for her help."
Grishnack eyed Dobby carefully. "You've taken a fancy to her. Stay away! You're an elf, she's a goblin. I can respect you as a free being, but the hullabaloo cannot tolerate an elf showing that kind of interest in one of its members. There are plenty who thought Gribball had the right idea in trying to kill you, even though you are free. I have spread the word amongst the hullabaloos of Gringott's not to harm the elf in clothing, but I cannot protect you if you try to approach Melony or any other women. Do you understand?"
Dobby nodded sadly. And he and Harry turned back to rejoin Hermione and the Weasleys. Hermione asked why they were so sad, and they told her. She tried to comfort Dobby and suggested that he look to the girl elves, but he shook his head.
"Miss, I cannot explain it, but there is nothing that interests me about them. They're just friends. But around Melony, Dobby felt like he was where he ought to be."