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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 12

Chapter Summary:
Harry and the others run into Bill and Fleur and learn that Bill is being called back to Egypt because a site he had worked on has been tampered with. Harry tells him it was Voldemort. Bill tells them what he knows about the site. Harry runs into Draco Malfoy at Flourish and Blotts. Later, while Ginny is trying out her new Firebolt, Harry has a vision which shakes him up badly. To get over it, he takes them all to Fortescue's Ice Cream Parlor to see the goblin menu, with a variety of reactions.

Chapter 12 Egypt

Tasks at Gringotts completed, the group stepped out from the cavernous darkness of Gringotts into the mid-morning light. The sun hurt their eyes as they blinked while adapting to the brightness of the day. Ron was the first to notice in the shadows to the right of the bank's entry steps a couple kissing to one side. He nudged the others and pointed.

"I know that ponytail," said Ginny and Hermione at once.

"I know that blonde hair," said Ron, Harry and George together. They all waited till the kiss was over and then called "Bill, Fleur," and walked over.

They noticed that Fleur's eyes looked like she had been crying.

"Oh, hi, all" said Bill, "We, um, were just saying good-bye. I've been called away on business emergency. One of Gringott's exploration sites in southern Egypt has been tampered with. I have to go see if any of the protective charms have been broken, or possibly others put on."

"So what sort of treasure is in the site?" asked Hermione.

"Well, the goblins are always hoping for gold or gems, of course, and there's usually some in a relatively intact site such as this. When there are magical protections, there are usually magical objects or directions as well. I had worked on this site before and there are some interesting magical protections there."

"And by interestaing, 'e means 'e has not been able to beat them yet," teased Fleur, with only a mild accent now.

"Well, if they were easy to beat, they wouldn't be interesting would, they?" agreed Bill with a laugh. "Proper entry appears to require some sort of small magical object, probably something that could have been carried on a necklace, but the goblins have tried all such objects that they have available in Egypt. It appears that the key has been destroyed or spirited out of the country, probably lost now."

"So your job is to beat the magical locks?" asked Hermione.

"Exactly. With the key it would be easy, but most locks - magical or muggle - can be beaten in some way."

"Bill, I know you think Fred and I are odd to learn some of the muggle ways into things, but have you tried drills or blasting?" asked George.

"That's actually part of the standard procedure at a site: first we try all the charms and countercharms that have worked before, then all the magical objects that have not worked somewhere else, then we use all the tricks we have to get the protections to reveal themselves, then we give brute force a try. For most tombs and storerooms, if nothing else works, dynamite will."

"So?" prompted Ginny.

"Not a scratch."

"What would have such protection as that?" asked Ron.

"Well, obviously something that was prized by ancient wizards more than the gold, jewels and mummies we've found in other sites. By the inscriptions it appears that there is some sort of instruction or formula or such for something that the ancient wizards described as very wonderful or powerful or somehow very desirable - the translations aren't perfect, but the sense is of something really great - not so much for money-type value as desirable in itself."

"Wow, that is so fascinating," said Hermione.

"You know, Hermione, from what I've heard and seen of you, you'd make a great Gringott's explorer and charm-breaker - it requires extensive study of ancient languages and charms, as well as a bit of derring-do."

Hermione smiled and blushed "Well, I'll keep that in mind too. There are a lot of great possibilities."

George then asked "Do you know when the attempt was made, or who did it?"

"Not really," answered Bill "We know it was recent, but this is a project that's been on hold since I came back to London. Dumbledore says he can spare me for awhile, especially if it's a matter of keeping the goblins placated."

"I know who and when," said Harry matter-of-factly, "Voldemort, four days ago."

They all stared at him.

He explained, "I was feeling his frustration in my scar. It was similar to his frustration at not being able to get into the Department of Mysteries last year, but more like a matter of a puzzle that stumped him. And I could tell he was a long way away from here."

"Okay, Potter," said Ginny, "How much of that did you tell Dumbledore?"

"All of it," said Harry, "Well, except I didn't know what Bill just told us, but the timing is right, and it sounds like the sort of thing he would go for."

"Oh, Bill," said Fleur, "must you go?"

"It's all the more important if Harry's right. Besides, if we hope to have the goblins ever stand with us, we must show that we are willing to stand with them when their things are threatened."

Fleur looked down. "I understand, but I do not 'ave to like it. You must be careful! 'e may 'ave put his own 'exes on it, and 'e will probably 'ave people watching the site to keep others from getting in."

"I'll watch out, I promise. A cadre of guards has been added, and you've just helped me apply essence of murtlap - repels most spells, you know (he explained to the others) - and I'll be wearing a graphorn-leather cloak that the goblins keep at the most dangerous sites." Then Bill groaned and rolled his eyes, adding "in the summer, in the Sahara!"

"Oh, yes," said Ginny, "If only it was in the winter in the Sahara it would be fine."

"I thought you generally worked at night, Bill," said Ron, "when the goblins can be out. It shouldn't be as hot then"

"Yeah, but they head out as soon as the sun is down - they don't wait for the sand to cool. And I'll be out there some days in the midday heat as well, since many of the signs of Dark enchantments can only be detected in sunlight, the brighter the better."

"Well, we'd better let you finish your good-byes," said George with a smirk "and we have shopping to do. Oh, do we need to tell Mum and Dad?"

"No, thanks," Bill replied, "I told Mum. Speaking of Dad, I just saw him dart down Knockturn Alley. What's up with that?"

"Don't worry," said George, again with the infuriating grin, "everything's under control. He hasn't become a Death Eater or anything."

Bill laughed, his earrings jingling. "That's the last thing I worry about."

The group was going to get books first, but Harry stopped them and asked, "Hold on a sec - where's Dobby?"

Dobby came from the alley at the left side of Gringotts with a dreamy smile on his face.

"While you was talking to Bill Weasley, I heard a voice call my name," explained Dobby. "I looked to the side and it was Melony, leaning out a window. She said she wants to meet me. She says she can get out and visit me Friday at midnight. We're to meet at Gryffindor dorm, so we won't run into any elves - they'd be angry. They hates goblins."

"That's great, Dobby," said Harry, "We'll make arrangements. I guess we'd better take care of our books at Flourish & Blotts next."

By now many Hogwarts' students and their families were also doing their pre-school shopping. Harry could not turn his head without getting a wave and a thumbs-up, and students calling out, "I'm in." More than a few parents approached him to shake his hand and thank him personally for whatever help he could give their child. A few even asked if they could join the DA themselves, which at first took Harry aback, until he recovered - realizing that few adult wizards were probably much prepared to defend themselves - and referred them to Dumbledore.

Hermione beamed. "You see, Harry. Now that Voldemort's return is acknowledged - oh, get over it Ron - everyone wants to learn from you."

"Well, I don't know if it's me or that it's the only game in town," said Harry modestly.

"Oh, stop that!" said Ginny, "I can't stand that overdone modesty. You don't need to have a big head to recognize that there aren't five other people in the country better qualified to teach surviving confrontations with the Death Eaters!"

"Alright, alright," laughed Harry, "I guess you're right. I've just always been put off by all this fame stuff."

Ron spoke up next, "Harry, we don't want you to coach us because you survived as a baby. We want you to teach us because you've fought and survived so many times after growing up - THAT took skill and guts, and that's what we want a piece of."

But when they got to Flourish and Blotts, they learned that not everybody was enthusiastic about Harry and the DA. Back in the shelves, Harry ran into Draco Malfoy and his goons, Crabbe and Goyle.

"So, Potter, you bribed your way to a NEWT early and now you think you're the expert," said Malfoy, while Crabbe and Goyle rubbed their fists and cracked their knuckles.

Somehow, Draco's taunts didn't get under Harry's skin anymore: they seemed so small.

"It really wasn't my doing, Malfoy, either the NEWT or the DA. As for being an expert, I'll let everyone else decide if they want to practice with me. You three are welcome to join us too, if you'd like, or form your own club. It's your choice, as far as I'm concerned."

"Oh, you'd like that, wouldn't you, Potter, making me come to you for lessons? We'll see a Weasley named Minister of Magic before that happens."

"Suit yourself," replied Harry.

"But we might just do like you said, though, about forming our own club. With you forming a gang of mudbloods and riffraff, the real wizards at the school may just need to get organized."

"Fine by me, Malfoy. The Defense Association is already a lot for me to handle, so the more you can take the better."

Malfoy eyed Harry suspiciously, all the more so for his calm response, as he and his henchmen shoved their way past him.

"I reckon we can put these away," Harry heard George say from the next aisle. He, Ron and Ginny came around the corner, putting away their wands. "We saw those three clowns looking for trouble and figured we'd best be prepared."

"That was brilliant, Harry," said Ron. "It made him madder that you didn't react than if you had mouthed off. Let's make a pact this year - we'll all turn Malfoy away with soft answers and courtesy this year - it'll drive him nuts."

They all put their hands together and made a pledge.

"But, Harry," said Ginny, "Do you really want him to set up his own group? A bunch of thugs up to no good?"

"Sure, I only want people who are serious about survival in the DA. We're going to work hard, and I don't need disruptions. Anyway, I'd rather not teach junior Death Eaters how to be effective in battle. Besides, all Malfoy can teach 'em is how to be slimy and sneaky, and we already expect that. As far as fighting skills go, it'll be the blind leading the blind."

They finished buying their books and headed back to Weasley's Wizard Wheezes to have lunch with Fred. When they got there, they found him overwhelmed with customers. As it was the day before the students returned to school, everyone wanted to load up on their joke supplies, especially since it looked to be a tense year. Harry, Hermione, and all the Weasleys pitched in to catch up with business, while Dobby took care of bringing additional supplies from the basement storeroom. Every so often, a customer would get too close to the samples, take one, and with a pop convert into some sort of a creature or grow some auxiliary appendage.

After they got a good start on taking care of the press of customers, Dobby went upstairs to make lunch for them all. They took turns staffing the store and having lunch so that all the business could be handled. Even so, it came to be fairly late in the day, and they still had not gotten their stationery and pet supplies. The rest had been talking quidditch all day when they weren't doing business, so Hermione offered to go get supplies for everyone.

"Would it be alright for Dobby to come with me, Harry? I'll need help carrying things," she asked.

Well, it's up to him - Dobby, do you think I'll be safe enough surrounded by all these wizards?"

"Dobby thinks he's being made fun of, sir. Dobby takes his work seriously," answered Dobby.

"Oh, Dobby, I'm sorry if you didn't like the tease. It's just been strange for me having a bodyguard all summer." Harry said sincerely.

"Dobby understands. Harry Potter will be safe here. Dobby will go with Miss."

When the shop finally closed, there was still daylight available, so Ginny decided she had to try out her new Firebolt. They went to the roundabout in front of the shop and she kicked off. She hooted and hollered for awhile on it, till Fred called, "Well, if you're not going to put it to the test, we may as well take it back."

"Right then," called Ginny and pushed up the speed and started making rather daring approaches through trees and at buildings that would have been foolish on a school broom. Then as Harry watched in horror, the broom started bucking and tossing like his had his first year when Professor Quirrel jinxed it. Harry watched and grabbed for his wand to try to break her fall, when he saw the broom suddenly dart with Ginny across the road and slam into the side of the twins' shop. Harry shouted in horror as he saw Ginny's limp body drop two and a half stories to the pavement.

Then Harry blinked his eyes and saw Ginny still flying about, as she came to a stop and stared at him. The rest were staring too, and then Harry realized it had just been another vision. He let his arm drop limply by his side, still clutching the wand. He squeezed his eyes shut to keep from crying.

"I saw ... Ginny (pointing to where she had been when the vision started) ... she crashed (he traced the path ending at the wall) ... she collapsed (pointing at the ground below)"

"Come on, mate," said Fred, "it's time for a cuppa, or maybe even a butterbeer. Let's go upstairs."

Ginny landed and they all went with Harry to the twins' walkup apartment. George kept a watch from the window for Hermione and Dobby and called them up when they arrived. They told about the vision, and Hermione came and stood behind Harry and rubbed his shoulders.

"It's okay, Harry," she soothed, "Everyone here understands. Nobody carries what you do. It's a wonder you keep caring about anything at all."

He turned and looked up at her "That's just it. When I first came to Hogwarts, I just wanted to figure out what being a wizard was, and get out of the Dursleys' house, and learn stuff about my parents. I made some friends - good friends -, but I couldn't say I was too worried about what happened to most people. I figured someone else was looking after them, and I'd just take care of myself. But that's not the way it is now. I care for too many people - all of you, and the DA, and everyone at Hogwarts, and the Order, and the Dursleys, and ... everyone." He put his head down on his crossed arms on the kitchen table and sobbed. "And it's all on me."

Everyone looked around, and as much as any of them would like to say otherwise, they all knew it was true.

Finally, George spoke up, "Maybe so, Harry, but you'll never be alone. We're with you all the way."

And they all agreed.

"In fact," he continued, "Fred and I were hoping we could be with the DA ourselves, if you don't mind letting a couple of dropouts have a second chance."

Harry caught himself and looked up, "I'll put in a word for you. I need all the experienced hands I can get. I'm sorry, everyone. It just all gets to me sometimes. With this Occlumency, I'm supposed to be closing out emotions, but I just can't stop caring."

Ginny put a hand on his arm and looked tearfully into his eyes. "We wouldn't want you to stop that, Harry. It's what makes you so special."

Harry took a deep breath and gathered himself. "Oh, we can't mope around like this. Tell you what. Let's go to Fortescue's for ice cream, my treat. We learned he has a special night menu, but he'll bring it out early for us, won't he, Dobby."

Dobby started tittering uncontrollably and Harry winked at him.

When they arrived, Harry insisted they take a couple of tables outside. Then he went in and got the goblin menus from Fortescue. Ginny and Ron started looking at the entries and gave the desired look of disgust. Fred and George started whispering to each other. Hermione looked thoughtful.

"This is very interesting," she said.

"Hermione, don't you find these revolting?" asked Harry, with a hint of exasperation.

"Well, of course, on a personal level. But I was expecting something strange, since you and Dobby were acting so silly. It was very good to see you cheering up like that. So when we got the menus, I noticed right away that the heading said it was for goblins. Of course, we all know that as primarily troglodytic beings, their preferred foods run to roots, grubs and meats, generally heavily spiced, and very little in the way of sweets."

"Granger," said Harry, "sometimes you're just too rational to be any fun."

"That's what I've been saying, mate!" said Ron, "But what's up with these two?"

The twins broke their discussion.

"This is brilliant," said Fred.

"Oh?" said Ginny, "I suppose you're going to have the silverfish and horseradish!?"

"No, it's not that WE want to eat these things. It's that there are customers who do," said George, "Just like Zonko's has blood pops that are just for jokes for most people but are a real treat for the vampires, we have a line of disgusting flavored foods coming out. Nothing magical about them - just so awful they're funny. We're calling the whole line Gross-ries."

"Yeah," added Fred "we've got things like angel-food cake tubes filled with chicken curry, and licorice-coated garlic dills."

Everyone got a disgusted look on their faces, except for Dobby who got the 'kid in a candy store' look and licked his lips.

"See! Look at Dobby," continued Fred, "We consider these things gross, but he's excited. He likes this ice cream menu, too, which means the goblins will probably like these other things he likes as well. It's one thing to sell these as novelties to wizards, but to sell them as packaged foods to goblins would be a gold mine! Zonko's makes good money with blood pops and there can't be more than 100 vampires in Britain. But there are several thousands of goblins."

"Dobby," said George "How would you like a part-time job."

"I has the best job in the world already, sir. I guards Harry Potter," Dobby said proudly.

"You could keep doing that, and a noble calling it is, too," George went on, with a wink at Harry, "What I have in mind is this: when we come to Hogwarts for DA practices, we'll bring some of our new products - we swear no tricks - and you taste them and tell us how you like them. It might be things like cantaloupe in guacamole, or liver treacle tarts, or yams in mole sauce."

"That's pronounced 'mo-lay', George" corrected Hermione.

"Not the sauce WE use."

"Eeeww," said Hermione.

"Sirs would let Dobby be the first to try these delicacies and pay him!? Already Dobby gets to guard Harry Potter and clean the Gryffindor dorms. And Dobby has a date with the beautiful goblin Melony! Could life get any better than this!?"

"It takes all kinds, doesn't it?" said Ron.

"Ron, after hearing all this," said Ginny, "I'm going to stop teasing you about your peanut butter and ketchup sandwiches."

"Eeeww!" said Hermione.