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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 and his friends meet at The Leaky Cauldron to make the trip to Kings Cross Station. At the station, Harry is greeted by many, including Luna Lovegood's father, who gives him a subscritpion to The Quibbler. Harry discovery that the Hogwarts Express now has a car with a gym and goes to work out. He is ambushed by Draco, but Dobby stops any attack. Harry offers to box with Draco, who insists on Crabbe and Goyle being involved as well. Harry gets Dean Thomas and Seamus Finnegan as his teammates for the match.
Chapter 13 Greetings and Departure
Harry and Hermione ran together before breakfast, or at least they set off together. Although Hermione had been working on a conditioning program, she had started less fit than Harry and had not worked nearly as obsessively. Soon Harry was running ahead with Dobby on his back, and when he got to the end of Diagon Alley, he would double-back and greet Hermione passing the other way. His first reaction as he saw her coming was the pleasure one gets in seeing a well-loved friend. But then Harry noted to himself that as composed and even imposing as Hermione could be in robes bearing a wand or a book, she was particularly ungainly once she started to get winded. He hoped that as she got into shape that would pass, because he did not want to think poorly of a friend or let pass a comment that would offend her.
Every time Harry passed Weasley Wizard Wheezes, one or the other of the twins would either catcall or act like they were taking pictures. By the time Harry was on his fourth pass-by, he noticed a mess around the windows, which grew every time he passed by again. He realized Hermione must be getting the same teasing and in response was pulling her wand to keep the twins at bay. Of course, Harry thought, the eggs and other debris would just egg them on.
When they were done Harry and Hermione went to their rooms to shower and put the finishing touches on their packing. They went downstairs together to check out and stow their bags until time to leave. They found Ron, Ginny and the twins already down there claiming a large enough table for all of them for breakfast.
"What'sa matter, Hermione?" laughed Fred, "Don't like your picture taken in the morning? Did you forget your makeup?"
"Why worry?" said George, "No one could see you through that hair anyway."
"That's how they'd know it was her," said Fred.
Hermione glared daggers at them, but Harry, Ginny and Ron were stifling their own laughter.
"Next time, I won't use temporary charms on you two," growled Hermione.
"Ooh, we're scared. Ickle Hermione is going to jinx us," said George.
"Hermione, next time you say you're jealous of me having brothers, I'm going to remind you of this," said Ginny.
"You know, Harry," said Ron, "that would be an interesting fight - Hermione against the twins. Who d'ya reckon would win?"
"Hmm," said Harry thoughtfully, "that's a good one. One on one, it'd be Hermione, I reckon (the twins feigned offense at this), but could she handle the two of them at once. Maybe we should stage that at one of the advanced DA sessions. Oh, by the way, you two, I talked with Dumbledore last night - you're in. Just Apparate to the Quidditch pitch and walk on up. He said you could join the Gryffindor table for dinner on DA nights."
"Hey, now that's a deal, even if we have to spar with Hermione," said George.
"I'm glad he agreed. Without you two, if we have 400 new students, the rest would have over 20 each This will cut it down some," said Harry.
"Harry," said Ginny, "I thought 400 was the low side estimate - what if more show up?"
"I don't know. I don't even know what I'm hoping for. If we have too many, I'm afraid progress will be too slow, but I'd hate to turn away anyone who wants to learn. I've even thought about dividing the group into two if it's too large and doubling the nights we meet, but that would be so hard on us original DAs to meet 4 nights a week, plus do studies and for most of us quidditch."
"Well, better this sort of problem than last year's situation," said Hermione, "I don't know if I could handle another year of such sneaking around. I just hope the new DA teacher won't have a problem with it."
"He, or she, won't," said Fred, with a grin toward George, "we're sure of it."
"Any chance you're going to fill us in?" said Harry.
"Nope, so don't bother."
"I know you too well - I won't. By the way everyone, everything about Marietta is in the past." The Weasleys were aghast, but Harry continued, "What's done is done and we need every competent DA student from last year to help this year."
"Harry's right," added Hermione, "I've already lifted the Sneak Curse on her, and she says she has been practicing hard. She really was quite good, even if she was only forced into it by Cho."
"Yeah, but she stabbed us in the back!" said Ron.
"Ron," said Harry, "Have you forgotten already what things were like last year!? We were all scared silly, not just of Voldemort, but of Umbridge as well. It was just a matter of time before someone cracked. If someone saw her skulking off with Cho and reported it, Umbridge could have brought all sorts of pressure."
Ron scowled, "Well, I don't have to like it and I don't have to be nice to her."
Harry nodded, "I told her to accept that she would get a cold reception. If you'll at least treat her as well as McGonagall treats Trelawney, it'll be okay."
"What if there's trouble again, though, Harry. Maybe she'd pull a Pettigrew on us and sell us out in a pinch. She seems to have done that once already."
"Well for now, we're only talking about training with the DA. I'm not saying we have to put her in a crucial role, like my parents did with Pettigrew. I'm also not saying we need to tell her about secret matters, just accept her as a group leader in out training sessions."
"I suppose I can live with that," Ron muttered, with the other Weasleys nodding reluctantly.
"Okay, I'm glad that's settled. We also need to get the word to the others - no one is to mention any of this problem to the rest of the school. What happened last year is solely among last year's DA, okay?"
"Yeah, I guess. So what's the plan for getting to Kings' Cross," said Ron, as breakfast was brought out on large platters.
Hermione answered. "We've worked out a plan for maximal safety while Dobby's not with Harry. Oh, Harry stop rolling your eyes - you know we have to be cautious. Fred and George will be taking the baggage. From here, Dobby will Apparate Ginny to the station, while one of the twins takes her things. Then Dobby and whichever twin comes back for you and your things, Harry, and then for you, Ron. Finally Dobby comes back for me, and the other twin will come along at that time with my things."
"Yes, we can't have Harry getting lonely," teased Fred.
"Oh, yeah?" said Harry, as his hand darted under the table and he muttered something, then as quickly returned to buttering his waffle.
"Erk!" said Fred, with his eyes watering, "Good one, Harry. Excuse me, I'll be right back."
"What's the matter, Fred?" asked Ginny, noticing his odd gait.
"Erm, well, Harry's mastered the wickedest wedgie-charm ever. Harry, you've got to show me that one later - but on someone else."
Traveling by Apparation, they were able to go directly to the Hogwarts platform, without passing through from the muggle side. An area was set aside for families who could arrive that way, which greatly eased the problem of disguising passages through the wall to Platform 9 ¾ from the muggles.
Virtually as soon as he got there, Harry was beset by students and parents. All the parents who approached thanked him profusely and the students all said they were looking forward to it. More than a few of the young witches eyed Harry in his jeans and t-shirt and blushed: some went away with their witch friends giggling together. When Harry saw Neville, he asked him to save a seat on the train, and to try to get a couple of other students to join them, since all their usual seatmates were now prefects.
"Actually, Harry, I was going to spend a good bit of the time in the last car," said Neville, pointing.
Harry looked and saw that a car had been added - conjured for the day most likely - which was not a passenger car. He could see through the windows that it contained a fully-equipped gymnasium, and seemed oddly larger on the inside than on the outside. He figured it had been magically enlarged on the inside to accommodate as many as might like to use it.
"That's great," said Harry, "I've been away from a gym for a couple of days and I've needed to get back. Wow, Neville, I just noticed, you've really dropped weight and firmed up since I saw you last."
Neville beamed. "Actually the same weight, Harry, but muscle instead of fat. I'm feeling better and stronger, too."
"I'd better get to work," said Harry, "just to keep up with my students."
"Don't worry, you'll always be the coach," said Neville.
"I like that," said Luna, who had arrived with her father during this talk,
"Hi, Luna. You like what?" asked Harry.
"You've said you wanted to downplay both the sense that this is an army being formed or that you are 'in control' - well, let's call you 'coach.' That has more of the sense of a team learning skills together."
"What's wrong with calling me 'Harry'?" asked Harry.
Luna laughed. "There are too many. Have you not noticed how many Harrys there are in the younger years? After Voldemort was destroyed when you were a baby, 'Harry' became the most popular boys' name among British sorcerers. All the boys in your year had already been named, but my year has several Harrys and the following years must have at least a dozen each. There are even more than a few Harriets who answer to 'Harry.' If we start calling for 'Harry' in the DA meetings, we'll get dozens of people responding."
Neville slapped him on the back. "Coach Potter it is, then, mate."
"Well, it's better than what I was being called this time last year," said Harry.
As the students filtered away, Harry felt a hand on his shoulder. "Harry, it's good to see you again."
"Oh, Mr. Lovegood, how are you? It's nice to see you again. Thanks again for letting me visit."
"I'm doing splendid, Harry, and please feel free to visit anytime. It's a pleasure and an honor to have you visit and I'm so impressed with what you and your DA have been doing." Harry started to put up his hands in protest, but Mr. Lovegood continued "Alright, I know you shy from the credit, but someday you'll accept what is due. In the meantime, I want to give you something - a free subscription to The Quibbler."
"Oh, um, gee, uh, that's great, Mr. Lovegood," said Harry reluctantly.
Mr. Lovegood laughed heartily, and Harry realized where Luna got her laugh from. "You think some of the articles in there are trash and a joke? So do I. Thing is, I could say the same for the Daily Prophet, eh? But I admit it and they try to claim to be 'authority.' We run a lot of articles from sorcerers of all stripes with different viewpoints. We get a lot of rubbish, because we can't afford to pay for the articles or to verify all the claims. We aren't subsidized like the Prophet. Nonetheless, we also get some good articles as well - like a certain interview we ran last year, eh? The trick is to figure out the gems from the garbage - again, that's true of any news source. This year I'd love to run most anything you might want to submit about the challenges ahead and getting prepared - think about it. I know you're busy during the school year though. Here, here's your first issue, it makes good reading while you're on a treadmill, takes your mind off the sweating."
Harry smiled. "Okay, thanks, Mr. Lovegood, I'll keep an open mind. You're certainly right about one thing - the establishment paper has no better track record than The Quibbler. Uh-oh, the train's about to leave - gotta run. Thanks, Mr. Lovegood."
With that Harry grabbed his trunk, and he and Dobby jumped on the Hogwarts' Express and set off down the aisle looking for Neville. By the time they got situated, the train had departed. They changed into gym clothes and set off to the end of the train. By the time they arrived there, the gym was already busy. Several students waved happily from their exercises. Harry and Neville did stretches first before moving to stair-climber machines. Harry was surprised that they seemed to be muggle machines, but then he realized muggles exercise the same way that wizards do. Similarly, the steam engine which pulled the train was no different from muggle steam engines, except of course that all the muggle steam engines had been retired to scrap or museums. Generally, wizards used muggle things when they were up to the job. Harry suspected, though, that the boiler of the steam engine was kept heated magically rather than by coal or wood.
They were just finishing with the stair-climber and started into sit-ups when the prefects were able to join them. After calisthenics, Harry decided to get a steam bath and some pumpkin juice before heading to the weight machines. As he headed into the steam bath, the door shut rather too forcefully. Harry wheeled around to see Draco Malfoy grinning evilly, with Vincent Crabbe beside him and Gregory Goyle leaning his immense bulk against the door so no one would get in or out.
"Well, well, Potter. Finally we meet without your gang of mongrels barking at your heels," sneered Draco while stroking his wand, "now what shall we do first - shall we reproduce what your friends did to us on the train ride back?"
"Y'know, Draco, if you didn't go looking for trouble, you wouldn't find it so much," replied Harry. He considered using his wandless Expelliarmus, but wanted that to be a last resort.
"I could say the same to you, Potter, but first I'll say this - PETRIFICUS TOT---"
Draco's curse was interrupted with a large crack, as he and both of his cronies were thrown into the corner.
"You will not harm Harry Potter," roared Dobby, who had gone unnoticed in the steam.
"I know that voice," said Draco, "that's Dobby our house elf."
"He WAS your family's house elf," said Harry, "my friend Dobby is free and likes it like that."
"'Free' - right! He's a house elf. Born to be a slave and never anything but," said Draco. "You're just the sort of riffraff that would call an elf 'friend.'"
"I'm proud to call him that. Dobby has more dignity and value than Voldemort and all his Death Eaters combined," Harry retorted.
"Every time I think you cannot get more absurd, Potter, you prove me wrong," said Draco, "Since it seems that we'll be unable to get our revenge now, we'll be on our way - until later."
Harry pondered a second as they got up and said, "Malfoy, wait a second - you want a shot at me?"
Malfoy eyed him suspiciously. "Yeah, but it doesn't look like your keeper is going to let it happen."
"How about without magic? A muggle sport I learned called boxing - we put on gloves and head gear and go at it with our fists. A few simple rules, like no hitting below the waist or in the back. Interested?"
Crabbe and Goyle were already rubbing their fists and grinning, obviously anxious to take on Harry without magic being a factor. Brute strength was their forte' and they knew it. But Draco looked worried - he never liked a fair fight. He clearly would rather that Harry fight Crabbe or Goyle instead, especially as he noticed Harry's newly developed muscle.
"Crabbe and Goyle want in on this, too. Find a couple of seconds for yourself, Potter, then we'll draw straws to see who fights whom," Draco drawled.
Harry immediately remembered that Seamus Finnegan and Dean Thomas both had muggle fathers who favored boxing and other rugged sports. "I think that can be arranged. We'll get some other prefects to referee. I'll meet you outside the steamroom in ten minutes."
Neither Seamus nor Dean needed convincing.
"Me whole father's side of the family's been Golden Gloves," said Seamus. "I've been sparrin' with 'em for years. I was going that way when I got me Hogwarts' letter."
"Same here," said Dean, "Dad reckoned that a black boy in London who makes strange things happen had better know how to defend 'imself. I'm game to fight any of those arrogant nitwits that try to say us mudbloods ain't good enough."
"Dean!" said Harry, "How can you call yourself such an ugly name!?"
"Harry, they use it anyway - if I take it from 'em, it loses the power to hurt me."
"Well, we half-bloods can stand our ground as well, eh, Harry?" said Seamus.
"I like our chances here," replied Harry, "I just wish we didn't have to make it a 'blood' issue. We're all just people, and we happen to be able to do magic."
Word of the match spread like influenza down the train and the exercise room was soon crowded. Dobby conjured helmets, gloves and ropes for the boxing rings and three prefects were found who knew enough about boxing to keep things clean. Dean drew Goyle as an opponent and Seamus drew Malfoy, to Malfoy's visible relief, as Seamus was the smallest of the three Gryffindors. That left Harry to fight Crabbe, who was every bit as big as Dudley.
Dean and Goyle went at it first. Dean had a couple of inches more height and reach, but Goyle was substantially larger. Nonetheless, Dean's skill was immediately apparent. He kept moving around the ring, enticing Goyle to punch, then easily backed away or ducked punches. He spent a couple of rounds content to let Goyle exhaust himself, tagging Goyle occasionally with stinging jabs. Even Goyle could tell he was being played with, like a cat with a mouse, and got all the more angry because of it. By the third round, Goyle was getting fatigued and Dean moved in close with punch after punch: roundhouses, jabs, uppercuts, all aimed at various allowable targets on the body and head. The punishment got worse through round four. Harry could tell that Dean was holding back, scoring points as he might in a tournament match rather than going for the knockout.
Goyle made it into the fifth round, but just barely. Halfway through, he tried a wild flurry of flailing punches, hoping for a surprise hit, but finding only air. Then breathing extremely heavily and dragging his feet, he held up his gloves. He spat out his mouth protector, slumped to his knees and holding his body up by the ropes, and panted, "I give up."
"What, no! Goyle, you worthless loser. You can't let a mudblood beat you!" yelled Draco. The words were out before he had thought, and the gym became silent, as nearly a third of those present were muggle-born and most of the rest treasured their muggle-born friends. Even most of the Slytherins edged away from him, even though most probably would have used the foul term in private.
Dean stepped up to him, towering over Draco, who was over a head shorter. "I reckon this 'mudblood' has done just that. It's your turn now, Malfoy." Then Dean grinned wickedly, knowing Seamus's experience, "Have fun picking on someone your own size."
Malfoy and Seamus then put the gloves on, and began their match. The style of both was to brawl, but Seamus knew how to defend as well. Both threw lots of punches, with Seamus connecting about twice as often. Seamus also had experience taking punches many times from better fighters than Malfoy, so he could handle it. Malfoy, on the other hand, had always had people protecting him, so he rapidly became less and less capable of responding. Near the end of the third round, Draco collapsed to his knees and could not get up. Crabbe and Goyle helped him out of the ring. Marietta Edgecombe, who was in her second year as a healer trainee, gave him an invigorating draught to bring him around.
"As long as I can see Potter pummeled, it'll be okay," he muttered.
Crabbe was at least five inches taller and twice as heavy as Harry, but he knew Harry was mobile and strong, so he circled warily. Seeing an opportunity, he punched hard with a lunge; Harry jumped to the side and punched Crabbe in the side of the head. Though Crabbe was not very bright, he understood enough about fighting for this to make him realize that this would not be a one-punch fight. He circled again, and then threw a two-punch combination, which Harry deflected and dodged and answered with a sharp jab in the ribs. The cheering was deafening, but Harry's mind was only on the fists.
Crabbe backed Harry toward the ropes, and then tried another combination, and this time when Harry tried to dodge, Malfoy had stuck his feet out to trip him. Crabbe's punch glanced off Harry's headgear as Harry fell. The cries of foul were heard all around, but Harry jumped up and quickly blinked. Crabbe assumed Harry was dazed and lunged again, only to find Harry ducking and then rising again with the strongest uppercut his compact muscular frame could give. It caught Crabbe under the jaw and dazed him enough that he was not able to give effective defense. Harry followed up with a furious flurry of punches to the head and torso, which made Crabbe's entire body wobble until it collapsed like a mudslide to the mat. Almost the entire gym started cheering. Marietta quickly came and examined Crabbe, finding he was not significantly damaged. She gave him an invigorating draught also and within seconds, he was recovered, though still a bit woozy.
Draco was enraged. "This isn't the end, Potter," he threatened, and stomped back down the train.
Seamus, Dean and Harry were hugging and high-fiving, and being congratulated by all those who stayed behind. Suddenly the crowd around the three parted as Crabbe and Goyle approached them. Those who had their wands put their hands on them, and Dobby tensed as well, even though Crabbe and Goyle clearly did not have their wands on them. Seamus and Dean were flanking Harry as he faced the approaching hulks, who came close and extended their hands.
"Good fight," they both said.
Crabbe continued, "I don't like getting beat but it was a good fight and a fair one, well, on your side, sorry about Malfoy's trick - Goyle just told me."
Goyle added, "Yeah, that was fun. I'd like to learn to fight like that. Can we do it again some time?"
"Well, we'll see. Listen, we'll be working on fighting skills in the DA - everyone is welcome who wants to improve. I was serious when I invited you yesterday. It won't be boxing, but there will be some sparring. Why don't you join us?"
Crabbe frowned, "Well, we'll have to see if we can. I don't think Malfoy'd like it."
Then Ron spoke up: "If you want to come, tell him you're spying on us."
They nodded and then Goyle said, "Yeah, erm, Draco's starting his own pureblood dueling club. He'll expect us there."
"Listen," said Harry, intently "the DA is not about sport. It's about surviving and fighting back against dark wizardry. If you don't want to go that way, you'll want to know how to defend yourselves. It may be all the more necessary for those who have grown up close to dark wizards."
"Yeah, erm, we'll see," they muttered and went off toward the showers.
"Harry," said Seamus, "you'd teach even them!? They've been Malfoy's henchmen since we've been at Hogwarts, and you said their fathers were in the graveyard with ... you-know-who!"
"Seamus, EVERYONE," called out Harry, "I'm serious about this. I've been asked to teach what I can to everyone who wants to defend themselves against the Death Eaters and their sort. I don't care what your blood is or what your house is. I don't care if you and I have quarreled before or you thought I was crazy or a showboat or what. There is only one thing that matters to me now - and that is to see that we all survive the coming hard times. We are coming together as the DA to prepare everyone to stay alive. Every lost person is a tragedy. I hope to see all of you at the DA meeting, the first meeting will be this coming Tuesday. For now, I came to this gym to exercise, so I'll get back to it."
Hermione, Ron, Neville, Ginny and Luna were left with Harry as the crowd dispersed and Harry doffed his boxing gear.
"That was barbaric," said Hermione.
"Sometimes people act like animals," said Luna airily.
"That's right," said Neville, with a harsh edge to his voice, "and sometimes they act beneath animals. And when someone wants to hurt you, you'd better be prepared to hurt them first!"
Ron clapped him on the back "That's the idea, Neville. Wow, you're getting solid. I'm not turning my back on you after making you mad."
Neville glowered and spoke quietly, "You're not in any danger, Ron, but if I get another chance at Death Eaters, they're going to pay!"
"Okay, Neville," said Harry, "I'm all with you on that, but let's keep a level head. If there's one thing I've learned, it's that hatred and anger destroy performance. When the time comes, we'll have jobs to do, and we won't be able to afford poor performance."
All agreed and then completed their workouts before showering, finding the witch with the snack trolley, and then repairing to their cars for rest, talk, and games before arriving at Hogwarts.