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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 16

Chapter Summary:
Dobby has his date with the goblin Melony and brings her to the Gryffindor common room to meet with Harry and his friends. They discuss goblin life and wizard-goblin relations.

Chapter 16 - Melony

Harry, Ron and Hermione were all relieved to see that Hagrid was not nursing any active wounds at Care of Magical Creatures class. They however did not have a chance to exchange any more information than simple greetings and receive an invite to come out 'anytime.' This did not seem urgent, so they wondered whether Hagrid had either tamed or found a new home for his brother Grawp, a full-blooded giant. They also wondered whether the centaurs had calmed down, but again, they did not get a chance to ask. After class Hagrid shooed them all off to the castle, but wouldn't say what was up.

The returning members of the Gryffindor quidditch team held a meeting to make plans for selecting new members. Everyone was agreed that Ron was the most qualified person to be captain, but liked the idea of him having backup from the more experienced players. Ginny's request to be made a chaser and leave seeker to Harry was accepted by acclamation. After the meeting, they all decided to have some defense practice on the lawn and attracted a fair number of others to join in before dinner.

Later that evening, back at the dorm, after the sixth years in potions had completed the two scroll essay on truth serums assigned by Professor Snape, Harry was studying defensive techniques and planning for the first DA meeting to be held on the upcoming Tuesday and Ron was studying quidditch plays with a renewed intensity, when Hermione pulled out her knitting supplies.

"Did you learn nothing from Professor Flitwick?" asked Ron, "The elves don't want the clothes because it would deprive them of their families."

"This isn't for the elves," said Hermione primly.

"Then who," said Ron.

"For Dobby's friend Melony. She's going to be a guest here at Hogwarts, and I thought it would be nice to have a little present for her to make her feel welcome."

"Isn't that what Dobby and Flitwick are going to do?" asked Ron.

"Well, of course, but it's nice to have a little tangible something, and an item of clothing would be especially appropriate because that's what so sets Dobby apart from the other elves. And most of what he wears is knitted things, so this would help her recall him."

"A little green guy wearing 47 knit caps, 27 unmatched socks, and knee breeches ought not to be that hard to remember," replied Ron.

"Oh, you're impossible!" said Hermione.

"Hermione," said Harry, "Are you trying to make something like what Dobby wears or that she might want to wear herself?"

"Hmm. I guess for her to wear," she answered.

"Do you have any idea what she would wear?" Harry continued.

"Well, I figured if her tastes in food are like Dobby's then her tastes in clothes would be similar, too."

"Dobby HAS no taste in clothes. He just likes lots of them because they represent freedom to him, and his color sense is like a toddler playing dress-up. But she comes from a culture, and has certain expectations about the clothes she'll wear," said Harry.

"I suppose you're right, but you, Dobby, and Professor Flitwick are the only ones I know who have even seen a woman goblin. So, then ... what do women goblins wear?" asked Hermione.

"Well, the two I saw pretty much dressed like the male goblins you see in Gringott's lobby - dark stiff leather, twills, and other thick fabrics, adorned with prominent metal brads, buttons, chains and the like. But since she took a shine to Dobby, maybe she's ready for a little bit of variety." offered Harry.

"What sort of variety?"

"Let's think. Colors don't much matter - it's so dark in their tunnels, I could barely see color. Of course, their eyes are probably much more responsive in low light then ours. I'm not sure if softness matters - the older healer's hand brushed against me when she was first tending to Dobby and her skin was like crocodile hide."

"How about patterns? Do you think that would be too outrageous?" suggested Ron.

"Now there's an idea, Ron," said Harry, "what can you do in that, Hermione?"

She pulled out a pattern book and looked through for a few minutes. "How about that? A deeply cabled jumper?"

"Y'know, the cabling's sort of reminiscent of the chains they like, but it's different, a new variation on a familiar theme. That could work - do you have a dark grey yarn?" said Harry.

"Dark gray wouldn't show the cabling - you need to be able to see the texture. How about a maroon?" said Hermione.

"Go for it - if she can't wear it, you know Dobby will love it," said Harry.

Before beginning, Hermione took out a small ball of leftover yarn and tossed it to Crookshanks, so he would play with that and leave her other balls of yard alone. Crookshanks tore off after it, batting it around under the tables and benches. Hermione tapped a maroon color sample with her wand and then tapped enough undyed balls of yarn for the pattern, saying "Coloura" each time. The balls of yarn all gradually took on the same deep maroon, seemingly from within. Then she stroked the pattern with her wand and tapped the correct size needles and the maroon yarn, and the needles and yarn began to knit. Hermione watched a few minutes to see how enchanted needles would achieve a cable and then got a thoughtful look.

"What about Winky?"

Ron shrugged without looking up from his book. "What about her?"

"She's very unhappy," said Hermione, "For some reason, she is still a free elf; Hogwarts hasn't made her a Hogwarts-bound elf."

"Dumbledore'll have his reasons," said Harry.

"Of course he does," said Hermione, "but it may be that he is just too busy to worry about one little house elf."

"He usually is on top of everything," said Harry.

"You didn't think so last year," said Hermione.

Harry glared at her, and then said, "Besides how can you go from 'free the house elves' to trying to get one bound again?"

"Because I did listen. She can't change her nature - she needs a family to be happy, a wizard family."

"I remember seeing a department near Professor Weasley's old office for placing freed house elves with new families," said Harry.

"Now that's a slow office," said Ron, "Almost no one wants a freed house elf - it's like buying a broken wand, and trust me, you don't want one of those."

"But Winky's not broken: she was doing her duty to her family as well as she could, but they were hopelessly divided," protested Hermione, "I'll bet I could find a nice family that would treat her with respect."

"My muggle relatives would love to have her," said Harry, "my aunt likes the house hospital clean."

"I'll keep that in mind, but I'm willing to bet it would have to be a wizarding family," said Hermione thoughtfully, "Well, I can at least write to the department and find out what the requirements are. Can I borrow Hedwig?"

"Of course. She'd love a good long flight," replied Harry.

The next evening after dinner, Harry, Hermione, Ron, Neville and many other Gryffindors decided to spend their evening in the house common room. Most had finished their homework from Friday. Earlier in the day the weather had been fine, with just the first hint of autumn in the air, and most everyone had taken advantage of it. All the quidditch teams had gotten in flying practice. Although the pitch was crowded, there were no major conflicts since it was too early to work on formations as all the teams were adding new players who had not yet been chosen.

By dinner the weather had turned wet and considerably cooler, so there would be no late summer nighttime strolls. Harry was practicing the precise pronunciation and wand movements of various Conversion Spells, which intercepted curses and rendered them non-dangerous without reflecting them, which can be dangerous in close combat. The defensive magic text said that these could be cast more quickly than a blocking spell and worked on spells that could not be blocked by other spells, but you had to think very quickly to use the right conversion spell for a given curse.

Ron, Katie, Ginny and Andrew Kirke were on their brooms near the ceiling of the common room. Ron was mapping out various attacking and defensive formations for the quidditch team with the others' help, and devising hand signals he could use while guarding the goals to coordinate the other players.

"Harry," he called, "I've even found a number of plays that involve the Seeker in setting up scoring opportunities by distracting the other team, or that disrupt their scoring attempts."

"That's great, Ron. Are you going to have diagrams for me - we could make up a playbook?"

"Yeah, good idea, mate. We've been playing like a pick-up team for too long. With some tighter strategies for play-making, we should be able to keep the pressure on the other teams' Keeper all game," said Ron.

"That's good," said Ginny, "I'd sure hate to rely on OUR Keeper."

"Oy, you!" said Ron, with mock anger, and zoomed toward her. With her new Firebolt, Ginny easily avoided him and literally flew rings around him.

"Ginny," said Katie, "whether it's the Firebolt or the way you're handling it, that's awesome. Ron, have the books you've been studying included attacks when one of the brooms is so superior to the others?"

"There's a few, but of course, the books are mostly written for professional teams, and they always have top brooms for the whole team. Let's work on that right now - we can develop some plays that no one has seen before to take advantage of that broom. It may require you to take some knocks - can you handle it?"

"I'm game - I want to see you carrying that Cup at the end of the year," said Katie with a laugh.

"Whoa, just hearing you say that gives me shivers up my spine," said Ron.

"Then let's get these plays planned," said Ginny.

Hermione was just finishing the jumper for Melony when Dobby Apparated into the common room.

"Dobby, good to see you," said Harry, "but aren't you supposed to be on a date?"

"Yes, sir," answered Dobby, "Professor Flitwick has gotten permission from Professor McGonagall for Melony and him to come here. I wanted her to meet you and your friends."

"Fine, bring them in," said Harry, "Hermione even has something for Melony."

"Oh, that's so nice. Dobby is required to have a prefect to escort them to bring them in here, however," said Dobby.

"Oh, I'm done with this. I'll let them in," said Hermione, rising and walking over to the portrait hole. "Welcome, Professor Flitwick, Melony. It's so nice to meet you. Dobby has told us so many nice things."

Harry watched the two of them crawl through the portrait hole.

"Thank you, Miss," said Melony in a deep nasal voice. Then she turned to Flitwick, "I thought your name was Glorfindel - that's how we've always known you."

He laughed and squeaked. "That's my goblin name. Filius Flitwick is my wizard name. Two natures - two names."

"Mmm, maybe Filius sounds better to human ears, but to a goblin, it's quite unpleasant for a man's name, cloying in its smoothness. Goblin men should have a good sharp sound, like a 'guh-' at the beginning of their names," said Melony, who then turned and looked fondly at Dobby "of course a 'd' name is unusual for goblins, but it's got a nice crisp sound to it, too."

"Dobby," said Flitwick, "perhaps you should introduce your friends."

"Yes, sir, Melony, this is Hermione Granger. Up there with the red hair are Ron Weasley - that's the boy - and Ginny Weasley. I don't know the other girl and the other boy - beg pardon, miss and sir. And you have already met Harry Potter, who set me free and calls me his friend."

Melony greeted them all, and then said, "Mr. Potter, I am so pleased and honored to meet you under better circumstances. You've been the talk of the goblins since you came to our home. We women goblins especially only hear of the harsh way sorcerers treat their servants and the rude way most treat goblins. We saw you treating us and our home with respect and dignity, and Dobby with such concern and affection."

"Oh, well, gee, I really didn't know how else to act. I'm just glad you could help Dobby," said Harry with a hint of embarrassment.

"There had been many of us who had talked openly of rebelling against the Ministry's policies, but such talk has subsided since we have seen there are wizards who respect us as beings. A little respect can go a long way."

"There are quite a few, Melony; almost all the wizards I know respect goblins," said Harry, "although we don't get to meet with them enough to understand your ways and needs."

"Yes, we have discussed this in our hullabaloos - by our nature, our societies are very insular. We like it that way, but it does not make relations with other beings easy. We need to find ways to participate more directly in the wider magical world, without giving up our goblin ways. But then, it is not as if the Ministry has really sought our participation either."

"Yes," agreed Flitwick, "the Ministry has quite a few wizards high up - I won't name names - who can't see reaching out to other types of beings. We can work on that, if the goblins can also reach out."

"If we don't find ways, I truly fear where wizard-goblin relations will end up," said Melony gravely. "Oh, listen to me, gabbling on like that. Grishnack always said I was such a flibbertigibbet."

"A flibbertigibbet!!?" said Hermione, "discussing weighty topics like this."

"Oh, it's quite airy talk for a goblin. Our talk is habitually very practical. I've never quite fit in," said Melony.

"Well, I think you're delightful," said Hermione, retrieving the jumper from the table, "and I was so pleased to know that you were to be visiting us, that I made you this jumper. I hope you'll like it - and it won't be too outrageous amongst the goblins."

Melony held it up "It's quite brightly colored for goblin-wear, but I like the stretchiness. Since I've been a healer-trainee, I've found that the stiff clothes we are accustomed to can interfere with care-giving. I think I could wear this when I have duties. Thank you very much, Miss Granger."

"You're very welcome," Hermione beamed, "What is your healer training like?"

"Healing is taught as an apprenticeship, Miss. There is always at least one experienced healer in a hullabaloo and at least one younger healer-in-training. It's always a woman's skill. It's a high calling among us, of course. But I wanted to become a healer so I could be part of starting a new hullabaloo. I have very independent ways for a goblin. That doesn't fit well, especially among the hullabaloos of Gringotts. And they say I have such a sunny disposition - that is not a compliment among goblins. I would like to find an independent-minded male who would want to start a new hullabaloo - he would be my glamdring." She pronounced 'glamdring' like a dreamy pre-teen girl might say 'Prince Charming.'

"That is quite an aspiration for a young goblin, Melony," said Flitwick, "you remind me very much of my own mother."

"No higher compliment can a goblin man offer a goblin woman. Thank you, Glorfindel," said Melony.

"Melony, may I ask you something," said Hermione, "It sounds like you goblin women hardly ever leave your homes. You don't work in the outside jobs, like banking or accounting, and even the healing you do is done inside your home. Do the men force you to stay in your homes?"

"No, of course not: I'm here, aren't I?" replied Melony, "But we like the life of the home very much, even an independent sort like me. It's just our nature - no one needs to force us to be that way. We generally have a male escort or chaperone when we are away from our homes because our magical power is only strong when we are protecting or serving our homes. It's sort of like wizards with their wands - the home makes us so much more powerful, particularly mothers. So long as they are not exposed to sunlight, it would only take a few goblin mothers to defend their home against any combination of sorcerers. In fact if the men go into battle, they inspire themselves to fierceness with the battlecry 'Fight like Mothers!'"

Ron called from up on his broom, "Y'know, that would be a great team call for Quidditch this year - just when we kick off to take positions, we can all yell together ...

"Fight like Mothers!" Ron, Katie, Ginny, Andrew and Harry yelled together with a laugh.

Melony looked puzzled at them and then continued, "But in a situation like this, away from the home, I am sure I am weaker than the weakest wizard here - I can levitate smaller objects, Apparate, do a few simple spells, but really not much, and only things I have done a lot."

Harry thought about that and said, "You had planned to come here without a male chaperone before Glorfindel (he winked at Flitwick who smiled impishly and winked back) offered to be a chaperone: that was quite a risk, wasn't it?"

"Normally, yes, but I was going to Apparate directly to the grounds here, and I knew that as long as I was with Dobby I would be secure," Melony said with a fond smile toward Dobby, whose blush combined with his green hue to make a brown patch.

"I couldn't agree more - he even protected me against his own ex-master. So, do you two have plans, Dobby?" asked Harry.

"Oh, she will be leaving soon. We have already spent some time in, uh, Glorfindel's office having some turnip juice and talking. I learned so much about goblin life and all the things I've missed. It sounds like all the good parts of serving a family, but with your family dedicated to you as well," said Dobby, before adding dreamily, "and with such beautiful girls there, too."

Melony smiled and blushed, "And I learned the sad story of Dobby and Glorfinel's hullabaloo, and the happy ending of them finding family again."

"Dobby hopes it's not an ending just yet," said Dobby shyly.

Melony smiled, "Well, for tonight. Perhaps Glorfindel will be able to arrange another visit for us soon"

Flitwick smiled happily at that and said "Oh, yes, of course. It is an honor and a delight to assist two young people like yourselves. But you are right, Melony, we must get you back to your home, or I shall not be trusted as a chaperone again."

"May I come with you?" asked Dobby.

"NO!" said Melony, too abruptly "I'm sorry, Dobby. The other goblins accept that you are free, but they consider you an elf. They don't know I have been with you. They would react ... badly. Maybe someday, if they can see that you have enough of the goblin in you, we could openly be together. For now, we must be careful."

"Dobby understands," said Dobby sadly, "Dobby would not dare to be seen by the house elves with you. They, too, would react badly. We have been fortunate to be able to come here, where Hermione Granger's attempts to hide elf clothes about has scared all the elves away. Thank you, Miss Granger."

Hermione blushed at her efforts being appreciated for having the opposite of the intended affect, "You're, uh, welcome, Dobby."

Harry, Ron, Ginny and Flitwick all laughed at her discomfort.

When they had left, Hermione said, "Aren't they the cutest couple?"

Ron snorted, "Downright freaky, if you ask me?"

Ginny laughed, "For once, you're both right."