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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 17

Chapter Summary:
Harry has classes in Apparation, Occulemency and Defense Against the Dark Arts

Chapter. 18 - Professor Weasley

On Monday the 6th-year Gryffindors had morning classes in Transfiguration and Potions. Professor Snape kept Harry after to arrange a time for Occlumency lessons, and they quickly arrived at Monday evenings at 8. Harry would not have minded waiting a week to start, but Snape reminded him of the importance Dumbledore placed on it and so Harry agreed.

Even that couldn't spoil Harry's mood. After lunch, the 6th-year Gryffindors and Ravenclaws were to meet at the Quidditch pitch for their first Apparation class. Apparation was not a required or graded course, but it concluded with Ministry-sponsored examinations to allow them to earn their licenses to Apparate. Even those who felt they had little chance were going to give it a try. The castle was under an anti-Apparation spell for security, so classes had to be conducted a dependable distance away from the castle: so it was that Harry found himself in a large room under the stands at 1 p.m. with half of the 6th years and Madam Hooch.

"Everyone, Apparation is both simple and difficult. Once you start to get the hang of it, it will become quite natural. In that regard, it is like riding a broom, or for those of you raised with muggles, like riding a bicycle. Once you learn to get on and stay on, you just naturally get better by doing. With Apparation the knack is to not merely picture the movement to the desired location, but to totally believe it has in fact occurred. This is, of course, paradoxical, in that we start out knowing that we are not where we want to be. However, try as I might, I have been unable to describe it in any more definite terms than that.

"Of course, we must always be sure we are Apparating to a safe location. Usually we Apparate to known places or guide off of magical objects or even other wizards. If we are familiar with such objects or wizards, we can sense their presence, adequately for this purpose. These things act as a homing beacon. Most wizards who can Apparate equip their homes with small magical objects in their entryways to guide by - this allows them to reach the right home and avoid Apparating into walls and floors.

"There are three primary magical mishaps you need to avoid. The first is to apparate somewhere inappropriate. By inappropriate, I do not mean into someone's dressing room or the like. Rather wizards have been known to have apparated themselves off a cliff. The solution when that happens is to Apparate to a safe location: however, most people find when approaching the ground at 100 miles per hour that they have trouble selecting a safe location and then believing themselves to be there. While you have no problem forming the thought that you would like to be somewhere else, the problem is deciding precisely where within your Apparation range you would prefer to be. And even then, wishing one were somewhere else is quite different from believing that one is there - one cannot allow the rapid approach of the Earth to distract and yet every instinct we have calls attention to that unpleasant reality. Essentially the same problem exists when you Apparate yourself into a body of water - a lungful of water is not conducive to well-focused magic. That is, of course," she added with a nod and wry smile toward Harry, "unless you have just recently used gillyweed to allow for breathing water."

The class laughed along with Harry.

"It is for these reasons that very few wizards attempt to Apparate across any body of water larger than a river or small lake. Now I will be unable to rescue you if I do not know where you are, so we will avoid any Apparating with even the chance of such mishap until you have considerable experience.

"The next major mishap is squinching. For those of you who live in non-Apparating homes, that is when only part of your body is Apparated, or when parts are Apparated to different places. When this happens, the wizard cannot undo the dismemberment himself or herself and must await assistance from a magical reversal team. I am qualified and will perform the reversal when you squinch yourself. I say 'when' not 'if' because inevitably each year half the class will squinch themselves at one time or another. Generally, squinching is quite painful, but not deadly, unless something happens to essential parts while they are separated from other essential parts. You can imagine that muggles coming across headless torsos meandering about do not react well to the experience.

"Finally there is crunkling. - apparating into an object. It is nearly as painful as squinching. It is similarly problematic for muggle relations for them to discover a wizard whose body is partially merged with a building or other object. I will also be able to uncrunkle you when you do this - and you will get crunkled, probably at least one of you today. Even after getting licenses, many students need practice and make errors. I won't lie to you - it hurts a lot. I also will assure you that I know just how much it hurts, as when I was just beginning I apparated with my leg passing right through a chair: no lasting harm done, but separating muscle and bone from the wood was no picnic either. Occasionally we have mishaps that require healer attention, and rest assured that there is not a healer around with more experience treating Apparation mishap injuries than Madam Pomfrey. Still, we would like to give her a break this year, right?

"You may be asking yourself whether you will be able to Apparate. Not every wizard can get the knack, of course. Generally we divide into two types: those who like traveling by portkeys and the Floo Network, and those who like flying on brooms and Apparating. Skill on a broom is, therefore, generally an indicator of good prospects as an Apparator."

On this, Harry and Ron looked t each other, smiling confidently, and then looked and saw that Hermione was biting her lip anxiously. She could ride a broom competently, but she did not like it and was never comfortable with it. Harry also looked at Neville: his eyes showed absolute terror, and yet Harry could also see set chin and stiffened upper lip that showed his resolve.

"However, I must stress that this is by no means a certain matter. Charlie Weasley was as good on a broom as almost anyone, I have ever known and yet it took him two attempts to pass his Apparation license test. Similarly, I have known students who were poor on brooms and learned to Apparate quite reliably.

"Now our first exercise is to Apparate fingers. Each person take a seat at these desks here and place the knuckles of your non-wanding hand against the divider. Hold your wand in your normal wanding hand. Now extend your little finger - yes, just the pinky at first - so that it is on one side of the divider. No need at all to push with it - it'll only make things more difficult. Now when I give the signal, imagine that finger on the other side of the divider - still attached to your hand of course. Ready - begin!"

All the class were staring intently at their pinkies, except Harry, who found it more natural to close his eyes. When Madam Hooch called time, she told them all to stay still while she came around. She glanced at each one in turn, until she came to Harry, who had not even bothered to look.

"Very good, Potter, just like riding a broom for you, eh?" she said, for indeed, his left pinky had been on the left side of the divider and now it was on the right. "You've Apparated before, hmm?" she asked.

"Well, I didn't do it, but a friend of mine has been Apparating me places this summer."

"Did you like the feeling?"

"Yes, Maam, I did. As good as being on a broom," Harry replied.

"Did you feel your finger moving?"

"No, Maam. I didn't even know it had until you told me," answered Harry, "I did feel a tingle, but I didn't know what it was."

"Alright, class, let's all try again. Ready, go."

This time Harry kept his eyes open and watched his finger disappear from the right side and reappear on the left. He moved it back and forth a couple of times before she called time. A few others were getting their fingers to fade out and reappear in place. Ron was the first to crunkle his finger, but Madam Hooch praised him effusively, saying that it showed that he was getting the hang of Apparating and would just need to work on control. Nonetheless, Harry could see the tears Ron was trying to blink back from his eyes from the pain first of having a finger merged with the divider and then from having his finger magically extracted and reassembled.

Harry was instructed to try other fingers, and had similar success as with his pinky. By the time class was over he was making all his fingers Apparate back and forth at will. He had the best feeling of accomplishment he had had since observing the progress of the DA last year.

The good feeling kept Harry going through herbology and into History of Magic. It was difficult for him to control himself from practicing Apparation until he realized that as long as he was inside the castle, he could not Apparate. Professor Binns was droning on about Korean goblin rebellions of the sixteenth century. Harry decided he was going to force himself to take notes. As he listened, however, he started to see the rebellions from the goblins' perspective: how various measures taken by the Korean wizards had burdened goblins in various onerous ways until the goblins had revolted. It was the same pattern Harry had noticed before: the wizards imposed difficult laws on the goblins and the goblins forgot the necessity of certain restrictions for mutual safety, then the whole matter became too tense until a spark caused hostilities to break out. There was never established a proper dialogue which would renew constantly the balance which kept both sides peaceful and prosperous. Looking at the old material this way kept Harry awake the whole class.

Afternoon exercise kept Harry's mind off of Occlumency until dinner, when the apprehension started to grow. Ron, Hermione, and Neville just wanted to probe his mind about pointers for Apparation. Harry couldn't really talk about Occlumency around Neville anyway, since Neville did not know about the Order or Snape's role in it. After dinner Harry was able to finish his herbology essay before heading to Snape's dungeon.

Harry was waiting outside Snape's office when Snape arrived. Snape peered carefully at several points around the door before opening it and sweeping in ahead of Harry.

"Come in, Potter. Good to see that you were not using your unsupervised time to snoop about. Let's get down to it."

"Professor Snape, may I ask something about these lessons?"

"I suppose, if it is about Occulemency. I have been instructed to indulge your inquisitiveness so long as it does not touch on personal matters."

"Well, not personal to you, sir. It seems that the connection I have with Voldemort is not the sort which can be blocked by Occulemency. Can you tell me why, then, we would need to continue these lessons."

"First, we cannot be absolutely sure, as yet, the nature of the connection to which you refer. Your skill at Occulemency was still so rudimentary last year that any master of legilemency would have been able to pierce it at will. It is also possible that you will be able to learn to close off parts of your mind so completely that even other parts of your mind are unaware, much as one's conscious being is rarely aware of the tumult in one's subconscious. And finally, the Headmaster believes that you will have need of having the singular focus and mental discipline which is required for Occulemency."

"Would that be to practice another form of magic," asked Harry quickly, then adding, "Sir?"

"The Headmaster does not inform me of all his thoughts, nor should he. He has, however, told me he anticipates that you will at some point need to be able to set your mind upon a single idea and hold to it to the exclusion of all the contrary impulses that would normally impinge on the thoughts of any thinking and emotional being."

"Do have any idea what idea that might be, Professor?"

Snape regarded him for some seconds, obviously in an internal struggle. "I asked the Headmaster that myself. He indicated that it was best you come upon the idea in other ways. He also said that he would not care to tell me, as he was concerned I might not take the matter seriously."

Harry started to laugh and suppressed the reaction.

"Something funny, Potter?"

"I'm sorry, sir. It's just that if there is one thing I cannot imagine accusing you of it is a lack of seriousness."

"Indeed, Potter. I was quite taken aback by the suggestion myself. But we may never learn what it is that led the Headmaster to say so unless we get down to the business at hand."

With that they resumed practice right where they had left off some months before. Harry felt his mind grappling with Snape's probes several times. Snape found this odd, since the goal of Occlumency was to block intrusions and present an unbeguiled fa├žade. He did not, however, scold Harry for this; rather he said he would consult with Dumbledore about it.

The next morning was the class that Harry had been most curious about - double Defense Against the Dark Arts. To Ron's and Ginny's great relief, while their father had been seen about the castle - at meals, on the morning runs, here and there - he had not been a constant presence. Ginny did not have her first session with him until Tuesday afternoon, so they had no idea what his classes would be like.

As usual, the Gryffindors were sharing their double Defense session with the Slytherins. As they lined up to enter the classroom, Draco Malfoy had his usual coterie about him.

"Can you believe how low this school's sunk now? Hiring a Weasley of all things, and one that couldn't even keep his position in the most useless department of the Ministry. How sad," sneered Malfoy unnecessarily loudly.

The Slytherins all laughed loudly as Harry and Hermione held Ron back from pulling his wand on Draco.

Neville, however, stepped in front of Ron and spoke up, "I reckon you're right, Malfoy."

That distracted Ron, who began glaring in shock at Neville.

"What's that, Longbottom?"

"Yep. You see, I've met both your Dad and Professor Weasley, and Professor Weasley doesn't know beans about Dark Arts compared to your father - that's who they should have gotten. But he doesn't seem to be available. Where is he again? - Oh yes, Azkaban. Too bad he couldn't keep his position, either."

This time it was the Slytherins who had to hold someone back. "You'll get yours someday, Longbottom," sneered Draco.

"And I'll be ready when you want to try, Malfoy," answered Neville.

Just then Professor Weasley arrived.

"Ah, is there a problem? No, then let's all go in and take seats."

They all filed in, with the Gryffindors all quietly congratulating Neville on putting Malfoy in his place.

"Settle down, settle down. Class, I know many of you already know me, and by now you should all know my name. No matter what you might have called me outside the school - whether a pleasant name or an ill one - I expect to be called either Professor Weasley or Mr. Weasley here. Of course, none of you can be unaware that one of your classmates is my son Ron, but I can assure you that this will not result in any favoritism. I plan on being exacting with all of you, because it is my job to prepare all of you to encounter certain dangers you may meet in the magical world. To go easy on Ron would be a distinct disservice to him, so you can count on me not doing so.

"Looking over your curriculum for the past several years, the Headmaster noticed a glaring deficiency in one particular aspect of your Defense education in which I happen to be particularly well-qualified. That is the recognition of and protection against magical objects. There are many types of magical objects, from those containing magical substances to those bearing curses. We will include in this curriculum recognition of persons under truth sera, the Imperius Curse and other mind-controlling spells. This will be very much a hands-on program, and I have spent the better part of the past week gathering a number of items we can begin our studies with."

Hermione raised her hand and was recognized. "Sir, given the return of Voldemort (there was widespread hissing and murmuring at the name's mention, which caused Hermione to pause a moment), oughtn't we have instruction in the more active parts of self-defense - sparring, fighting, and the like?"

Professor Weasley smiled benignly, "Ahh, Miss, erm, Granger, is it?" as if he did not know her name.

Seamus laughed and spoke up, "Pardon me, Sir, but come off it. We know you know who she is - she's Ron's girlfriend, after all."

Hermione shot daggers with her eyes at Seamus as the class laughed, and Arthur Weasley looked out toward Ron, at the back of the classroom.

"Is this so, Ron? I thought you two were just friends. We must have The Talk, then."

Ron turned beet red and slunk down in his chair almost to the floor, muttering "I can't believe this is happening."

The entire rest of the class roared with laughter, except, of course, Hermione.

"Let me apologize for creating a disruption," continued Professor Weasley, "the answer, class, is two-fold. First, those who would hurt you not only fight, but also employ many nefarious means, including hidden potions, curses, hexes, and substances. Second, and perhaps most importantly, is that the Headmaster is sponsoring a student organization for you all to cooperatively learn fighting skills together. I am sure you are all aware of the Headmaster's announcement concerning the Defense Association. I am pleased to recommend that you all participate in this organization. It will be coordinated and coached by our own Mr. Potter, with the assistance of a number of other students who practiced these skills privately with him last year. I have seen Mr. Potter's fighting skills, as well as his abilities as a coach and the results of such efforts, and I can assure you that there is no one I know more capable of imparting those skills to all who are willing to learn from him. It is my duty to also announce that those who would prefer not to study such skills with the Defense Association may alternately participate in the Cobras Dueling Club, organized by Mr. Malfoy, and meeting in the large classroom in the second level dungeon. Both will meet Tuesdays and Thursdays from 7 until 9."

"Now, turning to the subject material, we will begin with the recognition of items containing magical substances. Can anyone name one sign to look for?"

Dean Thomas raised his hand, "Weasley's Wizard Wheezes?"

The class and Professor Weasley laughed.

"Yes, of course, Mr. Thomas. My twin sons, Fred and George, have been producing magical products for well over 2 years now and selling them for almost half a year - perhaps longer, but they haven't told me everything. My information is that they tested them on many of you. Of course, one of the biggest differences between what they do and what Dark Wizards do is that they tell you what each product does. And in that regard, I want you all to know that I have acquired an ample supply of the antidotes for the Skiving Snackboxes, so if any of you attempt to avoid class by any of the symptoms available with those, you'll be getting the antidote. But since you have mentioned my sons' products, let's take a look at some of them and the neutral products they resemble, so that you can learn to recognize the signs of the presence of magical substances."

The rest of the class was spent comparing normal toffees with ton-tongue toffees, canary creams with regular creams, and other Weasley products with their analogues. Their attention was particularly riveted when it was suggested that one portion of their exam would be to take and eat at least ten items from a snack tray with mixed neutral and magical foods on it, with the grade for that portion depending on how few transformations they went through. By the end of the class, even most of the Slytherins were admitting that this year's program was useful, fascinating and enjoyable.