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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 18

Chapter Summary:
Harry is apprehensive as the first DA meeting approaches. Attendance turns out higher than he had anticipated. He gives an introductory speech and they begin practicing. After the meeting, he makes plans with Cho Chang to talk out the distress both still feel over Cedric Diggory's death.

Chapter 18 - The DA

Harry managed to put aside the impending Defense Association meeting from his mind most of the day, but by dinner his stomach was in knots. He was able to eat, but only by doing Occlumency mind-clearing exercises. Harry was the first up to the Third Floor hall where he would pace back and forth three times to conjure the Room of Requirement. He thought about needing an open gym-like room with enough space for all the students to pair off and practice spells, lined with spell-resistant padding all around, including the floor. Padding was important, since Harry wanted to start with Expelliarmus, and if students got the hang of it, they would be sending their partners flying. After three transits, the door appeared and Harry opened it and looked in.

He nearly vomited.

The room was at least the size of two quidditch pitches. Soon many of the previous year's DA members arrived. They stared around in awe.

"Why'd you wish for such a big room?" asked Ron.

"I just wished for one big enough - this is what I found."

"Well, that's wonderful, Harry," said Hermione brightly, "We want as many as possible to come together and learn defense."

Harry just gave her a pained look.

"Oh, Harry, you knew it was going to be a big job when you took it," said Hermione.

"We're all there with you, Harry," said Dean.

Harry smiled and clapped a hand around Dean's shoulder. "Yeah, like it or not, we're all in this together."

Sure enough, in the ten minutes before the scheduled starting time, hundreds of students arrived in various groups. Harry mentioned that it would be useful to have a full count, and no sooner had he said it, then a counter appeared above the door. When it finally appeared that everyone was there who was coming, the counter read 748.

"Harry," said Hermione, "looks like everyone's here who's coming."

"'Everyone who's coming!?' It looks like the entire school is here!"

"You'd better say something, an introduction and explanation."

"Yeah, okay."

Harry performed the Sonorus Charm on himself, so that everyone could hear.

"Please everyone, settle down. Let me welcome you to the Defense Association. For those of you who don't know me, I'm Harry Potter."

Laughter passed through the crowd.

"Okay, I guess that means most of you knew that. Let me tell you first that I am both thrilled and scared silly to see so many of you here. When Professor Dumbledore asked for last year's Defense Association to be continued and opened to the whole school, we knew there would be considerably more than the thirty-odd we had before, but this is overwhelming. Let me stress right now that this is not a dueling club, or a spells club, or anything like that. Those skills will come into it. But we are focusing on defense - both individually and as groups. We will master the most useful spells through intensive practice. We will make sure that we can use them even when we would rather curl up in fetal position and cry. This is not about sport or craft - it's about survival. We will learn to defend ourselves, each other, and all we care about. A new war has begun, and we will never know when we will have to fight. Some of us may not survive, but it will not be because we learned how to fight, but in spite of it.

"Let me also stress that while I have been asked to coordinate the Defense Association, this is not at all about me. It's not a Potter fan club. Or freak show. I claim no talents beyond what most of us here have. Well, except I can talk to snakes, but that is pretty well useless in here. If there is a skill or a spell you believe should be covered, let me or one of the other team leaders know, and if we have not already incorporated it into the rough outlines, we will discuss it and either use your idea or explain why not.

"We have only one goal in this organization: to equip all of us to make it through this war safe and sound. No one person can win this war. We must prepare to defend ourselves and each other. And while this is not MY club, I can assure you that it is my personal mission to see as many of you through the dark days ahead through mutual preparedness.

"We are going to divide into teams. Luna Lovegood has agreed to be our scribe, so she will be handling sign-ups in a few minutes. We want to be fairly evenly divided. All of the team leaders are skilled and dedicated to helping you develop your skills. I want everyone to choose a team leader from a different house than their own. This is the only purpose for which your House is relevant in the DA. Factions must be avoided. We are not groups of Gryffindors, Hufflepuffs, Ravenclaws and Slytherins - we are Hogwarts students. The team leaders are those who participated last year, including a couple of noteworthy alumni. Let me introduce all of them."

Harry then introduced each of last year's DA members, ending with Neville. There was a fair bit of general tittering in the crowd.

Harry continued, "Neville, your reputation is vast. Obviously many of you have heard of Neville Longbottom. He would be the first to admit he has a well-earned reputation for magical ineptitude. For more than four years here, he could barely perform the simplest spell. Neville, take my wand."

Harry held out his wand in position to attack. Neville pulled his own wand and shouted "EXPELLIARMUS." Harry's wand flew to Neville and Harry was thrown down. The crowd erupted in applause and 'oohs.' Harry picked himself up and Neville tossed Harry's wand to him.

"Never think of Neville Longbottom as inept again! Neville, could you do that this time last year?"

"Not at all, Harry. I could barely make a wand move."

"Exactly. Neville worked hard and his skills developed. Our focus is on helping you to progress as Neville has. We will start tonight with the disarming spell which you have just seen demonstrated. We will be in pairs supervised by our team leaders. We will make sure that you are doing it well. We will make sure you all can do it. If some are having trouble, your team leader or Hermione Granger or I will come and give you personal guidance. We will progress as quickly as we can, but we will leave no one behind.

"By the way, as you can see from the way Neville's spell tossed me, there is some risk of injury, and with this many people, it is fairly certain that a few people will need attention. Fitness conditioning will help protect you. As many of you already know, there is now a gymnasium for this purpose. Most of you also are aware of the run we do early each morning. Still there will be injuries and I can assure you that Madam Pomfrey will be able to cure the result of anything that is taught here."

Harry paused a few seconds to gather his thoughts and then continued.

"Before we sign up for teams, I want to say one thing more. Last year, several of us joined to practice defense skills because the Ministry declined to allow practical instruction. When we shortened the name Defense Association to DA, it was suggested that DA should actually stand for something else - Dumbledore's Army. That reflected our loyalty to the Headmaster and his leadership. That of course remains. But I would like you to keep in mind another meaning for DA. A little over a year ago, in the final event of the Triwizard Tournament, Cedric Diggory and I both had made it through to within sight of the trophy. We had both helped each other get that far, and either of us might have failed or even died earlier but for the other's help. When we reached the trophy, he would not take it without me taking it at the same time: we had reached it together through mutual help. But then when it turned out that the trophy was a portkey to the cemetery where Voldemort's rebirth was to occur, Cedric was killed on Voldemort's orders, saying nothing more than 'kill the spare.' He was killed simply because he was not ... the one who was wanted.

"I have hidden my nightmares about that night from even my best friends, not wanting to be thought weak. But I have had many nightmares about it, and I no longer think of it as weakness. For all the terrible things that happened that night - the Imperio curse, torture by the Crucio curse, having the killing curse pronounced against me, two dozen Death Eaters laughing at my torture, seeing Voldemort's body rising from the cauldron - there is one part that recurs in my nightmares more than any other, and that is Cedric Diggory being killed so casually. Cedric was not just a good Hufflepuff - he was a good man: loyal, true, generous of spirit. All of you in Hufflepuff knew it; a few of us in other houses were fortunate enough to have known him. If there is one characteristic that separates us from what we fight, it is the attitude that any person could be considered 'a spare.' We are each important and worth fighting for. Cedric Diggory was Hogwarts' first casualty of this war. Remember him. Let DA also stand for Diggory's Avengers."

Division into teams went smoothly and before individual practice Harry explained all he knew of the nuances of pronunciation and wand use for the disarming spell. All the teams spread out and then paired off for practice. Several times Harry reminded the whole group that they should resist their partners' spells, since a real opponent would do likewise. At first, even the older students' efforts were feeble, but the team leaders moved about, just as Harry had the previous year, and Harry and Hermione also moved through the enormous room.

At one point, Harry commented to Hermione how much more convenient it would be if they had brooms to survey the efforts; of course, as soon as he said this, he found a couple of flying brooms on pegs on a nearby wall. Harry found Neville teaching with an almost eerie zeal. He came by Marietta's group, and helped a few of the students; as he left, she caught his eye and silently mouthed "Thanks for the second chance." He smiled at her. The progress was apparent amongst all, and before the time was up, the wands were generally flying where they should and the person against whom the spells were cast was generally off his or her feet. The team leaders quickly noticed that where they could make no headway, Harry's coaching brought around even the most intractable of students.

Five minutes before the end of the session, Harry once again used the Sonorus Charm so he could call everyone together. He praised their practice and encouraged them to work hard and come back on Thursday. As the teams broke up, people naturally drifted back to their fellow house members. Harry made a point of approaching the Slytherins. He clapped Tedd Nott on the back, and spoke to them all.

"I really am glad to see you here. I truly believe we will only be as strong as we are unified."

Ted smiled weakly and said, "Well, of course, there's been some debate in the dorm. Some thought we should stick with Malfoy, and some just didn't want to join anything you were running."

Harry laughed lightly at that. "I knew some people would have issues with that, but Dumbledore insisted."

"Yeah, that's where I came out on it - if Dumbledore recommends it, then I'll give it a go. And I heard what you said to Crabbe and Goyle after your sparring on the train - I reckon you sounded sincere, and if you could welcome Malfoy's right and left arms, we'd be okay here, too. You know, just because Malfoy's the most often heard among us, doesn't mean he speaks for all," replied Ted.

"Good. Just make sure that anyone who is curious knows that they are all welcome. We leave our house colors at the door."

"Will do - Harry," answered Ted, looking Harry in the eye.

After the new members had left, the returned members stayed behind for advanced practice and planning. Harry found out whether they all felt the main group could move on to a new spell or needed more Expelliarmus work. They started working through the spells they had learned the previous year to work out any lapses or bad habits. Harry said that on Thursday they would move on to some protective spells Harry had learned over the summer. As they were breaking up to go to their dorms Cho Chang approached Harry.

"Harry," she said quietly, "thank you for what you said about Cedric. It's the sort of thing I needed to hear. I'm sorry that last year all my issues about Cedric got mixed up with - us."

"I understand," said Harry, "well, sort of. You know, this summer after he died, I had a chance to talk all about my godfather with people who had known him well. It made me feel a lot better. How about we take some time Saturday after we each are done with Quidditch practice and talk about Cedric and nothing else until we get out of our systems the need to talk about him with someone else who knew him?"

"Just him and nothing else?" asked Cho, and Harry nodded. "Alright then, we'll do that. Well, see you in the morning at the lake - Coach."

As the Gryffindors headed back to their dorm, after saying goodnight to the rest of the students and the twins (who said they were going to drop in on their father before returning to London), everyone was enthusiastic.

"That was amazing," said Ron, "everyone I saw was making a lot of progress."

"Absolutely," said Colin Creevey, "even the first years were getting the knack of it - especially when you came and gave them some one-on-one coaching, Harry."

"Thanks, Colin," said Harry, "I think maybe the students who are resisting you guys focus a little better when I come around."

"Maybe that's it - shakes 'em up a bit," said Neville.

"You were pushing hard, Neville," said Ginny, "Got some real results, though."

"I don't want to turn people off, but they could be facing some very nasty people. I'd hate myself if they weren't prepared," said Neville, "but let me know if I come on too strong."

"We'll do it," said Ron, "to think, we may have to tell Neville Longbottom to back off - I love it!"

They all laughed, Neville included, but Harry noticed a proud cocking of his head.