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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 20

Chapter Summary:
Hermione goes with Harry to the dorm to see how the communicating mirror works. While there she sees the gum wrappers Alice Longbottom had given Harry and they discuss possibilities. Dumbledore approves the plan to bring in a lethiform to practice the Patronus Charm. Later, in a DA session, Fred and George Weasley square off against Hermione. Afterward, Harry announces to the whole DA about the lethiform and that he will be demonstrating how to fight it on Halloween evening.

Chapter 20 - The Bunny Hop

After returning from Hagrid's cabin, Harry, Ron Hermione and Luna exercised at the gym and had dinner. When they returned to their dorms, Harry, Ron and Hermione finished the rest of their homework and then Hermione watched Ron and Harry play Wizard chess. After losing once more, Harry said he was going to go up to the dorm room to talk with Dumbledore.

"Can I come along, too?" asked Hermione.

"I guess," answered Harry, "Why?"

"Well, I've never seen how the mirror works, though you've mentioned it. And since you're going to be discussing the lethifold, I figure it concerns me as well."

Harry shrugged. "Makes sense. Okay, come on."

Up in the 6th year boys' room, Hermione leaned against Harry's bed while he got the mirror out of the trunk. He tossed a couple of gadgets and an envelope on the bed as he dug down for it. Hermione noticed the envelope. It wasn't sealed and there were colorful pieces of paper in it.

"The gum wrappers! You said you'd bring them to look at," she exclaimed, pulling out a couple to look at. "These holes seem to have been made by something like a needle, perhaps a hypodermic, but I wouldn't think you'd make so many to poison the gum inside."

"Well, gum is pretty thick. You wouldn't want to have a glob of poison or potion in one place, so you'd have to distribute it around."

"Yes, but look: if you fold it back like it was new and there was gum inside, some areas overlap, but the holes don't line up in those areas. They can't have been made while the gum was in it. Are you certain she was trying to tell you something."

"Pretty sure - it was very deliberate and secretive. And that look in her eye - not that vacancy that we saw in Lockhart."

"Well the holes make interesting patterns. You're right that they look quite deliberately placed. I wonder if they have anything to do with Runes or Arithmancy. Or maybe codes - I saw a wizard codebook in the library. Can I take a few with me?"

Harry smiled. "Of course. I knew you'd be intrigued."

Harry sat next to Hermione on the edge of the bed, crossing his legs. Hermione hopped up and did the same next to him.

"Professor Dumbledore?" Harry called into the mirror, "Professor Dumbledore?"

Harry's face faded away and Dumbledore's appeared. "Hello, Harry. How are you tonight?"

"Better than usual actually, Professor. I hope I didn't catch you at a bad time," said Harry.

"No, not at all. Just sorting through information."

"I have Hermione Granger with me - is that alright?" asked Harry.

"Oh, yes, of course, she's most often in the thick of your dangers - she may as well know that you are not trying to act in isolation now. Good evening, Miss Granger."

"Good evening, Headmaster. It's very good to see you," said Hermione.

"Harry, is there anything I should know? How's the scar?"

"Still only a very dull feeling, not even a pain really, more like a tight feeling. My sense is that he is still overseas, apparently Egypt, considering the mess Bill found over there. I get the sense he's brooding, as if he's trying to solve something."

"How to open the vault where Bill is?"

"I can't be certain from what my scar is telling me, but it sure makes sense since he tried and failed a month ago."

"I'll let Bill know. How are your visions?"

"Better and worse. I can barely turn without seeing someone I care about and seeing them dead or badly injured - even people I didn't think I much cared about, like Mr. Filch."

Dumbledore laughed. "He's not easy to warm up to? If only you knew his history - you'd like him so much better now than what he was. But now are the increased visions the better or the worse you were talking about? Personally I believe it is a good sign that you care so much about so many people."

"I know, and I understand. Such care is an important ward against Voldemort. I was thinking that was the bad. The improvement is that I have been learning to make my mind overcome the emotional response to the visions so that I don't have to stop or shudder or ... react when I see them."

"Oh, Harry," said Hermione, "you're not becoming numb to your feelings, are you? You've been so distant emotionally from us."

"I'm sorry, Hermione. I'd like to do better," said Harry.

Dumbledore explained. "Miss Granger, what Harry is going through is the very opposite of numbing. It's like when a fingernail gets broken off, exposing the quick, and all those exquisitely tender nerves are exposed for the first time. Until the nerves deaden a bit or the nail grows back, you have to avoid letting it touch anything. But Harry's emotions aren't deadening. He sees these visions of what might happen more and more because he is becoming ever more attuned to those around him. As children, we grow up quite selfish and inconsiderate of those around us. As adolescents we become aware of our fellow beings and begin to truly care about their needs. This is what Harry is going through, only it is all the more acute for him, partly because he was already a remarkably caring person, but also because he knows all too well just how bad things could get for all of us, but for his efforts."

"Harry, how do you bear it?" asked Hermione, but Harry just smiled weakly in return.

"Miss Granger, just continue to be such a dear friend to him and understand that when he keeps his distance, it is not a lack of love for you, but a surplus."

"Yes, yes, of course," she said, with a slight creak in her voice.

"Is there anything else, Harry?" asked Professor Dumbledore.

"Yes, Hagrid said that he could get us a lethifold if we had your approval and a second wizard with a dependable patronus to help control it. I believe the students who can make patronuses without pressure, such as Hermione, need to practice them when they are faced with a real danger, such as a lethifold or a dementor."

"Do you know just how dangerous a lethifold is?" asked Professor Dumbledore.

"Hagrid said it scared him silly - that's enough to impress me," said Harry, as Hermione nodded enthusiastic agreement.

"Miss Granger, is this something you want to do as well?"

"Well, Professor, I can't say that this was high on my 'to-do' list. But the dementors are with Voldemort, and we have to know that we can fight them, so in that sense I want to."

Dumbledore nodded with approval. "You have many times proven the Sorting Hat's determination to be correct in placing you in Gryffindor, Miss Granger. You truly do have the heart of a lion."

Hermione blushed, "Thank you, sir, you flatter me."

"Perhaps, Miss Granger, but it is certainly not empty flattery. You have faced dangers that few if any aurors have faced. I merely note that fact, and that you still are resolved to face what may come. Harry, I'll conjure a facility in the dungeons. Do you have any idea who your second wizard would be?"

"No, sir," replied Harry, "I'm certain that none of the other students have used patronuses in defense. How about any professors?"

"Not all can produce a patronus - some know their craft but are not particularly powerful in the spells ability it takes. Professor Snape otherwise has the capacity, but alas, never a happy enough thought. Professors McGonagall and Flitwick are capable, but they are really quite busy. I'm sure Arthur Weasley could produce a patronus, but I don't know if he has worked at it or used one in defense. I'll check with him, and then see about the rest of the Order."

Hermione spoke up, "How IS the Order doing, sir?"

"I think the question you really mean is 'WHAT is the Order doing?'" said Dumbledore with a wink, "but I shall only answer what you asked. The Order's efforts are progressing, although stalled in one important aspect. Would you, Miss Granger, like to do something to contribute to the Order's efforts?"

"Oh, yes, Headmaster. I would be honored."

"You cannot possibly contribute more to the Order than what you have been doing - the DA, your own preparations, and being Harry's friend."

"That's comforting, and if you say so, then there's nothing I would rather be doing," said Hermione with a satisfied smile.

"Harry, please let me know of any other feelings you get."

"Will do, Professor."

And with that, Dumbledore faded from the mirror.

"Alright then, Hermione - soon enough you'll be in the pit - I hope you're looking forward to it," said Harry.

Hermione bit her lower lip. "Oh, dear, I really have committed myself now. I hate to brood on such things. Well, as long as you'll be there, I know I'll be okay, Harry."

October remained chilly and wet. As Apparation was a self-paced course, owing to the great difference in ability found amongst the students, Harry was allowed to move on to larger and larger body parts, until by late October, Harry was Apparating across the practice room, working on speed and accuracy. Quite a few others had gotten the knack of moving parts of their bodies - all of the original DA members were at least moving entire arms, except Neville, who seemed only able to muster enough blurriness to get his finger cunkled in the midst of the divider. Madam Hooch was very patient about extricating the divider from Neville's hand, but more than once reminded the class as a whole that not everyone could master Apparation. Nonetheless, Neville persisted.

The DA also progressed. Having mastered several attacking spells and several protective spells, Harry devised a training system. The various spells were divided into levels according to their dangerousness and permanency. Students would square off against each other as Harry had with Neville's grandmother for timed drills in which one would attack and the other defend. The attacker was encouraged to work on speed and accuracy. To keep either from going easy on the other, reminders were often given: "if you can't beat her, how are you going to beat a Death Eater!?" Multiple match-ups were also arranged, where one or two wizards would face a larger number. Learning new spells occupied the first half hour to an hour of each session, and then as each student mastered the new spell, he or she would find a partner to conduct drills against.

Rumor got out among the regular DA that at the Advanced DA sessions, the drills were far more intense than anything seen in the regular meetings. The students wanted to see how furious they got and put the question to Harry. He stopped one class session ten minutes early to allow a demonstration.

"Fred, George?" Harry called out, "remember what we discussed in Diagon Alley? Let's see how the two of you can do against Hermione, levels 1 & 2 spells, two minutes or until one side is disabled."

Fred and George came forward trying to look casual but clearly nervous; Hermione just looked steely. Everybody quickly cleared from behind either team. When Harry blew his whistle, the twins started firing spells at Hermione as fast as they could. At first she was pinned down by having to repel the spells, but was able after about twenty seconds to slip in "Accio shoes" which pulled the twins' feet out from under them. They spun on the ground to avoid several quick spells from Hermione, but were now on the defensive. Before Fred could get up, Hermione hit him with jelly legs. Then George tried a stunner which Hermione reflected back at him with Protego, and as he was dodging his own spell, she used Petrificus Totalus on him. Fred was only off his feet however, and rolled to the side and tried the Hirsute spell on her. Hermione was only able to partially block that and erupted in fur all over her body like a chinchilla. She shouted "Expelliarmus" and Fred was disarmed. She levitated him and then grinned wickedly, which looked all the more threatening through all the fur.

"Well, Fred, you're not fully disabled yet and I have thirty seconds more to make up for things - the pictures in the alley, the jokes, giving me fits as a Prefect, this fur!" The tone was very threatening and even Harry was unsure whether she would cast something truly harmful. Suddenly, she yelled "Lagomorphus!" and a light brown spell erupted from her wand. She returned Fred to the ground as his legs and arms took on the proportioning and shape of a field hare's and he sprouted his own coat of fur just like a rabbit's.

As the seconds ticked down, Hermione looked exultant. Fred laughed hysterically at being given the appearance of a giant rabbit, and bounded about the classroom in 40 foot hops. Hermione lifted George's petrification and was about to lift the rabbit hex from Fred, but he stopped her.

"Don't, Hermione. This one wears off in twenty minutes anyway, and you've done this the best I've ever seen. Most people barely get whiskers and fuzziness. This is brilliant. George, we've got to find a way to package this," said Fred enthusiastically as he hared about.

Whatever animosity Hermione may have had evaporated away as she watched Fred playfully bounding about. "Well," she said to George, "do you want to try it out, too?" George agreed happily and she cast the Lagomorphus spell on him as well, holding onto their wands for the both of them.

"We've got to show Dad!" he said happily, and the two of them bounded out the door.

"Well, I'll fill them in on my announcement after they've returned to what passes for normal for them," said Harry to the whole group after he reversed the Hirsute spell on Hermione. "We're going to start working on the Patronus charm soon. It is quite difficult. Among last year's DA members only two besides me were able to produce a well-formed corporeal patronus. In our advanced sessions, we are going to be starting back to the Patronus Charm tonight. This is a very important skill for all of us to learn, because the Dementors have joined with the Death Eaters, and the Patronus is the only way we know to deal with them."

The pleased hubbub of learning they were going to study the Patronus gave way to an anxious whispering as Harry reminded them why it was now so important. Harry continued "I'm glad that interest is high, because there is something more. We have acquired a lethifold and a practice enclosure has been constructed. The lethifold is the only other known creature which can only be controlled by a Patronus. I will leave it to you to read up on them after the meeting. I will let you all know right now that they are deadly. Professor Hagrid says they scare him silly, and you all know what kind of creatures he finds 'interesting'. When a student has become adept at producing the corporeal Patronus, they will be given the opportunity to practice against the lethifold. The reason we must do this is because it is even more difficult to conjure a Patronus in the face of great danger than when you are safe, but of course, times of great danger are when you need your Patronus. You can see me after any DA meeting to arrange the practices with the lethifold; rest assured I will not schedule such sessions unless I have seen your corporeal Patronus. Practices will only be conducted under supervision of two wizards who have used a Patronus to defend themselves. I would not ask any of you to face anything that I would not face, so I will be demonstrating the practice procedure with the lethifold on Halloween at 6:00 p.m There is enough room for everyone to observe safely. If others want to practice at that time and they have demonstrated a corporeal Patronus under other conditions, they will be allowed to practice after me. I hope you will all be able to attend. The feast will come at the time of our normal DA meeting that night, so I guess we can miss one session. Looks like that does it for tonight's meeting."

After the rest had left, the advanced DA group started right in on sparring drills until the twins returned and resumed more normal form. Then they turned to the Patronus Charm. Cho could still make her swan and Hermione still had her otter, but it took her a couple of attempts and was not well-formed.

"Harry," she moaned, "I don't know what's wrong. I did it last year."

"You just appreciate the danger of what you're going to face. That's one reason why I'm going to do it first - so everyone can see. You won't have to do it in public, if you don't want to."

"IF I DON"T WANT TO! Why would I want the whole school to see me making a fool of myself!?" she bawled.

Fred came up to her. "Hermione, you won't make a fool of yourself. You just bested two wizards who know a little bit about mixing it up in a pinch and put the most awesome rabbit hex on us I've ever seen. That was world class, girl. Get that same focus, but with a happy thought, and you'll be there."

With a couple more tries, Hermione's Patronus was back to form. Others seemed to be making progress as well. As Harry worked with Ginny, she produced a lynx which was slightly hazy, but fully mobile and recognizable. Justin Finch-Fletchley produced a large fox, and near the end of the session, Ron produced a porcupine.

"Well," Ron said with a laugh, "That should put a hurt on a dementor - but why a porcupine!?"

At the end, Harry was working with Marietta Edgecombe. "Think your happiest thought, and focus on having just that and nothing else," he told her. She looked up at him and said "Alright ... EXPECTO PATRONUM" and out shot from her wand a silvery cloud which took the form of a nanny goat, somewhat fuzzy, but recognizable, as it settled to the ground. It capered about a bit, nuzzled Marietta and then evaporated.

"Harry! I did it! I did it! I can't believe it - it was so awesome. It had a form. It ran, it moved, it looked at me!" Then she hugged him around the neck in her enthusiasm. Several of the other students of the class looked on darkly as Harry hugged back and after several seconds broke free.

"Well, done," he congratulated the class, "we've had several breakthroughs. Even those without a recognizable Patronus seemed to have more of a form," then he added toward Neville, "Well, mostly. But your other battle skills are coming along. We'll continue improving the dependability of the Patronus Charm before you take them into the pit, but this is very encouraging. If ever we should meet a large number of dementors, we will need as many people with a good Patronus as we can get. I'll see you all in the morning."

Everyone was quite excited about the progress as the group broke up. The twins came up to the Gryffindor group.

"Thought we'd better warn you, Dad told us Mum's coming up for Halloween, and seeing as it's on a Thursday, she's staying through the weekend," said George.

"That's great," said Harry, then seeing the concern on Ron and Ginny's face, he added "uh, isn't it?"

Ginny replied, "Well you've never had someone who checks up on you like Mum does with us. We love her and all, and it's great to be with her away from school, but the few times she's been here during school, she picked at everything any Weasley here was doing. Even Perfect Percy got criticized."

"Well maybe one of us can get injured - that always distracts her," said Ron.

"Ooh, there's a good idea," said Hermione, "or maybe you and Ginny want to hide out in the Chamber of Secrets."

"Only if our lives depended on it," said Ginny with a shudder.