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Published: 09/21/2004
Updated: 01/14/2005
Words: 139,369
Chapters: 38
Hits: 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 25

Chapter Summary:
Hermione and Harry do homework together during the Ravenclaw-Slytherin game. Their friends visit when the game is over and describe it all. Harry tells them about the anti-Apparation charm proposal and they decide to raise public sentiment against it.

Chapter 25 Homework with Hermione

To Harry, no weather was so bad that it could not be endured for a quidditch match. However, if there was a day to miss a quidditch match, Saturday was it. The weather was drizzling and sleety with a near-gale wind. Having to stay inside, Saturday went pleasantly enough, though Harry was getting very tired of hovering. His skin was regrowing very well, although it remained quite tender. He got an early morning application of the essence of murtlap mixture and would get another in the evening. Between applications though he was now at least allowed to put on a light nightshirt. He had come to the stage of recovery where he needed to do stretching exercises so the skin would become loose enough where it needed to be so it would not crack when he tried to move. Marietta wanted to see the quidditch game, as she was a Ravenclaw and her closest girlfriend was the seeker. Since Hermione cared little for quidditch when her best friends weren't playing, and particularly in weather like this, she volunteered to help Harry out with the stretching. Harry agreed to this, even though he still felt a bit too exposed under his nightshirt around Hermione.

Hermione stayed with him all morning and into the afternoon. Every so often she would look out the window and report that the game was still going on, although she had to report it based on the lack of students returning or milling about. This was scarce surprising with the horrible conditions for finding the snitch. Harry smiled to himself when he thought about the game, since he had played in such weather before. Still, lying about was getting old and if Harry had been given a choice between staying where he was and flying in this weather, he would have been on his broom in a heartbeat.

While Hermione was there, she had Harry's Potions and Charms homework assignments. The Charms essay was easy enough - explain the theory and uses of the Patronus Charm - although Harry was glad that Hermione told him to check the book for additional uses than warding off dementors and lethifolds. It turned out there was quite an array of uses for the patronus as an all around defensive helper, and Hermione was thrilled to get into an in-depth discussion of the topic. They both had charmed quills to record their discussion, and then they just had to edit their talk and they had very thorough essays, with ample practical observations as well.

The Potions assignment seemed horribly obscure at first - the effect of ambient sound on the brewing of potions - until Hermione explained it. Harry was sure that it was neither so pleasant nor so interesting when Snape explained it. Harry found that he actually warmed up to the topic. Not that he wouldn't have worked hard on it anyway - he was determined to do all he could to prepare - but it was so much easier to focus on something when it made some sort of sense. As he wrote his essay, he remembered all the times during the summer he had visited Mrs. Figg while she was brewing potions for the Order, and she would change the stations or the volume on the wireless at various stages saying things like "this needs a bit of perking up," or "oh-oh, too raucous, better have some smooth jazz." Harry realized that she was not doing that for her own tastes but for the potions. Snape would be livid that Harry's essay had so many practical examples. Hermione herself was fascinated as Harry recounted all the combinations of potions and sounds Mrs. Figg had used.

"And you know what," said Harry, "she's brilliant at potion-brewing, but last year at my hearing, many of the members of the Wizengamot treated her like she was subhuman just because she's a squib!"

"It's awful, Harry. It really is," agreed Hermione, "Of course, I've had more of that attitude than you. Malfoy's not the only one to call me mudblood, and plenty more besides who treat me like I'm not a real witch. Ooh, sometimes it makes me so mad, I feel like showing them just how much of a witch I can be!"

"When you feel like uncorking," said Harry, smiling, "Let me be there - I want to see it when you cut loose."

Finally they finished all their essays and stretching and could break for lunch.

"Alright, then, Granger," said Harry, "I've held my tongue long enough. Spill it - who was the secret meeting you set up for Mrs. Weasley with."

"Oh, alright, I suppose I can tell you," laughed Hermione, "It was Winky."

"Winky! Really? What for?"

"Well, you remember how much Mrs. Weasley enjoyed having Dobby to help around The Burrow this summer. And Ron and Ginny have often remarked how many times she has mentioned that she wished they had a house elf, too. Well, I got to thinking how unhappy Winky has been..."

"But Hermione," said Harry, "You're the one who has been saying how all the elves should be freed and not have masters or wizard families."

"I know," said Hermione, "I really had to do some soul-searching after talking with Dobby and Professor Flitwick. I came to realize that my notion of what happiness is about is just my human notion. Elves are different, and at least until they start to see themselves differently, they aren't really going to be happy without a family."

"So how did the meeting go?" asked Harry.

"Oh, great for the two of them. I had talked to Winky and Dobby earlier in the day so she was kept away from the butterbeer and actually put on a clean teatowel. Dobby destroyed the one she'd worn the last two years. I'm just glad I won't have to see or smell that one again. Ick! Winky was falling all over herself to be pleasant, and of course, Mrs. Weasley would never be unpleasant, unless it was a matter of protecting her loved ones. The only really tense moment came when I started talking about my concerns that Winky have a good home and be treated well."

"But Hermione, how could you even think that any of the Weasleys, Mrs. Weasley in particular, would treat any elf badly!?" said Harry incredulously.

"I know: it was remarkably stupid. I had on my SPEW hat rather than my friend hat. I guess I can be a bit blind at times," she said, as Harry snorted into his pumpkin juice.

"ANYWAY, she looked at me like I was warning her that it wasn't nice to twist the heads off small animals. When I realized what I was doing I just covered my face in horror and shame!"

"Dean Thomas," said Harry, nodding and smiling.

"What? What's he got to do with this?" asked Hermione.

"You missed it because you dropped Divination. Last year when Firenze became the Divination teacher Dean Thomas asked him if he had been bred by Hagrid. Of course Firenze was terribly offended..."

"I should say so!"

"...and Dean realized what a stupid thing he had said almost as soon as he had said it. Even with his dark cheeks, you could see the blush rising. Looking back, it's quite funny, just for how appalling a thing it was to say. Dean apologized profusely and even became Firenze's assistant, mostly carrying messages for him to places in the castle centaurs just can't get to. It gave him a chance to show he wasn't such an idiot as he had first sounded."

"Yes, I felt about that stupid. But after a minute Mrs. Weasley smiled at me and then turned back to Winky. They talked for almost two hours. Finally, they decided that they would both be interested in the Weasleys adopting Winky if Dumbledore and the Ministry approve. When they had agreed they would try to get approval, Mrs. Weasley said to her 'But I want you to understand that we will not be masters of a slave in my house: I will never force clothes on you, but I will place a set of clothes your size in a box on the bottom shelf of our cabinet, and those will stay there for your use if you should ever want to be free of the Weasleys. You are to stay with us as long as you would want to.' Well, you've never seen such tears of joy as Winky had then. She launched herself and hugged Mrs. Weasley around the neck and Mrs. Weasley hugged her back. I was crying pretty badly myself."

"So what's happened with SPEW?" asked Harry.

"Oh, I'm still for elf welfare. But you know Winky will be a thousand times happier as the Weasleys' elf than she ever was as a free elf. Sometimes you've just got to put aside your idea of what a person ought to be in favor of respecting what they are."

"Gee, Hermione," said Harry, "can you take the same attitude about Marietta?"

Hermione looked at him. "Yes, I can, I think. I think maybe my problem this weekend has mostly been jealousy."

"Jealous!? Of what, not getting to clean my sloppy bedpan!?"

"Of being allowed to be your friend. You talk to us, but you keep us distant, at least emotionally. We make DA plans and study, but you don't let us be your friend. Giving you healer care was going to be my chance to reconnect, and then you ask for her to take care of you."

"Hermione, I know I've been like that. But it's not because I don't care: it's because I already care so much for you. Even now I'm getting flashes of you dead."

Hermione gasped, "Ohh. Can I ask, how?"


"Eww! How do you know it's me then?"

"I just know."

"Your scar?"

"Nope, it's fairly quiet. He's still overseas."

"A premonition?"

"No, I don't think so - I hope not. Just fear. Just blind screaming terror at what could happen."

She nodded and then took one of his hands in both of hers. They didn't dare to look at each other, but just sat there a long time.

Hermione and Harry had just finished with the midafternoon stretches when Neville, Ron and Ginny came in to the Hospital Wing, sopping wet. Madam Pomfrey very nearly threw them out immediately, but Hermione begged her patience, pointing out that Harry was the only patient and promising to see to it that any water was cleaned up. Madam Pomfrey agreed and, seeing that the three of them were shivering, told Hermione to give them a small dose of pepper-up potion.

"Thanks, Hermione," said Ron, "but what we most of all want is Harry's fireplace."

"Well, thanks," said Harry, "It's nice to see you too."

"Oh, you know what he means, Harry," said Neville, "the other fireplaces are all crowded and we desperately need to warm up, then we can talk."

Hermione built up the flame to a nice roar, enough that Harry had to ask her to move him a bit further away. The others aired out their robes by it until their teeth stopped chattering.

"It was a great game, Harry," said Ginny, "Wish you could have been there. Just like we thought, Slytherin was trying all sorts of dirty tricks. They were getting away with them mostly, since Madam Hooch couldn't see most of what went on."

"But mostly that was directed at Cho," said Neville, "since once a Chaser got the quaffle, he could lose himself in the weather and then pop out at the goals with very little notice."

"They traded off goals for a couple of hours," said Ron, with Slytherin getting the edge at 220 - 140, but then the scoring seemed to stop for about an hour until Ravenclaw got the bright idea of searching the ground for the quaffle. He got it back into play and the scoring resumed. Then Ravenclaw got the bright idea of ignoring the bludgers and using the beaters as additional Keepers - as long as they didn't go within the scoring box, it was legal and forced the Slytherin Chasers to try to either make nearly sideways shots or go for the goal the Keeper was in front of. Of course, Slytherin copied the tactic after a couple of goals, and that nearly put a stop to scoring for the next four hours."

"Finally," said Ginny, "the rain turned to wet snow and the visibility improved. Slytherin's replacement Seeker spotted the snitch near the Slytherin goal and took off for it. Cho was fifty yards behind. Slytherin's seeker got to it, reached for it, and couldn't close his hand on it because he was so stiff from the cold. Cho scooped it up in her sleeve and maneuvered it inside her robe until she could pull it out with her mouth and show she had caught it. Ravenclaw won by 310-240 points."

"Wow, an actual Plumpton Pass, deliberate this time," said Harry, "I wish I could have seen that!"

"Well, we think it was deliberate," said Ron, "Truth be told Cho might have been grabbing for it and missed. We couldn't get close to her to find out, since she was mobbed by the Ravenclaws."

All this time, Ron, Neville, and Ginny had been scurrying around demonstrating all the moves and fouls as well as they could. Harry thought the performance was wonderful, but Hermione kept grumbling as she cleaned up the water they were splattering about. "Are you three about done now?"

"Sorry, Hermione," said Neville, "after a nearly seven hour game, little of which we could even see, we had to generate a little heat."

"Oh, it's alright," said Hermione smiling, "It's good for my patient."

"So how's he doing?" asked Ron, talking to Hermione as if Harry was an incompetent.

"Oh, his body's doing fine, but I can't say his head's all there," she teased.

"Oy, there" said Harry, "I'm as sane as you. Wait - that's not saying much, is it?"

"Say, Hermione," said Ginny, "I hear you're arranging a house elf for Mum."

"Ah, you're folks must have been at the game," said Hermione.

"But why'd it have to be that hideous wreck Winky?" said Ron.

Hermione's eyes flashed, "She wasn't a wreck until she was kicked out of the only family she had ever known as cover for Mr. Crouch's crimes! You should have seen her yesterday - clean, sober, neat, and so eager."

"I'm all for giving second chances," said Harry.

"You would be," said Ron.

"So when does it happen?" asked Ginny.

"Approvals will take a few months, maybe by Spring."

"I wonder why it should take so long," said Ron, "It's not as if the House Elf Placement office has any other cases to concern itself with."

"I think that's the problem. The witch who runs it has been concerned about losing her job, so she's broken the whole process out into dozens of steps, when it could otherwise be handled in an afternoon."

"You know, Hermione," said Harry, "Dobby was here last night with Flitwick and Melony. I wonder why he didn't say anything about Winky then. You said you had gotten him involved in getting Winky ready."

"Well, I asked him not to, for one thing, although I don't think that would have stopped him if you had actually asked him. He may avoid mentioning his elf acquaintances around Melony, since he is trying to seem more goblinlike to her. And I imagine that in general elves are a rude topic around goblins."

"I suppose so. You know Melony told me more about the things Fudge is doing to push the goblins into rebellion," said Harry.

"Oh, yeah," said Neville, "What now?"

Harry proceeded to tell them all about the anti-Apparation charms laws, and that led to the mystery surrounding Griball's disappearance and death.

"Flitwick took it that seriously, huh?" said Ron.

"Absolutely," said Harry, "he was as humorless as Filch about it."

"Well, we'll have to leave that to him for now," said Hermione, "he knows lots of goblins and wizards all over. What are we going to do about the Ministry?"

"Erm, Hermione," said Ginny, "I don't think they much listen to a bunch of kids."

"A bunch of kids preparing for war - and it will be a much worse one, or even two wars at the same time, and fewer of us will survive, if we let them keep going this way," said Hermione firmly.

"Okay," said Ron, "scary enough, but you're right. So what CAN we do?"

"Let's alert the wizarding world, like we did last year," said Hermione.

"You mean put Harry up for an interview?" asked Ginny.

"No need to," said Harry, "Mr. Lovegood was at Platform 9 ¾ and invited me to submit anything I wrote about preparations for the war."

"Must we go through The Quibbler again?" asked Ron.

"What's wrong with The Quibbler?" asked Luna, who was just arriving.

"Nothing, in this case," said Harry, "We know your father would print it, and we can't trust the Prophet, since the Ministry controls it. Besides, he says stuff from me boosts sales, so if it helps your Dad out, it's okay by me. I like him."

Luna smiled. "Well, I owled a letter to Dad about the excitement Halloween and he sent me an owl back suggesting that I get you to write about the Patronus Charm. However, if what I heard is right, you're going to criticize the Ministry. Dad'll like that even better."

"Well, if he'll run something that we put together about the anti-Apparation Charm bill, I'll write him a Patronus article, too. But before we get too far ahead of ourselves, I want to run this by Dumbledore," said Harry, "after all he and I have just been acknowledged as not being lunatics - sorry, Luna, poor choice of word - and we may want to be careful still."

"Ahh, that's the Harry Potter we all know," laughed Ginny, "cautious, circumspect, avoiding controversy."

Harry lunged at her from his bed, but only rolled in place. He had to catch himself as the sheet started to slip off of him. She reached over and flapped the sheet upward.

""Oh, now that's disappointing - since when have you been allowed to wear a nightshirt?" said Ginny mischievously.

"Just soon enough, apparently. Okay then," he said, "it's dinnertime now. Afterwards let's all meet here and draft an article for ALL of us to sign. And Ron, bring my two-way mirror and I'll discuss it with Dumbledore if he's available."

"All of us?" said Ginny, "Erm, why all?"

"Not so daring now, eh?" said Harry, "I don't want to be the loose cannon on this ship. I was the lone voice saying Voldemort had returned, but we can all see that the goblins are being pushed to war. My name will be the one that gets people reading, but yours will confirm that I'm not off my rocker."

They all agreed.

After dinner and Harry's stretching exercises, they divided up the task of drafting the article. Harry, Neville and Ginny were to write about the reasons for the article, the historical context of the goblin rebellions, and the current problems they face. Hermione, Ron and Luna worked on describing the new statutes they were aware of and how they made little sense but burdened magical people generally and goblins particularly. The groups then combined their efforts and read the parts together, each group making comments and additions on each other's work. Neville noted that it sounded like two very different committees had produced two essays that didn't really belong together, so it was agreed that the whole thing should be redrafted with the same content, but with one of them giving it an individual style. The rest of the Gryffindors immediately thought of Hermione, but she declined.

"Uh-uh. I know when I'm outclassed," demurred Hermione, "Working with Luna made me realize how stiff my writing really is. I can say a lot of things, and I can be very accurate, but she makes things beautiful and stirring."

Luna smiled shyly and said "I guess I've always liked words."

Ron shrugged, "That's funny for someone who talks so rarely."

Ginny nodded, "But Ron, she doesn't have to - when she does speak, she speaks volumes. Hermione's right. No shine off Hermione, but if we want people to read the whole thing, we'd better have Luna's style."

As Luna was working on the redraft, Professor and Mrs. Weasley arrived.

"Hello, all," Mrs. Weasley called, "we hadn't spoken with any of you since the game, so we popped up to the dorm. That nice Irish boy said you were all here. Good to see you're keeping Harry company."

"An awful lot of parchment about," observed Mr. Weasley, "That's not for any assignment I've given, I hope. I'm still new at this grading business."

"Not an academic project, Professor Weasley, a political one," said Neville.

They took turns explaining the whole project. As they finished the explanation, Luna was putting the finishing touches on the re-write. She read it to them all.

"You know," said Ginny, "there's something missing."

"Yeah," said Neville, "it just kind of stops."

"What you need," said Arthur Weasley, "is a summing up, something that says why this is important, why it is any of your business. May I have a try?"

He took a clean piece of parchment and wrote for a few minutes, scratching a few words out here, adding a few words there. Then he looked at it, read it through again, and said "How about this? 'We call attention to these facts not merely because we would like to have the goblins as our allies in the struggles with Lord Voldemort..."

"Uh-uh" interrupted Luna, "Dad still won't print that name in The Quibbler"

"Alright then," said Arthur, scratching out the name and putting in an alternative, then continuing to read '...with the dark forces. Rather we object to these policies because they are wrong in themselves. We believe that all beings are equal in dignity and worth, that they have the inherent right to protect and enjoy their own lives, liberty and property so long as they do not harm others thereby, that governments are created to protect these rights against those who would violate them, and when the government itself would violate them, it is the duty of the people to take such measures as are necessary to make corrections. We seek a better magical world, in which the reasonable interests of all magical beings are respected. We hope that all who read this will join with us in seeking a redress of these policies.' Will that do?"

"Awesome, Dad," said Ron.

"Really, Professor Weasley," said Harry, "No wonder you were sacked - you're quite the revolutionary."

"Or at least he borrows from one," said Hermione, with a smile.

"Yes, Hermione, you caught me," said Arthur with a laugh, "I cribbed a bit from Thomas Jefferson's words in the American Declaration of Independence. I don't do him justice though. The man should have his own chocolate frog card, he was such a wizard with words."

"Dad loves muggles," explained Ginny to Luna.

"Well, if that's what he gets from them, I can see why. Professor Weasley, do you have any muggle books I could perhaps borrow?"

"I'd be glad to share my trove with you, Miss Lovegood."

"Alright, then, I'm happy with that. Are all of you?" asked Harry, to their nods. "Then I'll see if Professor Dumbledore is available. Accio mirror!"

"Blimey, Harry, without a wand again: Do you have to make the rest of us look bad?" said Ron with a smile.

"Sorry, Ron," grinned Harry, "After curfew, I've had lot of hours here with not much else to do so I've been practicing wandless magic. I'm getting pretty good at summoning, levitation, and transfiguration. You'll be glad to know I've changed every spider I've seen into something else - hat pins, thread, dice, all sorts of things."

"Oh, good," said Ron, "Next time we run into Hagrid's eight-legged mates in the Forest, I'll let you turn them into lorries - but don't expect me to wait around to admire the results."

Harry looked in the mirror and called to Professor Dumbledore. In a few seconds his face appeared with twinkling eyes, "Hello, Harry. Not out of the Hospital Wing yet, I see."

"No, sir. They won't even take the hover charm off me. I feel like a helium balloon."

"Aah, well, that's the price you pay for dangerous pets. At least your demonstration went well."

"THAT was going well!?"

"Absolutely, Harry. It inspired the others who faced the lethifold to go ahead with it right then, rather than putting it off. I believe you have several of them with you - just ask them," said Dumbledore, and they all nodded agreement as Harry looked around. "Mr. Malfoy's overly dangerous prank has almost certainly distanced him from many who had sympathized with his attitude. In addition, your statute as an instructor can only be enhanced with your impressive display of quick thinking, composure, and wandless expelliarmus. Altogether a resounding success."

"Still, I would have rather avoided the lethifold entirely," said Harry.

"No lasting harm done, my boy," said Dumbledore, with a smile, "and it gave you the chance for a much-needed break and to work on relying on others."

"Okay, you win: it was picture perfect," said Harry with a smile.

"I can tell you have business to discuss, Harry, but first let's get the scar report."

"I've been getting some increased twinges, still distant. Most of it was the same frustration that he has been having. I'm now certain that it's about getting at something or into something, and I'm fairly certain it's the site Bill Weasley is at (Molly gasped at this mention). Several days ago he also learned something that pleased him, not ecstatic pleasure, but approval and satisfaction at something."

"Very good, Harry. And the visions? Aah, Harry, I can see from your expression they are as strong as ever. Good - keep caring. Molly?"

"Yes, Albus?" replied Mrs. Weasley.

"Harry's trying to hide the distress on his face, but he needs a motherly hug badly. Would you mind?"

"Anytime, if his skin can now handle it" she replied.

Harry turned to her, nodding, with tears running down his cheeks and buried his face in her shoulder. She hugged him gently, minding his tender new skin and nerves, and let him get it out. After a minute Harry started to lift up and she looked him in the eye. "Better, Harry?"

"A bit. You remember last year when you tried to handle the boggart, and all you saw was dead loved ones, and you couldn't get rid of the boggart because you couldn't make anything ridiculous out of the forms the boggart took? Every waking moment is like that, except when I am training or focusing on magic or other thoughtful work."

Now it was Molly's turn to need a hug. She cried and grasped Harry about the shoulders. "I'll never forget that boggart. I thought I would collapse. I don't know how you bear it, Harry."

"I have to tell myself this," he answered, "that if I don't bear up, it could all come true. Breaking down just isn't an option."

When Harry turned back to the mirror, Dumbledore's eyes were moist, too. "Well then, Harry, what's on your mind?"

"We - let's see - there's Ron and Ginny Weasley, Hermione Granger, Neville Longbottom, and Luna Lovegood - have gotten concerned over the way the ministry is adopting policies that hurt and offend the goblins. We were thinking to send in an article to Luna's father's paper, The Quibbler. At first, they wanted it to be just my name, but I insisted on some support. Mr. Lovegood invited me to write things about the efforts against Voldemort, and I felt this was important too. But we wanted to check with you about the general idea and what we had written."

"Yes, I have tried discussing the matter with Minister Fudge, but of course, he just becomes paranoid whenever someone disagrees with him," said Dumbledore.

"Albus," called Arthur Weasley, "I haven't been close enough to determine if he has been placed under an Imperius Curse. His behavior seems irrational even for him."

"Well, Arthur, as you know, the Imperius Curse is more easily detected the more atypical the behavior demanded of the victim is. He already had a vehement dislike of goblins and all non-humans, so it would not have taken much of a push for him to engage in an anti-goblin program. The answer then is I can neither rule it out nor confirm it. Either way, for the present we must deal with it as it is. Harry, read what you have to me."

Harry read the whole parchment.

"Nicely written, excellent editing," said Dumbledore.

"That would be Luna's handiwork," said Harry.

"Then five points for Ravenclaw," said Dumbledore, "and one point each for the rest of you who participated in drafting this. I wouldn't change anything. Will it be just the six of you signing it?"

"Pardon, Albus," interjected Arthur, "I'd like to as well, but I don't want to violate any school protocols."

"Far be it from me to stifle debate. Go ahead and sign, Arthur, and feel free to use the title Professor."

"Thank you for hearing us out on this, Professor," said Harry.

"Oh, it's my pleasure indeed," said Dumbledore, "I am thrilled to see young people paying attention to the implications of political activity. I doubt we will be able to change Fudge's course, but perhaps we will lay the groundwork for better wizard-goblin relations independent of, and perhaps subsequent to, the current administration."

Harry then took the parchment and signed it, followed by Arthur Weasley, Molly Weasley, Luna, Ron, Ginny, Hermione, and finally Neville.

"I'll see that Dad gets it tonight," Luna said, "and that it gets printed, although it could take a month or two."

"Well, we'll take what we can get," said Harry, "I only hope that it will be soon enough to change some minds."